Exercising With a UTI: Is It a Good Idea?

If you have recently been diagnosed with a UTI, you might be curious about how this will impact your lifestyle and daily activities. For instance, you could be interested in whether or not you can continue to exercise with a UTI and whether this is advised. 

This article will explore these topics as well as factors you should keep in mind if you are working out with a UTI.

Table of Contents

What Are UTIs?

UTIs or urinary tract infections are a type of infection that can affect any area of the urinary tract. This bacteria tends to enter the urinary tract through the urethra. Various types of bacteria can cause a UTI. However, according to studies, the most common are escherichia as well as Klebsiella pneumonia. Due to this, UTIs are most commonly caused by fecal matter entering the urethra. This can be due simply to wiping in the wrong direction. 

UTIs can impact both men and women however they are more common in women due to the shorter length of the female urethra

UTIs cause a wide range of symptoms. You may find that the symptoms associated with a UTI make you lethargic or sleepy. However, the most common signs of UTI will be a burning sensation or sharp pain while urinating and a change in the color of your urine. 

Can You Exercise With a UTI?

Assuming that you do not find your symptoms to be debilitating, you can continue to exercise with a UTI. That said, a UTI can cause issues with pain in the pelvis and the groin areas. This could be enough to stop you from visiting the gym. Similarly, you may find that you have less energy than usual. If that’s the case, then it might be best to avoid more strenuous forms of exercise. 

Most exercises won’t cause any issues with a UTI. For instance, you can go running with a UTI without much issue. However, if you are weightlifting, you do need to be careful. Certain weight-lifting exercises including squats or deadlifts will put additional pressure on the bladder. This could increase your pain or leave you with the urge to urinate. 

Any exercise involving work on the abdominal area could also cause issues here including planks and crunches. As such, you might want to avoid this type of exercise until your symptoms significantly improve. 

Can Working Out Make Your UTI Worse?

As mentioned, working out with a UTI may lead to increased pain and discomfort. This will depend on the type of exercise that you are completing. Due to this, you may want to explore more gentle forms of exercise that do not put too much pressure on the abdominal area. 

Another issue with exercising is sweat. When you exercise, you tend to sweat more heavily. This can lead to the development of moisture around the groin. Moisture provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria as well as yeast. 

So, while exercising may not make your UTI any worse, it could lead to another issue such as a yeast infection. This can increase your discomfort and mean that you have two issues to handle. That’s why if you are exercising, then you should ensure that you are taking steps to stay clean and reduce levels of sweat as much as possible. 

Can Working Out Cause a UTI?

Working out can not cause a UTI. However, working out will cause you to sweat in key areas. Women in particular should be careful about staying in sweaty clothing after completing an intense exercise routine. Moist areas will lead to the spread of bacteria which can then enter the urinary tract. Therefore, working out could indirectly cause a UTI but only if you don’t change out of your sweat-covered clothing once you complete your workout. 

An exercise-induced urinary tract infection is easy to avoid by maintaining the right standards of hygiene. Certain exercises are more likely to lead to the right circumstances for a UTI. This includes running. Any runner will know that a lot of sweat can build up around the groin area. 

Should You Work Out With a UTI and What Should You Keep In Mind?

Ultimately, you can work out with a UTI as long as the symptoms are not severe enough to prevent you from doing so. While certain exercises that impact the abdominal areas may increase pain and discomfort, others may provide a welcome distraction. 

However, you do need to be aware of hygiene issues. It is important to get changed out of sweat-covered clothing once you have finished your workout. You also need to stay hydrated while exercising. Keeping hydrated is a great, natural way of flushing out bacteria that is present in your urinary tract. Research has also shown that increasing water intake reduces the chance of recurring issues with UTIs in women. 

How to Treat a UTI?

There are numerous paths that you can explore for treating a UTI. For instance, studies have investigated natural options for treating UTIs and reducing the chance of being infected with further UTIs in the future. This includes cranberries which have been used as a natural treatment option for several decades. 

Other studies have explored the use of herbal medicines for treating urinary infections in women. One study found that certain herbal medicines were effective for treating recurrent UTIs and may reduce issues with the recurrence of infections. 

However, usually, a doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics for a UTI that has not gone away after several days. 

When to See a Doctor? 

As noted, most issues with a UTI will be gone after three days. However, in cases where symptoms are severe or are getting worse over time, it is necessary to see a doctor. You should also speak to a doctor if you are not sure whether you have a UTI. Symptoms of a UTI can be confused with a yeast infection and they are also similar to the symptoms of certain, common STIs. 

A doctor will prescribe the right treatment and ensure that you make a full recovery. 

How Can DrHouse Help You?

If you have any questions about working out with a UTI or how to treat a UTI, then DrHouse can help. With DrHouse you can see a virtual doctor whenever you need to. You can also get a prescription for antibiotics if you need them.

All you need is a working internet connection and a smartphone. Download our app and get started today and feel better tomorrow.

Key Takeaways 

While it is possible to exercise with a UTI, intense exercises that impact the abdomen should be avoided. You should also practice good hygiene to ensure that your UTI does not get any worse and avoid further issues with infections. UTIs are highly treatable and will usually clear up after a single course of antibiotics. However, recurrent infection is a common issue in women. 

Sources:

DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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