Exercising can be intimidating if you suffer from urinary incontinence. But these tips can help you manage incontinence while excising.
Running on the treadmill while also worrying about a public accident can be incredibly limiting to the quality of your workout.
Don’t let your fears get in the way of your physical health. Exercise can actually be helpful for incontinence because carrying excess weight can sometimes contribute to more accidents.
Here are some tips to help you manage incontinence while exercising, so you can focus on the quality of your workout and stop worrying about accidents.
How To Manage Incontinence While Exercising
These seven tips will help you manage incontinence while exercising, helping you achieve your fitness goals despite your bladder problem:
1. Watch Your Fluid Intake Before Your Workout
It’s important to make sure you stay hydrated during your workout, but anyone with incontinence knows that fluids can be triggering for the bladder.
The best option is to make sure you limit your fluid intake in the hours before you go to the gym or begin your workout.
In particular, stay away from caffeinated drinks ahead of time. These are known triggers for the bladder and could creep up on you during your exercise.
2. If You’re A Female, Use A Tampon
According to Vani Dandolou, a urogynecologist at WebMD, a lot of accidents happen at the gym because of stress incontinence.
As your body is getting physical, it’s taking on added stress that can affect your bladder.
For women, she suggests using a tampon during a workout. This will add pressure to the urethra during stressful movements, which can ultimately prevent leaks from happening in the last place you’d want them.
3. Do Some Kegels In Your Downtime
Kegel exercises are an effective way to help strengthen your pelvic muscles and ultimately prevent unwanted leaks or accidents. This goes for any time, but particularly while you’re exercising.
Your pelvic muscles are those that control the flow of urine. Once you find them, squeeze them multiple times as if you are stopping yourself from urinating over and over again.
Try this a few times a day for about 10-15 sets at a time.
4. Use A Workout-Approved Incontinence Product
Urinary incontinence is common in adults. For this reason, there is a wide variety of absorbent products such as adult diapers made for different purposes.
There are specific products designed for workout purposes that can be more discreet in workout clothing.
In addition to being discreet, they are built to cover you throughout more active movements for maximum prevention.
5. Visit The Washroom Before Your Workout
Whether you’re at the gym or exercising at home, make sure you take a trip to the washroom to relieve your bladder right before you begin.
This helps give you a headstart when any extra strain occurs and can minimize your chances of a leak.
6. Find The Right Exercises
Certain exercises and movements can be more triggering than others for your bladder. Choosing the right workout program will, of course, be determined by your individual goals, but you should take movement into consideration.
For example, high-impact exercises cause more downward pressure on your pelvic muscles, such as skipping rope or running.
Avoid movements that may have you changing direction suddenly. Instead, opt for lower impact activities such as cycling, yoga, or swimming.
These low-impact exercises can help reduce pressure on your bladder and lift your chest higher.
7. Wear Loose-Fitting, Dark Clothing
This won’t help specifically control any leaks or accidents, but it will help you disguise them if they do happen. If anything, you’ll have the added comfort of knowing no one will see it before you can make it to the washroom.
Wearing black clothing, in particular, can help cover this up, and if anything, people may just think it’s extra sweat.
Hopefully, these tips will help you manage incontinence while exercising and reap the benefits of regular physical activity.