Of course you do your kegels, daily as suggested. You’re probably doing them right now.
No? No. Me either. Nor yesterday. Not while stopped in traffic. Not while commuting. Not while waiting in the grocery line, or any of the zillion times or places I've been advised to do them.
And when I do get around to them, I have kegel ADD or something. I'm too easily distracted to do them well enough, thoroughly enough, or regularly enough.
And yet, there isn’t a better, cheaper, more useful tool in our arsenal for keeping our sex muscles fit and our bladders under control.
My last big sneezing fit while at dinner with friends had me renewing my determination to do better, though.
If you're in my boat, you may want to start with a kegel exercise tool. A set of benwa balls or a kegel weight. Especially for beginners, a little weight in the vagina makes it really easy to isolate the correct muscles, and understand which muscles we need to work. Kegel weights can help maintain patency of the vagina, and they help strengthen orgasms, if you slowly increase the weight of the kegel device over time.
(Note: You won't want to use the barbell while waiting in traffic or in line at the grocery store. Is that clear, friends? Use these at home, on your own time, please...;-)
Weights in hand, what I need is time and focus and coaching. And ladies, there is an App for that. That is, if you use an iPhone or iTouch, you can download Kegel coaching applications for anywhere from free to about $5. I’ve found three. They’re very different, and all helpful.
Kegeltopia, $4.99. With a Kegel primer on board to help you learn about and understand the exercises, Kegeltopia has several exercise types to choose from — mini kegels, 3-second holds, elevator, and freestyle — and the ability to track your total kegel time over days, weeks, and months. Designed particularly for pre- and post-pregnancy, this is the current Cadillac of Kegel apps. The voice coach is a woman, with a lovely, calm demeanor. She uses chimes to help cue you along, calling to your inner yogi. Nothing to distract you here. It’s all pink and flowery and girly.
Kegel Exercise App, $.99. This is a clever app so generic looking no one looking over your shoulder on the subway or in the grocery line would guess what you were up to. A straightforward timer developed to help prompt you to hold and release your PC muscles for several reps, which is a general guideline repeated by most kegel instructors. I love the simplicity of this app. Love the merciful pause button. The simple two-tone cues for squeezing and resting. I can reset both the squeeze and release time to start out more slowly if the default time is too much, or increase slowly as I get stronger. Also this app feels more appropriate for both men and women. A nice app for doing your kegels together. (Yes, it’s a good idea for men to do kegels to maintain good prostate and urinary health, also to help learn to control ejaculation.) My inner geek likes this app best for the simple functionality and the price.
PC-Fitness App, Free. I think it’s awfully nice that this app writer went to the trouble, and it is free, after all. It’s got three exercise modes, 2-second squeezes with 1-second rests between, 15-second squeezes with 5-second rests between (useful for elevator up exercises, I think), and olympic-level 60-second squeezes with 60-second rests between. You can set your preferred number of reps. There is no pause button. The controls aren’t as intuitive as the one for the simple Kegel Exercise App, but read the instructions, and you’ll find its function out pretty quickly.
Right. Nothing to stop me now...
For more on how and why to do your kegels, here’s our guide.