Pain-Free Workouts with IBD

Though the discomfort of GI conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can make working out seem like more pain than gain, regular exercise can be a big help in feeling better. Consistent workouts can help reduce your stress levels, improve digestion and control your weight, which is why your general surgeon in Ft. Myers may have recommended physical activity to help ease your symptoms.

Still, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other conditions present unique challenges to any fitness program. To stay in shape and keep your symptoms under control, it will be best to:

  • Hydrate. Water is an essential part of any healthy body, but it also aids in digestion. Because you’ll be losing a great deal of moisture every time you exercise, it’s important to replenish your fluids. Drink water before your sessions and during each break in your workout.
  • Know where to go. It will help to always know where the bathroom is, especially if you’ve been experiencing digestive symptoms like diarrhea. If you’re heading out for a walk, think about places you may be able to stop along the way if the need arises; if you’re at your gym, make sure the restroom is always easily accessible.
  • Stay low-impact. Try to avoid activities that require running and jumping, which will put a lot of strain on your body. Swimming, walking, yoga, Pilates, cycling, kayaking, dancing—there are countless low-impact activities that will give you a great workout without shaking things up too much.
  • Talk to your doctor. Your doctor is best equipped to tell you what kinds of workouts will be healthy in your individual case. Speak with Dr. Bass about how your body responds to exercise and ask for advice on how to avoid symptoms while working out. If you have any questions or concerns about your exercise habits, don’t be afraid to ask.

With any chronic condition, it’s important to introduce exercise slowly. Listen closely to your body. If you’re in the middle of a flare-up or find that exercising makes your symptoms worse, it may be a prudent choice to wait until you feel better.