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Combining internal and regular exercise to treat incontinence

Posted Feb 02 2010 7:49am

A report studying the effects of obesity in women has recently been published by the New England Journal of Medicine.  One of the key points highlighted in the study demonstrated how weight loss is a decisive factor in reducing the risk of developing many types of urinary incontinence.

338 overweight or obese participants part took in an intensive weight loss programme, between the participants, an average of 8% body weight reduction was achieved which had a medium reduction of 47% in levels of urinary incontinence.

The study also revealed that loss of weight correlates with a reduction in high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, mood and personal satisfaction and chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

In sum, the report concludes that weight loss is one of – if not the – most important treatments for treating urinary incontinence – regardless of the root cause.

When you undertake a new fitness routine, it’s important to not overlook internal exercises, as they can play a part in curbing ones incontinence. The best of which, are what’s known as Kegal exercises, which – in short – is about consciously contracting the muscles you would use to stop the flow of urine: holding the muscles tight for several seconds and releasing. Think of doing these exercises as you would ‘reps’ and ‘sets’ for any other muscles you may work on, such as your biceps.

Repeating these exercises once in the morning and once at night can strengthen perhaps the most significant muscle groups: your pelvic floor muscles – which control the bladder.

One point that’s often overlooked with Kegal routines is that it requires a lot of patience. Because it’s internal and therefore hidden, and because regular exercise may not yield the desired effect for a couple of months, it’s easy to get lulled into a sense of pointlessness. Resist this temptation. Kegal take time to come to fruition, but when they do the improvement is significant and the full benefits with regards to incontinence become apparent.

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