- Exercise & Fitness
Benefits of Kegel Exercises for Women
What are Kegel Exercises?
Kegel exercises are designed to help restore, control, tone, and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. By strengthening the muscles, you can prevent and reduce problems that are associated with the pelvic floor, such as prolapse, incontinence, and even sexual complications.
What Weakens the Pelvic Muscles?
Overtime the PC muscles weaken. Common factors that weaken the pelvic floor muscles include:
- Being overweight
- Inactivity and a weak core strength
How To Do Kegel Exercises?
Kegel exercises are pretty simple. You can do them any time, anywhere without any ever knowing that you're doing them; you can sit and drink wine with your girlfriends, have a meaningful talk with your spouse or significant other, or you can talk to your boss in a meeting. It doesn't matter what you're doing, you can perform kegel exercises without anyone knowing.
When doing kegel exercises, you can stand, sit, or lie down. Contract the muscles that you use while urinating; if you're not sure which muscles those are, find them the next time you pee. Basically, stop you urine flow, and those are the muscles you'll contract. You don't want to perform kegel exercises while using the bathroom though; this is just a good place to learn which muscles you're working.
Once you find the muscles, you'll want to squeeze for about 3 seconds and release for about 3 seconds. You can work your way up to holding for about 10 to 15 seconds at a time. If you're moving your butt cheek and/or stomach, then you're not exercising the right muscles.
You want to do about 10 to 15 repetitions of kegel exercises about 3 times a day. The more you exercise, the more the exercises will help. Just remember that
you can over strengthen the muscle.
Benefits of Kegel Exercises
For such a simple exercise that doesn't wear you out, cause you to get sweaty, or take extra time out of your day, kegel exercises can benefit you in many ways.
- Easier to reach a more intensive 'O' during intercourse.
- Make the vagina more sensitive, especially if you squeeze while your partner is inside.
- Tighten and restore the vaginal area after childbirth.
- Make childbirth easier because you will have more control over your muscles during labor and delivery.
- Prevent uterine and bladder prolapse.
- Prevent urinary incontinence and regain bladder control.
- Reduce risk of hemorrhoids.
Women of all ages can benefit from kegel exercises. Pregnant women benefit from the exercises by preparing their vagina for birth. Overweight women can strengthen their pelvic muscles that have been stretched from the extra weight. Older women benefit because their incontinence concerns can be improved upon, meaning they can avoid sanitary pads and adult diapers.
Kegel exercises aren't just for the sexual active or for moms. Women of all ages can benefit from this simple exercise.
Mix up the Routine
Instead of just holding for 6 seconds and releasing for 3 all the time. You may want to mix up the routine.
- Count to 10 or 20 and with each new number, contract and release your hold.
- Slow down the exercises. Releasing your hold at a slower pace 10 times in a row at a time.
- Vary hold long you hold your contractions and how long you release. Instead of 6 and 6, hold for 6 and relax for 3.
- Vary what position you perform the exercises- lying down, sitting, standing, etc.
- Because the vagina is a tube with different sections, you can slowly contract and release, stopping at each floor, so to speak. This takes a good bit of concentration.
It's a good idea to exercise your pelvic muscles multiple times a day. Some recommend performing at least 30 to 80 repetitions a day. However you set your routine, you need to keep it fairly constant, in regards to frequency and repetitions.
It's a good idea to start small and light and work your way up. Start with contracting for just a few seconds, and work your way up to a longer hold. Start with just a few repetitions, until you can work your way up to more. Do not overwork or push yourself, especially in the beginning.