Move of the Week – Kegels

Another red light?? No worries – this useful exercise can be done while you wait. Kegels target and strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor that form a “hammock” holding in the organs located in the pelvis.

During pregnancy and vaginal delivery these muscles get stretched and weakened. This can also occur in overweight people. With aging, the muscle tone naturally declines without regular exercise. But Kegels are not just for pre/post natal women and seniors with incontinence issues.  They are also highly effective in enhancing sexual pleasure in both men and women. Yes, I did say men. Strengthening these pelvic floor muscles is vital to the overall health of both sexes – south of the belly button in the following ways:

Women – urinary continence, increased core strength, increased vaginal strength during pregnancy and childbirth, improving sex from decreasing pain during intercourse to enhanced orgasms

Men – urinary continence, improving/eliminating erectile dysfunction and increased stamina during sexual intercourse

You can first identify the pelvic floor muscles by stopping the flow of urine. Once you have the feeling of how to control these muscles you can do these exercises anywhere and anytime (and no one will ever know – except maybe your partner…)

With an empty bladder imagine stopping the flow of urine to contract or squeeze the appropriate muscles. Hold this squeeze for 3-5 counts and relax. Repeat this up to 10 times and repeat the whole set up to 3 times a day to start.

Note: Your legs, glutes and abdominals should be relaxed to ensure you are using the correct muscle group.

To progress: 1. Extend the hold time up to 10 counts and/or increase the # of reps to 15 or 20. 2. Imagine your pelvic floor muscles as an elevator that goes up and stops for 2-5 counts at each floor and then comes back down, stopping at each floor. 3. Imagine the muscles acting as waves and contracting them in a rolling wave pattern.

 

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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