Should I exercise with urinary incontinence?

couple exercising
11 September 2023

Should I exercise with urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence, also known as urine leakage, can be a frustrating condition that disrupts daily activities and impacts your quality of life. You might be wondering if exercise is even possible when you're dealing with this issue. The short answer: Yes! And it can actually help your urinary incontinence.

Why Do I Leak When I Exercise?

Leaking a bit during exercise is surprisingly common, but it shouldn't stop you from getting your sweat on!

The culprit behind this is often a condition called stress incontinence. This happens when the muscles that support your bladder (pelvic floor muscles) aren't quite as strong as they could be.

Think of your pelvic floor muscles like a hammock around your bladder. When these muscles are weak, activities that put pressure on your abdomen - jumping, running, or even coughing - can cause a little urine to leak out.

So, even though leaking can be frustrating, it doesn't mean you have to give up your workout routine. The good news is that there are ways to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and get back to exercising with confidence!

Can I Still Exercise with Incontinence?

Absolutely! Incontinence shouldn't hold you back from enjoying the benefits of physical activity. Exercise is your friend when it comes to managing incontinence.

Stronger Pelvic Floor, Less Leakage

Many cases of incontinence, particularly stress incontinence, result from weak pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your bladder and urethra. When they're weak, urine might leak during activities that put pressure on your abdomen. The good news is that exercise can help strengthen these muscles!

Pelvic floor exercises target these specific muscles, and by doing them regularly, you can improve your bladder control and reduce leaks during physical activity.

Kegels vs. Crunches

Now, don't confuse Kegel exercises with crunches. While a strong core is great, clenching your stomach muscles isn't the same as engaging your pelvic muscles. When doing Kegel exercises, imagine you're trying to stop the flow of urine midstream (without actually stopping urination!). This will help you isolate the kegel muscles.

Finding the Right Exercise

Don't ditch physical activity altogether if you experience urine leaks during certain exercises, such as carrying heavy weights. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist about changes you can make to your exercise regime. You should swap high-impact activities like running for lower-impact options like swimming or cycling.

Remember, incontinence shouldn't stop you from enjoying the physical and mental well-being that comes with exercise. You can stay active and confident with a little planning and some pelvic floor exercises.

Improved Quality of Life

Regular exercise offers a host of benefits beyond bladder control. It can boost your mood, improve sleep, and help you avoid excess weight, all of which contribute to a better overall quality of life.

How Else Do I Help My Weak Bladder?

Exercise is a great first step, but there are other ways to manage a weak bladder and improve your daily routine. Some common treatment options can work alongside your exercise program to avoid bladder leakage.

Bladder Training

This involves retraining your bladder muscles to hold urine for longer periods, creating a scheduled bathroom routine, and gradually increasing the time between visits. This helps you regain control over your bladder urges and your urine flow.

Incontinence Products

While not a cure, incontinence products can provide peace of mind and protection from leaks. Many absorbent products, such as pants and liners, are available for both men and women.

Lifestyle Changes To Help Urinary Incontinence

Simple adjustments to your daily life can make a big difference.

  • Dietary Adjustments - Caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and spicy foods can irritate the bladder. Limiting these may reduce urgency and urine leaks.
  • Staying Hydrated - Drinking plenty of water throughout the day dilutes your urine and reduces irritation. Don't restrict fluids in fear of frequent urine leakage, this can actually worsen symptoms.
  • Managing Weight - Excess weight puts pressure on your bladder. Losing weight, even a small amount, can improve bladder control.

Empower your exercise with Incontinence UK

At Incontinence UK, we understand that incontinence can be challenging. We’re here to help you manage your symptoms effectively so you can continue exercising with confidence.

Explore our selection of absorbent pads, pants, protective underwear, and accessories, each designed to offer the best protection for different types of incontinence. With the right products, you can reduce the impact of urinary incontinence on your life, even during heightened allergy symptoms.

And for prices lower than supermarket costs—even for the most premium brands like TENA and Drylife—Incontinence UK is the best choice for those looking for incontinence products in bulk, such as nursing home caregivers.

What's more, if you subscribe to your incontinence product of choice, you can enjoy 10% off every order and convenient doorstep delivery.