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The 6 Pillars Supporting Male Pelvic Health
1: Male Pelvic Floor Exercises
A lot of men don’t realise that they have a pelvic floor, but you do! The male pelvic floor is group of muscles that support your bladder and bowel. It wraps around your prostate gland and the inner parts of your penis, stretching from your anus to your pubic bones. The way that it’s connected to all of these organs means that it’s responsible for controlling how you wee, poo and have sex. Having a strong pelvic floor will give you stronger erections that last. It will also prevent you from developing conditions like male incontinence.
How to do male kegels
The best way to strengthen and protect your pelvic floor is to do male pelvic floor exercises. This is a medically endorsed way to cure erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence, faecal incontinence and rectal prolapse. Doing regular kegels is also an excellent way to prevent these conditions and to achieve a more satisfying sex life.
Wondering how to do male kegels? Here’s a quick tutorial:
- Sit, stand or lie somewhere comfortable and relax your thighs, buttocks and stomach.
- Tighten the muscles of your anus as if you’re trying to stop farting then relax. Try to do this without clenching your buttocks, stomach or thighs.
- Clench the muscles you would use to stop peeing midflow, then unclench them.
- You can check if you’re doing this correctly by touching just behind your scrotum; you should feel this area lift away from your fingers as you clench.
- Clench these sets of muscles, hold them for 10 seconds, then relax for 10 seconds
- Repeat this up to ten times; you can increase this as you get stronger
The Kegel8 V for Men Pelvic Toner
Doing manual kegel exercises is a great way to start strengthening your pelvic floor. However, the average person is only able to exercise 40% of their pelvic floor muscles in this way. This is compared to using an electronic pelvic toner, which can reach 90% of these muscles. As experts in pelvic health, we wanted to create a pelvic toner tailored specifically to men’s needs.
The Kegel8 V for Men Pelvic Toner uses Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES). This sends tiny, painless electrical currents straight to the relevant muscles, contracting and releasing them for you. You use the V for Men either internally via a small anal plug or externally by attaching electrodes to the skin around your anus and scrotum.
V for Men features 8 preset programmes to help you treat and cure a range of conditions. It’s been shown to drastically improve the strength and function of your pelvic floor in only 3-6 months! If you suffer from urinary incontinence you can stop leaks from happening. Erectile dysfunction will trouble you no more, as the V for Men is able to prevent premature ejaculation and give you a more satisfying sex life. It’s important for all men to look after their pelvic floors; pay close attention to the other 5 tips on this page to maximise your success!
Do you catch yourself slouching all the time? It’s hard not to, especially with the increasing amount of sitting our lifestyles involve. We all know that bad posture leads to back pain, but did you know that it’s also bad for your pelvic floor? When your core muscles are relaxed, your pelvic floor muscles also slacken, causing them to get weaker over time. Sitting up straight will help you keep your pelvic floor in better shape, as well as making your Kegels more effective! It’s been medically proven; the more upright your posture is, the stronger the effect of pelvic floor exercise. Try using your Kegel8 V for Men while sitting up straight and see the difference it makes.
Of course, there are other good reasons to work on your posture. Standing and sitting properly will decrease back pain, anxiety, tiredness, breathing problems and more. It will also make you look taller, slimmer, more confident and much better in your clothes.
Bad posture will weaken your core muscles over time so if you’ve been slouching for a while it might feel difficult to correct at first. To strengthen up your core muscles and lower back, try light strengthening exercise like swimming or yoga. Strengthening your core won’t just help with your posture, it’s a good way to get a six pack!
Get help from a wedge cushion
If you work in an office it can be difficult to maintain good posture throughout the day. This has a negative effect on your posture in general; slouching while sitting down all day will cause you to slouch standing up, leading to a whole host of problems and pain. An easy way to stop this from happening is to use a posture cushion on your chair. Our Kegel8 wedge cushion will support you so that your weight is on your sit bones, taking pressure off your spine and tailbone.
Men have different nutritional needs than women; for a start, they need more calories, with an average intake of about 2500 for an active man compared to 2000 for women. There are also differences in the amounts of vitamins and minerals that should make up a man’s diet:
- Protein: men have more muscle mass than women, so they need higher levels of protein. Get this from sources like eggs, fish and dairy.
- Vitamin C and E: men have higher rates of heart disease than women. This can be protected against by loading up on antioxidants; two of the best are vitamin C and vitamin E.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3):niacin is amazing at lowering your levels of bad cholesterol, lessening your chance of having a stroke or heart attack; big killers of men.
- Vitamin D:this vitamin is really important for bolstering your immune system and keeping your bones strong by increasing the amount of calcium you absorb from food. It’s also vital for muscle mass and strength; including that of your pelvic floor muscles.
Sources of Vitamin D
We all need enough vitamin D to keep our pelvic floors as strong as they can be. Research has shown that people with sufficient levels of vitamin D are 45% less likely to develop incontinence! Unfortunately, a lot of people in the UK are deficient in vitamin D without realising it, due to our weather; the sun is a big source of this nutrient. As well as eating vitamin D-rich foods like mushrooms, eggs and dairy, it’s a good idea to take a supplement every day. Sunvit vitamin D3 supplements give you enough to meet your daily requirements, ensuring that your muscles stay strong and healthy.
There is not as much pressure on men to stay thin as there is for women, but being overweight has just the same effect on your health! Being an unhealthy weight has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, erectile dysfunction and cancer. There are also the everyday inconveniences of tiredness, back pain, insomnia and shortness of breath. Extra pounds also have a negative effect on your pelvic floor; they cause extra pressure inside of you, which puts a strain on your pelvic floor muscles and makes them gradually weaker.
Losing Weight and Keeping it Off
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. Fad diets will work temporarily but you’ll tend to find that the weight will creep back. This is because diet companies rely on you needing to come back for more so they can keep making money!
The best advice we can give is to try and be patient and find a way to permanently change your lifestyle that’s enjoyable for you. This could be finding a new sport that you genuinely love doing or figuring out a way to get more fruit and veg into your diet in a way that’s tasty. Cutting out entire food groups will just make your feel deprived; just try to eat them a little bit less often. There are loads of free apps available these days that make it much easier to keep track of the calories you’re using and burning every day. Give it a go, your pelvic floor will thank you!
5: Bowel Health
The male pelvic floor muscles don’t just wrap around the penis and bladder, they are around your rectum and digestive system too. If you regularly find yourself straining to do a poo then you’re putting a lot of excess pressure on your pelvic floor. Strain too often and you could end up with faecal incontinence! Around 50% of people with chronic constipation end up with pelvic floor dysfunction of some kind.
The main cause of constipation is dietary – a lack of fibre or fluid in your diet will leave you blocked up, bloated and uncomfortable. Aim for at least 5 portions of fruit or veg a day to look properly after your bowels and pelvic floor. You can also get fibre from beans and wholegrains like brown rice. Drink plenty of water and make sure you don’t put off going to the toilet when you feel the urge!
Another way to avoid straining is to use a toilet stool like the Squatty Potty. We love these at Kegel8 as they totally transform the way you go. Sitting on a toilet normally is actually not ideal as your puborectalis muscle will hold your rectum close, causing strain. Propping up your feet on a Squatty Potty will create an angle that opens up your bowels, protecting your pelvic floor.
The way we breathe isn’t something most of us ever think about. But you’ve guessed it – it has an effect on your pelvic floor! When you breathe in deeply your diaphragm and internal organs get pushed down, gently stretching your pelvic floor muscles. By breathing like this throughout the day you can exercise your pelvic floor without even thinking about it!
Try practising deep breathing now; inhale slowly through your nose while counting to ten with your hand on your belly. Ideally you should feel your stomach expanding but not your chest – this is called diaphragmatic breathing. Slowly exhale to a count of ten, then repeat. This is also a great way to relax yourself if you’re feeling stressed.