No one likes to be sick. And any woman that has ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI) would be happy to ensure that she never has to endure that pain again. New research has found that regular exercise may be the ticket for reducing your chances of developing a UTI or other infections.
Exercise To Stop UTIs
Researchers at Aalborg University published the details of their study of more than 18,000 Danes in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. The study ranked participants in four categories according to their level of activity, from sedentary to regular hard training several times per week. The three groups that participated in some level of physical activity were found 10 percent less likely to need antibiotics than the people in the sedentary group.
UTIs seemed to be particularly affected by exercise. The study found the people in the low- and moderate-activity groups had a 21 percent and 32 percent lower risk of developing a UTI versus the study participants who were sedentary.
Looking for a quick 20-minute workout that fits your schedule and may ward off infection? Consider a treadmill walk or run, where you increase your speed by .5 every two minutes and your incline from 1 to 2.5 to 3 to 4.5 to 6 with each speed increase. At the 11-minute mark, you reverse the process, returning to your beginning pace and incline for a three-minute cool down.
If the treadmill isn’t your thing, try this bodyweight workout. Begin with five minutes of light cardio to warm up and finish with three minutes of stretching. In between, perform the following circuit of five exercises three times. Depending on how long you rest between exercises, this workout will take 20 to 30 minutes.
- 15 goblet squats—Stand feet wider than shoulder width apart, bend your knees and squat until your elbows touch your knees. Focus your weight in your heels and push back to starting position.
- 12 pushups—Assume plank position with your arms straight and shoulders above wrists. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground. When your shoulders and elbows are in line, straighten arms and return to plank.
- 12 side bridges on each side (24 total between sides)—Lie on one side, legs almost straight, feet stacked and weight on your elbow. Pull abs in and lift your pelvis off the floor into a side plank position. Pull your shoulder blade down your back, away from your ear, hold for three seconds, lower back down slowly.
- 15 gate swings—Start with your feet wide (second position stance) and toes pointed slightly out. Bend your knees, lowering into a squat and use your hands to push your knees further apart, enhancing the stretch. Push off your knees and jump your feet back together.
- 15 frog crunches—Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Keep heels together and toes pointed out while bringing your knees to touch your elbows as you raise your upper back and head off the floor. Lengthen your legs back out <>, keeping your heels together. Your head and shoulders should slowly return to the floor. Be sure to keep your abs engaged during the entirety of the exercise.