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If you’re one of the millions of people with stress incontinence, it’s likely that even the slightest sneeze can cause your bladder to spring a leak. And bathrooms? They have to be always within your line of sight to manage the aftereffects of the catastrophe. 

You also like many people suffering from stress incontinence, might believe that exercises and yoga can only increase your likelihood of embarrassing accidents. You can’t be more far from the truth. 

Swearing off all kinds of physical activity isn’t the best solution for your problems – in fact, it may worsen the issue at hand. And, fortunately, there are exercises that can strengthen the muscles that control urination and help a great deal. 

Read on to learn more about some of the best exercises for stress incontinence!

What is stress incontinence? 

Stress incontinence is a condition where individuals experience involuntary loss of urine during activities that put pressure on their bladder, such as sneezing, coughing, laughing, or even lifting something heavy. 

It is called “stress” incontinence because the pressure applied on the bladder by these activities can overwhelm the weakened pelvic floor muscles or tissues that normally support the bladder and control urine flow. The exercises below aim to strengthen these very same muscles so that you can regain control over your bladder again. 

4 Best exercises for stress incontinence

Best exercises for stress incontinence

1. Kegels 

Kegel exercises for stress incontinence is not your regular body-toner or fat-reducer but your best bet for strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. 

To do Kegels – considered the best pelvic floor exercise for stress incontinence follow these steps:

  • Either sit on a chair or lie on your back. 

  • Imagine yourself trying to stop urination in the middle of the act or imagine preventing yourself from passing gas, the muscles you just flexed are your pelvic floor muscles; remember them.

  • Now, start by trying to tighten the pelvic floor muscles for about 3 to 5 seconds, then relax for about 3 to 5 seconds. Try to repeat this 10 times, this is called a set. 

  • Try to do 3 sets of Kegels every day and you should start noticing your symptoms improve gradually over weeks. 

  • Try not to squeeze your thighs, buttocks, or abdomen muscles during the exercise and don’t forget to breath throughout the exercise.

2. Yoga

Yoga can be an excellent way to do pelvic strengthening exercises every day. If you're interested in addressing urinary incontinence through yoga, here’s an insightful blog we've written about yoga for urinary incontinence that details how certain poses can help with your condition and provides instructions on how to perform them. And here’s some yoga for stress incontinence that you should try:

  • Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Lying on your back, bend your knees with your feet firmly on the floor. Keep your feet hip distance apart and keep your arms beside you on the floor with your palms facing down. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles as you inhale, and slowly lift your lower back, middle back and upper back off the floor. Make sure your back is straight and that you’re supporting your weight with your shoulders, arms, and feet. Hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds then relax and repeat for 5 to 10 times every day. 

  • Bird Dog pose (Dandyamana Brahmanaasana) 

Start on all fours with your wrists aligned with your shoulders and your knees aligned with your hips. Make sure your spine is straight and tighten your pelvic floor muscles. Now raise and point your right arm straight ahead while lifting and pointing your left leg straight behind. When you’re ready, lower your right arm and left leg and do the same for your left arm and right leg. This is one round; do 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. 

No matter whether you choose to do Kegels or yoga, make sure to empty your bladder before you start to exercise. Avoid drinking caffeine or drinks with added sugar during exercise (or anytime for that matter) as they can cause more bladder irritation and an increased need to urinate. 

Stress incontinence can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing condition, don't let it hold you back from enjoying the activities you love. Take the first step towards managing your condition and explore these exercises today.

Managing stress incontinence with Friends Adult Diapers

Using adult diapers when you work out or when you’re out and about can provide a sense of security and confidence, knowing that any leakage and embarrassing accidents will be contained and taken care of. Friends is India’s No. 1 Adult Diaper Brand and it’s no surprise why. We offer you:

  • Unmatched absorbency with world-class SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer) that rapidly transforms liquid into gel.

  • Reliable side leak protection thanks to standing leak guards, ensuring you can go through your day without stress.

  • Odor masking and wetness indicator for effortless use.

  • Up to 16 hours of protection, depending on the specific variant.

  • Deep channels that prevent pooling or spillage.

  • Diapers that are 100% free from sulphurs, parabens, bleach, and chemical fragrances.

  • A comprehensive range of incontinence products to fulfil all your needs. We have pant-style and tape-style diapers, in both economy and premium options, overnight adult diapers, UltraThinz – India’s slimmest diaper pants, as well as additional items such as bed bath towels, adult insert pads, and classic and premium underpads. When we say we’ve got you covered, we truly mean it.

With Friends Adult Diapers, Azadi Mubarak!

FAQs on Stress Incontinence:

1. What are the treatment options for stress incontinence? 

Treatment options for stress incontinence include:

  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises such as Kegels.

  • Behavioural techniques such as bladder training, scheduled voiding, and fluid management.

  • Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding foods and drinks that irritate the bladder.

  • Medications such as alpha-adrenergic agonists or topical estrogen therapy.

  • Medical devices such as a pessary.

2. What lifestyle changes can help manage stress incontinence? 

Lifestyle changes that can help manage stress incontinence include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding bladder irritants (like caffeine and alcohol), engaging in regular exercise to strengthen pelvic floor muscles, quitting smoking, and managing fluid intake.

3. Can Kegel exercises help with stress incontinence? 

Yes, Kegel exercises can be beneficial for managing stress incontinence. These exercises involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, which provide support to the bladder and help control urination. Regularly performing Kegel exercises can help improve muscle tone and increase bladder control, leading to a reduction in stress incontinence symptoms.

4. What other pelvic floor exercises can help with stress incontinence?

In addition to Kegel exercises, there are other pelvic floor exercises to help with stress incontinence. Some examples include:

  • Bridge pose: This yoga pose involves lying on your back with your knees bent, then lifting your hips off the ground while engaging the pelvic floor muscles.

  • Squats: Performing squats with proper form can help strengthen the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles.

  • Flutter kicks: While lying on your back, raise and lower each leg individually in a fluttering motion, engaging the pelvic floor muscles throughout.

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