“New Year, New Me!” The moment January 1 rolls around, everyone is once again filled with renewed enthusiasm and determination for their various new year’s resolutions. One of the most common new year’s resolutions out there is the promise to hit the gym, and exercise all the Christmas pounds away. However, with all the hulabaloo about exercising your abs, biceps, legs, or booty, especially for the ladies, there’s often one part of their bodies that they neglect to exercise, their Pelvic Floor Muscles. Now, some of you might be sitting their scratching their heads going, “Huh? But how do I work that out? Is there a special gym machine for it?” Enter Kegels. If you’re quite unfamiliar with the term, that’s okay. We’ll be tackling exactly that: what exactly they are, how to do them, and why it’s important that they should be a part your new exercise routine this 2018.
For those new to the term, Kegels, also known as Pelvic Floor Exercises, not only strengthen your pelvic floor, which are a group of muscles that help you contract and relax your bladder and urethra, they also help with a variety of bladder and urinary problems that people might be experiencing. Kegels aid in increasing bladder control, which could be crucial for some people who experience difficult holding their pee in or losing their bladders (Source: https://www.nafc.org/kegel/). For women, it was also found that those who do Kegels were more likely to have an easier time giving birth because of their developed muscle control over their vaginal and pelvic muscles ("Kegel Exercises: Their Benefits and How to Do Them", 2015). Doing Kegels during the pregnancy helps the body adapt to the added weight carrying a baby puts on the body ("Kegel exercises | BabyCenter", 2017). Last but not the least, Kegels can also provide better and stronger orgasms for women. Kegels aren’t just for the ladies though. Kegels also benefit men by not only helping them strengthen their bladders as well, but by also allowing them to maintain an erection during sex for longer periods of time. It also aids with some sexual dysfunction problems such as erectile dysfunction or pre-mature ejaculation (Zorn, 2017) allowing Kegels to give guys better and happier times in the bedroom.
By this time I hope some of you are thinking, “Wow! Kegels sound great! How do I do them?” Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, I’m glad you asked! Because now we move on to several simple Kegel exercises you can do at home to get your 2018 Kegel Fitness journey started. You can also check out the infographic we made, it’s all about Kegels!
One of the simplest ways to start is to imagine the sensations of stopping your urine mid pee or stopping yourself from farting. Giggle all you want, but doing these motions actually allow you to activate the appropriate muscles to do Kegels. Once you’ve imagined these sensations, start trying to do them when your bladder is empty. If this is your first time doing this, you can start contracting and holding these muscles for about five seconds at a time for five repetitions. As you do Kegels more and more, you can slowly increase the length of time and number of repetitions that you do for each set of exercises. The ideal number of times you should be doing this in a day is thrice, any more and doctors say you run the risk of straining your muscles too much, which may lead to irritation as you pee and poop ("Kegel exercises | BabyCenter", 2017).
You might be asking, “Okay, but how do I know if I’m doing it right?”. A few ways to test this is to put one finger into your vagina (Hygiene first guys!), and then do your Kegel. If you feel pressure around your finger, congratulations, you are doing your Kegel properly! You can also try doing a Kegel during sex, and if you’re doing it right, your partner will definitely notice as Kegels have been known to produce a pleasurable sensation when done during sex (Zorn, 2017). There are also toys and trainers out there that you can use to help you develop your Kegel exercises and endurance.
So, while you’re working on those abs, make sure that this 2018 every part of you is fit and fab. Including Kegels in your daily workout will not only have a lot of health benefits in the long run, but also help give you new and heightened sensations to during sex. Who knows, Kegels might just help you jumpstart your new year fitness program (in bed *wink* *wink*).
Kegel Exercises: Their Benefits and How to Do Them. (2015). American Pregnancy Association. Retrieved 12 January 2018, from http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/kegel-exercises/
Kegel exercises | BabyCenter. (2017). BabyCenter. Retrieved 13 January 2018, from https://www.babycenter.com/kegel-exercises
Zorn, K. (2017). How to Do Kegel Exercises for Men: Discover Kegel Muscles. MedicineNet. Retrieved 14 January 2018, from https://www.medicinenet.com/kegel_exercises_for_men/article.htm