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Great Flexpectations: 12 Weird Facts About Kegels

Kegel exercises are commonly thought of as being for women to "tighten things up" after childbirth. However, there is a lot more to Kegels than you might realize. Kegels may not be the most glamorous exercise to perform but they help with everything from incontinence and sexual health to building your core muscles.

  1. Kegels are named after a gynecologist, not a body part. Dr. Kegel espoused the pelvic floor exercises, but he didn't invent them. Actually, Kegels date back to ancient times, with both Roman and Greek physicians talking about them.
  2. Kegels are not just for sexual health; they also benefit incontinence and pelvic floor health as well.
  3. Both men and women can benefit from Kegel exercises. Men and women have similar, but not the same, pelvic floor muscles. Like women, men that do Kegel exercises see an improvement in sexual function and urinary health.
  4. Kegel exercises benefit 3 different aspects of pelvic floor functions: support of the pelvic organs; sphincter control of the bladder and the bowel; and sexual function.
  5. Men that do Kegels show an improvement in ejaculation and erection.
  6. Women that accidentally leak when standing up, exercising, sneezing etc may benefit from Kegels.
  7. Kegels are the first line of defense before surgery as a treatment for incontinence.
  8. Although you can perform Kegels anywhere, it is usually recommended that you master the exercise in the bathroom.
  9. The pelvic floor muscles are part of the core muscle group you hear so much about.
  10. Kegel exercises are components for yoga and Pilates.
  11. In the 1940s, Kegel exercises for women became popular, but it wasn't until 2014 that Kegel exercises began getting talked about for men, thanks to an article by Dr. Andrew Siegal (which rhymes with Kegel).
  12. Kegel exercises are best done in increments, holding for an increased amount of time and done over a series of weeks.

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