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5 Tips For Exercising With Incontinence

According to research, up to 20% of women have stopped participating in physical activities due to incontinence. Leakage is fairly prevalent when running or doing certain sorts of exercise, but it is not normal.

Research shows that almost 20% of women have stopped participating in physical activities because of incontinence. While leakage may occur while running or doing certain types of exercise, it is not a normal occurrence.

You shouldn’t have to live with incontinence, and the good news is that you don’t have to.

It is an uncomfortable feeling when you are doing the things that you love, and all of a sudden you are more concerned about urine leakage and can’t concentrate on the activities and moments you want to enjoy in life. 

Unfortunately, people will shut down their exercising because they are not comfortable being in public, constantly thinking of leakage.

It is not uncommon to struggle with incontinence, especially as you age, and a reason for that is the pelvic floor muscles and those muscles around the pelvic area are weaker than they were at a younger age. 

To put it simply, incontinence is the leaking of urine that is out of your control. The weakened muscles in the pelvic floor are unable to function as they used to and therefore leakage will occur. 

There are different types of incontinence, as well, that an individual might struggle with including common types of incontinence such as stress incontinence (leaking urine when coughing, sneezing, or laughing), urinary urge incontinence (intense, frequent desires to pee), or fecal incontinence (leaky stool) can all be caused by a weak pelvic floor.

So, we recommend that you come see us if the problem persists and if you continue to struggle with the issues caused by incontinence. Physical therapy is a great way to treat incontinence and we are able to pinpoint the problem and type of incontinence through our treatment. We can also help you come up with a plan to help reduce, prevent, or even eliminate leakage. 

In the meantime, we can give you some tips on how to continue staying active and some things you can do to implement into your workout routine to help you prevent or limit leakage while exercising. 

5 Tips For Exercising With Incontinence

1. Go Easy on the Fluids and Use the Restroom Before Exercising

If you start any form of activity with a mostly empty bladder, you should be able to avoid leaks. This allows you to complete more tasks before your bladder begins to fill again. But don’t be concerned if you can’t go immediately before the gym.

Every 20 minutes, you can pause and check to see whether you need to use the restroom. Taking bathroom breaks throughout your workout can help you eliminate leakage. 

2. Wear black pants

It might sound like common sense, but wearing black pants will eliminate the chance of feeling embarrassed about leakage when working out.

This is a simple approach that can help you avoid (or at least conceal) embarrassing leaks. Leaks can be concealed by using the color black. Loose-fitting clothing might also assist conceal any additional protection you’re employing to avoid leaking.

3. Know the right exercises to avoid leakage

A high-impact workout causes greater jarring to the body since it includes moves that need both feet to be off the ground at the same time. When your feet strike the ground again, the body jars, including your bladder.

The force continually initiates urine connections. High-impact workouts include jogging, aerobics, kickboxing, and body-weight exercises such as jumping jacks, high knees, burpees, and so on.

Try exercises that are lower impact such as walking, swimming, elliptical machines, yoga, or Pilates. 

4. Retrain Your Bladder

The purpose of bladder retraining is to lengthen the time between bathroom trips. For example, if you can comfortably hold your pee for one hour, your objective may be to expand the time to three or four hours. Below is an example of a timetable to retrain your bladder to help with incontinence. 

Week 1: Empty your bladder every hour of the day, even if you don’t feel like it. Try not to use the restroom throughout the night. Write down your times to keep track of them.

Week 2: Increase the duration between restroom trips by 15 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes). Develop excellent bladder habits, such as drinking less coffee and employing the above-mentioned urge management measures. It’s fine if you have to empty your bladder before the scheduled time every now and then. Simply keep trying.

Week 3: Each week after week two, increase the time between restroom trips by 15 minutes. Repeat this process until you can go 3 to 4 hours without having to pee. This should help some with leakage and you will be able to enjoy some of the activities you want with more consistency with your bathroom breaks. 

5. Cut back on the Caffeine 

Caffeine will irritate the bladder. You might love a good coffee in the morning or you might want your daily soda with lunch, but these are not good for the bladder and will cause you more problems with incontinence. 

If you are able to cut down on some of these drinks it will help with incontinence, but it is good for your overall health as well. Try drinking more water, juice, or herbal teas. This will keep the bladder in better shape and you will limit the chances of leakage more than you would have drinking caffeine. 

Are you still struggling with incontinence and want answers, come visit us…

Physical therapy is a great way to help you strengthen your pelvic floor and help you in reducing or eliminating leakage. Incontinence can be difficult to live with and we want you to be happy and healthy, enjoying the things you love to do.

We want to help, so contact our Arvada location today to schedule a time to come see us.  Contact our team or schedule a Free Incontinence Screening so we can start to work together to find a treatment plan just for you. 

All you need to do is tell us a bit about what’s going on through this quick form and we will have a conversation about how we may be able to help. 

You can also give us a call at (720) 722-0685. 

See you soon,

Dr. Casey

Other Free Resources That Discuss The Importance Of Strengthening Your Core

Free Guide – 5 Secrets to End Embarrassing Leaking

Read our blog – How To Stop Peeing Every Time You Sneeze, Laugh, Or Jump!

Read our blog – Exercises That Can Help Strengthen Your Core

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