Are There Benefits To Exercising With IBS?

Living with IBS, I am always looking for ways to help cope or prevent my symptoms. Different things work for different people, but I have found that diet and exercise play a huge part in my daily life. Not only do they make me FEEL healthier, I truly have noticed that exercise has made a huge impact on my IBS.

One thing I believe we can all agree on is that stress can be a major trigger for some of our symptoms. One way I have found to release some of that stress is to exercise. Trust me when I say, I’ve never been a huge fan! It takes every bit of effort I have left after working all day and keeping up with my two girls as a single mom, but I can honestly say it has made a difference. Working out is my outlet, it’s my “me-time.”

Exercise as treatment for IBS

Exercise is considered a behavioral modification in our daily lives. The nerves located in our colon control the contractions of the colon muscles. These muscles are responsible for motility. When we become stressed, these nerves can also cause stomach pains.1 This is one reason why it is important to manage stress. Easier said than done, right? Exercise is known to keep our digestive systems moving properly, so for those of us who suffer with IBS-C, this is ideal!

More on this topic

Many of you might be wondering if there are any particular exercises that are specific to IBS. It is always recommended that you speak to your health care provider before beginning any new exercise or diet regimen. However, these might be a few they suggest:2

  • Cardiovascular exercises such as riding a bike or walking/jogging.
  • Yoga- this has been discussed many times in our community. It is definitely one of those “don’t knock it until you try it” type exercises. I used to think yoga was silly, but the tension-relief is fabulous! There are beginner classes and videos that are easy to follow if you are unsure and want to give it a try before fully committing!

Other helpful exercise tips include exercising when you are alert, at the same time each day, exercising within at least an hour before or after eating, and choosing a workout routine that fits YOU!2

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