Dealing with incontinence when you are used to having an active lifestyle can be really difficult for women, especially since physical activity can trigger bladder leakage. Many women scale back their physical activity when they start experiencing incontinence, but things don’t have to be this way. Here are eight incontinence management tips that all active women should know: In this article,you will get to know about 8 Incontinence Management Tips for Active Women.
1. Research restrooms before you go.
Trying to find a restroom can be a huge source of stress, not to mention wasted time. Before leaving for your outing to a gym or park, do a little research and figure out where the closest bathrooms are. You may wish to find at least two options, in case one is closed for cleaning or the line is too long. Check out apps such as SitOrSquat, which will help you locate restrooms and also offer additional information, such as how clean they are. This will keep you from having to scramble to find a restroom if you find yourself in an emergency bathroom situation.
2. Use the bathroom before you leave.
An adult bladder only holds about two cups of liquid, which really isn’t that much, and is why using the restroom before leaving the house or starting your activity can help. Even if you aren’t planning on working out that day, emptying your bladder before you go anywhere is a good habit to get into, so make an effort to completely void your bladder before you leave the house. If you feel like you still have a little urine left in your bladder, then give it a few minutes and then try peeing again to empty it as much as possible. This way, you will start your outing with a “clean slate” and give yourself more time before your bladder fills up again.
3. Watch your fluid intake.
When you’re being active, either indoors or outdoors, you don’t want to stop drinking water altogether or you’ll risk dehydration. Instead, you should take small sips spaced out during the day to increase your body’s absorption of the fluid. If you gulp it down in large quantities, then most of it will just go straight to your bladder. It’s also important to drink plenty of water before and after your workout so that you aren’t starting it already dehydrated. Hydration is a 24/7 practice, not something that you only have to worry about when you are outdoors or being active.
4. Take some bladder leakage pads with you.
If you often leak despite your best efforts, then consider taking incontinence products for women with you wherever you go. Keep some in your handbag as well as your car, and you might want to preemptively put one on if you know that you will be active. Bladder leakage pads or liners will keep you dry and comfortable and stop you from worrying about getting urine on your clothes. That being said, it’s still smart to keep a change of clothes in your car, just in case. Even if you don’t have an accident, you may still want to change out of your sweaty clothes before driving home!
5. Change up your workout routine.
Unfortunately, certain movements can trigger incontinence, including running, jumping, and lifting heavy objects. This type of incontinence is known as stress incontinence, and other triggers include laughing and coughing — basically anything that jostles or squeezes your bladder. So, if you worry about peeing while running, this is the type of incontinence that causes this issue. Switching to lower impact exercises that don’t put as much pressure on your bladder can help reduce your risk of having an incontinence episode. Swimming, cycling, and other low-impact exercises can help you get a great workout without irritating your bladder further. If you want to continue doing higher impact exercises, then use the other tips on this list to manage the potential for leaks.
6. Strengthen your pelvic muscles.
Speaking of workouts, did you know that you can build your pelvic muscles just like the rest of your body? In many cases, bladder leakage is partly caused by weak bladder muscles that relax when you don’t want them to, resulting in incontinence. Doing Kegels, pelvic tilts, and other pelvic floor exercises that are intended to build the muscles around your bladder can make a big difference in your incontinence, whether or not you are being active. Try incorporating Kegels into your regular routine (three sets of 10 each day, if possible) and you should see results over time.
7. Start a conversation with friends and family.
Many active women like to work out with friends and/or family, which means that finding a restroom and handling their incontinence doesn’t affect only them. While you may be tempted to conceal your incontinence from the people in your life, being upfront about it can make things much easier to plan a run or a game of tennis. After all, you won’t be able to hide all those bathroom trips you’re taking. You don’t have to give them the whole story, but letting them know that you’re having some health issues and that you might have to make more bathroom stops than normal will ensure that you can still participate without having to hold it when you shouldn’t.
8. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.
You don’t have to self-treat your incontinence on your own. If incontinence is significantly impacting your life, or you’ve stopped being active because you’re afraid of bladder leakage, reach out to your provider to see what your options are. Your doctor will help you determine the exact cause(s) of your incontinence and create a treatment plan to address them. You can get your quality of life back, including being active!
Even if you have incontinence, you can still be active and enjoy your life. Follow these eight tips to manage your incontinence and keep bladder leakage in check.