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4 Must-Know Facts about Kegel Exercises

Many have heard of them, but seeing is believing: Kegel exercises are making a major impact on the health of women with incontinence everywhere, and trying them out is the best way to appreciate their power. The routine has garnered praise for relieving a number of discomforts, particularly for women experiencing menopause, and mastering the method couldn't be easier.

4 Must-Know Facts about Kegel Exercises
1

It's Perfectly Normal

Kegel exercises are often prescribed for conditions that many women find embarrassing, and sometimes the routine has negative or taboo associations. It's important to remember that starting Kegel is a positive step in the direction toward relief, widely considered the fastest and most effective way to see results for a variety of symptoms. Even those who don't suffer from problems with pelvic muscle control can benefit from strengthening the area to increase general health, and its number of practitioners is constantly growing.

2

The Technique Is Simple

Once you've committed, the method behind Kegel exercises is fast and simple to understand and perform. It involves tightening the muscles of the pelvic floor, contracting as if to stop urine mid-flow and then releasing for intervals of increasing length. Many find it helpful to actually apply the technique while going to the bathroom a couple times to become conscious of the muscle group used.

After emptying the bladder, five seconds of contraction are followed by five of rest, repeated ten times. Over time, the length of intervals can increase. At first, it might be difficult, but as time goes on, the area's vigor will naturally improve.

3

It's Best to Start Practice at Home

As with any muscle in the body, it can take time to see a noticeable change in its definition. For this reason, it is recommended to try the first few sessions of Kegel exercises at home - especially for women experiencing urinary incontinence, who may find that initial exertion causes leakage. A comfortable location can also reduce anxiety, making it easier to concentrate. After a while, practice can take place in any location, even at the office or in the car.

4

The Results Are Worth it

When done on a regular basis, Kegel exercises are proven effective in reducing and even curing urinary incontinence, as well as lessening vaginal dryness and increasing libido. Women going through the various stages of menopause are susceptible to all three conditions as side effects of hormonal imbalance, and can greatly benefit from adding the routine to daily life along with other healthy lifestyle changes.

Kegel exercises are a great start toward greater health and the recovery of a normal day-to-day routine. Click here to learn more about dealing with menopausal symptoms, such as incontinence.

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Sources:
  • National Institutes of Health. (2011). Urge Incontinence: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 14, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001270.htm
  • Office on Women's Health. (2010). Urinary incontinence fact sheet. Retrieved October 14, 2013, fromhttp://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/urinary-incontinence.cfm