Tag Archives: stretching exercises

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.

Walking Tips & Tidbits: How to Warm Up, Stretch and Cool Down

Posted by on April 19, 2013 under Resources | Be the First to Comment


Image courtesy of the American Council on Exercise

Are you walking your way to better health?  Just like with any exercise program, warming up and cooling down with gentle stretches is important.  You can prevent injury,  improve circulation and range of motion, and speed the healing of sore muscles simply by gently stretching the muscles you use for walking.   Here are some key warm ups, cool downs and stretching exercises recommended by the American Council on Exercise and the American Heart Association:

Warm Up

Begin with low-intensity aerobic activity that warms up the muscles you will be using during your workout.  If you’re a walker, this simply means you should walk at an easy pace for the first few minutes of your walk.  Once your muscles start to feel warm and loose, gradually increase your pace. The duration of your warm-up should depend on the intensity of your walk and your fitness level.


Flexibility exercises may be included after your warm-up, or, even better, at the end of your walk. Stretching muscles after warming them up with low-intensity aerobic activity will produce a better stretch since the rise in muscle temperature and circulation increases muscle elasticity, making them more pliable. Be sure to choose flexibility exercises that stretch the primary muscles you will be using during your workout. Great stretches for walking include: hamstrings, Achilles tendons and calves, hip flexors, abductors, as well as upper body stretches such as opening the chest and stretching the low back.  (Never stretch until the point of pain!  Gently stretch until you feel resistance, and hold the stretch there.)

Stretches for Walking:

  • Hamstring Stretch:  Prop one foot up on a low secure bench or stair step. Stand tall. Keeping your chest high, hips square and tailbone lifted, bend forward from your hips. Feel a stretch in the back of your thigh or knee. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.
  • Calf Stretch:  Stand facing a wall with both hands on it. Position one foot forward (knee bent) and the other leg back with the leg straight, toes pointing at the wall. With your stomach tight, lean in toward the wall until you feel a stretch in the lower part of the back leg. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.
  • Shoulder Rolls:  Lift your shoulders up toward your ears, then down and backwards in a circular motion. Repeat 5–10 times. Perform with both shoulders simultaneously or alternate right and left.
  • Hip Flexor Stretch:  Lunge forward with one leg, knee bent. The back leg can stay straight or bend slightly. Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in front of your back thigh near the groin. Keep your torso upright and your front knee behind your toes. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.
  • Abductor (inner thigh) stretch:  Keeping your torso upright, lunge to one side with a bent knee over the toe. Keep your other leg straight. Push your weight to the “bent knee” side until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh of your straight leg. Hold 20–30 seconds on each leg.
  • Chest stretch:  Place your fingertips lightly on the back of your head. Push your elbows back while squeezing with your upper back until you feel a stretch in your chest near your underarms. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Another option is to stand in a corner with one hand or elbow on each wall. Your feet should be 1½–2 feet away from the corner in a split stance. Keeping your back straight and tummy pulled in, lean into the wall until you feel a stretch in your chest near your underarms. Hold for 20–30 seconds.

Cool Down

The purpose of a cool-down is to lower the heart rate and metabolism slowly, which helps to avoid blood pooling, cramping or stiffness after a workout. By cooling down, you ensure circulation is maintained to vital organs so you’re less likely to become lightheaded or dizzy. The heart is also protected by cooling down because it reduces high concentrations of hormones, like adrenaline. A great way to cool down after walking is to go at a slower pace and to stretch the muscles that you just worked.

For more health information and useful tools, please visit our Resources Blog on TotalHomeCareSupplies.com.   For brand-name incontinenceostomyurological or wound supplies, visit our Total Home Care Supplies web store.

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