I couldn't think of an appropriate picture for this post
This has been a long time in the making. I’ve known it is important for a long time, but I just couldn’t bring myself to write about it. A 6 letter word that has been quietly talked about amongst my boot campers for years. K-E-G-E-L-S. You might be thinking, “Aren’t you supposed to be a fitness professional? What’s wrong with you?” Easy for you to say, my mom comes to my boot camp dude! It is time to break the Kegels silence though.
What are Kegels?
They are exercises for the muscles of your pelvic floor that get their name from a doctor named Arnold Kegel. I’m working on getting an exercise named after me one day. Totally different muscle group will be involved though. The purpose of Kegels is to strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor. Just like any other muscle if you exercise it, the muscle will improve. On the flip side though, if that muscle is not exercised or gets damaged it will not function like it used to.
Why so you need to do Kegels?
There are several benefits to performing Kegels, but what motivated me to write that is one benefit in particular. Lately I have talked to several people who have older parents suffering from incontinence. It has been a horrible experience for both the parent as well as the child, as you can imagine. It is not just age that can cause incontinence; the pelvic floor can be adversely affected by giving birth, a sedentary lifestyle, and being overweight. Along with incontinence (of the bladder and bowels if you really want to know), weak pelvic floor muscles can cause prolapsed of pelvic organs and decreased sexual enjoyment.
How do you perform Kegels?
Like all heartwarming stories, this one starts in the restroom. Next time you are urinating, contract the muscles that stop the flow of urine. These are the muscles you are looking to work. Chances are you have done Kegels before and didn’t even know it. Have you ever been peeing, heard a suspicious noise, and cut the stream off? If so, then you have gotten your Kegel on! That looks much worse in writing than I imagined, but I’m still going with it. Once you figure out the correct muscles to contract, don’t do it any more while urinating. You can actually weaken these muscles by continuing to contract the pelvic floor muscles while urinating. Start off by contracting these muscles for 10 seconds at a time, then build up as your muscles get stronger. You can do these every day and at just about any time of the day. You might get a funny look on your face, but who cares? This is a simple, but effective technique that can really improve your quality of life. If you know of anyone this article can help, why not pass it on to them? Anyone can do them and they can help everybody.