Kegels, also known as “pelvic floor muscle training,” are contraction and relaxation exercises that we can do to help strengthen our pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are responsible for supporting the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum. Kegels can be done just about anytime and anywhere. Gone are those days when kegels were thought to be for only women, because benefits for men have been discovered too. Today, Face2FaceAfrica will let you in on how and why you should do kegels.
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Why You Should Perform Kegels?
For women, kegels are particularly important for strengthening the pelvic floor muscles because these muscles get weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, aging, and even being overweight.
Kegel exercises are for you if:
– You leak a few drops of urine when you’re coughing, sneezing, or laughing.
– You usually have a sudden strong urge to urinate just before losing a large amount of urine.
– You leak bits of feces.
You can do kegels during pregnancy or after delivery as this helps in preventing uncontrolled leakage of urine (urinary incontinence).
Kegels have also been found to be helpful in women with difficulty in reaching orgasms as well.
Kegels for Men
Did I just hear the men groan? Yes, kegels are for you too! And just like with the females, you can do them anywhere and anytime. In men, kegels help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and bowel and also affect male sexual function.
Benefits of Kegels for Men
Factors like being overweight, having surgery for prostate conditions, and illnesses causing overactivity of the bladder can weaken the male pelvic floor muscles. Kegels help to strengthen these muscles and prevent often embarrassing complications of these factors.
Performing kegels during intercourse has also been found to help maintain an erection and even delay ejaculation.
If you experience any of the following, then you should start doing kegels today:
- Leakage of urine or stool (urinary or fecal incontinence).
- Dribbling of urine after urination — usually after you’ve left the bathroom.
You, however, do not have to wait till you have symptoms before you start the kegels. Prevention will always be better than cure.
How To Perform Kegels for Women and Men
Kegels are pretty simple to do; however, it takes diligence to identify where exactly your pelvic floor muscles are and then you can learn how to contract and relax them. Here are a few pointers:
- You need to first know where your pelvic floor muscles are. To do this, try to stop your urination in midstream. If you are able to do so, you’ve got the right muscles.
- Once you’ve identified the muscles, empty your bladder and then go lie on your back. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, the same way you did while urinating, and hold the contraction for five seconds and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Gradually work your way up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds in between contractions.
- Repeat it at least 3 times a day with the aim of getting to 30 repetitions a day.
– Don’t flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks as well. Contract only your pelvic floor muscles.
– Avoid holding your breath while doing the kegels. Try to breathe freely.
When To Expect Results After Doing Kegels
For women, if you are performing kegels regularly, then you should expect to see results, such as less frequent leakage of urine, in a few months. For the men, you should see improvements in three to six weeks.
For continued benefits, continue doing your kegels…and stay healthy, folks!
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