10 Things You Don't Have to Give Up Because of Incontinence

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10 Things You Don't Have to Give Up Because of Incontinence
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Just because you're coping with incontinence, doesn’t mean you can’t still lead an active lifestyle. From exercising and traveling to eating and drinking your favorite foods and beverages, you don’t have to stop enjoying your favorite activities. Learn how to lead a healthy, happy social life without letting incontinence slow you down.

Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise
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Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise

Many people avoid exercise in an attempt to avoid losing bladder control, says Alyce Adams, New York–based registered nurse and founder of KegelQueen.com. Stay active, go at your own pace after consulting with your doctor, and opt for dance moves, stretches and low-weight lifts you are comfortable with. “You don’t need to wear spandex from head to toe,” says Adams. “Wear baggy shorts and a long T-shirt, protect yourself with a pad and enjoy exercise.”

Power Walking
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Power Walking

Whether you enjoy walking for exercise or socially (or both), there’s no need to curb this activity. Find a comfortable pace, wear protective undergarments and take off. Although you may leak a little, it’s not worth missing out on the potential weight-control, mood-lifting and overall health benefits of exercise just to stay dry, says Adams.

Gardening
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Gardening

If you have a green thumb, don't be afraid to use it. It’s important to continue your favorite activities to ensure your mental and physical health. Simply head to the washroom before, during and after you pull those weeds and plant flowers, to minimize any leaking.

Biking
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Biking

If the discomfort and fear of incontinence have limited your physical activity, know that exercise can potentially help you maintain or lose weight, which can be an important component of a healthy bladder. Dust off that bike and venture out into the outdoors for some much-needed exercise. Start slow, use absorbent products, and pedal your way around town. Stay hydrated with plenty of water. “Drinking more water can actually help you stay dry by diluting your urine,” says Adams.

Fishing
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Fishing

Many times, a sedentary hobby may be just the activity you need. Without requiring a lot of physical effort, fishing is a laid-back way to try out the sport and spend some time in the sunshine. If you are venturing out on a boat, use the restroom prior to setting sail, and plan for a few breaks back at the dock throughout the day.

Housework
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Housework

From vacuuming and mopping to dusting and scrubbing, it's possible to maintain a clean home while coping with incontinence. Take it slow and push your body only as far as it can go when cleaning. Overexertion can weaken pelvic muscles, so make sure you take frequent bathroom breaks while sprucing up your home.

Dining Out
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Dining Out

Many foods and drinks can make incontinence worse, including alcohol, sugar and caffeine, says Adams, but you can still enjoy a social dinner out on the town. Choose your food and drink carefully to avoid excessive leaking. “Choose your timing, too, and understand that you may be more likely to leak when you choose these foods,” says Adams. “Plan your day accordingly.”

Hobbies
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Hobbies

Let your inner creativity flourish even while coping with incontinence. Join a local community hobby group or club to stay socially active. With the right protective garments, you can venture out with neighbors and friends to get your social fix without fear of an accident. Social interaction may even make you feel better emotionally.

Sex
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Sex

The fear of an accident in bed can be terrifying, says Adams, but you don’t have to give up sex. Simply empty your bladder before sex and, if needed, take a bathroom break during sex, says Adams. Consider restricting fluids two to three hours before sex to keep your urine from becoming too concentrated, says Adams. “If all else fails, a kind and understanding partner, and a towel to protect your sheets, can go a long way,” she says.

Travel
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Travel

Although a long road trip may seem difficult with the fear of leaking, you can take preventative measures to ensure you don’t miss out on touring the country. Plan a vacation according to your bathroom needs. When traveling in an automobile, plot out rest stops to empty your bladder. And, when venturing on an airplane, choose an aisle seat to ensure easy access to a restroom.

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