Take It Outside: Incontinence and Outdoor Activities

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Staying active can help manage incontinence, but too often people living with incontinence become less active and more isolated. They give up on pleasures like walking, running, biking and golfing because they worry about leaks or getting caught short without a nearby washroom.

Fortunately, with some helpful tips and the right protection, you can reclaim the great outdoors and the fresh-air recreations you love.

Maps and Apps

Planning ahead and knowing where public washrooms are located can help you meet any outdoor activity with confidence, whether you’re training for a marathon or attending a relaxing family picnic.

And there are apps for that. Several public bathroom locators that cover green spaces, parks and beaches can be downloaded onto your iPhone or Android device. The GoHere Washroom Locator is a free app, developed by Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, that helps you instantly locate the closest available washroom anywhere in the country.

Dress for success

For some people, cold temperatures can aggravate incontinence issues, so make sure to bundle up for winter activities like cross-country skiing and skating.

On hot summer days, you’ll want sleek incontinence protection that moves with you, disappears under your lightest clothes and feels dry no matter what your activity. Depend Silhouette® briefs offer sleek fit that’s unnoticeable under clothes for all-day confidence and trusted protection while the sleek Depend® Real Fit for Men provide all-day confidence, peak comfort and ultimate protection from leaks and odours.

Don’t Forget to Hydrate

For people living with incontinence, the first instinct might be to cut back on fluids. But staying hydrated is always important, and it’s especially crucial during intense outdoor exercise or in hot weather. Restricting liquids can actually backfire, as concentrated urine can irritate the bladder and increase the likelihood of leaks.

Strike the right balance by taking in sufficient fluids – the Mayo Clinic recommends 64 ounces, or about two litres, a day – while also monitoring your timing and pacing.

Avoid drinking for about two hours before you plan to start your activity and hit the bathroom just before you leave the house, which should allow you to begin that hike, run or bike ride on an empty bladder. Once you’re out and active, however, make sure to hydrate right. Sip plain H2O at regular intervals rather than downing a whole water bottle at once.

Pack It Up

If you’re venturing into uncharted territory or taking an extended day hike or long cycling trip, you’ll want to bring along extra protection. Add incontinence products, wipes, sealable plastic bags and a change of clothing to your backpack or bike bag to make sure you’re ready for anything.

Seize the Day

Relaxing and recharging in nature can be great for your physical and mental health. Studies show that outside exercise reduces stress, boosts immunity, improves sleep and increases focus.

Don’t let incontinence keep you from going outdoors and getting active. Whether you’re hiking a mountain trail or just walking your dog in the park, a little prep and the right protection can help you enjoy the moment.