Do you leak when you laugh? Tinkle when you sneeze? Avoid jump ropes? If so, you might need to strengthen your pelvic floor.

Tips & tricks to strengthen your pelvic floor

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Do you leak when you laugh? Tinkle when you sneeze? Avoid jump ropes? If so, you might need to strengthen your pelvic floor. First, let’s first review the easiest way to strengthen your pelvic floor: kegel exercises.  

What are kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises help strengthen the muscles that support the uterus, bladder, and bowels. They can help prevent or control urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor issues.

Tips for doing kegel exercises:

  1. Find your pelvic floor muscles: The easiest way to identify your pelvic floor muscles is to stop urination midstream. If you are able to stop, you have found the right muscles! Stopping urination is only suggested to find the muscle group, continued stream interruption could lead to urinary tract infections.
  2. Practice the technique: Sitting or lying down, practice contracting your pelvic floor muscles for five seconds and then releasing for five seconds. Try a few times in a row. Gradually work up to contracting for 10 seconds, relaxing for 10 seconds.
  3. Stay focused: Be sure to only contract your pelvic floor muscles - avoid contracting thigh, buttock and back muscles. Also, be sure to breathe!
  4. Practice makes perfect: Try for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.

Tricks for doing kegel exercises:

  1. Get your reps in while standing in line at the grocery store – choose the longest line!
  2. Try for one set of reps at red lights on your commute to and from work.
  3. During each commercial break, do your Kegel exercise routine!

For more information on the Sentara Pelvic Floor Center, call the Pelvic Floor Nurse Navigator at 757-395-CARE.