Kegel exercises are specifically designed to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. They were originally designed for women but have evolved to accommodate men too. Kegel exercises benefits are quite a number and are prescribed by doctors to naturally rectify pelvic problems, regardless of what causes them.
Benefits to women
Kegel exercises achieve the best results when they are done on a regular basis. They can be done up to five times a day for sessions lasting two to three minutes. This is possible because they are not so involving and can be done anywhere: whether on the couch or on a chair in the office. Some of the benefits to women who practice these exercises include alleviating:
- Stress and urge incontinence
Middle aged and older women often suffer from leaking urine when they lift heavy things, cough or even giggle. This is referred to as stress incontinence. Various studies have shown that doing kegel exercises brings about an improvement rate of between 50% and 90%. This improvement is beneficial because the alternative solution to stress incontinence would be invasive surgery.
These exercises also reduce urge incontinence which is the inability to hold in urine long enough to reach the bathroom once someone experiences the urge to urinate.
- Childbirth induced weakness
The muscles of the pelvic floor stretch and consequently weaken during childbirth. Kegel exercises help to contract and firm up these muscles. The resultant effect reverses the sagging of the uterus and other pelvic organs which is a byproduct of the stretched muscles.
- Menstrual cramps
Kegel exercises help to reduce the severity of cramps experienced during menses and pregnancy. Cramps are caused by tense, contracting muscles of the uterus wall. The exercises achieve reduced cramping because they work towards relaxing the uterus.
Benefits to men
Men can suffer from weakened pelvic muscles because of different reasons some of them including diabetes, over active bladders and even prostatectomy which is the removal of the prostate surgically. Some of the benefits of kegel exercises to men include the ability to hold pee in for longer durations. They also eliminate a common condition where one leaks urine after visiting the bathroom. Other benefits include the increased flow of blood to the penis which is proven to build a healthier prostate. This is especially beneficial for those who have not yet reached middle age as it helps avoid the various prostate problems that middle-aged and older men experience. It is also advisable for older men without prostate problems as a preventative measure. Kegel exercises have been speculated to solve erectile dysfunction which is a valid medical problem experienced by some men.
Kegel exercises benefits strengthen pelvic muscles in both men and women. The benefits vary in individuals. It is worth noting that the benefits enjoyed from practicing these exercises, in both men and women, far outweigh the alternative medical solutions to these same problems. They also reduce on the cost that one would have to incur to seek medical solutions involving medication or procedures.