Many women are avoiding keeping fit. We find out why
Research has shown that exercising is the way to a happy and healthy older age. But many women are concerned their body will let them down before they even begin.
Whether it's running, tennis or Zumba - getting your adrenaline going and your heartbeat raised, exercise will definitely help you to remain independent for longer. Keeping fit means you will be able to carry your shopping home, bend down to do up your shoe laces and reach up to change a light bulb. These are all simple actions but crucial to independent living.
So, why aren't more women exercising?
The reason is they are afraid that bladder weakness will cause an embarrassing situation. It only takes a star jump or the effort of serving a ball for a leak to happen. It might be just a small loss of urine or a sudden gush, but many of us would rather avoid the chance of it happening. If this sounds like you, fear not, you are not alone. Over 10 million women in the UK experience some degree of incontinence and Depend, a global incontinence brand, is making every effort to get women speaking freely and openly about the condition.
Incontinence can happen to anyone, at any time, regardless of age
Television presenter and panellist, Nadia Sawalha, had always taken a keen interest in exercise, but started to experience incontinence after she gave birth to her children Maddie and Kiki-Bee. She said, "For me, the worst time was when I was running the marathon a few years ago and had a full-on gush. I just had to keep on running after wetting myself! After that I stopped running." Although Nadia didn't speak with her GP about her incontinence, she didn't shun exercise completely; she turned to Pilates and Rebounding instead, but it didn't offer a total solution. She had to accept that some days she couldn't do what she wanted to.
When Nadia became aware of research carried out by Depend, and had the opportunity to try their new Active-Fit underwear, she realised that by wearing a product that eliminated the fear of embarrassment, she could exercise freely.
She said "The brilliant thing about Depend Active-Fit incontinence underwear is that you can’t tell you’re wearing it. It gives you the confidence to do what you want. You don’t have to worry about leaking. It’s allowed me to start running again and I’m so happy!"
Top tips for exercising if you experience incontinence
If you are experiencing incontinence and it's preventing you from exercising, here are our top tips to get you started.
- See you doctor to rule out any underlying illness and to discuss which type of incontinence you are experiencing and how to treat it
- Keep a diary of how often you empty your bladder, and how and when you leak urine
- Stay hydrated by drinking water; avoid alcohol, and limit carbonated and caffeinated drinks such and tea and coffee
- Learn Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
- Build up your exercise slowly so you always feel in control
- Try Depend Active-Fit underwear to give you confidence while exercising
- Join a forum where other women share their experiences so you don't feel alone
Who can I talk to about incontinence?
Depend has created an online community for women to share their experiences and receive expert advice and support, which you can find by visiting Depend. You can also order a free sample of Active-Fit underwear from Depend.co.uk and see how much confidence it will give you when you exercise; the Motion-Flex technology is designed to provide discreet and comfortable protection while you are active. The lightweight cotton-stretch fabric smoothly flexes with your body for a perfect fit, even under fitness clothes.
This article was created in partnership with Depend, a Kimberly-Clark brand.