Wait! This article is for both men and women. Because most of us have a very sedentary lifestyle and many people sit during the day while at work, even if we work out several days a week, our pelvic floor muscles weaken over time. While you sit these muscles relax because they are not being used which weakens them. If you don’t use it you lose it; atrophy of these muscles has been attributed to many pelvic organ problems.
Pelvic floor exercises, also called Kegel exercises, are mainly thought of for women during pregnancy and post-delivery. Due to wide spread incontinence of people 50 years old and older, Kegels are now becoming known to help with incontinence issues. Have you noticed all the TV commercials for Depends? Like with many areas of life, it is better to be proactive than reactive, therefore I propose that everyone should be doing Kegels. For the few minutes they take to do and considering they can be preformed while doing a current daily activity, the benefit can be great. You can do a few contractions while you are doing normal activities such as:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth
- Waiting in line or at a stoplight
- Watching commercials on television
- Driving to work
- Loading and unloading the dishwasher
Kegel exercises have been shown to improve mild to moderate urgency and stress incontinence. When performed correctly, these exercises help to strengthen the muscles at your bladder outlet. The only way to get results from these exercises is to do them consistently. Even if you take medications for urgency incontinence or overactive bladder, you will see better and faster results if you combine your medication with pelvic floor muscle exercises. Through regular exercise you can build strength and endurance to help improve, regain, or maintain bladder and bowel control. Pelvic muscle exercises also help improve sexual enjoyment.