The Best At Home Incontinence Exercises

Don’t let stress or urge incontinence rule your bladder when there are tons of incontinence exercises that you can do to retrain your bladder, strengthen your pelvic floor and enhance your ability to stop leaks. Best of all, you don’t have to join a gym. Incontinence exercises for both men and women can be performed in the comfort of your own home.

Stress Incontinence: Stress incontinence occurs when a physical movement or activity such as laughing, lifting something heavy, coughing, or sneezing that causes pressure on the bladder leading to bladder leakage. Stress incontinence symptoms are more common in women, especially after childbirth.

Urge Incontinence:  Urge incontinence is characterized by the sudden urge to urinate followed by sudden bladder contractions leading to leaks. This may cause the bladder to fully void. Once the urge suddenly strikes many patients are unable to make it to the toilet in time.

However, by doing exercises that target the pelvic floor you can strengthen your ability to hold urine until you make it to the restroom. The pelvic floor muscles support the urinary tract organs such as the bladder, uterus, small intestine, and bowel and assist with urinary control, continence, and sexual function.

Incontinence Exercises To Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

1. Kegel Exercises

Kegel exercises can strengthen your pelvic muscles enough to stop urine midstream. Also, even though this exercise is usually associated with women, it can be beneficial for men as well. They help with a speedy recovery after childbirth or prostate surgery and can help prevent vaginal and bowel prolapse.

To perform your Kegels: 

  • Focus to find the muscles used while you urinate.
  • Tighten those muscles as tight as possible.
  • Hold that position for 3 to 5 seconds. The muscles should feel as if they are lifting upwards as a result.
  • Take a rest for several seconds.
  • Over time as your muscles get stronger, you can hold them for longer periods of time.

2. Squats

Squats are a bit of a more intensive exercise but can provide pelvic and buttocks strengthening results for both men and women. If you’re physically able, it’s worth a try. However, never participate in any physical activity until you’re fully healed. It may be worth talking to your doctor before moderately exercising.

To squat things out: 

  • Stand comfortably with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Slowly bend your knees while positioning your buttocks towards the floor. Be sure to keep your back straight and slightly lean forward. Keep your knees in line with your toes.
  • Then slowly return to a standing position while keeping your buttocks and pelvic floor tight.
  • Take a few seconds to rest in-between each rep and repeat this exercise 10 times.
  • Rest between each set of reps.

3. The Bridge

The bridge primarily targets your glutes but helps with the pelvic floor as well. So, why not have buns of steel and better bowel control?

To do the bridge:

  • Lay down on the floor on a yoga mat or a soft comfortable spot with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms down by your sides.
  • Pull your buttocks and pelvic muscles tight and lift your buttocks several inches off the ground.
  • Hold this position in the air for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Relax your muscles and slowly lower your buttocks back to the ground.
  • Repeat this process up to 10 times and rest in between each rep.
  • Teak a rest in between each set and try to perform three sets of reps daily.

4. The Squeeze & Release

The squeeze and release is your secret weapon towards getting your pelvic muscles to respond quickly. This can be very helpful for stopping leaks in pinch!

To squeeze and release: 

  • Sit or stand in a comfortable position and think of the muscles used to control your urine flow.
  • Squeeze your pelvic muscles as quickly as possible and rapidly release them with no attempt to hold the position.
  • Take a rest for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Repeat contracting your pelvic muscles for 10 to 20 reps.
  • Perform this exercise 3 times throughout the day.

Yoga Incontinence Exercises

There are also a variety of relaxing yoga poses to help you relieve stress and anxiety while gaining physical strength and toning your pelvic floor. These poses can also improve digestion, lower blood pressure, and relieve pain in the pelvic area.

1. Hook Lying With Block

This relaxing technique helps strengthen your hips, pelvis, buttocks, and lower back!

  • Relax by laying on the floor with your knees bent, keeping your feet slightly apart.
  • Place a yoga block between your knees.
  • Slowly exhale as you squeeze the block with your knees and lift your pelvis off the floor.
  • Inhale and relax your muscles as you return your buttocks to the floor without dropping the block.
  • Do this for 8 reps.

2. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Buddha Konasana)

  • Remain on the floor, but remove your yoga block, while keeping your knees bent.
  • Inhale and slowly spread your knees, dropping them to the floor on the sides.
  • Exhale while slowly bringing your knees together and lifting your pelvis off the floor.
  • Contract your pelvic muscles.
  • Release them and return to the floor.

3. Two-Footed Pose (Dvipada Pittham)

Bonus Incontinence Tips

You don't have to rely on incontinence exercises that you can easily do anywhere to reduce symptoms. There are simple everyday lifestyle changes that will ease pressure on your urinary tract for more confidence when it comes to controlling leaks.

  • Maintain a healthy diet. Avoid eating sugary, fried, greasy, or spicy foods that may upset your stomach. Instead get plenty of fiber, fruits, and vegetables to add bulk to your stool.
  • Get active by moderately exercising a few times a week to lose weight. Yoga, power walking, swimming, or using an elliptical are all great ways to shed extra pounds and strengthen your core.
  • Be prepared with the right supplies to confidently catch-all liquids and odors if they occur. The right incontinence supplies for you may be covered through insurance, so don’t battle your symptoms without them.
  • Practice training your bladder by trying to extend the amount of time between visiting the bathroom once an urge strikes. Start by trying to hold it for a minute then slowly add extra minutes as your muscles become stronger.

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