Summer is all about being spontaneous — jogging, biking, hiking, dinners al fresco and, of course, laughing — which it what makes it such fun!
Not so much if you’re one of the 25 million people in North America people who are coping with stress bladder incontinence . As a result of weakened pelvic muscles, stress incontinence occurs when urine leaks out involuntarily due to unexpected pressure on the bladder. But worrying about these unpredictable incidents shouldn’t ruin your otherwise carefree and happy summer. These tips from the Incontinence Institute™ can help you manage stress bladder incontinence while away from home.
At the Gym
Fitness is a key to feeling great and strengthening muscles, but so many of the typical routines can trigger an accident. Try these things instead:
- Swap exercises that cause you to bear down (crunches, double leg raises, weight training) for core-strengthening sets
- Add workouts that target the transverse abdominis — a muscle group that wraps around your belly and helps you to draw your belly button up and into your abdomen (such as when you’re doing Kegels)
- Wear triathlon shorts to add compression around your core and support for your pelvic floor (added bonus: this workout wear has a light, built-in pad to absorb moisture)
The beach, the mountains and a new city all have one thing in common — bathrooms that can be few and far between. Don’t let the possibility of an accident keep you from exploring new places:
- Stay hydrated with foods as well as fluids; watermelon, cucumbers, radishes and bell peppers are summer staples packed with water that give your bladder a break
- Say no to overly spicy and acidic foods (like citrus, pineapple and tomatoes) which can irritate your bladder
- Download a toilet locator app for your smartphone, like the “Flush – Public Toilet Finder”, that scans your immediate surroundings for bathrooms that are clean and safe
At a Sleepover
Being (and having) a houseguest can be wonderful, like staying in a hotel filled with your favorite people who get every inside joke and share your intense dislike of that weird, wrinkly fruit. Relax with these tips:
- Pack dark pants, flowy skirts, patterned dresses and tunic-style tops — these pieces are fashionable, comfortable and great at hiding stains
- Bring plenty of absorbent pads and disposable bags to avoid having to ask your host for a spare
- Use white vinegar (from the pantry) or rubbing alcohol (from the medicine cabinet) to kill bacteria and dilute urine odors without damaging the upholstery or mattress
While the possibility of an unexpected incident from stress bladder incontinence can certainly make you anxious, a little planning can help you manage your symptoms easily. If you have questions or are interested in discussing a permanent solution with an Incontinence Institute doctor, contact us online or call our discreet, dedicated Medical Concierge at (800) 771–1953.