Tag Archives: exercise

Five Simple Tips to Manage Bladder Leakage in Menopause

Posted by on February 16, 2016 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Incontinence Menopause

Original post written by Dr. Anna Garrett for LiveConfidently.com

When you go through menopause, estrogen levels drop. For some women, this can result in weakening of the pelvic floor muscles that support bladder control, causing LBL (light bladder leakage). You’ve probably heard about LBL. It’s that little leak that comes with a big sneeze or a hearty laugh. A range of things, from exercise to caffeinated drinks, can trigger it. It’s also part of that urgent “gotta go right now” feeling you might get on the way to the restroom.

But there’s good news! It’s a myth that LBL is something all women will experience because of menopause, and there are things you can do to manage any unwelcome leaks. Here are five simple tips to help keep you dry and comfortable.

1. Wear the Right Protective Products

Wear an absorbent pad or pantiliner designed just for bladder leaks if you’re going to be out and about. These pads and liners look and feel very similar to menstrual pads and liners, but are designed for very different needs. Because they are specifically designed to absorb bladder leaks, they can often hold two to three times as much urine as a menstrual pad or liner. They also do a better job of controlling odors caused by urine. Our blog post on Incontinence Products vs. Feminine Products further explores the differences between these products.

2. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can cause constipation, and constipation can contribute to bladder leakage for some women. Drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day (although not too much), eat plenty of fiber, and exercise regularly to keep things moving.

3. Manage Your Schedule

When scheduling your workday, consider scheduling visits to the bathroom on regular, timed intervals throughout the day. This will give you time to change your protective products and help with training your bladder. It may be helpful to keep an incontinence journal for 5-7 days to pinpoint when you’re most likely to visit the bathroom, and then build your schedule from there.

4. Avoid Certain Foods and Drinks

Avoid caffeine and other drinks or foods that can irritate the lining of the bladder. If you don’t like drinking plain water, find one or two alternative drinks that are caffeine and acid free to substitute. And please note, sodas (even if caffeine-free) are very acidic and should be avoided. Our blog post on Foods and Drinks that can Trigger Incontinence has more information on items that can irritate the bladder.

5. Keep Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Strong

Try pelvic floor muscle exercises, also known as Kegel exercises. These exercises are most effective for LBL, not heavier incontinence. To do this exercise, lie on the ground with your legs apart and feet flat on the floor. Gently contract your pelvic floor muscles as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. Hold this contraction for a few seconds and then release. Continue these exercises, completing three sets of 15 each day. With regular exercise, you should see an improvement within a few months.

If heavier incontinence is a problem, consider having a thorough evaluation of your pelvic floor.  It’s possible, especially in menopause, that there is pelvic floor prolapse. In this situation, the nerves that control the bladder may not be connecting well with the pelvic muscles. This requires physical therapy and core strengthening. Kegel exercises could make incontinence worse if you have an undiagnosed pelvic floor muscle spasm, so be sure to check with your physician before getting started.

Remember, one in three women who are experiencing menopause are also experiencing LBL. You’re NOT alone! To connect with other women experiencing light bladder leakage in menopause, visit our incontinence forum. We’d love to hear your experiences, questions, and suggestions.

Four Easy Ways to Stay Healthy while Traveling

Posted by on November 12, 2015 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Four Easy Ways to Stay Healthy while Traveling

Original post written by Leslie Gaillard for LiveConfidently.com

Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or train this season, you are bound to encounter some obstacles in your path to staying healthy. However, a little preparation and forethought can go a long way to make your travel experience more enjoyable and healthy.

1. Stay Properly Hydrated

Staying properly hydrated especially during the hot summer months is important. Carry a reusable bottle (BPA-free) with you at all times that you can fill from a water fountain regularly. If you find water boring, spruce it up by adding a sprig of mint or a slice of lemon, lime, or orange. Avoid calorie-laden beverages like regular soda, sweet tea, and fruit drinks. It’s also best to limit your consumption of caffeinated beverages such as coffee and cola, as these stimulate greater urine output and increase the potential for dehydration as well as incontinence for those who are susceptible.

2. Pack Healthy Snacks

Regardless of your method of travel, bring some healthy, non-perishable snacks like nuts, instant oatmeal packs (cook using heated water from coffee pot), high fiber granola bars, vacuum sealed pouches of tuna or wild salmon, lower sodium turkey jerky, and even some dried fruit. If you are traveling by car, you may want to also consider packing a cooler with some refreshing low or no calorie beverages along with some fresh fruit and vegetables. With these supplies, you are much less likely to be tempted by high calorie, high sodium foods at fast food or chain restaurants that you encounter along the highway.

3. Watch Out for Calories

When you do eat out in restaurants, steer clear of fried foods and those with high fat or creamy sauces. If a sandwich comes with mayonnaise or a dressing, ask for it on the side or order a low fat alternative like mustard. Look for restaurants that also post their calorie information online so you can make informed decisions prior to dining out. Most fast food and chain restaurants post their nutrition facts online or via smartphone applications, and some even make it available in the restaurant.

4. Get Moving

Stay physically fit during your travel and pack a pair of comfortable shoes. Traveling to new places is a great opportunity to get some extra exercise. Invest in a pedometer and watch your steps accumulate throughout the day. Book a hotel that has lots of interesting sights within walking distance; if your destination is one mile or less away, consider walking instead of taking another mode of transportation. Look into walking tours, parks, and even bikes that you can rent to make your vacation even more interesting and environmentally friendly as you embark on your next memorable summer outing.

How do you stay healthy while traveling? Head to our forum to share your thoughts with people just like you!

You can find the original article here.

Controlling Incontinence with Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises

Posted by on January 21, 2015 under BladderMatters | Read the First Comment

Kegel exercises

Originally posted by the Live Confidently team on LiveConfidently.com

If you experience occasional light bladder leakage, it may be due to weakened pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and provide control over urination. As our bodies mature, our pelvic floor muscles can lose strength, leaving both men and women more susceptible to leaks during everyday activities. Mothers who have experienced multiple births are also at increased risk, regardless of age.

Fortunately, there’s a simple exercise you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and decrease the risk of leaks. We call them pelvic floor exercises, but some people know them as Kegel exercises. Often touted as beneficial for menopausal women, these exercises are just as useful to men and women of all ages. If you haven’t already started doing these pelvic exercises, you can begin as soon as you finish reading this post! Not only are these exercises known to help you control your bladder leakage from getting worse, but they could even prevent stress incontinence from ever happening in the first place.

Let’s Get Started!

To begin your Kegel exercises, sit down and identify your pelvic floor muscles by flexing as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine. Once you’ve found your muscles, contract and hold them for 5-10 seconds, then release. Relax for a few seconds, then repeat the process four or five times in a row. For best results, try to perform at least 30 pelvic floor muscle contractions every day. You should begin to see results after a few months.

The key to success with these exercises is repetition, repetition, repetition. To truly improve your bladder control and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, you should continue practicing even after you’ve seen an improvement. Kegel exercises should be a part of your daily routine, as strong pelvic floor muscles are beneficial to everyone!

Exercises to Avoid

When choosing an exercise plan that best suits your lifestyle, you should try to avoid high-impact sports that put extreme pressure on your pelvic floor muscles. This includes activities like jogging and aerobics. It’s best to choose low-impact exercises such as yoga or Pilates, as these focus on strengthening the core through slow and controlled movements. On top of your low-impact exercise routine, you should always be practicing your pelvic floor exercises, as this is the best way to strengthen the right muscles to improve your bladder control.

Have some tips to add? Head over to our incontinence forum to discuss this topic with people just like you!

Additionally, you can find varying levels of products for incontinence at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.

Tips for Dealing with Incontinence During the Winter

Posted by on January 13, 2015 under BladderMatters | Be the First to Comment

Bladder leakage cold

Originally posted by the Live Confidently team on LiveConfidently.com

With the winter months quickly approaching, many people who experience urge or stress incontinence may notice an uptick in bladder leakage issues. There was never a clear link between incontinence and cold weather until a 2005 study by Whittington Hospital in London found that cold temperatures were a major factor in increased urinary incontinence. The study showed that this could be for two reasons: one, because our bodies don’t sweat out excess moisture during colder months, and two, because cold weather induces bladder muscle overactivity and causes us to feel the urge to go more often.

Whatever the case, there are a few tips you can follow to make sure that you are prepared and ready to take on incontinence when the temperature drops.

Decrease your intake of caffeinated beverages. Coffee and other hot beverages that contain caffeine, like tea and hot chocolate, can stimulate the bladder and also act as a diuretic. It’s best to stick to water or non-caffeinated beverages such as apple cider or peppermint tea.

Use the bathroom before you leave the house. This will ensure that your bladder is empty and will prevent you from having to remove bulky winter layers to use the restroom.

Keep moving and wear a jacket. This will help to keep your body warm and your bladder muscles from tensing up.

Find the right protection. For a true sense of ease, it’s best to find the right incontinence products for your specific needs. If you’re not sure where to start, our Incontinence Product Selector is a helpful tool that can guide you in the right direction.

Do you have any tips to add? Head over to our living with incontinence forum to discuss this topic with people just like you!

Hobbies and Activities for Seniors

Posted by on September 24, 2014 under Caregiver Corner | Read the First Comment

Paints - Painting is just one of the many activities seniors can do.

One of the more amazing things about aging is that sometimes the things a person didn’t like as a younger adult are the exact things they love as an elder. So be sure to offer new activities to an elderly person every so often, just to see they’ll take you up on it this time. Here are a few suggestions.

Painting
In their youth, many people are intimidated by the talents of others. Sometimes this leads to a feeling that they themselves are not creative. But as time goes by, shyness begins to disappear and, occasionally, whatever was holding someone back years ago disappears. There are stories of the elderly that have never painted before but started painting late in life, all because someone introduced them to the materials and they no longer have that that little voice that says “I can’t.”

The Radio
Televisions are a ubiquitous part of everyday life, and you’d be hard pressed to find a retirement home without one parked in the main gathering area. But sometimes television can be too hard to concentrate on: too many images, too many options, too much violence. Don’t underestimate the power of simply turning on a baseball game and sitting quietly with your senior while the runs are scored.

Tai Chi
Tai Chi is that activity that you see people doing in the park, often in large groups, that looks like very slow karate mixed with yoga. It’s a meditative form of exercise that can be both relaxing and practical. Check out this list from Inside Elder Care that names twelve benefits of Tai Chi, including improving balance, something very helpful for those seniors who are a fall risk.

What are your favorite hobbies? We here at TotalHomeCareSupplies.com would love to hear about them and how they’ve changed over the years.

Dancing Improves Overall Health: Senior Edition

Posted by on June 26, 2013 under Caregiver Corner | Be the First to Comment

Dance Provides Health Benefits for all AgesTotalHomeCareSupplies

” …there is relatively strong evidence that dancing can significantly improve the aerobic power, muscle endurance, strength, and flexibility of the lower body; static and dynamic balance/agility; and gait speed of older adults. “
– Keogh, J.W.L, et al., Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

Whether you think you have rhythm or not, getting up and moving your feet to your favorite song may prove to be more beneficial than you thought. Dance is a form of expression that can bring forth laughter, smiles and happiness. Dance brings people together and encourages social support while encouraging physical activity. The health benefits of dance are undeniable. According to Carol Cummings, BSN, RN, Certified Wellness Coach, there are numerous benefits of dance, including lessening the effects of some chronic diseases:

    • Improved Posture
    • Stronger bones and muscles
    • Reduced Stress, increased joy
    • Confidence

RELATED: Cognitive Decline at 45? Six Ways To Protect Your Aging Brain

Here are some types of dance that my elicit different health benefits:

Ballroom dancing. While dancing is fun and a time to let loose, ballroom dancing takes a certain amount of concentration to remember each step and prevent you from stepping on your partners toes. This experience lessens the risk of dementia in old age by keeping the mind active and focused.

Argentine Tango. This specialized form of partner dance reaps numerous benefits. The tango is a fast paced, intricate dance that includes many sharp movements. These details have proven to show improvements in Parkinson’s disease patients by increasing mobility and balance. Read more here: Washington University in St. Louis.

Waltz. According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, those with chronic heart disease who participated in dance for exercise showed dramatic increases in functionality and quality of life. The patients were more likely to participate in physical activity because it was fun, which in turn increased their arterial capacity.

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