ABOUT THE 5 HEALTHY HABITS
During World Continence Week (15-22 June 2020), the Continence Foundation of Australia encouraged older Australians to invest time in 5 healthy habits to help prevent incontinence. These habits include a healthy diet and staying hydrated, 30 minutes of exercise every day and good toilet habits.
We also presented webinars on each of the 5 healthy habits and topics included increasing dietary fibre in cooking without losing flavour, making exercise part of your day, and how to keep your pelvic floor in shape.
View the 5 healthy habits and our webinars below.
Habit 1 – Stay Active
Physical activity is beneficial for overall health – and that includes bladder and bowel function! Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. This doesn’t have to be all at once. Activities like gardening, cleaning, playing with the grandkids, and taking the stairs all add up.
Activity and your continence
Keeping active is important at any age. Physical activity of any type is beneficial to overall health and for bladder and bowel function.
This webinar explores the relationship between physical activity and bladder and bowel function, and how you can be active regardless of where you are. The session includes guest presenter Sharon Kelly who provides ideas on easy ways for people with all levels of fitness to be physically active, without specialist gear.
Presenter: Lisa Lawton, Health Promotion Officer for SA and NT, Continence Foundation of Australia
Guest speaker: Sharon Kelly, Pilates and Seated Aerobics Instructor, COTA NT
Habit 2 – Eat Well
Fibre in your diet will help improve bowel function and avoid constipation. Fibre is found in foods such as multi grain or whole grain breads, cereal products, fruit, vegetables, legumes, and nuts and seeds. Aim to eat two servings of fruit, five servings of vegetables and five servings of cereals and breads each day.
Habit 3 – Get enough fluids and drink well
It’s important to increase fluids when you increase fibre in your diet. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated helps maintain digestive health. Drinks that contain caffeine, cola and alcohol can irritate your bladder, so water is the best choice.
Eat well and drink smart – the building blocks of an independent retirement
This webinar focuses on why fibre and fluids are so important, particularly as you age. We look at good sources of dietary fibre and fluids and their function. There are tips on how best to include those high fibre foods in your meals as well as ideas for meal choices and snacks.
Presenter: Lisa Maunsell, Health Promotion Officer for NSW and ACT, Continence Foundation of Australia
Habit 4 – Exercise your pelvic floor
Having a strong pelvic floor is your insurance against incontinence. You can train your pelvic floor anytime, anywhere, no matter what sex, gender, age or fitness level you are. Try to do your pelvic floor muscles exercises every day, three times a day. See a continence health professional to learn how.
Why you need to invest in your pelvic floor
A toned pelvic floor is important for bladder and bowel control (continence) and sexual sensation. As a result, people with good pelvic floor strength are in a better position to avoid incontinence and remain independent for longer.
This webinar explores what the pelvic floor is, how and why to train it, when it may be at risk, and why all of this is even more important as you get older.
Presenter: Patrick Mader, National Health Promotion Officer, Continence Foundation of Australia
Guest speaker: Annabelle Citroen, Physiotherapist, Barwon Health
Habit 5 – Practice good toilet habits
Don't get into the habit of going to the toilet 'just in case’. If you keep emptying your bladder 'just in case' too often, then the bladder may never fill up properly, and shrink a bit. This may give the feeling of needing to go to the toilet more frequently (urge incontinence).
Good toilet habits – the nuts and bolts of bowel and bladder health
This webinar explores what ‘good toilet habits’ are, and why they are so important. We explore the optimal toileting routine and how your toileting routine can be altered to make things easier for you. Easier and more effective toileting better ensures ongoing continence, which in turn allows you to live independently for longer.
Presenter: Ann Hudson, Manager Health Promotion at the Continence Foundation of Australia
Guest speaker: Merrill McPhee, Helpline Continence Nurse Advisor