Have you been doing your Kegels?
Many women past menopause complain about vaginal dryness and lack of interest in sexual activity. (BTW, you’re past menopause when it’s been at least one year since your last menstruation.)
A Kegel is an exercise that will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and enhance sensation in your genitals. It was named after Dr. Kegel who developed it.
Many factors are behind weakened pelvic floor muscles – pregnancy, childbirth, being overweight and as they age, many women lose more muscle and muscle tone all over their body every year – a condition called sarcopenia..
WHY SHOULD I DO KEGELS EXERCISES?
Kegel exercise provide many benefits. They help tighten the muscles surrounding the vagina to…
- Prevent pelvic organ prolapsed which can allow your pelvic organs to bulge into your vagina and cause uncomfortable pressure and urine leakage
- Control urine flow (to repair or prevent incontinence)
- Control bowel function
- Enhance orgasm and sexual pleasure for both partners
- Increase awareness of pleasurable sensations in your genitals that may increase your desire for sexual contact
- Prevent urine leaks when you sneeze or cough
HOW DO I DO KEGELS?
The basic Kegel exercise involves tightening and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles over and over.
There are many variations on Kegels and they’re best done when you can concentrate on what you’re doing – not while driving a car or while having a conversation! Don’t do Kegel exercises with a full bladder or while emptying your bladder because, over time, this can weaken the muscles, and may increase the risk of developing a urinary tract infection.
To locate your Kegel muscles, practice stopping and starting the flow of urine the next time you’re sitting on the toilet. These muscles are attached to the pelvic bone and act like a hammock to support the uterus, bladder and bowel.
After emptying your bladder, sit or lie down. Contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, then relax for five seconds. Do it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.
For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles – don’t flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. And, don’t hold your breath – breathe freely during the exercises.
Develop the habit of doing your Kegels every day. Aim for at least three to four sets of 20 repetitions a day. You might fit in a set every time you do a routine task, such as checking email, preparing meals or watching TV.
It won’t take long to get your pelvic muscles in shape again once you start to exercise them regularly. Most people notice benefits within 4 to 6 weeks.
Tip: Your pelvic floor is a muscle that requires protein to build and maintain. To increase the speed at which you’ll develop stronger pelvic floor muscles and enhance the strength of all the muscles in your body, consume 70 to 100 grams of top-quality whey protein every day.
Do at least 10 to 20 Kegels in a row several times a day:
Tighten a little — count to five slowly
Tighten a little more – count to five slowly
As tight as possible – count to five slowly
Relax in reverse, counting to five slowly at each step
Do you have a Kegel exercise routine that works for you? What benefits have you noticed when you do your Kegels regularly. Please comment and share your experiences about Kegel exercises. I can guarantee you that other women will find your comments interesting and maybe inspirational!