Kegel exercises are known to help women get their pelvic floor back in shape after having a baby. But there are other useful things to know about these pelvic floor exercises. Check out my top ten list of things you may not know about Kegels and see if it inspires you to make them a part of your daily routine.
- Kegel exercise was named after Dr. Arnold Henry Kegel, an American gynecologist who popularized its use as a non-surgical treatment for stress urinary incontinence (SUI). This pelvic floor muscle exercise has been practiced by women for centuries.
- Women who experience light bladder leakage can use Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. This helps to reduce and sometimes even eliminate unwelcome leaks.
- Kegel exercises can help improve your sex life. Practicing Kegels increases blood flow and improves muscle tone, which can intensify pleasurable sensations.
- Doing Kegel exercises during pregnancy can help make delivery go more smoothly. Strong pelvic floor muscles helps make pushing easier and can help lower your odds of tearing during labor.
- Most women don’t know how to do Kegels correctly. Just like learning to snap your fingers or whistle, it takes practice to get it right. It’s not always easy to figure out how to contract your pelvic floor muscles upward and inward while keeping other muscles, like your stomach and buttocks, relaxed.
- An easy way to tell if you’re doing Kegel exercises properly is to do an index finger check. Place your index finger into the vagina, do a Kegel squeeze, and you should be able to feel the squeeze on your finger.
- Kegel exercise is about more than the squeeze. It’s just as important to fully release the squeeze and relax the muscles between contractions to avoid strain. Practice each squeeze (for up to 10 seconds), then release and relax for the count of ten.
- Kegels won’t work unless you’re consistent. Just like exercising other muscles, it needs to be done regularly over time to see results. Consider getting an app for your smartphone to remind you to do your Kegels consistently.
- More isn’t better when it comes to Kegels for women. Overworking the pelvic floor fatigues the muscles and can cause pain. Practice twice a day for no more than five minutes at a time.
- Kegel exercise isn’t the only way to strengthen your pelvic floor though it tends to be the most well-known method. Activities like walking, yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates can also help strengthen your pelvic region.
It’s great to know that even when you’re crazy-busy Kegel exercises can fit in your life, because you can do them anywhere – sitting at your desk at work, standing in line at the store, or lying on your yoga mat at the gym. No one can tell that you’re doing them. For consistency, it helps to set aside a specific time and place to turn your daily routine into a long-term habit.
What about you?
Do you do Kegels? If so, have you noticed that it helps with your bladder leaks?