Your Internal Timer

Your body is a complex piece of machinery.

And just like your car or your favorite appliance, it needs to be treated well. Used correctly. And given regular maintenance to work as it should.

Now, unfortunately, your body doesn't come with a user manual. And if you're like a lot of folks (I'm looking at you, Karen), even if it did, you might not read it.

But today I'm going to change that, with a quick "user guide" to a part of your anatomy you use every day – multiple times a day, in fact.

And unless something's not right, you barely give it a second thought.

Perhaps you should. Because your bladder serves the very important function of ridding your body of waste. Keeping it "gladder" will save you a lot of misery in the long run. 

The good news is, many of the "maintenance" tips for a healthy bladder are good, sound advice for the rest of your body too. Like not smoking. Exercising regularly. Maintaining a healthy weight. And limiting your alcohol consumption.

Another overall health wonder that is particularly important for your bladder is water. You should really try to get at least 6 glasses of water per day. To flush out toxins, support your kidneys and keep your bladder in good working order.

And when nature calls, you should listen. Don't hold it in too long. Make sure you empty your bladder completely. And by all means, relax.

Holding in urine too long can actually weaken the muscles in your bladder and make an infection more likely. So go when you need to, which probably means about every 4 hours, depending on your fluid intake.

Both men and women can benefit from pelvic floor muscle exercises, otherwise known as "Kegels." It's something you can do anytime, anywhere... and no one needs to know you're doing it. Essentially, you squeeze and release the muscles in your pelvic region. Like any muscle, they benefit from a little workout from time to time.

I don't know if Dr. Arnold Kegel wanted this to be his legacy, but he's been gone for 40 years now and we're still talking about him, so maybe so...

If you find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to urinate, you may want to consider limiting fluids 2 hours before bedtime, which often helps.

And if you spend a lot of time sitting, make a point of getting up for at least 5 minutes each hour. A study of middle aged men found that the more sitting you do, the more likely you are to have urinary issues.

One way to fix this is to set a timer. When it goes off, get up, walk around, and drink some water.

This is killing two birds with one stone, as it were. And the more you drink, you may not need a timer for long.

Because you'll have your own internal timer, telling you to take a little walk.

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