A whopping 43% of women experience bladder leakage when they exercise and a surprising 21.5% of these women didn’t know they should stop to reduce the problem. Exercise is a very common cause of bladder weakness which unfortunately many woman don’t know and as a result could be suffering. If you experience bladder leakage when you exercise please do not ignore it. There are things that can be done to improve and help your pelvic floor endure the extra pressure that exercising puts on the muscles to reduce the leakage.
LightsTM by TENA have launched an educational campaign to assist women in understanding they ‘the little problem they don’t have’ when they exercise. The campaign aims at educating, empowering and helping women find and strengthen their pelvic floor. Jane Le Fevre (the physiotherapist expert for Lights by TENA) has some great tips for women that experience bladder leakage when they exercise so they can take the necessary steps to combat the problem. By following the simple tips below, leakage can be minimised and in some cases stop completely. It is suggested that if you do not notice an improvement in 2-3 weeks you should seek the help of a women’s health physiotherapist.
Don’t cut out water
By maintaining a well-balanced diet, you will avoid constipation and other bowel changes that place a load on your pelvic floor. Many people make the mistake of reducing their fluid intake when experiencing light bladder leakage, in the hope it will reduce the urine output and therefore avoid the problem. Unfortunately, this can have the reverse effect as the urine will become more concentrated and this can irritate the bladder lining, thus causing the bladder to want to empty more.
Find your Pelvic Floor
The Pelvic Floor runs from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis to the coccyx at the back. Imagine this sling of muscles is like two elevator doors. As you lift it, imagine the doors closing together and then lifting towards your head. The rest of your body should stay still.
Lift your pelvic floor strongly as you exercise, such as when doing star jumps or shoulder weights and aim to keep it ‘switched on’ throughout the exercise.
If you tend to hold your breath while exercising you will place more pressure on your pelvic floor making it more likely for leaks to occur. Breathe out and lift your pelvic floor instead. If you struggle to do this, then it means the exercise you are doing is too difficult, so decrease the repetitions or reduce the weight.
When running, lift your pelvic floor as you exhale. Do this while you wait to cross the road too. The more you talk to these muscles and engage them, the more ‘awake’ they are and the stronger they will get.
Check your shoes
The cushioning in running shoes is vital to help reduce the impact on your body and pelvic floor. Older running shoes will lose a lot of this cushioning with wear and tear so ensure to change your shoes regularly.
Take your time after childbirth
Pregnancy, breastfeeding and associated hormonal changes take their toll on the pelvic floor, as does the physical fatigue. Your pelvic floor needs time to repair, so make a gradual return to exercising.
Use the right product while dealing with the problem
Use a correct liner such as one from the newly launched lights™ by TENA® range to handle the leakages while you’re dealing with the problem. The liners will keep you drier, fresher and odour free. And much less stressed.
If you would like to know more about Lights by TENA, learn more tips from the experts or receive a complimentary sample liner, visit www.lightsbyTENA.com.au.