Thursday, June 20, 2013

Healthy Thursdays: To Kegel or Not To Kegel?

That is the prenatal and post-partum question, apparently.  Although before this article, it wasn't a question at all.  Doing Kegels for pregnant women is like eating vegetables for the general public: You know you should but you keep forgetting.  Now, Katy Bowman is telling us that not only is it not necessary, it can actually be harmful!

In a nutshell, continually contracting or tightening a muscle doesn't actually make it stronger and in fact, it can make it weaker.  What helps strengthen is working on opposing muscles to balance things out and give support to the pelvic area overall (I hope that's right!).  Enter in squats: Harder to do, not as fun and not as inconspicuous.

The results, however, are much more rewarding.  Squats help build your core as well which assist in keeping balance (something every pregnant woman needs more of!).  I found it also helped my breathing (branch benefit from working out the core) and mindfulness of my body.  Thanks to my working at Starbucks, especially to working the "lobby" position, I had ample opportunity to do squats as I always squatted to grab things below my waist, intentionally pushing up with my glutes and my quads.  Carrying around a toddler will help do that too!

Okay, so enough of my squawking, read the article and judge for yourself.  =)

How about you? Did/do you do Kegels regularly?  Did/have you found them useful?  Can you compare their effectiveness to squats?

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