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Being overweight can put pressure on your bladder and pelvic floor, weakening the muscles. This may result in a sensitive bladder that makes you prone to leaks, especially when you sneeze, cough, laugh or exert yourself. For many women, bladder sensitivity means that they avoid doing regular exercise that would help them maintain a healthy weight and good fitness level.
“Although there are lots of women within the ideal weight range who suffer from bladder sensitivity, there’s no doubt that carrying extra pounds can make matters worse,” explains Dr Sarah Jarvis, Always Discreet for Sensitive Bladder Ambassador. “This is particularly true if your problems are down to weakness of the pelvic floor, and you tend to leak when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise. A little weight loss, along with really regular pelvic floor exercises, will go a long way towards relieving your symptoms.”
By making healthier food choices and exercising regularly, you can lose those extra pounds and be on the way to looking and feeling fitter and trimmer, as well as helping to reduce your risk of developing bladder sensitivity.
Here are some tips to get you started…
Eating fewer calories is the key to losing weight, so keep a diary of everything you eat and drink over a week. Then target weak points and plan meals and snacks so you avoid the energy slumps that make you reach for fatty, sugary foods. Fill up with fruits, vegetables, protein, fibre and carbohydrates, like wholemeal pasta and wholemeal bread, and replace crisps and biscuits with healthier alternatives such as rice cakes. It’s also important to reduce your portion sizes so that you’re not overeating without even realising it.
Regular activity is a great way to burn energy (calories), which is essential for weight loss, and you’ll be toning up too. Start with small amounts of daily exercise, such as walking instead of taking the car or bus, or using an exercise bike in front of the TV. When you feel more confident, consider joining a local fitness class, which is a sociable way to lose weight and keep fit.
It’s important to plan when and where you are going to exercise each week, so that you set time aside in your schedule to get it done (it’s very easy to make excuses to avoid it!). Ideally, you should be aiming to exercise for 30 minutes, five times a week.
If bladder sensitivity is a concern, choose gentle exercise, such as cycling, swimming and Nordic walking, which will keep you fit and is less likely to cause those little leaks. Core-strengthening classes like yoga and Pilates often incorporate exercises that work the pelvic floor muscles, which will really help strengthen the muscles that help control your bladder.
Wear the right protection:
There’s no need for bladder sensitivity to get in the way of exercise because Always Discreet for Sensitive Bladder has a wide range of products designed to give you security and peace of mind. Comfortable and secure, Always Discreet for Sensitive Bladder stay in place when you’re exercising and the liners and pads have an absorbent DualLock™ core that helps lock away odour and wetness. They’re up to 40% thinner* than the leading brand – so they won’t be visible through tight-fitting exercise clothes – yet they offer twice as much absorbency than you may need.** Plus, all products have the exclusive OdourLock™ technology that neutralises odours continuously. So you can manage bladder sensitivity with confidence and get that exercise regime off the ground without worrying.
For more advice about weight control or bladder sensitivity, talk to your doctor. One in three women experience bladder sensitivity, so don’t feel embarrassed – it’s a common problem! In the meantime, Always Discreet for Sensitive Bladder liners, pads and pants will help you manage bladder sensitivity. Now, picture yourself in three months time, looking slimmer, fitter and happier – and make that image your motivation!
Go to alwaysdiscreet.co.uk to request your free Always Discreet for Sensitive Bladder sample.
(*Compares to the leading brand (percentage varies across line-up). **Based on average consumer loading.)