We’ve all heard that pelvic floor muscles play an essential role in sexual health and well-being, but how many of us are consistently exercising them? During my supervised practice to become a dietitian, I completed a rotation at a long-term care facility. One of my greatest takeaways from the experience was that Kegels can dramatically improve your quality of life as you age.
In just a few months I saw several people with extreme symptoms from urinary tract infections that had spread to the kidneys. Of course, I’d heard that as we age the pelvic floor weakens, making us higher risk for UTIs. But what I didn’t know was how severe and wide-ranging UTI symptoms can become. Beyond the usual frequent urge to urinate, symptoms can include pain in the abdomen or lower back, incontinence, poor appetite, fatigue, brain fog and confusion.
Strengthening with Kegels
The good news is you can strengthen the pelvic floor. Kegels are just one type of exercise designed to strengthen your muscles. They involve contracting and relaxing these muscles repeatedly, much like doing bicep curls with weights. Read more about how to do these exercises here.
Doing regular Kegels can help improve bladder control, increase sexual satisfaction, and prevent some forms of pelvic organ prolapse. Despite all the benefits, getting started can be challenging for a variety of reasons. One common hurdle is that busy schedules and competing priorities push Kegels to the bottom of the to-do list. Fear of doing the exercises incorrectly and lack of guidance are also barriers that discourage a lot of women from doing Kegels long enough to get results.
Thanks to advances in tech, you can sidestep all of those barriers and finally get your Kegel exercise routine off the ground. Pelvic floor trainers or technology-assisted Kegels come in different shapes, and sizes, with a variety of feature bundles, but their core function is to help you perform progressively intense exercises with guidance and real-time feedback. You can find some here.
Unlike traditional Kegels that rely solely on manual muscle contractions, these devices offer targeted and intensified workouts. They stimulate the contraction of the target muscles and allow the user to control the strength of the contractions. This removes all worry for beginners who may struggle to isolate and activate pelvic floor muscles correctly and gives advanced exercisers the ability to level-up their workouts.
How to Start
If you’re interested in starting your journey into technology-assisted Kegels, here are a few tips:
Consult with a pelvic floor physical therapist or other qualified medical practitioner. They can help you understand whether Kegel exercises would be helpful or harmful based on your medical history.
Do your research. There are different devices with different technological features. Make sure to go over their specs and see if they’d be a good fit for your level of comfort.
Consistency is key. Set aside dedicated time for your pelvic floor workouts and make them a regular part of your routine for optimal results.
Focus on gradual progression. Start with lower intensity levels and gradually increase as your muscles become stronger. Listen to your body and avoid overexertion. Work with your device to set goals for yourself and keep track of your progress. Remember that achieving pelvic floor health is not a one-time journey but rather a long-term effort.
Track your motivation and progress. Start a journal and record how you feel after every exercise. You won’t see a difference after just one day. Look back on how far you’ve come after continuing the exercises.
Combine your workouts with traditional Kegels. Incorporate tech-assisted super Kegels into your existing or new exercise routine for a well-rounded pelvic floor workout.
Strong pelvic floor muscles are crucial for women’s health and well-being. Traditional Kegel exercises are an effective way to strengthen them. But if you’ve had trouble getting into a consistent routine, tech-assisted Kegels could be the entry point for you.