Running is one of the easiest, most accessible, and effective ways for new moms to get outside, take a break, and get some much needed exercise.. However, nothing is more bothersome than going on a run and accidentally leaking––even after you made sure you went to the bathroom before hitting the pavement. Depending on where you take your jog, bathrooms may be far and few between. You may wonder why you are leaking when you run and if it is cause for concern. Bladder leaks are common, and many women experience them during their lifetime. Unfortunately, our pelvic floor weakens as we age or experience certain life events such as birth. Let's look at what causes bladder leaks while running and how we can prevent them.
Why do I leak while running?
It may be surprising, but you are not alone in experiencing bladder leaks while running. Studies have shown that as many as 30 percent of women experience bladder leakage while running. Therefore, it is important to understand why bladder leaks happen to understand better how to prevent the problem from occurring during running. Bladder leaks are referred to as Urinary Incontinence. In addition, bladder leaks caused by running are referred to as 'stress incontinence.' When you run, you may increase pressure on your bladder. This pressure may cause weakness in your urinary sphincter and release urine. Similar to a faucet that does not seal all the way. The urinary sphincter prevents urine from emptying. However, your muscles and urinary sphincter weaken when you do high-impact exercises or have a baby.
Seriously, it’s so common! 1 in 3 women experiences Stress Incontinence at some point throughout their lives. The most common cause of Stress Incontinence is the degradation of pelvic floor muscles that occurs with age.
Other causes of Stress Incontinence include:
- Previous pelvic surgery
- Weakened bladder muscles
- Pelvic nerve damage
- Damage to the pelvic floor
- Giving birth
- Overactive bladder
- Urge Incontinence
- Overflow Incontinence
Top tips to stop leaking while running
Leakproof underwear removes the worry of a moving pad while running. Proof Leak Proof® underwear was created to move with you while you run. Our underwear provides discrete protection while offering a breathable fabric with an absorbent core. Proof® leak-resistant undie is a super-light absorbency that holds up to 1 light tampon or one panty liner. If you need extra protection, there are many more options for absorbance to meet your unique need.
Be prepared and plan ahead
Planning out your day may help determine a bathroom break schedule. For example, use the restroom before heading to work, a long commute, or between rides at your favorite theme park. Relaxing and giving yourself time to completely empty your bladder before leaving the restroom is essential.
Utilize proper breathing techniques
You may be an experienced runner or new to running, but how you breathe during your run can negatively affect your pelvic floor muscles. Without proper breathing, your pelvic floor muscles will be negatively affected and weaken over time.
The correct way to breathe while running is to inhale and exhale, utilizing your mouth and nose simultaneously. Keeping your breathing steady and engaging your diaphragm is important. Engaging your diaphragm will allow for proper airflow and maximum oxygen intake.
Kegel exercises are the perfect exercise for a woman with a busy lifestyle. You can do Kegels in the car, during a meeting, or while watching your favorite television show. Kegels are pelvic floor exercises that may strengthen your pelvic floor function to reduce bladder leaks.
Bladder training helps to retrain your bladder to hold urine longer and to have a consistent peeing schedule that is convenient for you.
Bladder training may help:
- Lengthen the amount of time between bathroom trips.
- Increase the amount of urine your bladder can hold.
- Decrease the feeling of urgency that you need to go.
To start bladder training, when you feel the need to go pee, hold your urine for 5 minutes before going to the restroom. As time progresses, you may increase the length between bathroom breaks. It may feel uncomfortable at first, which is okay. However, it won't feel uncomfortable over time as your body adapts to change.
Stay hydrated (but not too much)
Our bodies need water to survive. Without water, we can experience dehydration, which may accompany some unpleasant side effects. Therefore, hydrating our bodies is essential for our overall health and urinary system. Many medical professionals suggest that women drink 11 cups of water a day. But here is the tricky part, before you go on a run, you do not have to chug down your water. That may influence your bladder to be full and cause bladder leaks. So instead, take sips of water before your run and save your water intake for after the run.
Seek professional help
You may feel embarrassed reaching out to your medical provider about stress incontinence. However, incontinence is a normal part of aging and is expected. Furthermore, you do not have to feel alone as treatments are available to you by your doctor. Deciding on the best treatment plan is unique to you and should be a shared partnership between you and your doctor.
Before your appointment, keep a diary of your bathroom use and lifestyle to help your doctor better understand your urinary health.
Which leakproof undies are best for running?
Our leak-resistant undie is a perfect place to start for your leakproof underwear needs. The leak-resistant undie replaces the need for a panty liner. It can hold up to 1 light tampon and offers protection against discharge, sweat, light spotting, and light leaks. The best part of switching to leakproof underwear is that it can last up to 2 years with proper laundering. That means leakproof undies are environmentally friendly and reduce plastic waste. Try moderate, heavy, or super-heavy styles if you have more substantial leaks.
Proof undies are a reusable alternative to traditional period underwear. The average woman disposes of about 11,000 tampons in her entire lifetime. That means that around 20 billion pads and tampons are filling up landfills annually. If we all do our part to reduce waste and choose more eco-friendly options, we can make a difference on the planet.