Every day I get loads of spam. It’s generally found in the comment section and trust me when I tell you people try all kinds of clever ways to get their links, about their own products, sites or services up on my site (and every site). As I have mentioned before, all I have to is post something about football to get spammed with all kinds of male sexual enhancement drugs. Recently I blogged about testosterone—you can only imagine.
Once in a while I get mail from someone who bothers to take the time to explain his or her story and I consider accepting the link. This person wrote an article about a topic not often talked about and emailed me to ask if I would consider putting it on the site. Since he bothered to be human about it, I am doing just that. Additionally, I am once again tired of hearing my own “voice.” Who knows, you may be struggling with this very problem…this one is for the female runners….
Incontinence – a rarely spoken about problem for runners. I have NO idea about the catheters that he mentions. Thankfully, for me, this is not a problem…so far……..
As anyone who regularly runs will know, problems can be a plenty. While running is of course very beneficial to your health and well-being, in addition to the benefits there can often be a few downsides too. The more miles you cover, the more injuries, niggles and conditions you will encounter. One such condition however can be very incredibly embarrassing for many female runners.
If you are fortunate enough to have never suffered from incontinence you may be surprised to learn that simply going for a run can be a cause of this condition. Not just a cause of shin splints, hamstring pulls and endless blisters, running can also be a cause of this embarrassing disorder.
An embarrassing condition
For those who do suffer from incontinence however, this condition can be incredibly embarrassing. You may be running along feeling great one minute, then slowing to a stop the next as your shorts become damp with urine. Incontinence isn’t nice.
It’s a condition that no amount of physio, massage or podiatry can cure, but that doesn’t mean it’s a condition that cannot be treated, there are indeed many treatments available that will enable you to run whilst suffering with incontinence.
What causes incontinence?
The type of incontinence that occurs when running is commonly referred to as stress incontinence. Related to the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, the weaker those muscles are, the more likely you are to experience stress incontinence. The reason this occurs when running though is due to the pressure that is being placed on the bladder. As this pressure is greater than usual during physical exertion, the pelvic floor muscles cannot cope causing you to unintentionally pass urine.
What are the treatments that were mentioned previously?
The first treatment we advise to try are Kegel exercises, which will fit in very well with your exercise regime. Free, simple and often effective, Kegel exercises target the muscle layers that stretch between your legs and attach to your pelvic bones at the front, back and sides. If you think of the muscles you would use to stop the flow of urine, those are the ones you will be targeting when doing your Kegel exercises.
To perform Kegel exercises, pull in or squeeze the muscles, pretending you are trying to stop urine flow. You should hold that squeeze for about 10 seconds. Follow that by a 10-second rest. It’s is recommended that you attempt to do three or four sets of 10 squeezes a day.
Recent research has also shown that yoga can also be effective in treating incontinence. Yoga and running have gone hand in hand for a very long time, helping decrease injuries and improve the health and strength of muscles, whilst also being beneficial for breathing. Now however it’s been found yoga can be assistance to incontinence. The most common form to practice is known as ‘Mula Bandha’ or ‘Moola Bandha.’ This can be done by paying attention to the following:
1. During urination, try and stop midstream. The muscles that you use to stop urinating are the ones that you want to use during yoga.
2. Go to a quiet room, sit up straight and contract your muscles like you did when stopping your urination. Whilst doing this, contract the muscles around the anus and hold for 3 seconds.
3. Relax the muscles for 10 seconds, and then repeat this step, 9 times.
Doing this for three months can be very effective, and you can eventually move up to contracting the muscles for 10 seconds instead of 3.
Alternative treatments include intermittent catheters which are safe, discreet and allow you to get on with everyday life. With every condition though, it is always recommended that you visit your GP if symptoms persist.
Don’t let incontinence stop you from going from a run though; while running can have its downsides, these are vastly outweighed by its benefits. Run right and pay attention to your body and you will be able to take on the miles problem-free.