In keeping the body fit and healthy, exercise has an important role to play. However, the muscles that are commonly trained during common exercise regimens are those that are easily seen from the outside. What most people forget to care about are the muscles from inside the body, especially the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are located between the tip of the pubic bone at the front and the base of the spine from the back. These muscles are the ones that keep the pelvic organs in place. If the pelvic muscles are weak, it could cause some concerns to the vagina, uterus, the bowel and the urinary bladder.
What is a Pelvic Floor Exercise?
A pelvic exercise is an essential form of workout for the muscles on your pelvic floor. Basically, it is done to improve the strength of the muscles in that area. Like all other forms of exercise, it makes the muscles become more toned and strong. Medical practitioners encourage both men and women to improve their pelvic floor muscles. This could be done through a very easy yet effective exercise regimen. The most common type is the Kegels Exercise.
Advantages of Pelvic Exercise
It is a fact that not many people know about any kind of pelvic exercise. If you are one of them, this is the right time for you to know that you can do a highly effective exercise regimen even in your own small ways. But, why is this type of pelvic exercise so important? Just so you know, pelvic exercises come with various advantages for your body.
Your pelvic floor muscles are the same muscles that help you control the flow of urine from your bladder. If the muscles are too weak or overactive, then you might have problems with urination. Urinary incontinence is often a problem associated with weaker pelvic floors. When you practice pelvic floor exercise regularly, you can decrease your chances of having urinary incontinence. This means that you can control the flow of your urine in a much better way with proper pelvic floor exercise.
Pelvic exercises are excellent especially for expectant mothers. The pelvic floor exercise allows that woman to master the relaxation and contraction of the pelvic muscles that are needed during delivery. Also, a perfectly toned and healthy pelvic muscle will allow the vagina to retain its original tightness even after she has delivered a baby. She can regain back her originally toned muscles at a faster rate than usual.
Pelvic organ prolapse is also one thing that can be prevented if you practice the exercise. It will make your muscles stronger and that only tells you that they can hold the pelvic organs properly in place. In this event, you can prevent yourself from experiencing danger and posing life threatening conditions in your pelvic region. You can actually avoid uterine, vaginal, bladder or rectal prolapse.
The pelvic exercise is actually the secret to a better sex life. You can get so much better orgasms if you practice the Kegel exercise for women. Also, it can help you have better lubrication. Kegels for men can give stronger and longer erections. Both men and women can last longer during intercourse and would definitely be able to experience more satisfying and happier relationships. If you have been wondering how to improve your sexual experiences, then Kegel exercise could help you with it.
The good thing with doing Kegel exercise is that you can do it alone or do it with your partner. You can both work together on how you can improve each other’s sexual abilities. You know, doing the Kegel exercise could be a new thing that you and your partner can do while you are bonding together. This does not only improve your sex life, but it can improve your relationship and connection all the more.
Here’s how you should do the Kegel exercise:
- Assess the location of your pelvic floor muscles
- While you are seated on the toilet, bring your legs slightly apart.
- Start to urinate and stop at the midstream of your urine. Do this by squeezing your muscles and making sure that you don’t move your legs.
- If you were able to stop the flow of your urine, then you are using your pelvic muscles well.
Remember that this step should only be done if you are a beginner and do not know what muscle group needs to be involved during a Kegel exercise. It is not good if you frequently stop your urine on midstream.
To check if you are using the right set of muscles, you can feel the base of your pelvic muscles from the perineal area. While lying on the side, place one hand over the perineal area, specifically the area between your anus and vagina. While contracting your muscles, you can feel that your perineum moves slightly up or inward. You can do this easily with your clothes on.
For females, a much better way to ensure that you are using the pelvic muscles is to insert 2 fingers 2-3 centimeters inside the vagina. Try to contract your pelvic floor muscles. You can feel that the base of your vaginal wall will push your fingers upward a little bit. It feels like the base of your vagina is trying to squeeze your fingers. With this, you will know that you are moving the right set of muscles in your pelvic area.
Remember that when you are doing the Kegel exercise, you are trying to contract that same pelvic muscles you use for stopping your urine. It is best to do the exercise while you are in the bathroom, especially if you have problems with incontinence. However, if you are comfortable with it, you can do it anywhere you want. You can do it while sitting and keeping a good posture. You can even do it while lying down. Don’t worry, nobody will even notice that you are actually exercising your pelvic muscles.
- Make sure that your bladder is empty before doing the exercise.
- Remember to breathe normally when you do the exercise. Avoid holding your breath while you are pulling our muscles up to contraction.
- You can start by contracting your pelvic muscles for 3 seconds and release them for another 3 seconds. By this method, your pelvic muscles are actually pulled up inside. Remember to only contract the pelvic muscles and not the other muscles like the thighs or the abdomen.
- You can repeat the contraction 10 to 15 times in one session.
- As you go on with the exercise, you can increase the length of each contraction every week, until you can contract the muscles for 10 seconds.
You can do the exercise three times in one day. That could total to about 90 contractions daily. You may not be able to get it on your first try and it is normal. Find the right muscle group to use for controlling your urine flow effectively and practice the exercise.
More Improved Kegel Exercise
The simple form of Kegel exercise is a highly beneficial workout on its own. However, as researches have been made, there are ways that men and women can still improve with this pelvic floor exercise. One for women to improve the Kegel exercise experience is to use weights to train the pelvic muscles. The weight is often seen as a ball or bulb that is inserted into the vagina. The women is expected to contract her muscles to make sure that the weight does not fall off.
The ball or bulb sometimes come with a string, so it would be easy to pull it out after the exercise is done. It is often made with materials that are highly safe for the body. Although many women are eager to try improving their Kegel exercise with weights, it is contraindicated to women who are currently wearing IUDs or intrauterine device as birth control method. Also it is not advised for women who are pregnant. Even though the materials is completely safe to women and her vaginal cavity, it is still contraindicated to prevent any possibility of infection.
Last Few Words
If you have started with Kegel Exercise, do not be discouraged if you don’t find immediate effects to your condition. It takes several exercise sessions for the pelvic muscles to actually develop and become toned and strong enough to its optimal level. If you keep practicing your Kegel exercise, you will just be surprised to know that the results are totally worth every contraction you’ve performed. No matter if you are a woman or a man, Kegel exercise is definitely good for your pelvic health.
Michelle Kenway is a physiotherapist that could teach you some Kegel exercises. Check out her vids!