Kegel Exercises & Women Health
Kegel exercise or pelvic floor exercise gives strength to your pelvic muscles. It consists of alternative contraction and relaxation of pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic acts as a muscles support for pelvic organs like the uterus and vagina in females, small intestine, bladder, and rectum. The weakening of pelvic muscles may result in many problems such as urinary stress incontinence and prolapse of the uterus, vagina, intestine, and rectum. It can also decrease sexual sensation.
In 1948, Arnold Kegel, an American gynecologist, invented these exercises.
Kegel exercises can be performed for a few minutes, several times a day, by repeatedly contracting and relaxation of pelvic floor muscles.
How to recognize pelvic muscles
Before starting this exercise, you must know the pelvic floor muscles, otherwise, you’ll not get a good result.
You can recognize them easily in the following ways.
1- Suppose you are in a car and there is a need to pass out urine, but you are a few minutes away from the bathroom. At this time you attempt to prevent urine by contracting some muscles which are pelvic floor muscles.
2- Similarly, when you prevent passing out gas, then you also contract the same muscles.
3- You can also become familiar with these muscles by placing your finger into the vagina or anus and try to press your finger, again you’ll use pelvic floor muscle to do this.
4- When you are urinating and stop the urine in midway, again you contract pelvic floor muscle. But remember, should not do this because it’ll harm you instead of giving benefits.
5- These are the same muscles that contract when you get your orgasm.
Why pelvic muscles become weak.
Many factors weaken pelvic muscles and some of them include;
- Surgical procedures
- Prolonged constipation
- Chronic cough
- Advanced age
Health benefits of Kegel exercise
There are many benefits of Kegel exercise, some of them already mentioned above. Let summarize them again here.
These exercises aim is to give strength to the pelvic floor. There are many beneficial effects of these exercises as mentioned below;
Pelvic floor exercise may help to control urine and fecal incontinence due to the weakening of the pelvic floor and thus solving your problems. But if you have severe incontinence, then you must consult your doctor or healthcare providers.
Making a stronger pelvic floor may help to prevent prolapse of the various organs like the uterus, vagina, rectum, urinary bladder, etc.
The Kegel exercise is prescribed in pregnancy to strengthen the pelvic floor when it has to bear the stress in the later stages of pregnancy and during childbirth. Such exercises make delivery easier. Kegel is also recommended after delivery to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and vagina, which suffer physical stress during the process of delivery.
These exercises may tighten your vagina. They increase pleasure in your sexual activity by increasing blood flow and sensation to the vagina and make it relax during sexual intercourse. It may also allow the female to complete pompoir (a kind of sexual activity). During orgasm, these are the muscle that contract and if they are stronger, they give better pleasure.
When to perform Kegel exercise
You are free in this regard. Whenever you have time, you can go for it. You can do it any time during the day while watching TV, sitting in your garden, relaxing on a chair, or lying on your bed.
How to do Kegel exercises
You can do it by sitting or lying position. It is better to perform lying down on the floor on your back. You can also do turning to the right or left while lying down. Once you become an expert, you can do it at any position and increase contraction time.
Remember “squeeze and relax” and “5”.
Before exercise, empty your bladder. Lay down on the floor, pay attention to your pelvic muscle. Breathe deeply and relax while doing exercise. Squeeze pelvic muscles for 5 seconds and then relax for 5-10 seconds. However, you can take berating during squeezing if required. Then repeat the procedure. In this way, you can do 10 sets in a row, 4-5 times a day at different times. Please do not contract your abdominal, hip, or thigh muscles while doing Kegel exercise. You’ll get good results in a few weeks or a month.
The Best position for doing Kegel
There are no fixed positions to do such exercise but remember that your body should be in a comfortable position.
The best positions for exercise are;
1- SITTING STRAIGHT ON A CHAIR OR EXERCISE BALL
This is quite an easy exercise. Sit on a chair or exercise ball with feet on the ground. Inhale deeply and contract your pelvic muscles. Hold the contraction for few seconds then exhale and relax the pelvis.
2-LYING STRAIGHT ON BACK WITH BENDING LEGS AND LIFTING PELVIS(BRIDGE POSITION)
Lay on your back with your knee bent upward. Your fingertips should be near to your heels. Relax your muscles completely and breathe out. Inhale deeply and left your hip making bridge and contract pelvis muscles and exhale. Remain in contracting for few seconds and then relax the pelvic muscle. Afterward, slowly lower down your hip to the floor. In this way, repeat it 5-10 times
3- CAT-BACK STRETCH
Put your hands and knees on the floor under your shoulders. take a deep breath and take a pose of Cat by pushing your pelvis forward and bending the spine and then exhale and relax your muscles. repeat the process for 10 times.
4-COBRA ABDOMINAL STRETCH
Lie down prone on the mat. Stretch the legs back with the tops of the facing floor. Hold your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Drawback the elbows towards your body.
Firmly press your feet, thighs, and pubis towards the floor
Take a deep breath and begin strengthening your arms to lift the chest until you reach a height where you can still maintain the connection with the floor with your pubis as well as with your legs. In this position draw tailbone toward pubis making shore not to tighten hip.
Compressed the shoulder blades against the back, moving the side ribs frontward. Raise your chest by the top of your sternum avoiding pushing the front ribs forward. Maintain the backbend equally.
Keep this posture for 15-20 seconds, keep breathing evenly. With the exhalation, let go your back to the floor.
The clamshells not only make your pelvic stronger but also strengthen thigh, hips, and glutes muscles.
To start, lay on your side with your head laid on your base arm and your top arm’s hand on the floor to adjust. Your knees ought to be twisted at 45 degrees. Then, connect with your abs and press your pelvic floor up and in towards your spine. As you keep your feet together, separate your knees and open your top knee like a clamshell. Once at the top, hold for a couple of moments and afterward on your breathe out, gradually return to the beginning position.
Lie down on the floor with face up with bending knees with arms along the body and feet flat. By squeezing your glutes and hamstrings, lift hips from the floor by keeping the pelvic floor fit into place as your hips rise. Then Lower down the hips and repeat about 10 times.
Lie down on your back on the floor. bend your knees in such a way that as they are going to touch your chest. Pull your right knee towards your chest, making sure that your head and shoulders are relaxed on the mat.
wrap up your both hands around the knee and try to hug it towards your chest.
Keep it here for 30 – 60 seconds.
Relax and move back to the floor r and repeat the same procedure with the left knee.
Then bend both knees upward and put y your both arms around them.
Again, try to Hug your knees in towards your chest.
Keep this stretching for 30 – 60 seconds.
Move your legs down to the floor and relax.
9- MINI SQUAT
1- BOW POSE
Note: Kegel exercises are quite safe, but if you feel pain during contractions, then consult your health care provider.
The author wishes you for your better health.