Dr. Arnold Henry Kegel, an American gynecologist invented a device called the “Kegel perineometer” which measured contraction strength of the pelvic floor muscles, no surprise he also invented what we know today as Kegel exercises. There are a variety of reasons/conditions that someone may experience a functional decline in the pelvic floor. Doctors and therapists often recommend Kegels as a simple exercise to improve strength, giving the pelvic floor more support.
Besides improving incontinence, they will alleviate other conditions like bladder prolapse, urinary urgency and overall prostate health. Kegels are typically suggested for new moms, the elderly, even before and after prostate cancer treatment. Adding some Kegels to an existing routine are an easy add on for many of your positions like squats, lunges, bridges and more. You can do them just standing in the kitchen chopping a salad! Always remember that too much of anything isn’t the right approach either and some precautions do exist. Over exercising any muscle group can have setbacks, too many Kegels may cause overactive/tense muscles that lack the ability to relax or control flow when needed. If dealing with medical concerns, ask your care provider for the best approach for your needs.
In this review article dating way back to 1990, Strengthening the pelvic floor with Kegel exercises it states “Pelvic floor exercises (PFE) have become a standard nursing intervention, both to prevent as well as to treat incontinence.” We knew this exercise was effective over 30 years ago and it’s still a first-line treatment today for urinary stress incontinence to prolapses.
The benefits of incorporating this exercise are well known. It’s a natural movement we do several times a day without even realizing. Should you start to notice a decline in function it may be a sign of weakness, dehydration or something more severe. Pay attention to what your body may be telling you and if you have no concerns, an ounce of prevention in adding in a few Kegels to your day just might go a long way.
At Lifepro we of course have some innovative ways to make this exercise even MORE easy and effective!
If you are using a whole body vibration machine, try adding 8-10 Kegels while seated directly on your machine. Boost that pelvic floor strength while you are targeting the cellulite or massaging those hamstrings. If you are not using a vibration machine, it’s a low impact alternative to traditional options and can be used for a range of wellness and fitness applications.
Maybe you keep things moving while you work and just stand up from time to time to stretch those legs – add some Kegels to those stretches. Perhaps you have an under desk cycle you can include a few reps of when doing your normal programs. Before you know it, Kegels just become a part of your routine and back to prevention and good pelvic floor health.