As we get older, our ability to stave off disease weakens. That’s why taking preventative measures in youth is crucial to our overall health later in life. Bladder health is no exception. Maintaining a healthy, bladder-conscious lifestyle now can save you plenty of pain down the road. Here are a few things that affect bladder health.
Diet is the obvious factor in maintaining overall health, but you can eat with your bladder in mind, as well. Cranberries are great for maintaining bladder health, as they have been proven to help your body block virulent bacteria from forming urinary tract infections (UTIs) and other bacterial infections. Try drinking 100 percent cranberry juice once a day or incorporating the actual fruit into your diet to help cleanse your bladder. You could add cranberries to salads and other recipes for a spruced-up way of digesting the bladder-healthy fruit. On top of cranberries, eating plenty of fiber will make sure your digestive health is in line. When things “keep moving” within your digestive tract, less pressure is placed on your bladder.
In some cases, it’s much easier to reach for a soda than to pour a glass of water, but water is the number one way to maintain a healthy bladder. H2O’s cleansing abilities flush out the bladder, washing away bacteria that can cause infections. Staying properly hydrated is, of course, a key to overall health as well.
If you’re a smoker, no doubt you’ve had loved ones regularly mention the adverse effects of smoking. Bladder health is no exception. According to the American Urological Association, smokers have a three times higher chance of developing bladder cancer than non-smokers. Quitting is the only chance you have to dramatically lower your risk.
If you’ve experienced urinary incontinence, or “dribbling” as you’ve aged, you’re not just dancing or exercising too hard – odds are it’s because your pelvic muscles are weakening. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to getting a stronger pelvic floor. Kegel exercises are a great way to strengthen weak pelvic muscles. Plus, you can do them anywhere! It’s impossible to tell when a woman is doing them. To do Kegels, simply tighten the muscles inside the vagina. Hold them tight for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times daily. You should see an increase in your ability to hold your urine.