Kegel Exercise for Stronger Pelvic Muscles
Kegel exercises are used to make the weak pelvic muscles stronger. They may be recommended following or in preparation for childbirth. Some women are aware of the benefits and start doing them on their own. This article looks at those benefits.
The pelvic muscles include the diaphragm that holds the uterus and other internal organs in place. The muscular fibers extend into the sphincters of the rectum and urethra. The fibers comprise a portion of the lower vagina.
In rare cases, the fibers become damaged during athletic activity. Water-skiing, bicycle racing and horseback riding are examples of sports that can cause trauma to the perineal area, the sphincters and the pubococcygeus or PC muscles.
In the vast majority of cases the PC and the sphincters simply become weakened over time. This could be partly due to the aging process. As we get older, our bodies produce less collagen and elastin, which are components of the fibrous sphincters and the PC.
Eating right, being sure to get enough protein and maintaining a healthy weight can help to ensure that age does not get the best of you. If you don’t get enough protein, your body cannot produce new collagen, no matter your age.
Regular physical activity helps to reduce the risk of all kinds of age-related diseases. Kegel exercises are simply another form of physical activity. It is the only form that actually strengthens the PC and the sphincters.
The long-term benefits include a reduced risk of urinary incontinence and uterine prolapse, a painful condition in which the uterus protrudes into the vagina and/or the rectum. The rectum can prolapse, as well, actually pushing and extending outside of the body. It is the strength of the hammock-shaped PC that holds these organs in their correct place.
The short term benefits of Kegel exercises may include a reduction in urinary incontinence, a more satisfying sex life and stronger orgasms for women.
For men, strengthening the pelvic floor muscles may be beneficial for prostate problems. Kegel exercises have been used by men to help with premature ejaculation. In both sexes, the exercises are useful for the prevention and treatment of urinary incontinence.
In order to identify the correct muscle, it is usually recommended that you try to stop your flow while you are urinating. However, this should not be used as the regular form of exercise to strengthen the muscle. It could lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder and urinary tract infections.
A pelvic exerciser is available to help ensure that you are engaging the pelvic muscles. You want to make them a part of your regular workout routine.