Prostate health: Pelvic exercises for men


A while ago, I wrote about what it means to have a healthy prostate, read here: prostate health. These days, many men have to spend their hard-earned savings taking care of their prostate. It’s recommended that all men above 40 years, go for a prostate examination, to verify that this very important gland is in good working condition.

Some of the signs of weak pelvic muscles or a bad prostate (eg. if you have Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)) include:
1. Straining to urinate or feeling like there’s still urine in your bladder but you can’t get it out,
2. Dripping or leaking after you’re done urinating so it stains your trousers (urinary incontinence).
3. Feeling the urgent need to urinate or going too frequently and especially at night, such that it disturbs your sleep.
4. Inability to control passing gas from your anus. (eg.  you release gas every time you cough, sneeze, laugh, sit down or you can’t hold it in during a job interview or in an aeroplane.)
In addition to taking drugs or surgery to treat your prostate condition, there are some helpful exercises that can protect your prostate and help your treatment to have better outcomes. These exercises are good for all men, whether you have a problem with your prostate or not.

What do the pelvic muscles do?

A man’s pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowel and even affect sexual function. Pelvic exercises can help strengthen these muscles preventing illness and are useful for recovery  even after surgical treatment. Doing these exercises can improve your bladder or bowel control, so it may be necessary to do it throughout your life to prevent or manage such illnesses.

What can make your pelvic muscles weak?
a. surgical operations for treating enlarged prostate b. repeated strain on your bowels (eg. due to constipation) c. being overweight d. chronic cough (eg. in heavy smokers, asthma or chronic chest infection) d. Lifting very heavy objects regularly e. Damage to nerves and neurons (eg. after a stroke, spinal injury or due to diabetes)

How do you do the pelvic exercises for men:

Step 1. Find your pelvic muscles. There are two ways:
a. While urinating, try to stop the flow and then start it again. Once you have achieved this, do not do it more than once in that week or it can interfere with normal urine flow and may also cause urinary tract infections.
b. When you feel like passing gas, try to tighten the muscle around your anus to hold the gas in, then relax it to release the gas, tighten again. So the gas will come out in batches.Please know that if you are squeezing your buttocks, stomach or thighs you are exercising the wrong muscles. The correct muscles are likely ones you have never noticed before.

Step 2. Exercise your pelvic muscles
Now that you have found the muscles, you can exercise them while while sitting, lying down or standing. If you haven’t done this before, you should start by sitting down.
a. First try to tighten the muscles around your anus, (pretend you are opening and closing your gas tank,) Hold this for 5 seconds when you first start and aim to hold it for 10 second in the future. Release the muscle and try again until you feel tired.
b. Next try to tighten the muscle that affects urine flow (try to remember how you did it, when you practiced while urinating).Hold this for 5 seconds when you first start and aim to hold it for 10 second in the future. Release the muscle and try again until you feel tired.Note: It takes a lot of concentration to get used to holding those muscles. When you start you might find yourself unable to hold them for 5 seconds, don’t give up, just keep trying till you start to get better. It’s good to tighten your pelvic muscles after any activity that makes you leak, like after passing urine or coughing. Don’t expect instant results, it might take several weeks to get control. Try to test your progress once every two weeks by stopping the flow of urine. Please don’t test more than once in two weeks.All the best Guys!!!