Bladder incontinence can be a real nuisance. Never quite making it to the bathroom in time, having little accidents if you laugh too hard, and being forced to wear adult diapers sound all too familiar to those who suffer from a weak bladder. Aside from having a consultation with your doctor to get to the root of the problem, there are things you can personally do to make your life a little bit easier.
It pretty much boils down to exercise. Unless you take the more invasive road of undergoing a surgical procedure, you will have to get your daily workout in to strengthen those pelvic muscles. Here are a few simple Kegel exercises you can do right now whether you’re lying down, sitting or standing.
Kegel Exercises Done Right
Kegel exercises involve the pelvic muscles that you use when urinating, trying to stop from laughing and, of course, having sex. To be sure that you are doing the following exercises properly, you must ensure that you are exercising the right muscles.
To familiarize yourself with the pelvic muscles you’ll be engaging, the next time you are urinating, squeeze hard to stop the flow of urine. Try this a few times until it’s easy. These are the right muscles to use in these exercises, and these exercises should be done on a daily basis. You should see improvement after a few weeks.
Exercise #1: Balloons
Imagine that you’re blowing up a large balloon. Blow for 5-10 seconds and then relax. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times. For more of a challenge, do this same exercise the next time you have to urinate. While sitting on the toilet, blow up the balloon while you are releasing urine. Pause after 5 seconds, stopping the flow of urine and then continue again until you are finished urinating.
Exercise #2: Pelvic Floor Hold
Imagine you’re doing the controlled urination exercise as mentioned above and hold for 5-10 seconds. Rest and repeat 10-20 times.
Exercise #3: Ball Squeeze
In a seated, standing or, preferably, a lying down position, place a ball between the knees and squeeze the pelvic muscles tightly. Hold the squeeze for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat the exercise 5 or 10 times.
Exercise #4: Pelvic Floor Relaxation
Sitting in your favorite chair, press or bear down using only your pelvic muscles and hold for 5-10 seconds. Release and repeat 5-10 times, and be sure to breathe throughout.
Exercise #5: Rubber Band Pull
Press your knees close together and place a strong rubber band around your knees. Pull your knees apart to shoulder width, hold for 5-10 seconds, rest and repeat 10-15 times.
What Else Can You Do?
Losing weight takes excess pressure off the bladder that may cause incontinence. Avoiding acidic and carbonated drinks or the amount of drinks you consume may lessen the frequency of urination. Spicy, acidic foods also exacerbate the problem. Eliminating diuretic medications and quitting smoking can also help to get rid of your incontinence.