Believe it or not but kegel exercises aren’t just for women and the fact is that men can also benefit from this exercise. Kegel exercises are simple exercises that can be performed prior to and after having had prostate cancer treatment. This exercise helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which is a system of muscles that aids the bladder and controls the flow of urine. As a result of prostate cancer treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy these muscles can weaken and when this occurs it can lead to incontinence (the inability to control urinary flow). The great news however is that with kegel exercises you can control incontinence without need for additional surgery or medication. Past research has also shown that men who engage in regular physical activity have a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
Locating your pelvic floor muscles?
In order to strengthen these muscle you must first be able to locate them, Knowing their proper location will help to ensure these exercise are done accurately. Some tips to finding your pelvic muscles include:
- Slowing or stopping urine flow while urinating. Don’t hold your breath and try not to tense any of the muscles in your abdomen, legs or buttocks. Once the flow of urine has stopped you can easily identify the muscle group. No further need to start and stop urination is required.
- While breathing normally you can also try tightening your rectum as if you’re trying to prevent from passing gas while preventing any tension of the abdomen, legs and buttocks. This is also one of the ways to perform kegel exercises.
How to perform kegel exercises
Once you have located your pelvic floor muscles you can begin to exercise and strengthen your pelvic muscles. These exercises are also best done after emptying your bladder (urinating).
- You can start by tightening the pelvic muscles for a minimum of five seconds. Then relax your pelvic muscles for another five seconds then repeat and remember to breathe normally. Do a minimum of seven repetitions at least three times a day when first starting kegel exercises.
- As mentioned prior you can also tighten the muscles in your rectum breathing normally and relaxing the muscles after each attempt a minimum of five seconds between repetitions. You can repeat this exercise at least 10 times to start out and gradually increase your repetitions.
When performing your kegel exercises it’s important to not hold your breath and breathe normally. Refrain from pushing down and squeeze the muscles tightly while avoiding any tensing of the muscles in the abdomen, buttoks and legs. Lastly remember to rest in between all of your repetitions. If you are unsure as to the location of your pelvic floor muscles or how to properly perform any of the kegel exercises be sure to to contact your doctor for more information.