Kymberly: What if you wanted to age as actively as possible, but had to curtail your activities because of …. well for a myriad of reasons. For instance, both Alexandra and I have knee arthritis that affects our workout and recreation choices. Many women over 50 have chronic pain or medical issues that curtail their ability to live life to the extent they desire. Odds are you are in that group. And urinary incontinence is another condition that may cause you to discontinue or never take up certain activities. Nothing like fear of leakage and embarrassment to affect confidence and freedom, right?
If my knees suddenly were arthritis-free, I’d play soccer again, run with my dogs, and add plyometric moves back to my step class choreography. Also, I’d be ready to train hard when Dancing With the Stars calls to have my twin sis and me be part of their next season. (Who agrees that a sibling theme would be great? Venus and Serena, the Olsen twins, the Property Brothers, us!) And if Alexandra didn’t have to worry about bladder leakage, she’d probably wear white tights. Maybe not. She likes colorful workout gear. And she’s hard to embarrass. Still, you get my point.
Yes, my main point is to wonder: What would you take up if you did not have to worry about urinary incontinence? Would you laugh more? Pick up a new sport? Restart a workout you once loved but gave up because of bladder leakage? Have you stopped an activity because it made you pee your pants? What if you could stop leaks before they happen? Would that make a difference in your midlife happily ever after?Has fear of embarrassment caused you to stop or never start a workout or exercise program? Click To Tweet
Disclosure Moment: This post is sponsored by Poise Impressa’s sizing kit
Alexandra: When we were asked to collaborate with Poise Impressa to learn and share about the sizing kit, I jumped (metaphorically only, for obvious reasons) at the chance, because I teach exercise and hike a lot and do NOT like having to worry about peeing my workout capris. Curse those big-headed boys I gave birth to for saddling me with a loose saddle. Mainly I was curious as to what exactly a sizing kit is.
On the way home from a trip to Carmel, I stopped at the Walmart in Arroyo Grande to get the kit. Ta da – right there in the “incontinence” section. Are you ever tempted to buy extra stuff just to cover up the embarrassing stuff in your shopping basket, or is that just me? In the end, I kind of thought, “What the heck. The only people who will stare at me are either women my age who understand, or young people who will find out one day.” I stopped to take selfies instead.When you laugh, jump, exercise, sneeze or jump do you pee your pants? #triedimpressa @Walmart Click To Tweet
I’ve now satisfied my curiosity. Right on the box it has a helpful chart (I almost said “flow chart.” Dang, so punny) – If you leak when you laugh, cough, sneeze, dance or exercise – Stress Urinary Incontinence – these bladder supports (’cause that’s what they are) should be right for you. If you have a sudden need to pee – Urge Urinary Incontinence – then these are NOT for you. The purpose of the kit is to help you figure out the right size before buying a whole package (which you can see costs $11.97). Essentially, it’s like a tampon. Start with size 1. If you still have drips and dabs, try size 2, then size 3 if necessary.
Look, it may be an embarrassing topic, but as someone teaching in front of hundreds of students every week, it’s less embarrassing to talk about the need for the bladder supports than it is to try and surreptitiously check my backside in the mirror every time I do a jumping jack or Burpee. Come to think of it, why the heck am I teaching Burpees? Burpees are very disrespectful, according to the lady in this hysterical video that you MUST watch.
I think I’ll go now and teach a nice, relaxing supine core move. Be impressed. And Impressa-ed.
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Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
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Kymberly: Two age related items arrived in my mailbox the other day: my AARP magazine and a sample bag of Depend underwear with their new Fit-Flex protection. Potential oldster moment! And here I fancy myself a youngish and vibrant baby boomer who wears thong undies to exercise class and reads “Outside” adventure magazine. To quote an article headline in the Feb/March 2014 issue of AARP: “You’re Old, I’m Not.” Like most people over 50, I think I am NOT like most people over 50. Except that like millions of US midlifers, I face leakage problems once in a while. As in whenever I jump, hop, skip, laugh hard, or cough big. What about you?
Incontinence: one of the biggest known secrets of the midlife world — especially for women who have given birth and for men who have been treated for prostate cancer. So let’s talk about this issue for a wee second. (Yeah, I had to go there). What activities do you refrain from because you are worried about an embarrassing pee moment?
In my fortunate case, I am hard to embarrass even when teaching group fitness classes on stage, in leggings, while laughing and moving about … and sometimes mixing pee with sweat. However, I do have times when I hold back from a hearty laugh or take impact moves out of my workouts because I really don’t like dealing with the consequences. That leads me to a few tips to manage leakage:
By the way, if you leak a secret is it called a “leakcret”? I am cracking myself up here people. (If I am peeing my pants laughing at my own joke, you’ll never know as I am still wearing my Depend Fit-Flex).
Alexandra: I gave birth to two boys, both of whom were classified as “LGA – Large for Gestational Age.” I laugh now because they are the opposite of large. They owe me big for being so big! I taught exercise classes before, during, and after both pregnancies. That was 17 years ago. I have been doing Kegels for about 20 years, and have a few comments to add to Kymberly’s tips.
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