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Safely Exercising With Incontinence: Dos and Don’ts

Safely Exercising With Incontinence: Dos and Don’ts

August 3, 2012

Urinary leakage can be triggered in women by simple activities such as laughing, coughing, sneezing, and even exercise. This is generally a result of stress incontinence, which is a common symptom in women post-child birth as well as during menopause. Leakage can often occur because there are increased forms of pressure on the pelvic and abdominal muscles.

However, many may shy away from exercise due to the increased tendency to have leakage during movement. But exercise can strengthen pelvic muscles, which can actually reduce leakage, as well as help with weight loss – another factor that can also minimize urinary incontinence.   So what should you do and not do during exercise?


–       Use workout machines that don’t put direct pressure on the bladder. These include treadmill, recumbent bikes, and elliptical machines.

–       Get involved with lower-impact exercises that don’t include repeating bouncing movements or increased pressure on the abdomen and pelvic floor. These include yoga, walking, and pilates.

–       Learn kegel exercises. Kegels involve squeezing the pelvic muscles to regain strength and prevent leakage.

–       Talk to your doctor. A physician can help you determine what kind of exercise routine may be best for your individual needs, as well as a way to reduce the chance of leakage during movement.

–       Wear incontinence underwear to protect against any potential leakage. Both incontinence panties and incontinence briefs can be worn during exercising.


–       Attempt squats and lift heavy weights. Both of these types of exercises put excess pressure on the bladder, increasing the chance of leakage.

–       Eat large meals prior to exercising. Instead, eat less more frequently in order to not put as much pressure on your abdomen.

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