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It’s that time of the year again – making New Year’s Resolutions. Becoming a better person might be at the top of your New Year’s resolutions list, but have you thought about practicing healthy bladder habits? At National Incontinence, we’ve come up with a list of the top five resolutions you should make for better bladder control in 2013:
Many people resolve to exercise more in the new year – why not resolve to exercise your pelvic floor? Kegel exercises help treat bladder leakage by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. For best results, do these exercises three times a day.
If you’re a smoker, keep in mind that smoking will only make stress incontinence symptoms worse. The chronic coughing that comes with smoking puts pressure onto the bladder, which can lead to embarrassing wetting accidents. Take this year to finally quit smoking or at least, cut back.
This is a common New Year’s Resolution for many people, even if they don’t have any bladder problems. However, if you’re overweight, it might be a good idea to start exercising daily. Studies have found that excess weight and obesity can attribute to urinary incontinence. Besides, exercise is good for the heart, so you’ll be doing your body a favor either way.
What you eat can make a difference in your bladder control. For some people, chocolate, tomatoes, spicy, acidic, and citrus foods can cause frequent urination or urine leakage. To determine which foods your bladder can tolerate, eliminate one from your diet and see how it affects your bladder control. Then reintroduce the food back into your diet and note any changes in urine urgency or frequency.
Giving up or cutting back on certain drinks, such as alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated drinks, can reduce your bladder spasms. Also, don’t think that if you drink less, you’ll have fewer accidents. Restricting fluids can make you dehydrated and constipated, which will irritate the bladder. Keep these bladder irritants in mind when you’re on social outings – when in doubt, choose water.
What will you do this year for a healthier bladder?