What Is Kegel Exercise?
Developed by Dr. Arnold Kegel in the late 1940s, Kegel exercise is a nonsurgical technique used to strengthen the pelvic muscles. Basically, the exercise works to enhance the strength of the muscles in a bid to increase support for the bladder.
In women, factors such as childbirth, pregnancy, weight plan, and aging can weaken the pelvic floor. If left unchecked, pelvic muscles can weaken and cause devastating effects to the woman. One possible scenario is that the pelvic organs may simply lower to the woman's vagina. Besides causing urinary incontinence, this can be very uncomfortable for the woman.
There are myriads of benefits that come with Kegel exercise. Perhaps the most important is that it goes a long way in warding off incontinence. However, the exercise must be done correctly In order to produce the desired results.Although they may seem simple and easy to do, most people do it wrongly. The secret to doing it right lies with finding the right muscle to exercise. A vast majority of both men and women engaging in Kegel exercise actually their inner thighs, buttocks and abdominal muscles. This way, they end up nourishing these muscles but get nothing out of the exercise for the pelvic muscles.
A How-To Guide For Women
In order to fully benefit from Kegel exercise, it's of utter importance to do it right. Here are a few pointers to help you get started.
1. Find the right muscle
This is the most important thing to do. In order to successfully identify muscles in your pelvic floor, stop urination midstream. If you succeed in stopping the urine, then you will have identified your pelvic floor muscle. Thereafter, you can do the exercise in any position you deem fit. However, doing the exercise while lying down can be much easier.
2. Perfect your technique
After identifying your pelvic floor muscles, it’s now time to perfect your technique. This is basically, tightening your muscles repeatedly whilst not urinating. Try constricting your muscles for 3 seconds at a time with a few seconds’ breaks in between the exercise.
3. Maintain your focus
While carrying out your exercise, you can easily be swayed away by flexing other muscles around your pelvis. Ensure to maintain focus on your pelvic muscles alone, and not your buttocks, abdominal or thigh muscles. To successfully maintain focus on your pelvic floor muscles alone, ensure to breathe freely during the exercise.
While stopping your urine midstream helps in identifying your pelvic floor muscles, don’t make a habit of doing it during the exercise. Doing this, more often, will lead to incomplete emptying of your bladder thus increasing the risk of urinary tract infection.
Does Kegel Work For Men?
You've most probably come across Kegel exercises for women. Well, they are quite popular compared to Kegel for men. But does it really work for men?
Recent research shows that Kegel exercises go a long way in helping pelvic floor muscles for men after prostate surgery. This ensures that urine bladder is swiftly and smoothly restored to normal. Additionally, Kegel exercise can help men with erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation and even increase the intensity of orgasm in some men.
Although very little research has been done on the impact of Kegel exercises for men, early findings have proved very promising. One such research review in urology showed that Kegel exercise can help men with stress incontinence after prostate surgery. Additionally, the research showed that the exercise can help relive an overactive bladder thus ensuring that you remain comfortable always.
A How-To Guide For Men
Kegel exercises for men are closely related to that of women. After all, the aim is working out the same pelvic floor muscles. Here’s how to go about it.
4. Find the right muscles
Identifying your pelvic floor muscles is the first stage in doing a successful Kegel exercise. To do this, tighten your urinary bladder muscles while urinating. You can as well tighten the muscles that prevent you from passing gas willingly. These two techniques require the use of your pelvic floor muscles. Once you successfully identify these muscles, you can go ahead to do the exercise in any favorable position.
5. Perfect your technique
Once you successfully identify your pelvic floor muscles, you can go ahead to carry out the exercise by contracting your muscles and holding them for close to three seconds before relaxing. Do this a few more times while braking in between.
6. Maintain your focus
In order to get the most out of the exercise, ensure to focus on your pelvic floor muscles alone. Stay focused not to flex your abdominal, thigh or buttock muscles. To help you out with maintaining your focus, ensure to breathe freely.
Benefits Of Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises have become a mainstream conversation among many people today. Even so, a vast majority of both men and women are still unaware of the many benefits that Kegel offers. Here is a sneak peek at some health and wellness benefits from Kegel exercise.
1. They improve your sex life
Apart from making your pelvic muscles stronger, Kegel can also improve your sex life. The exercises on the muscles intensify your orgasms while having sex with your partner. This applies to both men and women.
Scientifically, the pelvic floor muscles are responsible for the pleasurable contractions felt during orgasms. Therefore, when you engage Kegel exercises to make your pelvic floor muscles healthy, you intensify your orgasms as well.
As for men, Kegel exercises improve blood circulation to the pelvic region. With sufficient blood flow, a man can easily get aroused sexually.
Additionally, women who experience pain during sexual penetration can be suffering from Vaginismus (painful involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles). This condition, though treatable, can be avoided by Kegel exercise.
2. Improves your overall body fitness
Lifestyle habits among many other factors have the potential to wreak havoc to your body in many different ways. Prolonged sitting, for example, can greatly affect your overall aerobic strength and fitness. At the same time, your abdominal core can be weakened by overstretching of abdominal muscles during pregnancy.
Carrying out Kegel exercise, just like any other exercise can go a long way in ensuring that you remain fit and healthy. Not only will your pelvic muscles e healthy, but your overall body will be fit as well.
3. Kegel can cure bladder leakage
One of the main functions of pelvic floor muscles is to hold the pelvic organs in place. These include the bladder, rectum, and uterus.
When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, your bladders and bladder necks will have minimal support to keep them around the sphincter. This can ultimately lead to incontinence. At the same time, you can experience stress urinary incontinence. Basically, this is leakage of the bladder that occurs when you undergo strenuous movements such as heavy lifting, sneezing or coughing. With Kegel exercise, you will be able to do away with these problems by working out your pelvic floor muscles.
4. Kegel can help develop better back and hip support
Apart from holding the pelvic organs in place, the pelvic floor muscles are a vital component in providing support to your trunk and hips. Basically, these muscles work together with the abdominal muscles to offer support to the spine.
Therefore, once you engage in Kegel exercise to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, you as well will be providing more support to your spine. This indirect relation ensures that you develop and maintain a stable back and hip.
Frequency Of Practicing
Just like any other exercise, you will need to be patient to see the fruits of your effort with Kegel exercise. However, you need to be devoted to improving your pelvic floor muscles in order to see a positive outcome. This will require exercising at least three times on a daily basis.
While taking up this routine may be difficult at first, you have to stay committed to the end. Develop a schedule to keep you in track with your exercise throughout the end. You as well set up reminders to ensure that you don't miss out on your exercise on a hectic day.
One of the most important benefits of Kegel exercises is that it is a low-risk exercise. You won't have to sweat out while doing it. Additionally, it cost nothing to do it. You actually have nothing to lose with Kegel exercise.
Before starting out this exercise, visit your doctor to find out if you are fit to do the exercise. Once you get clearance for carrying out the exercise, you stand to benefit by having better urinary control, improved erectile function and do away with premature ejaculation among others.