If you don’t already include Kegel exercises in your daily fitness routine, now is a good time to start. Kegels are easy isometric exercises that keep your pelvic floor strong. Because Kegels work muscles inside your body, you can do them almost anywhere — without anyone knowing (which is kinda fun). No equipment is necessary, and the potential payoff is huge.
Regardless of your gender, your stage of life or the state of your health, Kegels are good for you!
Kegels contract and strengthen the muscles that support the pelvic floor. That’s the layer of muscles that reach from the pubic bone to the tailbone and support the rectum, urethra and abdominal organs (they also support a woman’s vagina).
Repeatedly tightening and relaxing these internal muscles makes them stronger. A strong pelvic floor makes it easier to control the flow of urine and of leaking stool, a problem for some people. Kegels can be part of pelvic floor rehabilitation, a non-surgical way to resolve issues with bladder control and urinary incontinence and pelvic discomfort.
A strong pelvic floor can also make a difference in sexual function — for women, better vaginal muscle tone and sensation. For men, improved erection and ejaculation.
Who Can Benefit Most From Kegel Exercises?
Nearly everyone can benefit from Kegel exercises, especially as they get older. Control of urine is an essential part of an active life, but aging tends to decrease bladder control. Kegels can benefit:
Basic Kegels are pretty easy. To start, practice starting and stopping your urine while you’re using the toilet.
Follow these steps to perfect your technique.
Repeat this series three times a day.
Click the link at the end of this article for more about Kegels.
When Should You Talk to Your Doctor
Pelvic floor exercises aren’t the only help for urinary incontinence, but they’re a great place to start. Your health care team can help if you’re not sure if you’re doing it right. If you aren’t getting the results you want even though you’re doing your daily Kegels, your doctor can discuss other options, which might include pelvic floor rehabilitation.