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Top Ten Reasons You Should Be Doing Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises, also called “pelvic floor exercises”, deserve special attention for the tremendous benefits they offer to the urinary and reproductive systems in both men and women.

They were first introduced in 1948 by Dr. Arnold Kegel, a gynecologist in Iowa who made advances in understanding the importance of the strength of a woman’s pelvic floor – the muscles and connective tissue of the pelvis.

Say the word “Kegel” and in-the-know middle schoolers everywhere will giggle, but this exercise habit is no laughing matter. There are amazing health benefits of doing Kegels, working wonders for men and women alike. Here are a few of the most convincing reasons to give Kegels a try:

1. You are probably one of those who could benefit from Kegels. A weakened pelvic floor is not an uncommon problem, and Kegels are designed specifically to strengthen that muscle group. Anything can lead to a weak pelvis, from abdominal surgery to a hip injury to chronic strain or fatigue. And I’ll say it again – men are not exempt from benefiting from Kegel exercises.

2. The stronger your pelvic floor is, the more supported your internal organs are. And the more supported your organs are, the better they function. Health in the pelvic organs is extremely important for a healthy body, as most of these organs are key parts of the body’s way of ridding itself of waste and toxins.

3. A stronger pelvis means less chance of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is something that can affect all people, and it probably affects more of us than most people realize. The older a person gets, the more susceptible he or she is to urinary incontinence. Do your Kegels now and save yourself a few trips down the adult diaper aisle later.

4. A stronger pelvis also means less chance of anal incontinence. Though this benefit pretty much speaks for itself, I will flourish it with a “ditto for #3.”

5. Disorders of the reproductive organs in both men and women can be prevented by Kegel exercises. Prolapse of the uterus in women and pain or swelling of the prostate in men are painful, potentially dangerous conditions that can be treated or avoided with the regular use of pelvic floor exercises.

6. Kegel exercises help strengthen the body during pregnancy, in preparation for childbirth.While this isn’t necessarily a universal benefit of Kegel exercises, childbearing women experience the benefits directly, and men have the indirect benefit of partners who are able to come through the final states of pregnancy and then childbirth with greater ease and less physical trauma. Everybody wins!

7. People with a stronger pelvic floor may have better sex. Men and women both are able to benefit from stronger muscles and better control “down there.” Men benefit from stronger erections and more control, and women may be more sensitive and have overall more enjoyable experiences.

8. A stronger pelvis means healthier hips. The muscle groups in and around the hips are critical for keeping that major bone structure straight. Hips that are out of alignment can lead to all sorts of structural and internal problems, from back pain and nerve damage to digestive issues. Because the hips are joined to the base of the spine, very few hip problems remain localized, and nearly any system in the body can be affected.

9. Having a stronger pelvic floor can prevent scary disorders. While the threat of pelvic organ prolapse, anismus, rectocele, and functional constipation probably haven’t kept you up at night, these are serious problems that these simple exercises can help to prevent.

10. Deliberately engaging a smaller, specific part of your body will keep you more in touch with your own health. When you are conscious and conscientious about one area of your health or your body, the benefits can become systemic. In other words, special attention in one area may spill over into special attention in other areas. And the more conscious and aware you are of your body, the better off you’ll be in the long run!

These are ten of the main benefits of doing Kegel exercises, though this list is by no means exhaustive. With the perks affecting both men and women, it’s a wonder that the practice of Kegels isn’t more widespread. Were you familiar with Kegels beforehand? Have you ever done the exercises regularly, and if so, did you notice any benefits?

To learn more about the benefits of Kegel exercises, check out these other great resources: Wikipedia and Livestrong.

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