I am exercising and no one can tell

    I have been pregnant 5 times and most of my babies were 9 pounds plus. Consequently I have what is termed a "prolapsed uterus". No big deal as my Physician assured me that if I suddenly feel everything break loose and it feels like my uterus is going to fall out "Don't worry it's not really an emergency!" What?

    Consequently Kegal exercises as well as some specialized treatments at a different physicians office have become my new hobby and yes they have also become your next challenge.  I realize you aren't all old ladies that are peeing your pants when you sneeze or jump rope. But this is a good healthy habit for all of us to continue throughout our lives. 

    So your challenge for the next week is to complete 4 Kegal exercises (holding each for at least 4 seconds) twice a day. For every day you do that (and I think you can even do these on the Sabbath) you will earn the daily bonus points . 

    Important Tips for pelvic floor muscle exercises
    1. Each contraction should involve a concentrated effort to get maximum tightening.
    1. Try to contract only the pelvic muscles. (If you feel your abdomen, thighs or buttocks tightening then relax and aim just for the pelvic muscles by using a less intense muscle contraction. If it seems impossible not to tighten the abdomen, thigh, or buttock muscles, then concentrate on full relaxation and try gentle flicks of the pelvic muscles, for example, flick, flick, flick, relax--working the muscles to higher layers with each flick.)
    1. Be sure to breathe while holding the muscles contracted.
    1. Practice fully relaxing the muscle for at least 4 seconds between each contraction.
    1. Experiment with contracting the muscles in many different positions (standing upright, lying, sitting, on hands and knees, feet together, feet apart).
    What are the most common mistakes made during pelvic muscle exercises?
    When should I use the pelvic floor muscles?
    How can I work this new health habit into my everyday life?
    1. Think about your typical day. Pick a time (about 5 minutes twice a day) that you should have time to do kegal training, maybe when you first wake up or maybe during a TV program you almost always watch or even in line at the grocery store.
    1. Decide on a way to remind yourself to do pelvic floor muscle training. You might put a note on a mirror you always use in the morning or a sticker on your TV or a special magnet on your refrigerator.
    1. Reward yourself for exercising each time you do it. You could draw a small flower on your calendar to mark each day you exercise and get yourself a real flower or bouquet when you have drawn 10 or 30 flowers. Any small reward that you know will keep you working on this habit is fine.
    1. Monitor your progress. You might want to keep a daily diary of whether or not you have had a leaking accident. Over the weeks you should begin to see a decrease in the frequency and amount of unwanted urine loss. Another way to check your progress is to see whether or not you can slow or stop your urine stream when you are going to the bathroom. We recommend that you try this no more than once a week. As your pelvic muscles get stronger you will find that you are able to stop the stream more quickly.
    How to do Kegal exercises:
    The Basic Kegel: Slowly contract your muscles, drawing inward and upward. Hold for a count of three; then slowly relax for three seconds. Repeat as many times as you can, working up to 25 or 30 three-second squeezes.

    Flutter Kegels: Squeeze and relax the PC muscle rapidly, in a pulsing motion. In the beginning aim for consistency of pulses, rather than speed; that will come with time and practice. Work up to 25 or 30 pulses.

    The Kegel push-out: After releasing the contraction, gently push down and out with your PC muscles (no bearing down!). Create Kegel sequences that combine long and short repetitions with push-outs - for example, 10 short squeezes, 10 long squeezes, and five push-outs (any sequence will do).

    Elevator Kegels: Picture your vagina as an elevator shaft, with the elevator car at the opening of your vagina. Slowly tighten your muscles as you imagine raising the elevator, pausing at the top, and then lowering it again. Repeat 10 times.

    Finally, to really work the PC muscles, do Kegels in various positions - while sitting, standing, lying down, or kneeling - two or three times a day. If you do them regularly, you’ll feel the difference in eight to 12 weeks.

    Finally, to really work the PC muscles, do Kegels in various positions - while sitting, standing, lying down, or kneeling - two or three times a day. If you do them regularly, you’ll feel the difference in eight to 12 weeks.

    Some more information: Kegal exercises are daily training program for the muscles that support the uterus, bladder and other pelvic organs. It is also called pelvic floor muscle exercise or pelvic muscle rehabilitation. This exercise will help your pelvic muscles prevent accidental urine leakage.

    Regular Kegal exercises make the muscles that support your pelvic organs stronger and helps you use the muscles more effectively. Women who have a problem with urine leakage have been able to eliminate or greatly improve this problem just by doing pelvic floor muscle exercises each day. Pregnant and postpartum women who do pelvic floor muscle exercises have significantly less urine leakage.

    When you are doing pelvic floor muscle exercises in a way that will build muscle strength you will feel all the muscles drawing inward and upward. A good way to learn the exercise is to pretend that you are trying to avoid passing intestinal gas. Think about the way you tighten (or contract) the muscles to keep the gas from escaping. Bring that same tightening motion forward to the muscles around your vagina. Then move the contraction up your vagina toward the small of you back. Another good way to understand kegal exercises is to attempt to stop the flow of urine mid stream.

    The most serious mistake women make when doing kegal exercise is to strain down instead of drawing the muscles up and in. Try doing this on purpose once so you can feel what NOT to do: take a breath, hold it, and push down with your abdomen. You can feel a pushing out around your vagina. It is very important to avoid this straining down.

    To keep from straining down when you do a kegal contraction: exhale gently and keep your mouth open each time you tighten your muscles. Remember to breathe. Rest a hand lightly on your abdomen. If you feel your stomach pushing out against your hand, you are straining down. If you cannot avoid straining down, do not continue with the exercise until you check with your nurse to learn how to do it properly.

    Squeezing the pelvic floor muscles can help you right away to avoid leakage. Practice coordinating contraction of these muscles with an event in which you may be prone to leak urine (i.e., coughing, sneezing, nose-blowing, lifting a heavy object, etc.) You should also contract the muscles when you need to delay going to the toilet.
Ok ladies have a great week exercising without anyone else being able to tell! 

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