Exercise can prevent UTIs
Regular exercise may prevent urinary tract infections, a new study has found.
Researchers at Aalborg University in Denmark looked at over 19,000 people in Denmark over a year, with participants asked to rank their physical activity level on a scale from 1 (physical training and competitive sports several times a week) to 4 (reading, other sedentary activities). They were then divided into three separate groups – vigorous, moderate and low, along with an inactive group. Sedentary individuals who had suffered health problems like cancer or heart disease were not counted in the study.
Experts looked at national pharmacy data to track who filled out prescriptions for antibiotics over the year, with 22 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women being prescribed with at least one antibiotic, marking a bacterial infection. When researchers looked into aspects like alcohol consumption, BMI, smoking and age, they found those in the low-physical activity (strolling, riding a bike etc.) section were 10 per cent less likely to suffer an infection than those who were inactive.
The link was even stronger in regards to people who had been given medication for UTIs, with participants in the low and moderate groups having a 21 per cent and 32 per cent lower risk, respectively, compared to the sedentary people.
As UTIs affect almost half of women in their lifetime, causing discomfort and a general sense of feeling unwell, these findings could be the key to preventing so many diagnoses.
“These results indicate that practitioners should be aware of physical activity as a potential preventive factor for bacterial infections in the work of disease prevention and health promotion,” authors concluded.
For those looking to prevent UTIs, or stop them from coming back if you suffer regularly, Britain’s NHS suggest things like avoiding perfumed bubble bath and soap around your privates, always emptying your bladder while using the toilet and drinking plenty of water.