A regular physical activity is a good habit if you wish to keep your metabolism active and for your health in general. If on the one hand, practising some sports is important for people’s well-being, on the other hand, some particularly intense sports activities can accentuate the symptoms of incontinence.
Some sports require to make certain movements and efforts that increase the abdominal pressure causing a urine leakage or they worsen incontinence.
But, don’t worry! It is possible to practice a sport even if you suffer from incontinence!
This article is meant to be a handbook, to offer you some advice to live in peace while you practice your favourite sports, and to always feel at your ease.
Four dos and don’ts if you wish to practice some sports while being incontinence
1. Drink responsibly
Stop drinking is not the solution; especially when you do some physical exercises. Water is essential to compensate for sweating. The most important thing you have to learn is to “drink with responsibility”. You have to keep your body hydrated and you must avoid urine hyper concentration that favours bacterial infections.
Take liquids in a balanced way during the day, in small doses and at ambient temperature… do not drink the classic ½ litre bottle!
And remember: go to the toilets and empty your bladder before doing sports.
2. Wear suitable incontinence pads
During your physical activity wear specific incontinence products. Opt for absorbent pads with ergonomic shapes and easier to wear.
Wearing a pad for discrete incontinence offers better comfort and freedom of movement, and at the same time will allow you to feel more at your ease.
3. Sports that are not recommended
Incontinence should not affect the quality of your life, however, there are some sports that are less recommended than others.
During a gym session or an outdoor sports activity, it is advisable to avoid intense movements and efforts which, by increasing the abdominal pressure in your diaphragm and abdominal muscles, leading to the risk of greater losses. That is why, these sports should be limited or practised with some precautions.
As regards male incontinence, some sports activities (such as horse riding and cycling) could have adverse effects on the male genital apparatus.
However, only your doctor can analyse your case and indicate the most suitable solution for you.
4. Suggested sports…Train your pelvic floor!
Even if you already practice your favourite sports, include some exercises to reinforce your pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor is made of ligaments, bands and muscles at the base of the abdominal cavity, which supports the uterus, the urethra, the bladder and the rectum. Its function is to provide support to the organs that lie on it and to control the release of urine, faeces and flatus.
Training and toning the muscles of your pelvic floor with specific exercises, such as the so-called Kegel exercises, yoga and Pilates, can lead to good results to prevent and alleviate incontinence symptoms.
Sports like swimming, fast and uphill walks can be practised without problems.
These are only a few suggestions to better enjoy your physical activity. In any case, we suggest that you contact a specialist who can help you according to your needs.