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Because things such as incontinence and loss of interest in sex affect as many as one in three women, the search for cures to these situations is an ongoing occurrence. One of the most effective things you can do to help improve these conditions and others is to regularly perform Kegel exercises, which are exercises you do to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
If you’ve ever stopped urinating in mid-stream, you already know exactly which muscles these are, and exercises to strengthen those muscles are easy to do, painless, and work wonders in reducing and even eliminating a lot of female health and sexual problems.
Women of all ages can need Kegel exercises, although as a general rule, the older you are and the higher the number of pregnancies you’ve had, the more likely you are to need them. This is because events such as childbirth, advanced age, becoming overweight, and even menopause can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and cause a host of problems.
Even if you’re young and child-free, performing Kegel exercises on a daily basis is a smart idea because it can actually prevent incontinence and other medical conditions from occurring in the first place. In addition, when your pelvic floor muscles are strong, childbirth and even the recovery afterwards is much easier on you.
Kegel exercises also work faster than most women think, producing excellent results in two to 12 weeks. They are easy to do, completely painless, and can be performed anywhere, even while you’re out shopping or dining in a restaurant. Even if you do the recommended three sets per day, it is not going to take a lot of time out of your day, and once you familiarize yourself with all of the benefits these exercises offer, you’ll realize it is going to be time well spent every time.
Most importantly, regular Kegel exercises can ease or eliminate numerous female-related problems, including fecal and urinary incontinence, lack of interest in sex, the inability to achieve orgasm, and even certain organ prolapse conditions. The exercises also help you during childbirth and after the delivery, making both of these events less painful and much simpler on your part. They can even reduce the possibility of getting hemorrhoids, which is especially important for pregnant women or those who are prone to getting hemorrhoids regularly.
The basics of performing Kegel exercises are very simple. Once you find the right muscles, you can start by lying down and getting comfortable. Then, simply squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for roughly three seconds, then relax the muscles for three seconds. You can do five of these when you first start out, and build up from there until you are doing many more.
Of course, you don’t have to be lying down while performing the exercises; however, many women feel more relaxed and less self-conscience when doing them this way. In reality, you can perform Kegel exercises anywhere at any time, but many women feel more at ease when they’re in the comfort of their own home.
Before getting into specifics, let’s review a few tips that are certain to make your Kegel exercises easier and more effective.
Tip #1: Relax!
You have to be relaxed if you want to get the most out of your Kegel exercises, because otherwise it will be difficult to relax the pelvic floor muscles when the time comes. This may sound difficult when you first get started, but you’ll likely be surprised at how quickly that fear disappears. Remember, Kegel exercises are easy, much easier than you might think, so there is truly nothing to be afraid of.
Tip #2: Don’t Forget to Breathe!
It is easy to quit breathing and hold your breath when you’re doing something that makes you somewhat hesitant, but in order for Kegels to be most effective, you need to breathe normally from beginning to end. Again, this should go away the more you practice your Kegels, and it will make the exercises much easier to do. Like most other exercises, continuing to breathe also helps your muscles work better, so while doing your Kegels, don’t forget to breathe.
Tip #3: Keep Your Focus
Yes, Kegel exercises are very simple to do, but that doesn’t mean you can do them without thinking about them. You have to make sure you’re using the right muscles, and that you’re using those muscles the right way, in order for them to be effective. Even if you’re watching television or reading a book while you’re performing your Kegel exercises, it is a good idea to subconsciously make sure the exercises are being done correctly at all times.
Tip #4: Always Start Out Slowly
With Kegel exercises, you should always start out slowly. Again, start out with five at a time. Do three sets of five repetitions to start out with, then increase the number in each set gradually until you get up to around 20 repetitions. Because you’re working with your muscles, you don’t want to take things too fast. Instead, progress slowly until you get up to a number that is comfortable for you, and once you find that number, stick to three sets per day from then on.
Although the basic dos and don’ts regarding Kegel exercises are the same, there are still a few different ways to do the exercises. All of them are effective, but you may find one of the following methods to be more comfortable and accommodating than you do others. Since each woman is different, it is good to know that you can alter your Kegel exercises slightly to suit your needs, and as long as you are consistent with your efforts, they should produce the results you want.
Exercise #1: A Quick Fix
This is the “quick hit” of Kegel exercises. Simply do a standard Kegel, but instead of holding your muscles in for 3 seconds and relaxing for 3 seconds, you perform the Kegels quickly and in rapid succession. There are no hard-and-fast rules regarding the number of repetitions you perform or for how long, but this method can really help you work up a sweat.
Exercise #2: Increasing Your Sexual Endurance
Before your next night of passion, try performing your Kegel exercises in a little different way to prepare you for what lies ahead. Squeeze your muscles and lift your pelvis at the same time, then hold for as long as you can. Do this several times. Not only will it help with your endurance level in bed, but it is also perfect for people who have conditions such as organ prolapse.
Exercise #3: Strengthen Your Lower Back as Well as Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
This exercise is good not only for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, but also for strengthening your core and lower back. Lay on your side and start your Kegel exercises, and as these are being performed, lift one knee up and rotate it outwards. This type of Kegel is great for all types of muscle groups, and it can add a little oomph to your sex life, as well.
Exercise #4: Using a Little More Force
For this exercise, you perform the Kegel exercises as you normally would, with one exception. Every time you release the muscles, you forcefully exhale so that the step is a little more intense. Think of it as exhaling out of both your mouth and your vagina at the same time.
Exercise #5: Dancing Your Way Through Your Kegels
If you want to make your Kegel exercises a little more fun, try dancing your way through them! Stand up and place your hands on your hips and your legs about shoulder-width apart. Next, swing your lips like you’re doing a dance as you perform the Kegels. Act like you’re at the mall and you hear a song on the loudspeaker that you love. It is not only more effective overall, but a lot more fun, as well.
For Kegel exercises to be effective, you should make them a daily part of your life, for the rest of your life. This may sound complicated, but since performing these exercises takes a lot less time than you think, this is a lot easier than it sounds. Practice your preferred repetitions and the number of sets that work for you, and make sure that you do them every day, month after month and year after year.
Kegel exercises can be performed by both men and women, and they are simple to do, fast, and extremely effective. They can take care of a multitude of physical and sexual problems, and because they are a natural option that takes care of these problems without the use of drugs, they are the perfect alternative for those who don’t want to take prescription medications. If you aren’t sure you’re doing your Kegel exercises correctly, you can always consult with your doctor because your doctor will be able to help you make the most of these life-changing exercises.