An embarrassing problem, but someone needs to talk about it….

Over the last 7 years people have discussed this problem with me many times.  Most people seem to feel that they’re the only one dealing with it . Since I hear it so often, I know that it is actually very common!

The problem that I’m referring to is incontinence.  Yes, peeing your pants.

This really becomes a problem during workouts especially when people are jumping. I know that this can be embarrassing but rest assured, you are in good company!

So what is the solution to this problem.  Well it depends (get it?).

According to Mayoclinic.org, incontinence caused by exercise (or laughing, sneezing) is called stress incontinence.  This is where you are exerting pressure on your bladder.

I would say that step 1 would be to:

A. Wear protection like Depends (better than peeing your pants, right?)

B. Do low impact (but fast so that you still get a good workout)

Many people in our workouts do low impact exercises for various reasons mainly injuries, so you won’t be alone.

Step 2 is to work on a permanent solution.  There is good news for this!  It’s strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.

On Patient.info they describe in detail the pelvic floor exercises.  They suggest pretending to stop yourself from urinating. This is the same muscles that you will need to strengthen.

They posted a detailed description of the pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises (see below):

Doing the exercises:

  • You need to do the exercises every day.
  • Sit, stand or lie with your knees slightly apart. Slowly tighten your pelvic floor muscles under the bladder as hard as you can. Hold to the count of five, then relax. Repeat at least five times. These are called slow pull-ups.
  • Then do the same exercise quickly for a second or two. Repeat at least five times. These are called fast pull-ups.
  • Keep repeating the five slow pull-ups and the five fast pull-ups for five minutes.
  • Aim to do the above exercises for about five minutes at least three times a day, and preferably 6-10 times a day.
  • Ideally, do each five-minute bout of exercise in different positions. That is, sometimes when sitting, sometimes when standing, and sometimes when lying down.
  • As the muscles become stronger, increase the length of time you hold each slow pull-up. You are doing well if you can hold each slow pull-up for a count of 10 (about 10 seconds).
  • Do not squeeze other muscles at the same time as you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. For example, do not use any muscles in your back, thighs, or buttocks.
  • In addition to the times you set aside to do the exercises, try to get into the habit of doing exercises whilst going about everyday life. For example, when answering the phone, when washing up, etc.
  • After several weeks the muscles will start to feel stronger. You may find you can squeeze the pelvic floor muscles for much longer without the muscles feeling tired.

Other suggestions were given like biofeedback and electrical stimulation if you want to check with a professional regarding this issue.

Incontinence could be a symptom of other issues so contact your doctor about this especially if you’re still having the problem.

Best of luck with this!  You’re not alone.

Stephanie

 

 

 

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One Response

  1. Lisa

    Lisa August 25, 2015 at 8:15 pm | | Reply

    While I agree that doing exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles is a good idea, it should not outrank going to see the doctor! Experiencing leaking is NOT normal and there’s usually a reason it’s happening. I went to a urologist and it turns out that the urinary system is pretty complex – lots of things can go wrong. Being able to “hold it” is an automatic reflex – when it fails, something is wrong. In my case, a quick sonogram revealed a big uterine fibroid that’s been putting pressure on my bladder. In fact it’s so big that when I exercise, it is bouncing on my bladder – no wonder! So… go to the doctor at the first sign of changes in your urinary behavior. It’s not something you have to learn to live with (depend) or try to overcome (strengthening your muscles).


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