Pelvic floor exercises – or kegels - are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to help reduce urinary incontinence.
This is how you do them:
Isolate your pelvic floor muscles
Imagine stopping yourself from passing wind, pull in from the back passage upwards and forwards. Do not let the chest lift, do not hold your breath or tighten your stomach muscles.
Squeeze and draw in the muscles around the urethra and anus. You should have a sense of ‘lift’ when squeezing. You should hold them strong and tight as you count to 8 after which you should let go.
Relax for 8 seconds. At this point you should have a distinct feeling of letting go.
This schedule should be repeated between 8-12 times per day. If you initially cannot hold the pelvic floor for 8 seconds you should hold as long as you can. Note that training your pelvic floor muscle is a matter of how long you can hold and squeeze rather than the number repetitions.
Tips to fitting pelvic floor training into your daily life
It is important to get into a daily routine and the easiest way to accomplish this is to link it to something that you do on a daily basis. Remember that training the pelvic floor does not take a lot of time.
You can do them:
- Lying in bed before you sleep
- After meals
- Before or after undressing yourself in the evening
- Sitting in your car on your way to or from work
- Every time you are waiting in line somewhere
- When travelling - on the plane or train, at the airport, at your hotel
It is not important where you do it - but that you get to do it on a daily basis. Therefore you should find the everyday situation that fits you the best.