It’s never a surprise that over autumn most of us tend to exercise less and eat more.  The cold weather can make you feel sluggish and may well be keeping you indoors, but don’t let it keep you from staying healthy.  Angela Birnie, busy mum of 2 young boys, avid netball player and Consultant Urological Surgeon, gives us her top tips for strengthening your urological health this autumn.

‘Many people feel tired and lethargic during autumn. This is due to the lack of sunlight, which disrupts our sleep and waking cycles, try to get outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible.

Drink plenty of water- just because it’s autumn don’t let your hydration suffer. Drinking water will keep urine flowing normally and flush waste products from your system.

Cut down on salt-too much salt may cause you to retain water and may put you at greater risk of kidney stones.

Cut back on caffeine- caffeine acts as a diuretic and may irritate your bladder.

Don’t Smoke -smoking is among the leading causes of bladder and kidney cancer. Smoking can also contribute to erectile dysfunction.

Working out is a great way to keep fit, help make your bladder stronger and improve bladder symptoms. Regular exercise is very important and can actually improve symptoms but choose activities that don’t exert great pressure on the abdominal cavity and pelvic floor. Walking, swimming, dancing and cycling are ideal. Yoga can have multiple benefits. As well as helping to reduce anxiety, it focuses on posture and includes exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles- helping hold urine inside the bladder, preventing leakage. Check out your local community centre or gym for classes in yoga, pilates, water aerobics, dance or tai chi.  If you want to stay at home, try a computer game designed to boost your fitness level, get low-cost, low-tech workout equipment such as resistance bands or use tins of food as weights, exercise DVDs are readily available in most supermarkets.

Maintain a Healthy Weight- If you are obese, losing weight can help prevent kidney stones, low testosterone, incontinence and even erectile dysfunction.

It’s so important to look after yourself and keep healthy as the seasons change and the days get shorter.’


Mrs Angela Birnie is Consultant Urological Surgeon for Western Sussex Hospital Foundation Trust, based at St Richards Hospital and privately at The Chichester Health Nuffield Hospital, she lives in Lavant with her husband and 2 young sons.


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