How to have a healthier urinary tract

Let’s talk about something that often gets ignored- our urinary tracts! Although they make up a small part of us, our urinary tracts can have a big impact on our health. That’s why, for Women’s Health Month, the Urology Care Foundation is honing in on urological health.

As humans, and as women, in particular, we can feel selfish for prioritizing our health when there are seemingly so many other more important things to do. However, looking after ourselves may be the most important thing we ever do.

We’ve all done it. We’re busy running around or maybe we’ve just gotten comfortable in bed and we hold off on going to the bathroom. This seemingly harmless act is not good for our bladders. According to the Urology Care Foundation, not urinating when you need to can make it harder to empty the bladder and can lead to incontinence. This is due to the weakening of the muscles in the bladder caused by waiting too long to use the bathroom.

This next precautionary measure has probably been on your new year’s resolution list several times, but now you have yet another reason to do it: drink more water. That’s right, not drinking enough water means that your urine is concentrated and can irritate your bladder. The Urology Care Foundation recommends drinking 6-8 oz of water a day for adults.

If you want a healthy bladder, go for a walk! According to the Urology Care Foundation, exercise can help avoid bladder problems. There’s no need to worry if you don’t love exercise- even 30 minutes of walking is sufficient to prevent bladder issues. If you’re not a fan of walking, that’s okay too; getting physical activity of any kind to maintain a weight that’s healthy for you, was said to stave off urological issues.

Finally, and this is a big one that many of us might find difficult, it is to relax. Relaxation does not always come naturally to us so it’s something we have to set aside time for and practice. Relaxation can help with the amount and the urgency with which we have to urinate. Mindful meditation is what the Urology Care Foundation suggests. Mindful meditation is good for both your physical health and your mental health. 

Although it can seem challenging to take care of ourselves, we must do it. After all, if we don’t look after ourselves, who will? It is useful to start slowly with these suggestions and incorporate them into our lifestyles gradually. If you can’t fit in 30 minutes of walking, walk for 20 or 10. If you struggle to drink more water, switch out just one of your beverages a day for it. If you’re always too busy to go to the bathroom, set an alarm to force yourself to take a break to go. Finally, if you struggle with relaxation like many of us do, watch a free video online or download a free app. It’s okay to feel silly at first, what’s important is that you do it. As someone once said: anything that’s worth doing is worth doing poorly.

SOURCE: Urology Care Foundation

Want to read more about women’s health? Check out this article on the many benefits of Kegel exercises.