Health and Wellness

Nine things to know about Kegels

Chances are, you do Kegels or have at least read or heard about them. Kegel exercises have become about as common as any normal exercise like sit-ups or spinning. This article is not about how to do kegels, but to dispel some common misunderstandings, myths and downright wrong ideas about kegels.

Kegels tighten the vagina

Ok, this is not really a myth and kegels do indeed tighten the vagina. But they do NOT tighten vaginal muscles as is commonly thought of. Instead, kegels tighten the pelvic floor muscles that surround the vagina. The effect is more or less the same in that the vagina will feel tighter.

Men don’t need to do kegels

This is a big myth and hopefully you haven’t fallen for it. There are numerous benefits to kegel exercises for men. As I mentioned above, kegels actually exercise the pelvic floor muscles, something that both men and women share. Just some of the benefits for kegel exercises for men are:

  • Improve erections
  • Improve orgasms
  • Decrease incontinence
  • Help limit or eliminate ED (erectile dysfunction)

If those aren’t enough reasons for you to start your kegel regimen, then I don’t know what is! There are some potential downsides to kegels for men so please make sure you read up on how to do them properly.

There is a great article on Psychology Today that goes into more depth than I can here. I strongly suggest you give it a read.

Kegels are the only way to tighten the vagina

Kegels are a great way of tightening the vagina by strengthening the pelvic muscles but they are not the only way. Some other methods of tightening the vagina are:

  • Pilates or core exercises
    • Anything that helps tighten your core will help tighten your pelvic muscles which in turn will help tighten your vagina. And pilates help much more of your body.
  • More orgasms
    • This has to be the funnest way of tightening the vagina! Muscle contractions during orgasm as well as the release of oxytocin will help tighten things up.
  • Ben-wa balls
    • Ben Wa balls are small, weighted balls that are inserted inside the vagina. Because they are weighted, you need to use your vaginal muscles to keep them inside, which exercises the muscles.

Kegels should be done as often as possible

If you have ever had a workout routine, then you likely know that working out your muscles should never be done on a daily basis. Your muscles need time to relax and heal between workouts. If they are not given this time you are not only limiting the value of the exercise on your body but possibly make it worse. And in worst case scenario, you can cause muscle damage.

Setup a reasonable kegel exercise regime that is mindful of the need for your muscles to relax and heal. Ideally, talk with your doctor or a registered physiotherapist about the best schedule for you.

Core Strengthening is enough workout

Core exercises such as pilates and yoga are great for the body and pelvic floor muscles, but performing kegel exercises directly will have much more benefit for this area of your body then just core strengthening exercises alone. Having said that, if you were only able to choose one form of exercise over the other, core strengthening should be chosen as it has more benefits to the body then just kegels alone.

Kegels can be done anywhere, anytime

This one is partly true. While performing kegel exercises can realistically be done at anytime, when starting out it is important to concentrate on what you are doing and practice the exercises with little or no distraction. Over time, when you are comfortable with your exercise regime you may want to fit them into your everyday life but until then it is best that you practice your kegel exercises alone and with no distractions.

Older people shouldn’t do Kegels

Nothing could be farther from the truth. As discussed in this article, kegels exercise a certain muscle group – namely the pelvic floor muscles. As we get older, we naturally lose muscle mass. In fact, people over 30 can lose 3 to 5% of their muscle mass each decade. And this loss or atrophy increases with age.

Performing any type of muscle exercise will limit this muscle loss and can only be a benefit to your body. It should be noted that it is impossible to completely reverse natural age-related muscle loss but regular exercise can lower the loss substantially.

On the other hand, if you are a senior just starting out with an exercise regimen or have had major surgeries or other health related issues, it is advisable to talk with your doctor before starting any exercises, including kegels.

Only do kegels until you’ve reached your goal

If you’ve read the rest of this article then you likely know this is a myth and a big mistake. Completely stopping any muscle exercise regimen will result in the loss of muscle mass over time. If you’ve been doing kegel exercises for a long period of time at a rate you feel is more than you need now, there may be no harm in lowering the amount of exercise you do.

But don’t stop! Find a level that you feel is maintaining what you have already achieved and stick with that. It may take some trial and error but eventually you should find a happy medium. Stick with that for as long as you can and you’ll not lose the benefits of all you worked hard to achieve in the first place.

Kegels are the only thing to help your vagina

Most women that think about taking up kegels are doing it over concern about their vagina and how it affects their sex life. While much of this may be in our heads, there is no doubt that a lot more attention is spent on our privates these days then ever before. Twenty years ago, hardly anyone had ever heard of kegels, and yet here they are today practiced by millions of men and women every day.

Grooming intimate areas including brazilian waxing is more common than ever. I’m not sure if any real studies have been done, but my guess would be that more women (and perhaps men) are at least groomed in their private areas now if not completely shaved/waxed then people that don’t do any landscaping.

Other grooming techniques that are becoming mainstream are vaginal bleaching, which is a method of lightening the skin around the vagina (your vulva) that naturally darkens with age, friction, child birth, etc.

Vaginoplasty is a means of having your vagina tightened surgically. This is an extreme measure and should only be contemplated in severe cases when your doctor may feel there are no other options. The upside to this procedure is that your vagina will be tighter much quicker than with doing exercises. The downsides are the costs and, well, this is surgery and with that always comes a risk.

Summary

I hope you’ve found my kegel truths and myths interesting. Congratulations on your decision to better your life, health and well being by keeping your body in shape. At times you will find it difficult to keep up the motivation to carry on but believe me when I tell you that you will be thankful that you did a few months down the road when you realize how much better and stronger you feel.

One of the benefits of kegels is how it can help your sex life. Of all the exercises known to man, this is the only one I know of that can directly and quickly help your sex life and sex drive. If that’s not enough to get you motivated, then I don’t know what is.

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