You likely don’t think about your pelvic organs all that often. In fact, we tend to take them for granted until something goes awry. Like leaking, pelvic pain or other causes for alarm. We tend to cover the topic of pelvic health and habits often as so many of our readers and customers have generously and candidly shared their struggle with such disorders.
Today is no different as we are diving back into the importance of the pelvic exercise, known as “kegels” – particularly, the many ways they can keep your pelvic organs at peak performance!
Kegel exercises are simple pelvic floor clench-and-release exercises that make the muscles in your pelvic area stronger and more functional. Your entire pelvic floor actually sports many muscles and tissues in a design that looks like a hammock.
Because this holds your organs, it is possible that a weak pelvic floor can lead to issues with incontinence, both urinary and fecal, and the ability to control bowels.
Kegel exercises directly impact this area and allow for your muscles and tissues therein to strengthen. Once you are familiar with performing them, you can do them anywhere, anytime and even discreetly where no one is aware but you that you are actively engaging your pelvic muscles.
The benefits from kegel exercises are vast! Because so many common female experiences can affect the pelvic floor integrity – like pregnancy, childbirth, aging, and weight gain – you may find that these exercises are of benefit to you no matter your age or demographic.
Since the pelvic floor muscles support the womb, the bladder, and the bowels, any issues in this area of the body could result in weakened muscles and cause everything from urinary incontinence, to menstrual bleeding that is irregular, spotty or heavier/lighter than usual.
In order to locate/feel the pelvic floor muscles in women is to insert a clean finger inside your vagina and tighten your vaginal muscles around your finger. Almost as if holding in urine just before you make it to the restroom when in a rush. For that reason, you can also locate the muscles by trying to stop your urine mid-flow. The muscles you use for this action are your pelvic floor muscles. When you stop the flow, you are contracting and when you allow the flow of urine to continue, you are releasing. This feeling is what you will replicate when tightening muscles for kegel exercises.
You’ll want to ensure that your bladder is emptied before practicing these exercises so as not to mess up your regular flow of urine or the optimal performance of your body’s natural excretion methods.
When you first start doing kegel exercises, tense the muscles in your pelvic floor for a count of five, then relax them for a count of five. Continue this cycle for 15 repetitions. Over the next several days, practice until you can hold your muscles for ten seconds.
Kegel exercises could be done several times per day but best not to exceed five rounds. Give it time to work as this can help with pelvic issues but may take a few months of consistent exercise to do so.
If, at any time, you feel pain in your abdomen or back after a kegel exercise session, it’s a sign that you’re not doing them correctly. Speak to a professional or primary care physician for further guidance and instruction on proper technique.
Have you personally tried Kegels? Did you notice they helped? Feel free to comment below!