This post is sponsored by AZO Bladder Control®, but all opinions are my own. Consult your doctor or health care professional for medical advice.
I was absolutely shocked the first time it happened to me. I was 26 years old, had just had my first child and I was teaching a group fitness class. I was wearing a leotard and lime green bootie shorts (90’s fashions, what can I say) and I realized I was leaking pee every time I did a jumping jack – I was mortified (not great when wearing lime green). What the heck was wrong with me? Was this my new normal? Not being able to control my pelvic floor muscles?
Fast forward to my 50s and I’m happy to say, I did get back my pelvic floor muscles back and I haven’t spent the last 25 peeing myself, ha! However now that I’m in that next phase of life (hello menopause), I’ve definitely noticed a more frequent urge to go, such as during the middle of then night, or at the beginning of every workout just in case. And I have so many women around me who deal with the same. So many of my peers even tell me they only wear black now for fear of the next time they’ll let out a bit of pee in a fitness class or when they sneeze. Does this sound like you? You’re not alone!
Millions of people suffer from a occasional bladder leakage, urgency and feeling the need to go frequently, mostly after childbirth. You might be hard pressed to find a mother who hasn’t experienced some degree of this, and unfortunately symptoms can appear either immediately after birth or years later. Occasional bladder leakage can be frustrating and, at times, embarrassing. While it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it can certainly be irritating. Here is the good news: there are solutions that can help.
Believe me, after that first instance of wetting myself, I knew I had some work to do and thankfully, I have been able to maintain my pelvic floor muscles throughout the years with these suggestions below. Here are three simple ways to stop leaking during your workouts!
1. Learn How To Do A Kegel
The first step in dealing with occasional bladder leakage is all about identifying and engaging your pelvic floor muscles. To do this, you’ll practice a kegel. You may have heard of this incognito move, as it’s easy to perform throughout he day without anyone being the wiser. Never done one? We’ll explain how.
- To identify your pelvic floor muscles, engage the muscles you would to stop urination midstream. These are your pelvic floor muscles.
- Try tightening and relaxing those muscles for five seconds at a time; then work up to 10 seconds at a time.
- Breathe freely as you tighten and relax.
You’re kegel-ing, baby! The Mayo Clinic says kegel exercises can be done during pregnancy or after childbirth to try and prevent urinary incontinence. Now that you know how to kegel, aim for at least three sets of 10 kegels per day. Remember, they are an invisible exercise so you can do them any time, anywhere! Do them at a stoplight. Do them washing dishes. Do them standing in line at a store. Done consistently, the kegel can significantly strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and put you back in control.
2. Engage Your Pelvic Floor Muscles In Pilates-Based Exercises
Now that you know how to engage your pelvic floor muscles, practice engaging them through other exercises. When you engage your pelvic floor in the following Pilates-based exercises, it can not only help with your occasional bladder leakage issues, but improve your sexual health and core stability, too. Pilates is based on movements that practice core control and stability. Every pilates exercise uses carefully controlled movements, and as such, it’s a natural form of exercise to turn to if you want to strengthen your pelvic floor.
A) Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor close to glutes. Place arms flat on the floor next to you, tucking your shoulders under your back—align knees with hip bones.
B) As you inhale, press palms down as you lift your hips high, inhale, and squeeze your pelvic floor. Hold for 10 seconds.
C) Release your hips down, exhale, and release your pelvic floor.
B) Reach one arm long, drawing in the abdominals and releasing the pelvic floor as you extend the opposite leg long behind you for a count of 10.
A) Lie on back with knees bent at 90 degrees and arms lengthened alongside calves.
B) Inhale, engaging the pelvic floor and stretching your arms behind your head and legs, straight to a diagonal position in front.
C) As you exhale, release your pelvic floor muscles and circle arms back to legs while drawing knees back in to the 90 degree angle.
A) Lie on your stomach with legs and arms extended. Engage your abdominals and pull in your pelvic floor so you feel your transverse abdominis contract. (It is crucial to keep these muscles pulled in during the exercise!)
B) Lift your arms and legs off the floor and keep your nose in a hover above the mat. Flutter your arms and legs quickly, moving from the hips and shoulders (not the knees and elbows). Count and breathe as you flutter like this: Inhale-2-3-4, Exhale-2-3-4 and try to perform for 30-60 seconds.
3. Take A Supplement
Yes I am a huge fan of kegels and exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, but I also know that depending on your personal situation, occasional bladder leakage may remain or you may want help in the meantime while you’re building up those muscles. I know lots of women my age who either from multiple vaginal deliveries or from that wonderful friend menopause have had a hard time completely tightening up their stretched out pelvic muscles.
If this is you’re situation, you don’t have to go it alone. It may be time to try AZO Bladder Control®. It’s a safe, drug-free supplement that contains a naturally sourced blend to help reduce occasional bladder leakage from laughing, coughing, sneezing and exercise (yes, please!). So next time you head to your cardio workout or burst into laughter, you can have a reliable resource to prevent you from an embarrassing situation. I love that it’s naturally sourced; it’s made of pumpkin seed extract and soy germ extract and helps reduce the sudden urge to urinate and supports your bladder strength.*
Occasional bladder leakage is bothersome, but with the exercises and AZO Bladder Control® with Go-Less®, life can be bearable. The female body is amazing and childbirth is miraculous but you don’t need to think about one more thing afterward! Don’t be embarrassed by wetting yourself during your workouts and above all, see your doctor if your symptoms are severe.
AZO Bladder Control® is a trademark of DSM. Go Less® is a trademark of Frutarom.