One health concern you may have never planned on was bladder control. It seems that in many, age brings along nearly uncontrollable urges to run to the bathroom and incontinence. It makes even a short walk around the block a significant challenge.
And let’s be real, you have a lot more to do than walk around the block. If every decision to leave the house comes down to whether or not you’ll have to worry about finding the closest bathroom, it becomes tough to get out and enjoy your life.
It’s possible, however, that you can take care of your old bladder by teaching it some new tricks. Many people have conditioned their bladder, over the years, to empty when it reaches a certain level of fullness. But by learning how to increase the volume of liquid your bladder can hold, you can cut down on the frequency and severity of the urge to go.
Bladder training is something you can do to support your other efforts to make going to the bathroom less of a pain. In addition to monitoring coffee consumption, managing weight and performing Kegel exercises, bladder training is a cost-effective method to regaining control of your bladder that teaches you to go on a schedule. Here’s how to do it.
- Spend a day or two tracking how often you urinate or experience leaks.
- Determine how much time elapses between each urination.
- Based on the time between urinations, select an interval that is 15-minutes longer. If you go every 45 minutes, for example, start to wait one hour.
- Stick to your interval. After emptying your bladder upon waiting, stick to your new interval no matter what. If the time arrives and you don’t have to go, go anyways. On the other hand, if the urge to go hits before the time has hit, remember that your bladder is not actually full and use techniques to avoid going (change focus, concentrate on a task, etc.).
- Increase intervals over the course of the following weeks and months. Generally, about 5 minutes is a good pace to maintain.
You can regain control over your bladder by increasing the volume of liquid it can hold before sending you the urge to go. Bladder training is safe and effective and definitely something worth considering.