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Healthy Aging Tips from Sit and Be Fit's Mary Ann Wilson RN

EXERCISE AND URINARY INCONTINENCE

By Mary Ann Wilson, RN

Urinary incontinence, the unexpected loss of urine on a regular basis affects more than 12 million Americans. Women are especially prone to urinary incontinence.

The following strategies are often effective in treating urinary incontinence:

  • Pelvic muscle exercises
  • Biofeedback
  • Bladder training
  • Medications
  • Surgery

 

Other management techniques include: frequent toileting, restricting bedtime fluid intake, easier access to toilet facilities, use of absorbent pads or undergarments, and avoiding bladder irritants such as caffeine, spices, and acidic juices.

Kegel exercises (see box below) can also contribute to better bladder control because these exercises involve tightening and relaxing the key pelvic muscles. They are especially effective for women who leak when sneezing or coughing, and for men who experience bladder control problems following prostate surgery.

 

 
KEGEL EXERCISE


In a standing position, pull up and tighten all the muscles of the pelvic floor. Hold, then release. Repeat at least five times. Do this exercise in the morning after emptying the bladder, before meals, and before bedtime.

 


Copyright © 2004, 2008 SIT AND BE FIT

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