Urinary incontinence is a common (but not normal!) problem among elderly women, and it can greatly affect their quality of life. Pelvic floor muscle training is often recommended as a first-line treatment, but recent research suggests that adding weight training to the regimen can be more beneficial.
A recent study conducted involved 44 elderly women with urinary incontinence who were divided into two groups. One group received pelvic floor muscle training alone, while the other group received a combination of pelvic floor muscle training and weight training. Both groups participated in the interventions twice per week for 12 weeks. The control group performed only pelvic floor exercises, the experimental group performed moderate intensity weighted strength exercises.
The results showed that both groups experienced a significant improvement in urinary incontinence symptoms, but the group that received the combination of pelvic floor muscle training and weight training showed a greater improvement. There was 58.3% improvement in the weighted strength+pelvic floor training group vs only 14.8% improvement pelvic floor training only group. The women in the weighted strength group also experienced an increase in muscle strength and better quality of life.
The researchers suggest that adding weight training to pelvic floor muscle training may help to increase muscle strength and improve continence in elderly women with urinary incontinence. They also note that weight training can be adapted to meet the needs of elderly individuals and can be a safe and effective form of exercise.
Here at Mend in our Boulder and Lafayette clinics, our pelvic health physical therapists are trained in prescribing weighted strength programs for women of all ages in the lifespan in order to improve not pelvic health outcomes but improve overall quality of life and healthspan. We know that there’s more than just Kegels!
You can start with 5 exercises proven to be better than the Kegel.
Schedule an appointment in our Boulder or Lafayette clinic today.
Virtuoso JF, Menezes EC, Mazo GZ. Effect of Weight Training with Pelvic Floor Muscle Training in Elderly Women with Urinary Incontinence. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2019 Jun;90(2):141-150.