If you know me well, you know that there are few things I enjoy more than a heart-pumping, sweat-drenching workout. There’s something so therapeutic about powering through a spin class, running sprints on the treadmill, or lifting weights with the big boys at the gym, and while I sometimes have to force myself to put down the Ho Hos and put my running shoes on, I’ve never met a workout I regretted.
For many years, my gym sessions revolved around one goal: stress relief. Once I lifted myself out of a bout with postpartum depression after my daughter was born, I quickly learned that a 30+ minute session on the treadmill can completely transform my mood. Whether I’m dealing with temper tantrums, coping with the loss of a loved one, or just trying to get a grip on my busy schedule, the gym has always offered me a way to gain perspective on my life, and I always feel more in control after a good sweat sesh.
But age has a way of changing people, and even though I still use my workouts for stress relief, my primary goal for hitting the gym these days is weight loss. It used to be that I could eat and drink whatever I wanted without worrying about the effects it would have on my hips and thighs, but now that I’m quickly approaching my 40s, diet and exercise is an important part of my daily routine.
Fortunately, my gym offers great group fitness classes that are designed to continue burning calories for up to 36 hours post-workout, but there’s one slight problem.
I have light bladder leakage.
The more intense the workout, the more likely I am to pee my pants.
I can remember my first exercise-induced leak like it was yesterday. I had begged my husband to come home from work early so I could check out a new HIIT class at the gym with a girlfriend, and from the moment we started jumping around the studio, I knew I was in love. The music was fabulous, the instructor was loud and energetic, the routines offered the perfect balance between cardio and strength training, and within the first 5 minutes of the workout, I was completely drenched in sweat.
And then it happened.
The instructor started doing jumping jacks, I naively followed suit, and life as I knew it changed forever.
Of course, I already knew from personal experience that my bladder cannot withstand a lot of jumping, but I was so caught up in the moment that I convinced myself it would be fine as long as I tightened my pelvic floor muscles each time I hit the ground.
I was wrong.
And I spent the remainder of the workout worrying about the dark, wet stain between my legs, and when my girlfriend suggested we grab a coffee afterwards, I was so panicked she would smell urine on me that I ran in the opposite direction.
I made a vow to stick to low-impact exercises while driving home that night, but as the days and weeks and months went by and I continued to gain weight despite eating healthy and doing the same, long, boring run on the treadmill, I knew I needed to get over my fear of peeing my pants at the gym once and for all.
So I talked to some of my girlfriends and did a bit of research, and I was surprised to hear how common this little problem is. Can you believe 1 in 3 women experience light bladder leakage; common little leaks which can be triggered by exercise, laughing, coughing, and sneezing?
Now, I realize there are probably exercises and products and surgical procedures out there that will help my little issue, but honestly? I’m much too lazy for all of that. I guess I might be motivated if the issue was chronic, but after most of my mom friends confirmed they pee their pants regularly, I realized a few leaks here and there aren’t really a big deal and decided to make some adjustments to my workout routine to make it a little less embarrassing.
And since I know there are heaps of women out there who want to know how to exercise with confidence, today I’m teaming up with Poise® to share 5 of my best tips for a pee-free workout.
1. LIMIT CAFFEINE PRE-WORKOUT
While swearing off liquids before a workout would definitely reduce the risk of light bladder leakage, staying hydrated is extremely important, especially while exercising. Without adequate water intake, you risk things like fatigue, muscle cramps, and dizziness, and you won’t be able to push your body to get the results you want. With that said, limiting caffeinated beverages before a sweat sesh can help with pesky urine leaks since caffeine is a diuretic and can cause you to pee more than normal when consumed.
2. KEEP YOUR BLADDER EMPTY
I am not a fan of public bathrooms, but experience has taught me that peeing before I leave the house is not enough when it comes to high intensity workouts at the gym. I need to make a pit stop again when I get to the gym, and have been known to take a bathroom break mid-workout was well. This probably sounds like overkill, but better safe than sorry, I say!
3. MAKE SUBSTITUTIONS
No matter what I do or do not drink before a workout, and how many times I visit the little girls room, jumping jacks will always make me pee my pants. Period. When I talked about this discreetly with a trainer friend of mine, she suggested I do knee highs – where you run in place at a very fast pace and bring your knees as high up to your chest as possible – instead. It elevates my heart rate just as much, if not more, than jumping jacks, and after making this substitution in many classes over the last few months, I’ve noticed other women doing the same!
4. WEAR BLACK WORKOUT PANTS
If you know you have a tendency to pee your pants when you workout, do yourself a favor and wear black workout pants. Wet stains are less visible on black fabrics, so you will feel much less self-conscious about your problem if you know it won’t be broadcast for the whole world to see if and when it happens. I like to wear a colorful workout top as well to draw the eye AWAY from my nether regions!
5. LIVE WITH CONFIDENCE
If you’ve tried everything imaginable and still pee your pants when you’re working out (or when you cough, sneeze, or laugh), you’re not alone. In fact, when I first started talking to my mom friends about my inability to do high intensity workouts without peeing my pants, a lot of them admitted they wear period pads when they go to the gym, and while this sounds like a great idea in theory, most admitted period pads aren’t really designed for light bladder leakage. They’re bulky, uncomfortable, and visible through workout attire, they often move around during high impact exercises, and they don’t always offer adequate odor protection.
The good news?
New Poise Thin-Shape Light Absorbency pads are designed specifically to help gals like you and me who suffer from light bladder leakage, and they are so thin and comfortable you won’t even know you’re wearing one.
The Thin-Flex Technology provides 3-in-1 protection for dryness, comfort, and odor control (phew…), and since the Poise Thin-Shape pads are up to 40 percent thinner than original Poise brand pads, while still keeping you 3 times dryer than leading period pads, they have been a total life-changer for me.
I no longer stress about what I drink before a workout.
I don’t have to leave mid-exercise class to empty my bladder.
I’m doing jumping jacks like a boss.
I no longer worry about post-workout odor.
I’m losing weight as a result of the uninterrupted high intensity workouts I can now endure.
And I’m starting to feel like myself again.
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who refuses to let little leaks slow me down. The Poise brand teamed up with Brooke Burke-Charvet and they’re starting the conversation around light bladder leakage to educate and empower women like you and me to seize our Poise moment – the exact moment when we stop letting leaks interrupt our lives.
Because we deserve to live our lives uninterrupted and with confidence.
Visit www.Poise.com to learn more about the Poise Thin-Shape Light Absorbency pads and request a sample so you, too, can seize your poise moment!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
If you found these tips for a pee-free workout helpful, please share them on Pinterest!
And if you’re looking for more fitness related tips and tricks to help you get back into shape, please follow our Health and Fitness board where we share all kinds of ideas!