How Kegel Exercises Can Help Men and Women Battle Urinary Incontinence
Kegel exercises are widely considered the best natural way to battle urinary incontinence. They specifically target the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder and can be performed anywhere at any time. Urinary incontinence (the involuntary secretion of urine) is a condition that affects a large portion of the elderly. Especially those who suffer from diseases related to the prostate or bladder.
Performing Kegels: Kegels can be performed standing up but many find they are easier to do properly when sitting or lying down. What you do use contract the muscle you would use to stop urinating. If done properly you will feel the pelvic muscles in your urethra and anus tighten. If your stomach or gluteal muscles tighten then you are not doing them properly. Really focus on contracting the right muscles. Once you’ve got it down, contract the muscles for up to five seconds, then relax for five seconds. Do this ten times per session and aim for three sessions a day.
Though studies show women are more likely to experience troubles with incontinence, both men and women can equally benefit from kegel exercises and should practice them regularly. Here are some key ways in which kegel exercises can help men and women manage incontinence regardless of their age or condition:
Women: Kegel exercises are most often used by women who experience stress incontinence or have uterine prolapse. Uterine prolapse commonly occurs during pregnancy or delivery as the pelvic floor becomes stretched and weakened. When this happens it can cause one or more of the pelvic organs to sag. This is why pregnant women are highly encouraged to do kegel exercises, to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.
The use of vaginal weights has been found to be helpful for women after pregnancy. What you do is insert a weight in the shape of a cone into your vagina and work your muscles to squeeze and keep the weight in for about fifteen minutes. When you’re able to hold this weight easily you can increase the weight. Many believe this is actually a better approach for women for controlling incontinence than just basic kegels as they are so easy to do incorrectly.
Men: For men, most cases of urinary incontinence are the sign a weak urinary sphincter which can result from surgery from prostate cancer, overactive bladder, or even just a swollen prostate. The structure of the male urinary tract makes men less prone to experiencing troubles with incontinence but men are still encouraged to practice kegels as a healthy practice for prostate and bladder health.
Kegels are some of the most simple exercises one can do and truly have lifelong benefits. As said above they can be done anywhere at any time. Urinary incontinence doesn’t usually become a problem until we are older and by then it can be a slow process to get a handle on it. Train your body well now so that in the future you will significantly less worries about getting to the restroom in time.
Martha June Whitman is a geriatric health writer who has always enjoyed helping elders find fun and natural solutions to their health afflictions. She writes for National Incontinence, a leading supplier of tranquility briefs and other products that allow those who suffer from incontinence to live a normal healthy life.