Everybody dreams about a flat and toned stomach! But have you ever thought about getting a fit and strong pelvic floor?
Pelvic floor exercises (also named Kegel exercises) play an important part in your recovery after giving birth. Your pelvic floor has been weakened during pregnancy and labor, and you need regain that strength and structural integrity. Note that a weak pelvic floor can lead to many terrifying things… Imagine hanging out with friends and accidentally breaking wind… Yes, it can happen, as well as other non-fun stuff like:
• Leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
• Frequent and Urgent urination
• Accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
• Pain in your pelvic area
• Painful sex.
• Scary, right?
I started strengthening this area regularly after my son’s natural birth. To give you all the charming details, I tore a lot and the midwives told me that Kegel exercises would increase to blood flow and speed the healing process.
After reading more about it, I’ve found that it’s recommended that all women exercise their pelvic floor muscles every day their entire life! Doing so not only prevent weakness, but also strengthens those muscles. It’s also your best chance to avoid all the horrifying things above! Plus, they can also improve your sex life. It’s worth a few minutes a day, no?
First, you need to find the good muscles to exercise:
It's important to find the right muscles to tighten. The next time you have to urinate, think of me… sit on the toilet to go and then try to hold it. Feel the muscles in your vagina, bladder, or anus tighten. Congratulations! You have found your pelvic floor muscles. The Kegel exercises relax and tighten the muscles that control urine flow.
Now you need to exercise them.
Try to feel the same muscles tighten. If it’s the case you've done the exercise right!
Two exercises to help you get fit down there:
Breathe deeply and relax your body when you are doing these exercises (never hold your breath). Make sure you are not tightening your stomach, thigh, buttock, or chest muscles. You can put your hands on your stomach and buttocks to be sure you don’t feel any movement in these areas.
1. Tighten the pelvic floor muscles and hold for 10 seconds.
2. Rest for 10 seconds.
3. Do 10 repetitions
1. Don’t hold on to the contraction. Squeeze fast and let go.
2. Rest for 2 or 3 seconds in between each squeeze.
3. Repeat this 10 to 20 times.
Try to do 1 set of slow contractions and 1 set of fast contraction 3 to 5 times a day.
You can do these exercises at any time and any place.
I personally like exercising those muscles at each red light when I drive somewhere! I am almost mad when all my traffic lights are green! You can also do the exercises while lying down or sitting in a chair, public transportation… Don’t worry, nobody will notice!
After a few weeks, there is a big chance you will feel some improvement. It may take a little bit longer to see some major changes. Patience! Exercising weak muscles regularly, over a period of time will strengthen them and make them work effectively again. Remember the scary list at the top? Don’t let that happen to you! Let’s Kegel!