Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can provide a number of health benefits for people of all ages. Below is some basic information to help you get started with Kegel exercises, whether you are male or female.
Kegel Exercises for Women
In women, the pelvic floor muscles are responsible for providing support to the rectum, small intestine, bladder and uterus. The muscles often get weaker during pregnancy and childbirth, after surgery and with age. When the Kegel muscles are weak, urinary incontinence may develop. To prevent weakness and/or improve the strength of these muscles, Kegel exercises should be performed on a regular basis.
To perform a Kegel exercise, begin by identifying the pelvic floor muscles. You can find these muscles by stopping your urination midstream. Once you have identified the right muscles, you will be able to perform Kegel exercises any time.
During each session, contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles for five second intervals. As you become stronger, you will be able to increase the length of the intervals to 10 seconds. For best results, do at least three sets of Kegel exercises each day with 10 repetitions in each set.
Kegel Exercises for Men
Although most people associate Kegel exercises with women’s health, they can be beneficial for men as well. Kegel exercises can improve bladder control and prevent incontinence. They can also aid in the treatment of prostatitis, and they can strengthen your erections. Finally, many men notice that performing Kegel exercises on a regular basis can help with premature ejaculation.
To perform a Kegel exercise, begin by finding the appropriate muscles. To locate these muscles, try to stop your urine stream before your bladder is empty. Once you have located the proper muscles, you can begin an exercise regimen.
Beginners should contract and relax these muscles in three to five-second intervals. As you get stronger, however, you will be able to lengthen these intervals. Be sure to perform at least three sets of Kegels each day. Include at least ten repetitions in each set.
Whether you are male or female, it is important to note that you should not be contracting any extra muscles during your Kegel exercises. For best results, the muscles in your buttocks, thighs and abdomen should remain relaxed. Both men and women should also avoid performing Kegel exercises while urinating, as this may raise your risk of urinary tract infection.
If you’d like to see one of our 41 physician specialists, contact us here.