It's no secret that the health and fitness industry is experiencing a "back to basics" resurgence when it comes to workout routines and diets. As we've already noted, some old-school workouts are making a major comeback—including the StairMaster and the rowing machine. Now it seems another long-established exercise is gaining renewed attention—in part, because it seems that many women have forgotten about it.
According to Body & Soul, kegel exercises are among the most important—but most overlooked—routines among women. (To do this exercise, sit on the floor with your feet grounded and your hand on your lower stomach; engage your inner muscles, imagining you have on a tampon and someone is pulling on the string. Squeeze for five seconds, let go for five, and then repeat.)
As we get older, and especially after we have children, our pelvic floor muscles weaken and stretch. Your pelvic floor is made up of muscles and tissues that are located at the bottom of your pelvis, explains Emma Kaywin, a Brooklyn-based sexual health writer and activist. "It's basically a hammock that holds your uterus, bladder, rectum and small intestine in their places," Kaywin told Bustle. "Doing kegels regularly strengthens this sling of muscles and keeps everything where they should be." Which means you'll suffer less from incontinence and other health issues later on—phew!
We hear you: In the busyness of life, it can be hard to remember to add yet another task to your to-do list. To incorporate it into your routine, one expert suggests doing it every night after you brush your teeth so you don't forget. Just remember, it doesn't matter when you do it, just that you do.
Next up: These are the biggest health and wellness trends of 2017—which will you try?