It’s a common misconception that incontinence is unavoidable as you age. Health experts agree, however, that it’s more likely that your bladder needs to be strengthened to keep functioning well. There are also a few health conditions that can affect your bladder so addressing them can help with keeping incontinence at bay.
10 Ways To Strengthen Your Bladder
1. Manage Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is a well-known diuretic, which means it will stimulate your bladder. If you’re already dealing with incontinence, this isn’t ideal. It’s best to drink less alcohol while working on keeping your bladder healthy.
2. Drink Enough Water
It might be tempting to drink less water when you’re dealing with a weak bladder. However, your body needs water to survive and most people are advised to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. You can space these out throughout the day so you’re not putting too much stress on your bladder all at once.
3. Do Some Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises
Kegel’s exercises are great for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. With stronger muscles, you’re less likely to have leakage when you cough, sneeze, or lift heavy items. This can also mean that you’ll empty your bladder more effectively when you use the bathroom.
4. Avoid Certain Foods
When you’re dealing with bladder issues, some foods can make them worse because they stimulate the urge to urinate. Most people have found it helpful to avoid citrus fruits, tomato-based foods, spicy foods, sodas, and artificial sweeteners.
5. Exercise Regularly
While it certainly helps to focus on strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, studies show that boosting your physical activity overall can lead to stronger bladder muscles. Since excessive heavy lifting can put a lot of pressure on your bladder, consider exercises that use your body weight instead.
6. Stop Smoking
Statistics show that people who smoke have more bladder problems than those who don’t. To make things worse, if you’re already dealing with incontinence, the constant coughing from smoking can lead to more leaking from a weakened bladder.
7. Take Care When Urinating
Most experts recommend bladder training to those who have a problem with incontinence. This training can include waiting a bit before using the bathroom after you feel the urge and taking the time to ensure that your bladder is completely empty when you urinate.
8. Don’t Ignore Constipation
When you’re constipated, it can put a lot of pressure on your bladder. Even if you want to delay going to the bathroom, being constipated can