Take care: Ward off incontinence / Delay that diaper

Have you ever heard of one who laughed so hard, s/he actually wet her pants? Pregnancy and childbirth in women, aging, and even being overweight are factors which can cause the pubococcygeal or pelvic floor muscles to weaken, resulting in what is commonly called stress incontinence. Coughing, sneezing, laughing, even just lifting something, could cause one to lose control.

There’s much that our muscles need in order to work well. It’s not enough that our diet provides the necessary protein for muscle repair, and all the carbohydrate it needs for fuel. Lack of exercise can starve our muscles. It’s much like long-confined-to-bed patients who eat perfectly balanced meals but find themselves too weak to walk when they get out of bed. This is because muscles are fed through thousands of capillaries which also carry off wastes. In the sedentary person, much of these capillaries are collapsed and not working nearly all the time. Only exercise can open them up and provide them their much needed nutrition.

Avoid stress incontinence later on. Give the pelvic floor muscles their due care and consideration. Kegel Exercise not only prevents their weakening but also revives and strengthens them, affording relief for those who already experience stress incontinence and dread the sometimes embarrassing episodes.

Take note:

• URINATE before doing the Kegel. On a full bladder, urine can back up and cause urinary tract infection (UTI).

• Since the pubococcygeals is a cradle of muscles which begins around the anus and runs up to the urinary sphincter, contract the anus first, and (for women) follow-thru with a squeeze of the vagina.

• Contract only the pelvic floor muscles, not the abdomen, buttocks nor thighs.

• Breathe regularly.

• And remember: this is a strengthening exercise so start off slowly.

It’s quite simple really: just SQUEEZE, HOLD, and RELEASE.

SQUEEZE muscles to pull tight on anus and feel the pelvic floor rise. Men will feel how the penis moves up and down with every squeeze/release, an action which is more patent when the organ is erect.

HOLD the squeeze, at first for a count of 5 seconds, and work up to 10 seconds.

RELEASE the squeeze, feel muscles fall back to starting position.

REST for 5 seconds, and REPEAT. Do 2 sets of 10 contractions at a time, at least 3 x a day.

For best results, practice regularly. Establish a routine. Do them anywhere. No one need ever know. I’ve done Kegel’s since Nursing school and still do while watching TV, working at the computer, in transit, and even as I wash my salad veggies.

Repeated contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles improve muscle tone, aids in childbirth, reduce premature ejaculation in men, and has been said to increase size and intensity of erections.

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