This is something that I have come across quite a bit from women who have given birth. I was glad to see when I did some additional research that this topic is not as taboo as I thought it was. There are some great articles and blog posts out there dealing with this issue.
Although there are more than one possible cause to this, a weak pelvic floor is the typical cause and is common in as high as 40% of women who have given birth. Acedotally, I have seen this quite often myself. There are tons of great information on the subject and Kegel exercises are one way to strengthen the muscles in the appropriate spots in order to mitigate the symptons.
However, if you are either not inclined to do Kegel exercises, or you want some quick tips to deal with this in the meantime, I decided to put up a post with a couple tips. Therefore, the purpose of this post is #1 to keep the topic in the front and make sure women know how common this is, and #2 to give some tips to deal with stress incontinence until you solve it more permenantly through Kegel exercises and/or a visit to your doctor. There is a last case surgery out there, but I’m not going to get into that, as you should have that talk with a doctor.
First off, notice that we don’t have Jumping Jacks in the Kemme Fitness program. I think Jumping Jacks are a great exercise, but they seem to be one of the biggest triggers and so out of respect to the women I was training when I was first developing the website, I opted to exclude Jumping Jacks. We still have other exercises that seem to be triggers such as Tuck Jumps and Squat Jumps. Jumping is apparently one of the more common causes to stress incontinence I have witnessed.
I obviously didn’t take all the jumping out of the program, as there is just too much benefit to those exercises. A few ways to deal with this is to first make sure you urinate just prior to starting your workout. An empty bladder is a great place to start and either reduces the symptoms, or as in most cases, tends to solve the problem for the entire workout.
Here comes the next problem though, which is that most people drink water during the workout to stay hydrated (which is clearly recommended), and they now no longer have an empty bladder and have to do 20 Tuck Jumps. When creating my workouts, I did not take this into account and so consequently, there are Tuck Tumps and Squat Jumps in the second half of many of our workouts. Oops..sorry.
Don’f fret, you just need to plan ahead a bit. Before beginning a workout, just scan all the circuits for your trigger exercises. Then, either switch up the circuits and put that one first, or simply move some of the exercises around. Typically, this will not mess up the overall workout and it only takes a little creativity to plan ahead. Hope this helps.
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I love that you’re talking about this. Also, did you know that there are physical therapists who specialize in working with men and women with stress incontinence ? Primarily they use biofeedback and muscle training to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to reduce/eliminate the symptoms of stress incontinence. Proven to be very effective, it’s simply training a muscle group just as we would any other. Generally covered by insurance with a PCP referral just like any other PT. This can have huge impact on quality of life for women with symptoms in the present and as we age.
I did not know that and that sound great. Thank you so much for adding to the post. I appreciate it