Healthy choices can lead to a lifetime of good health, but poor choices can lead to a rough road ahead in the aging process. But, don’t lose hope! Even starting to make healthier lifestyle choices later in life can help reduce risks of developing disease or reduce symptoms of existing conditions. Here are some helpful healthy habits that can help maintain and/or restore your bladder health.
Drink enough water. Dr. Stisser recommends drinking six to eight glasses of water a day to keep the body hydrated and help maintain the body’s regular functions. As your body processes the water, it also excretes your natural production of other wastes like bacteria. When you urinate the water out, you are essentially rinsing away that bacteria so that it cannot continue to sit inside the body and cause any harm to healthy tissue.
Mild to moderate exercise effects every part of your health, even your bladder. Mild exercise, like aerobic walking at least once a day, helps to give the circulatory system a little boost. This boost helps to expel pent up fluids that can cause swelling in the extremities and complications for patients with cardiac disease. Combining mild exercise with proper hydration can be very beneficial to overall health.
Do Kegel exercises to pass the time. Kegel muscles line the pelvic wall. According to Dr. Stisser, “these muscles can become weakened over time if not regularly exercised.” Weak Kegels can contribute to several conditions affecting urinary and sexual health, to include urinary incontinence. The great thing about exercising Kegel muscles is that it is a very simple and discreet exercise that can easily be performed while driving the car, standing in line at the grocery store, or while sitting on the couch watching TV. Here is what you do: first identify your Kegel muscles. Tense your pelvis like you would if you were trying to hold your urine. The muscles you are tightening are your Kegels. Now hold this tense state for 10 seconds and relax. Performing a set of ten Kegels, three or four times a day, can greatly improve a patient’s bladder control and significantly reduce the chance of developing urinary incontinence in aging men and women.
Empty your bladder completely. We live in a busy world and we don’t always have time for bathroom breaks. But, busy or not, your bladder will not be ignored. Taking the time to fully relax your body when urinating helps to release all of the urine in the bladder. Rushing this process may cause you to stop before you have completely emptied your bladder which can lead to bacterial infection of the bladder and urinary tract.
Can someone pass the cranberries? The natural acidity and antioxidants of cranberries have been shown to support urinary tract health. Incorporating a serving of cranberries or real cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail) into a regular diet plan can help maintain a lifetime of bladder health. If you are not crazy about the tartness of cranberries, you can take an over the counter cranberry supplement which will yield the same overall benefits.
Avoiding bladder irritants can also play a pivotal role in bladder heath. Avoiding tobacco smoke, excessive carbonated or caffeinated beverages, spicy flavors and certain foods can decrease bladder inflammation and discomfort.
For more easy tips to improving your bladder health speak with a Blue Ridge Urological specialist today!