The Strength of Kegels
Strengthening your pelvic muscles Did you know there are muscles along your pelvic floor that support your bladder? If these muscles are weak, they may affect how often you experience overactive bladder (OAB) symptoms. But there are exercises you can do—Kegel exercises—to help make these muscles stronger.
Adding Kegel exercises to your daily routine may help strengthen your pelvic muscles. It can also improve your bladder symptoms. Many women who do Kegels notice improvement after several weeks.
Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional before starting any new diet or exercise routine.
When can you do Kegels? You can do Kegels any time: while brushing your teeth, watching TV, waiting at a red light, reading in bed, or taking a walk. A few minutes a day is all you need to start strengthening your pelvic floor muscles.
Here’s how to do them:
- Locate your pelvic floor muscles
Think of the muscles you use to start and stop urine flow.
- Squeeze for 5 seconds
Squeeze for 5 full seconds. Then relax for 10 full seconds. That’s all there is to it. Repeat the exercise 10 times. If done right, it should only take a couple of minutes.
- Try for 3 sets a day
Try to do one set (10 repetitions) 3 times a day or follow your healthcare professional’s advice.
Am I doing it right? When you’re doing Kegels, your stomach and buttocks should be relaxed. Make sure you’re not tightening your stomach or thigh muscles, or holding your breath.