Life with incontinence

Diet and Fitness


Getting older doesn't mean slowing down - now's the time for you to live your life to the fullest, even if you are living with incontinence. There are many great things about aging - here are 6:

  1. Confidence. You're finally comfortable with yourself, and with that attitude comes self-assurance.
  2. Wisdom. We've heard it all before, but it's true. As we age, we acquire more knowledge and experience, we learn from our mistakes, and we've seen more of life than the youngsters.
  3. You become a deep, well-rounded, mature person, a far cry from the silliness and naïveté of being young.
  4. Respect. People respect you now. You're no longer "the kid" whose opinions are not listened to.
  5. You enhance the good qualities about yourself, while lessening undesirable ones.
  6. Friends. At this time, you know who your great friends are. And if you're lucky enough, they'll have spent a good number of years with you on your journey through life. You can laugh, cry, reminisce, and rejoice over how life's treating you.

With these benefits, it would be a shame to let something like incontinence slow you down. Here are some tips you can follow so that you can enjoy a rewarding life:

  • Learn to manage incontinence. There are many options available, including absorbent products (such as disposable liners), medications, medical devices (such as pessaries or catheters), and behavioural treatments (such as pelvic floor exercises). Pessaries are vaginal devices that support the surrounding bladder and urethra, whereas a catheter is a tube placed into the bladder to drain urine. You should be able to find one or a combination of options that's right for you and your lifestyle. Also remember to follow healthy bladder habits, such as avoiding caffeine and alcohol, not smoking, and drinking 6 to 8 glasses of fluid every day to prevent constipation, as it may lead to urinary incontinence. If you have questions about how to manage incontinence, talk to your health care provider.  

  • Take care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising regularly. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight will help with incontinence. So start today:
    • Follow Canada's Food Guide by eating a variety of healthy foods each day. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, and protein-rich foods. Opt for plant-based protein foods like tofu or nuts when possible. Choose water as your drink. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal.

    • Get the amount of physical activity recommended by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines in order to reduce the risk of conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Most adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week, in intervals of at least 10 minutes. Also try to fit in some muscle- and bone-strengthening activities at least 2 days per week. Older adults should also try to do activities that improve balance to help prevent falls.
  • Try something new. Whether it's a new physical activity (sign up for that yoga class you've always wanted to try!) or a new food (curious about what is quinoa or açaí berry?), find something new that you can enjoy. Grab a friend for company.

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