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Pelvic Floor Exercises - Why you really MUST be doing them

Posted on July 20 2016


We all know that pelvic floor exercises are important but how many of us can hand on heart say that we do the recommended 10 reps 3 times a day?  Well, here are some key reasons why you really MUST be doing them, how to do them and tools to help you.

WHY

  • Incontinence
Stress and urge incontinence can be a result of many things such as pregnancy, childbirth, constipation and ageing. Strengthening your pelvic floor will help prevent leakages when coughing, sneezing or laughing or those sudden urges to go to the bathroom.

  • Pregnancy – Before, During and After
If you are planning to have children, are pregnant or have had your brood then pelvic floor exercises are very important. Healthy pelvic floor muscles will help minimise the stress caused during pregnancy, can help through active labour and will aid postpartum recovery.
  • Sex
Having a stronger pelvic floor will not only tighten up your southern region but also increase blood flow to the area resulting in greater sexual pleasure. Who can say no to that!


 

HOW

Just follow these 4 easy steps outlined by the Mayo Clinic.

  1. Find the right muscles

To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. If you succeed, you've got the right muscles. Once you've identified your pelvic floor muscles you can do the exercises in any position, although you might find it easiest to do them lying down at first. (Don't make a habit of using Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream. Doing Kegel exercises while emptying your bladder can actually lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder — which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection.)

  1. Perfect your technique

Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.

  1. Maintain your focus

For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises.

  1. Repeat three times a day

Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.

  

TOOLS

 

  • Apps
Our busy lives don’t help when it comes to remembering to do our pelvic floor exercises. But as this is the age of the App there out there to help you not only remember when to do them but also to guide you through the exercises. One we use is Kegel Trainer by Olson Apps (iTunes, Android).

 

  • Devices

If you are struggling to locate your pelvic floor muscles or are want some reassurance that you are doing the exercises right then there are tools on the market to help you. These range from simple inserts that you can manually create resistance with such as The Ami by Je Joue or the Pelvic Toner. Alternatively there are automated versions that stimulate your muscles through electronic stimulation such as the K-Fit Kegel Toner. If you want to track and monitor your progress the kgoal by minna and accompanying app are a brilliant tool.

So, hopefully we’ve convinced of their importance so now it’s over to you. It really doesn’t take long to do 3 sets of 10 per day, the trick is building it into your routine, maybe while your brushing your teeth or driving to and from work. The earlier you can start the better and you will see the results in no time.

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