Exercising to Stay Healthy with Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a difficult medical problem that can severely dampen a person’s social life. Those with incontinence often withdraw from social events and gatherings due to the fear of an accident. While bladder problems become more common with age, it is not a problem that should simply be accepted. In addition to the options of medical treatments and the utilization of incontinence briefs, there are a number of exercises that a person can do to reduce the impact of incontinence and regain control over his or her life.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or swimming, is important for those suffering from urinary incontinence. While incontinence can have numerous causes, obesity can both cause and worsen incontinence. By getting enough aerobic exercise, a person can burn off excess calories to lose weight or to maintain his or her current weight. A standard exercise goal is moderate activity for thirty minutes per day, five days a week. Those with incontinence may have difficulty exercising for long periods of time due to needing to use the restroom. However, making an effort to exercise as much as possible can help a person to achieve fitness goals which will also improve his or her overall health.

Kegal Exercises

Kegal exercises are well-known to most women, but they can be helpful for both men and women who suffer from urinary incontinence. The Kegal exercise consists of simply tightening the pelvic muscle. The exercise is typically completed in sets of 10, with the muscle being held tight for 3 seconds and relaxed for 3 seconds. Over time, the exercise can be made more difficult by holding the muscle for a longer period of time and doing more repetitions. It can also be beneficial to do the exercise in different positions to work the pelvic muscles in different ways.

Core Exercises

Exercises that work the core of the body can help people with urinary incontinence to reduce the severity of their symptoms. From traditional sit ups and crunches to planks and yoga, a variety of exercises can help a person to build up muscles in the abdominal region. As the muscles in this area become stronger, they are better able to support the bladder to relieve pressure that can cause the urge to urinate as well as incontinence issues. Core exercises can be difficult for those with urinary problems, so it is best to gently try the exercises at home and build up to more strenuous workouts over time.

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