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Road trip safety tips for seniors: Holding your bladder while driving can be as dangerous as driving

Jan 9, 2012, 8:29 a.m.

As men grow older, so do their prostates. It's not always a guarantee, but for the most part once a guy hits his 40s or 50s there are changes that occur within the body that can lead to certain uncomfortable facts of life, such as overactive bladders as a result of an enlarged prostate. While having an enlarged prostate and having the need to frequently urinate doesn't mean that you're at any risk for prostate cancer, it's still important to see your doctor if you experience your bladder going into overdrive.

It's also important that you take your overactive bladder into consideration if you're planning a long road trip -- and not just because you'll be forced to stop every few miles and lose valuable time, but because failing to do so can be dangerous.

Here's a fact you might not be aware of: holding your bladder while driving a car can be as dangerous as driving drunk, or talking and texting on your cell phone, or simply not paying attention to what's going on around you at all. The distraction that it can cause a driver to hold their bladder is outright dangerous when operating a vehicle, and you should plan accordingly when taking road trips.

One of the most effective ways of doing so is to get better control over an overactive bladder. You can do this by performing bladder control exercises that flex the muscles of your urinary sphincter. If you're not sure which muscle to flex, the easiest way to find it is by stopping the flow of urination when you're going to the bathroom. This is the same muscle you'll need to exercise. To perform overactive bladder control exercises, flex the muscle for a count of five seconds. Do 10 repetitions of this exercise three times per day to build up your muscular control.

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