How to do Kegel exercises
You may have heard people talk about Kegel exercises before, but what exactly are they?
Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles.
It is important for both men and women as they get older to practice these exercises to help reduce the risk of stress incontinence and to ensure strong bladder control.
These muscles will naturally weaken with age, so it is important to start sooner rather than later!
There are other advantages to practicing Kegel exercises, including an improved sex life.
How do I find my pelvic floor muscles?
The first challenge when deciding to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles is working out where they are.
If you have ever tried to stop the flow of urine, you were using your pelvic floor muscles to do this.
Try contracting these muscles without contracting any others, and once you are able to easily ‘zone in’ on these muscles, you are ready to practice your Kegel exercises.
Make sure you use the right muscles
It is important to be able to contract your pelvic floor muscles without contracting any of the surrounding muscles, such as your legs, stomach, or buttocks.
At first, you may find this easier to do whilst laid down.
Relax and make sure you are not holding your breath because if you are holding your breath, you are most likely using stronger muscles to support the weaker (pelvic floor) muscles.
If you are not sure if you are using the right muscles, you can use the Educator.
An Educator will act as a visual aid, so you can see when you are correctly exercising your pelvic floor muscles, as well as helping you to monitor your progress.
Beginners: Use short contractions to train your pelvic floor
Once you are comfortable you are using the right muscles, start by practicing short, sharp contractions.
Do these in groups of 5-10 and, just like with any other exercise, don’t overdo it at first.
It is more important to practice these exercises regularly, rather than pushing yourself to the limit.
By gently squeezing your pelvic floor muscles a few times a day, you will notice a gradual improvement within 3 months.
Aim for longer contractions
It should be your aim to contract your pelvic muscles for 10 seconds at a time.
When you first start to practice your Kegel exercises, you may find that this seems nearly impossible.
Don’t worry, it may take a while, but you will get there!
Start by contracting the pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds if you can, and repeat this 15 times.
How often should I do Kegel exercises?
In order to see the best results, it is important to do your Kegel exercises daily.
If one contraction is an exercise, then 40-60 exercises a day is an optimum number to aim for.
Try exercising whilst walking, brushing your teeth, or waiting at traffic lights.
By practicing pelvic floor exercises regularly it will become a natural part of your everyday life.
And remember, it’s never too soon to start!