Talking about bladder health may feel embarrassing at first, but managing it has never been more important. As we approach National Bladder Health Awareness Month, take the opportunity to get educated on the prevention, detection, and treatment of urologic diseases. Common conditions like overactive bladder and urinary tract infections affect millions of people every day. But following three simple steps can help you regain control of your bladder health and bring vitality back into your life.
Modify your lifestyle
Everyone’s bodies are different, so their lifestyles should be too. But a few rules of thumb remain true across the board: Drink more water, eat less red meat, introduce more greens. Consuming 6 cups of water per day can prevent kidney stones and watching what you eat is always essential. One idea that’s often overlooked is to get familiar with your family history. How much do you know about your father’s background? What about your grandmother’s health journey? Some urological issues can be impacted by smoking, such as kidney cancer or kidney stones. But others can be hereditary and sometimes preventable. Knowing where you stand will help you recognize the signs of any issues and get ahead of them.
Manage your stress
Did you know that managing your blood pressure can help decrease your risk of kidney disease? Our kidneys are vital to filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood and when they’re performing poorly, a potentially dangerous amount can build up in the body. Although because many symptoms develop over time, you may not be diagnosed until it’s too late. If you encounter frequent stress at work or at home, one way to prevent kidney disease is by finding healthy ways to cope with that stress. Mindfulness meditation — the practice of focusing your attention on your breath and the present moment — helps lower stress hormones and your blood pressure.
A healthy heart can promote a healthy urologic system. That means getting 30 minutes of movement each day, at least 5 days a week. But don’t worry, it doesn’t take an expensive gym membership or high-intensity interval training to get the job done. There are plenty of ways to exercise at home or outside. Yoga in your bedroom when you first wake up, walking around your neighborhood before dinner, or doing chores around the house all “counts” as movement. Try to make it intentional, perhaps even bringing your significant other in on the fun.
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