Embarrassing Gym Issues: Do You Pee When You Exercise?

by TaylorR

Have you ever found yourself mid jumping jack with the classic panic stricken, eyes popping out with the “dear in headlights” expression because suddenly you feel a little trickle?

You peed right before you started your workout, yet just minutes in and you are already sprinting back to the bathroom.

sprinting-bathroom

Sprinting, not because you’re trying to squeeze in the best workout out of every minute you have, but because if you don’t sprint you’re going to have not just a little trickle, but a full on accident?

It happens.

I train women, only women, and I can assure you that your’e not alone. In fact, when I asked you guys if you had any questions several of you asked me to address this issue…

So let’s do!

Every class of mine starts out just fine and suddenly a few minutes in, clients are doing the pee-dance as they wait their turn to get into the bathroom.

It’s frustrating and of course, it’s embarrassing.

Source

Sure it’s normal for the moms,but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable or that you want to workout in pee-pants. Right?

So let’s dissect this whole pee problem and perhaps discover a solution so that the pre-workout pee is plenty enough to get you through an entire workout of jumping jacks, running, squatting and what else you’ve got planned.

First…

What Kind Of Woman Pees On Herself?

That kind of woman that is normal. It’s not something to be ashamed of, yes it can be embarrassing but realize that if you’re a workout pee-er you’re not alone.

And believe it or not, a weak bladder is not a sign of a person’s fitness level. I know a lot of women who are in amazing shape, that work out regularly and look amazing who battle with weak bladder.

What I think we can all agree on is that there is one commonality between the exercise twinklers…

Kids.

  • One out of every three women who have vaginal births, wet themselves.
  • A women who has had a baby is 3x more likely to wet herself than a lady who hasn’t had children.

Why Does Pregnancy Cause Urine Leakage?

pelvic-muscles

It’s not pregnancy but delivery that causes urine leakage… even long after the baby has turned into a child.

When a baby moves down the birth canal, it (the canal) becomes stretched, along with the nerves, ligaments and pelvic floor muscles that control the urethra (bladder opening).

All of that is to say that the muscles can become weak, along with structural support around the bladder resulting in “mini-accidents” when coughing, sneezing, and of course, exercising.

Just like with any weak muscle, if you don’t train it then it’s not going to get stronger.

Left as is, things can only get worst due to natural weakening from aging.

Women are so lucky, right? I have never heard a guy complain of having to pee after doing 5 jumping jacks.

How To Tone Your Pelvic Muscles

hip-ext-kegel

First off, the pelvic floor muscles do more than just allow you to hold your urine until you get to the bathroom.

They also:

  • Help to close off the vagina, anus and of course the bladder.
  • Help hold the bladder, uterus and bowel in their proper place.

If those muscles are lose, you’re also feeling that urge to pee because your bladder is literally bouncing around.

So the question becomes…

How Can I Tone My Pelvic Muscles?

By regularly working them. Just like you work your abs to get them stronger, or your legs to get them more toned. You have to work at it… regularly.

I’ll be honest…

I’ve seen some women that simply can not regain strength in their “down there” muscles and they end up resorting to surgery to help with their bladder issues. In fact, I am even going to be interviewing one of our trainers soon that has just recently had her bladder tacked.

But that might not be you… you might just require some kegel exercises and with time, you’ll notice the urge to pee during a workout decreases until suddenly, you’re no longer having to workout next to a bathroom at all.

Sounds good, right?

Start by sitting upright in a chair, back supported. Relax your abs and thighs, and just breath normal.Now it’s time to contract… just imagine squeezing your vagina and lifting it up (from the inside).

You’ll feel the pelvic floor lift, though when you first start it might seem small, or even nonexistent depending on the weakness of your muscles.

Make sure to breath! Don’t draw in your abs, as this will actually decrease the pelvic contraction. However, you will naturally feel your lower abs gently pull with the squeeze and lift. That’s a good thing!

So that’s the basic move, now what?

  • Start off holding for just 2-5 seconds. Then rest 5 seconds and repeat. Continue on for 5-6 sets.
  • After a few days, up the time to 5-8 seconds, with an 8 second rest. Continue again for 5-6 seconds.
  • Continue working your way up by adding time, once you’re able to hold the kegel move for 10 seconds, take your rest time down to 5 seconds between sets.
  • And finally, work until you can do 5 sets holding as long as possible with the ultimate goal to get to 60 seconds
How Often Should I Do Kegels?

Just like with any muscle group, you don’t want to work your pelvic floor muscles too often, leaving them with no time to rest and strengthen.

At the same time, if this is an issue that you find yourself battling with, don’t let it become something you work on just every once in a while.

Ultimately, I suggest doing the kegel routine 3 times/week. It can even be done when driving in the car.

Super easy to fit into the day! And of course keep up with your normal exercise routine. Don’t let a little tinkle issue leave you sitting on the sidelines.

If you need a little guidance, follow along with this 10 minute workout from PelvicExercises.com.au

I am excited that this is just the 1 out of a new series I’ll be putting together regarding women’s embarrassing fitness issues… why?

Because we’ve all been there and it’s important to address what’s normal and what’s not. Plus of course what we can do to help.

So if you have an embarrassing exercise issue, feel free share below or shoot me an email!

If you’ve had kids, did/do you have issues with moves like jumping jacks or running?

Sources For This Post:

  • http://www.continence.org.nz/pages/One-in-three-woman-who-ever-had-a-baby-wet-themselves/38/
  • http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Patients/Programs-and-Services/Womens-Continence-and-Pelvic-Health-Center/Nonsurgical-Treatments.aspx

 

  • http://www.itzyskitchen.com Erica

    Such a COMMON problem for Moms! I definitely had the “omgosh I need to go” feeling pretty often just after I had Kay. Luckily, it has improved over time and I don’t have that omgosh feeling any more ;) Thanks for addressing this!!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      That’s great that you had no long term issues! ‘Cause youre so strong ;)
      see you next week!

  • Kalan

    I’m not a mom…but have an issue any time I’m incorporating a lot of jumping into my workouts. Normally not terrible if I’m doing some jumping jacks or box jumps, just a little comes out and I tend to ignore it. I was in the habit of doing pelvic strengthening exercises for a while…need to get back to it! My worst experience was going to a trampoline park and not thinking about it…and wearing pink yoga pants. After about 10 minutes I realized that I had pretty much peed all over myself. So embarrassing…but it happens. I’m honestly a bit terrified what it’s going to be like once I have kids!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Oh man, if it makes you feel better I sweat terribly and when I wear colored capris it looks like I peed myself. so many people star at me as if I have 3 eye balls until I realize what is going on! I am talking in the present because it happens frequently! lol

  • http://www.fitnesscheerleader.com Janice – The Fitness Cheerleader

    I use a diva cup – it acts like a pessary and keeps me from peeing myself when I run & jump, it’s awesome! I discovered that during my cycle I didn’t pee bc I was using the diva cup, so then I tried running with it when it wasn’t during my cycle and didn’t pee either. Now I can jump on the trampoline with the kids & chase them at the park!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      I’ve never heard of the diva cup! I am assuming I can just google it to find out more? Trampoline is the ultimate test!

  • http://babskieblabla.blogspot.com/ Dora

    I’m pregnant right now but I was working on my kegels for few years and I hope giving birth won’t destroy everything. My physiotherapist says that walking in high heels helps too – so girls buy yourself a nice pair and practise everyday:)

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      High heels helps? That’s awesome and something I will definitely look into!

      • Sheena

        I didn’t know this either!! That’s an amazing excuse to wear heels ;)

  • Sheena

    I’ve never had kids but I definitely experience “dampness” during workouts… glad to know it’s not just me :) Thanks for posting this, you always post articles that make me feel less like a freak of nature!!

  • http://day-with-kt.com Kim

    Jumping jacks do me in – last year I did jumping jacks for my 43 but instead of doing 43, I did 43 sets of 100. I’m pretty sure that before I finished I peed myself about 3 times – and that is with about 5 bathroom breaks – good times!!!

  • http://www.theworkoutmama.com Tamara

    Hi Taylor,

    Love your blog! It is great! While there are some benefit to kegels I think squatting is much more beneficial for a women while pregnant and after. And my vote is stay away from the heels. There is so much research out there that says opposite of what Dora’s PT says. Not wanting to ruffle feathers but just thought I would add my knowledge into the mix. I am a mom of two littles and a personal trainer and yoga instructor. I wrote several posts on this topic if you are interested :). http://theworkoutmama.com/2014/02/17/prenatal-fitness-diastasis-recti-body-after-baby/ http://theworkoutmama.com/2014/03/10/why-im-over-kegels-loving-squats-real-pelvic-floor-advice/

    xoxo

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Thanks for sharing Tamara! Def. not ruffling feathers, I love hearing all sides and getting to the bottom of the real story!

      Thanks!

  • Kimi

    I remember one of the first months of starting BootCamp I finished a workout and noticed I had peed on my black cut-off shorts. Awesome… Luckily, no one called me on it (thank you, ladies). After that I would wear a panty liner when I would do workouts. Tuck jumps usually do it for me now. I have been practicing kegel exercises and have noticed improvement. Thank you for discussing this. I almost never read or hear about anyone addressing this embarrassing issue. Good on ya!!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      I had no idea that was such a problem for you. You did a great job keeping it hush hush!

  • http://runninghutch.com Running Hutch

    Never had kids but totally had major issues the first time I had a workout with lots of jump rope in it and unfortunately I wore grey tights. The only good thing is FEW people were in that class but yeah…I was like, WTF? I’m too young for these issues! Anyway, tampons and liners do the trick pretty okay now.

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Haha, I am the same! The classic WTF moment and going, wait me?!

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