For decades, doctors have recommended Kegel exercises to women for a number of reasons, including preventing and treating incontinence and even for giving their sex lives a boost. Now a prominent urologist says that the exercises known for toning the pelvic floor also work for men. Urologist Dr. Andrew L. Siegal says they can help treat incontinence and perhaps even sexual dysfunction.
"People do cardio exercises for their heart, and they do strength training and work on their six-pack, but the pelvic floor is neglected,” Dr. Siegel
told the New York Times
. "These muscles are the backboard of sexual and urinary health."
Men have the same types of pelvic floor muscles that women do, and they weaken with age, according to doctors. They can be strengthened by exercise — tightening the muscles normally used to cut the flow of urine, holding for a few seconds, and then relaxing them. The exercise is repeated 10 to 15 times.
Clinical trials of Kegel exercises have shown them to be beneficial in overcoming premature ejaculation as well as restoring sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction.
"It's as good as Viagra, without the costs and the side effects," Grace Dorey of the University of the West End of England told the New York Times.
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