Do you ever have that issue where you are in the middle of a great workout and as soon as you do a jumping jack, you get a strong sudden urge to go to the bathroom? You definitely aren’t alone!! 1 in 3 women have issues with incontinence and it occurs commonly during any type of exercise that involves quick movements, jumping, or running. Not only is it not a “normal” thing to happen (how many times have you been told that because you’ve had kids or maybe you’re getting alittle bit older?) but there are things you can do to stop it.
Perform 3-5 kegels when you feel the urge to run to the bathroom. If you are doing a jumping task and suddenly get a strong urge to go, don’t rush off to the bathroom immediately. Sometimes that rushing can cause you to leak. Instead, take a second and pause, do 3-5 kegels then slowly walk to the bathroom. There has been research that has shown that most women do kegels incorrectly so it would be best to see a physical therapist to learn the proper way. In order to do a kegel correctly, think of picking up a blueberry “down there”. You should be pulling up and in but not holding your breath or squeezing every other muscle.
Incorporate core exercises into your workout. In addition to having weakness in the pelvic floor, often times the core is weak as well. And most importantly, the two do not work together as they should. Strengthening your core muscles will help you avoid any episodes of leaking. Try doing a plank to strengthen all of the core muscles at once. Don’t allow the lower back to sag and keep you your hips level.
Drink water. Okay, you might think I am totally nuts but trust me on this one! Most women think that if they drink less water, there is less likelihood of having to run to the bathroom and leaking urine. Totally logical…but in fact, it makes incontinence worse. The more dehydrated you are, the more concentrated your urine gets and that is a bladder irritant which makes it much more likely to have a sudden urge to go to the bathroom or leak.
Try these tips to avoid having any embarrassing runs to the bathroom during your next workout. And if you suffer from this, please don’t feel like you have to suffer through. Visit a women’s health physical therapist to resolve the issue and quit being afraid of running to the bathroom or having to wear a pad during exercise. Check out our website to learn more about how we specialize in women’s health in the Hales Corners, Milwaukee, and Greenfield area.