Day 6: The #1 Exercise to Do for Women Over 30

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Welcome to my 14 Day Ageless Lifestyle Makeover Challenge series!

The purpose of the challenge was to inspire you to make easy changes that would create more health, vibrancy, confidence, and timelessness in your life.  It covered food, skin care, fashion style, fitness, and so much more! Each day touched on a topic that helped you be your best at any age.

Here are the 14 days worth of lessons:

The winner of the drawing has been chosen and notified. Thank you to everyone who participated. If you’re just discovering this challenge now—do it on you own and reap the benefits of a more ageless lifestyle!

Every woman—especially if you’re over 30 years old—should be doing the Kegel exercise.

First, don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know what a Kegel is —  you are not alone.  Several of my male and female students have told me in the past that they don’t know what I’m talking about when I tell them to do a “Kegel” during their Pilates exercise.  Although it is an  important exercise, and yes to both sexes, it’s not something we naturally do.

The Kegel is an exercise to strengthen your PC muscles (pubococcygeus) also referred to as your pelvic floor or pelvic diaphragm named after its inventor, gynecologist Dr. Arnold Kegel.

labled_pelvic_floor_and_trunk2aThese muscles are located on the base of your pelvis ergo your “pelvic floor.” Imagine cupping your hand with the heel of your palm on your pubic bone and your fingers towards your sacrum and that is the region the Kegel exercise is targeting.

The exercise was discovered to treat urinary incontinence, aid in support of pregnancy and child-birth, reduce premature male ejaculation, and enhance sexual function in both sexes. A total of 25 million American men, women, young, and old have reported suffering from urinary incontinence (involuntary loss of bladder control).

  “A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (March 18, 2008) reports that pelvic floor muscle training, in conjunction with bladder training, resolved the symptoms of urinary incontinence in women.”

Your DAY 6 Exercise:

Do your Kegels 1-3x a day for 30 – 60 seconds.

How to do Kegels

When you are first discovering this “area” of your body, it is best to start in a seated position. Find a comfortable place to sit and try to relax all the muscles in your body. Start with your feet and work your way up the body until you can feel loose and relaxed.

Next, visualize your pelvic floor, you may also gently cup or hover your hand around this area and begin by sending a message from your brain to this area with the command of “open and close”.

The act itself will feel like a quick isometric contraction and then a release of the muscles in this area.  It seems to be helpful when people are told, “it’s like you are trying to stop your pee midstream” and how would you tell your body to do that.

There are more complex ways to do your Kegel, some involving specially designed apparatuses, but studies have shown no conclusive data that the use of such equipment actually improve pelvic floor strength.  Once you have mastered the “open/close” exercise I have described, you can also improve the rate of speed at which you can do it and add other muscle groups in the region from your gluteus (butt) to your transverse abdominus (deep ab muscle) into the isometric contraction.

Why should you do the Kegel exercise?

I’m going to be super honest…

  • IF you don’t ever want to pee on yourself — when you laugh, sneeze, get surprised by being scared or excited — or have to wear Depends undergarments in the future THEN do your Kegels.
  • IF you want to be able to carry grocery bags, lift your kids and grand-kids in the air, move heavy things around, etc. — activities that need the support of your pelvic floor — THEN do your Kegels.
  • IF you want to enjoy sex fully into your old age — THEN do your Kegels.
  • IF you want your core strength back after having had children — THEN do your Kegels.

By doing the Kegel exercise you will increase the strength of your pelvic muscles, including other core muscles such as your abs and butt because they’re all connected.

With a stronger pelvic floor  you can prevent urinary incontinence,  improve sexual function, and build a more effective core that will support your Pilates practice or any movement format you like.

BTW – you could have done your Kegels while reading this post 😀

Tweet it like you mean it!

Kegels does a body good! Click To Tweet

If you want help creating your healthy & ageless lifestyle, then check out my life-coaching services.

Your coach,

Jeanne

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