Kegels, everybody’s heard about them. Most women think they should practice them, but most don’t really know what they are or how to do them correctly. Often, as women, we hear we should practice our Kegels and they are the muscles that hold back our urine, so we practice them whenever we go to the bathroom. It’s a good reminder, right? Practice every time you pee.
You should not practice Kegels when you go to the bathroom and here are the reasons why.
I’ve seen many women in my office recently who have incontinence issues (leaking urine) and they think they need to do more Kegels, so they practice every time they pee. Then they have difficulty fully emptying their bladders which causes them to either have to sit on the toilet a long time to fully empty, or they have to return to the toilet 10-15 minutes after they just went. Sometimes they have bladder leakage because they can’t fully empty their bladders.
Our Kegel (pelvic floor) muscles are trainable just like any other muscle in our body. Ever heard of muscle memory? Athletes practice their sport over and over repeatedly until movements become automatic. Guess what? Our pelvic floor muscles are trainable to have muscle memory just like our arm and leg muscles. If we practice stopping our urine stream every time we go to the toilet in order to get in our Kegel practice, well then, we just created muscle memory.
What happens is the signals from our brain to our pelvic floor muscles become conditioned to tighten and stop our urine stream if we have been practicing that repeatedly. When we want to empty our bladder or have a bowel movement, we need the pelvic floor muscles to relax in order to empty those things from our bodies. Stop training the muscles to contract when we really want them to relax at that time!
Practice your Kegels, just not on the toilet. Practice them sitting on the bus or at a red light. Practice them when you do yoga or Pilates. Practice them at the gym. Practice them while watching TV. Just stop practicing them on the toilet.
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Please forward this to your friend who is always telling you to do your Kegels, or anyone you know who would benefit from this knowledge.