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Kegel Exercises

In the 1940s, Dr. Arnold Kegel, a gynecologist, first introduced a simple exercise (now commonly known as Kegels") for the P.C. (pubococcygeus) muscles. The exercise was originally used to assist women in regaining bladder control after childbirth.

The P.C. muscles are the support muscle for the genitals in women. Over the years, Kegels have been of great benefit to those with continence difficulties, and as a means, for men, of naturally massaging the prostate gland. For sex, Kegel exercises are invaluable in increasing your awareness of feelings in the genital area, increasing blood flow to the genitals, and thereby helping you to increase your sexual responsiveness. Doing Kegels regularly helps you to gain control over these muscles and thereby helps you gain control over your orgasm.

For a moment, tighten or clench the muscles that you would use to stop the flow of urine when urinating; the same muscle you would use to force out the last drop of urine from your bladder. You are now using the P.C. Each time you tighten and then release that muscle you are doing a Kegel exercise.

Make Kegels a part of your daily routine for health and pleasure. To begin:

  1. Tighten and relax the P.C. muscle repeatedly (about ten times in succession), but slowly, holding the tension for three to five seconds each time, then releasing it.
  2. Do the above sequence five times a day.
  3. Gradually work toward doing the exercises thirty times in succession, holding for three to five seconds each time. Repeat this three times a day.

Depending upon how often you practice, it may take four to six weeks to get your P.C. muscle in good shape.

You don't have to retire to the bedroom or to the gym to do your Kegels. They can be done as you talk on the telephone, listen to a boring lecture, wait in line at the grocery store, or brush your teeth. If you associate doing these exercises with another activity you do daily, you will help yourself to remember them. Some current exercise methods, like Pilates, also encourage Kegel-type awareness and practice. Building strength in the genital area is part of building strength in your body's core. So, don't forget to Kegel daily!

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