When it comes to exercise and strength training, we usually think about our tummies, biceps, triceps or thighs. But what about our inner muscles? Pelvic floor muscles work like a hammock to support your pelvic organs, including the uterus, bladder and rectum, and help control urine flow – which is why they are so important for sensitive bladder issues.
Pelvic Floor Strengthening
Kegel exercises strengthen your muscles “down there,” and can even be done anywhere. Follow these simple steps, and you can be “exercising down there” before you even finish reading this!
- Step One: First, you need to locate your pelvic floor muscles. You can do this by trying to stop your urination midstream. If you succeed, you've found them.
- Step Two: Now that we know what we’re working with, empty your bladder in the restroom and then lie on your back with your knees bent somewhere comfortable. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold for at least four seconds, and then relax. Try this four or five times in a row. Try to work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions. Make sure you control your abs and glutes (that’s your butt!) to minimize movement. The movement is so discreet, if someone is looking at you while you are doing this exercise, they won’t see you moving at all.
- Step Three: Repeat! Aim to do at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day. You can easily make these exercises part of your daily routine, as they can be performed just about anytime, anywhere. So, next time you are sitting at a computer, enjoying a mani/pedi or just waiting in line, practice, practice, practice!
Do you know what else helps to strengthen that pelvic floor? A firm butt! With exercise, you’ll be feeling the strength both inside and out. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want a better bum?
- Step One: Lie on the floor, and slowly lift your bottom upward. Hold your muscles tight and stay in that position, and then start to gradually let go.
- Step Two: Now, flip over! With your knees bent and hands on the floor, lift your left leg backward without moving your hips. Hold this for one minute. Then, switch legs, and repeat.
- Step Three: Keep it up by practicing these exercises every day, and do them three to five times each day.
Not only will these simple steps above help you manage your incontinence, you will also feel good that you are doing something to help yourself look and feel better. Beauty depends on attitude, not age. So go ahead and sparkle!