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Almost everyone knows what Kegel exercises are, and since most gynecologists recommend these exercises for a multitude of sexual and vaginal problems, it is a good idea for women to become familiar with how they are performed. Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can improve both your sex life and medical conditions such as incontinence.
Throughout life, both women and men – yes, men have pelvic floor muscles, too – can experience a variety of problems when their pelvic floor muscles are weakened, and Kegel exercises are a great, all-natural way to strengthen those muscles so that you can go back to enjoying your sex life and being healthy again. Of course, Kegel exercises are more than just squeezing your pelvic muscles together, so learning a little more about them is a great starting point when you’re interested in making these exercises a daily part of your life.
It isn’t just age and childbirth that cause the vagina to become loosened. In fact, there are numerous reasons why your pelvic floor muscles can become weak, including the following.
Regular constipation or continuous straining to achieve a bowel movement
A lowering of estrogen, which is very common in women after they’ve gone through menopause
Being obese, which causes pressure on your internal organs
Being pregnant or giving birth, which automatically weakens the pelvic floor muscles because they are stretched very far
Surgeries that involve cutting the muscles, including hysterectomies, Caesarian sections, and even prostate surgery in men
Continuous coughing, which directly affects the pelvic floor muscles
The pelvic floor muscles are sling-shaped muscles that run from the spine to the pubic bone. They hold in organs such as your vagina, uterus, bowel, and bladder, and these weakened muscles can cause a host of vaginal and sexual problems. These include lower back pain, the inability to enjoy sex or even to achieve an orgasm, bowel or urinary incontinence, and even organ prolapse, which occurs when organs such as the bladder and uterus slide down into your vagina. If you experience symptoms such as aches and pains in the vagina or a distinct bulging feeling down there, you may have this condition, and you should see a doctor immediately.
One of the reasons for these problems, particularly the sexual problems, is that the sensations in your vagina are actually reduced when your pelvic floor muscles get weak, causing numerous problems in the bedroom. Weak pelvic floor muscles can cause varying levels of fecal or urinary incontinence and even an increased risk of getting hemorrhoids, so strengthening these muscles as soon as possible is always a smart thing to do. After all, no one wants to go through life being hesitant to sneeze or cough because of potential leakage, but Kegel exercises can ease or even eliminate all of these problems, making your life much easier in the end.
How can you tell if your pelvic floor muscles are loose or weak? There are a few ways to tell. The following symptoms can be signs that your pelvic floor muscles are weaker than they should be and may need some attention.
The inability to get to the toilet in time.
A bulge-like feeling in the vaginal area.
The feeling of heaviness in your vagina.
Leaking urine when you cough, exercise, sneeze, or laugh.
When lifting or bending over, you cannot control breaking wind from either the anus or the vagina.
A tampon that falls out or becomes dislodged in some way.
Reduced sensations in the vagina that may or may not cause sexual problems.
If you’re experiencing any of these problems, it is a good idea to visit your doctor for a complete checkup, just to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong. Kegel exercises can work wonders with tightening of your pelvic floor muscles, but some of the same symptoms of loose pelvic floor muscles also apply to other, more serious medical conditions, and it is always best to know for sure before you jump right into performing Kegels.
All studies have shown that regular Kegel exercises do tighten your vaginal muscles and can eliminate many sexual and vaginal problems. Your goal should be to work up to roughly 20 repetitions, three times per day, and most importantly, make this routine a daily part of your life. The exercises are very simple, pain-free, and not time consuming at all, so these three sets should not take you very long to do.
Much like working out at the gym to build up your muscles, working out at home by performing Kegel exercises can quickly make your pelvic floor muscles much tighter. In addition, you can help make your Kegel exercises a lot more effective by including vaginal weights in your exercise routine.
These weights can include Ben Wa balls, Yoni eggs, or regular Kegel exercise weights, and they are inserted into the vagina before you start your exercises. They work the same way as free weights do while you’re at the gym, so it shouldn’t be long before you see some great results from your hard work.
One of the most important tips before you start your Kegel exercises is to find the right muscle to exercise, but this is easy once you know what to look for. To start out with, there are three main muscles in the pelvic region, including:
Anal muscles: if you act like you’re trying to stop yourself from passing gas, it can teach you where these muscles are.
Urethral muscles: picture yourself urinating and then stopping in mid-stream, and you’ll understand where the urethral muscles are located.
Vaginal muscles: these can be found if you insert one or two fingers into the vagina and squeeze.
The urethral muscles are the ones you want to concentrate on when you’re performing Kegel exercises, but before going any further, you also have to remember that stopping your urination in mid-stream is not something you should do on a regular basis. This is something that, if done continuously, can cause you to have problems completely emptying your bladder, which can cause urinary tract infections and other problems later on.
If you want to determine which muscles to use when performing Kegel exercises, you can stop your urine in mid-stream so that you’ll know which muscles to use. However, doing this regularly can be unhealthy.
Here are a few ways these exercises can be performed:
Slowly squeeze the muscles and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Release slowly and rest for 5 to 10 seconds before starting another repetition. Repeat this up to 10 times or whatever feels comfortable to you.
When you cough or sneeze, you can quickly squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. Count these as some “extras” that you can squeeze in during the day when no one else knows what you’re doing.
Perform a series of squeezes that are short and fast, and do 10 repetitions at a time.
Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for 5 seconds, then release for 5 seconds. Work up to 20 repetitions, three times a day, for the best effect.
As you can see from the above examples, when doing your Kegel exercises you should squeeze, release, rest, then start up again. For best results, you can work up to three sets per day, for a total of 10-20 repetitions in each set. Again, the numbers are not that important. The important thing to keep in mind is to do the exercises regularly, every day, so that you can soon be enjoying the effects of nice, tight pelvic floor muscles.
It normally takes roughly two months to see the results of your Kegel exercises, which is extremely fast when you consider how simple they are. Best of all, you can do these Kegel exercises anywhere, because as soon as you master them, as you walk around your home, you will easily feel comfortable going out in public and practicing the exercises as you shop or dine out. Naturally, you have to make sure you are comfortable with the exercises while you’re at home, especially if you are using vaginal weights for assistance, before doing them in public – for obvious reasons.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of articles available explaining how to perfect your Kegel exercises, and the good news is that there is more than one right way to do them. The number of repetitions and sets may vary from one suggested method to another, but as long as you’re performing your Kegels regularly, they will prove effective.
Always remember to work up slowly to the number you wish to achieve, because much like the other muscles in your body, the pelvic floor muscles can be overworked. To get started, you should lie or sit down in a comfortable spot, then relax. With a squeeze-and-release type of motion, quickly squeeze the pelvic floor muscles then release for a bit.
As long as you’re performing Kegel exercises regularly, with or without vaginal weights, you should see some results soon, and if you’re interested in making the exercises even more effective, keep in mind the following tips.
Tip #1: Breathe!
Never hold your breath or let yourself become tense as you’re performing your Kegel exercises. Just like exercising at the gym, you need to breathe normally as you continue to do the exercises.
Tip #2: Don’t Tighten up Other Muscles
When doing your Kegel exercises, only tighten the pelvic floor muscles, because it can be damaging or ineffective if you also tighten your abdomen or leg muscles, or your buttocks.
Tip #3: Always Start Slow
Again, you wouldn’t go into the gym for the first time and start out with a lot of repetitions, so don’t do that with your pelvic floor muscles, either. Start very slow, and gradually increase your reps and sets until you meet your goal.
Tip #4: Do the Exercises with an Empty Bladder
For the best results when doing your Kegel exercises, empty your bladder fully before getting started. This not only makes the exercises more effective, but it keeps you more comfortable as you’re doing them, which increases the odds that you’ll continue to do them even after you get healthy.
Remember that performing Kegel exercises is like a sport, and it has to be done correctly and consistently to achieve the results you were hoping for. There are also other things that you can do to help improve your pelvic floor muscles, such as losing extra weight, seeing a doctor if you have chronic constipation or a consistent cough, and eating more fruits and fiber to relieve your constipation. Taken together, all of these things can help you get healthier and improve the strength of your pelvic floor muscles. This, in turn, helps you with a variety of sexual and vaginal problems.
Of course, it isn’t only women that can benefit from having stronger pelvic floor muscles. Men, too, can practice Kegel exercises, which can help with problems such as incontinence, hemorrhoids, and even sexual problems, including getting and keeping an erection and premature ejaculation. Like women, these Kegels must be done correctly and regularly to be effective, and once practiced and perfected, they can be done anywhere and anytime.
Regular Kegel exercises are true miracle workers when you’re suffering from certain physical, vaginal, and sexual problems, and learning to do them correctly is easier than you think. By all accounts, these exercises will ease or even eliminate most of these problems after only practicing them for several months, so they work quickly, as well as effectively.
Because so many people want all-natural methods nowadays instead of prescription medications that almost always have nasty side effects, these exercises are a great solution to many medical problems. Better still, the exercises are never harmful, as long as you’re doing them correctly, and as soon as you get the okay from your doctor, you’re all set to start them, bringing you one step closer to being a healthier human being.