How to Exercise Inside

Exercise has always been one of the cornerstones of my IBS management "system." I’ve talked about it at length before, but a lot of the exercises I do take place in a gym. Don’t misunderstand me, I have IBS. Sometimes, when I’m feeling well I can run and lift weights. When I’m not feeling well, I stick with Tai Chi, yoga, walking, and swimming.

Have I mentioned how much I’ve come to rely on swimming and being in the water? Well, because of our current quarantine situation, well, no swimming. I suppose I could flounder around in the bathtub, but it just doesn’t have quite the same effect. :-) I’d like to share my new indoor/outdoor exercise approach during these strange, strange days.

Find ways to stay moving with IBS

First, you obviously don’t need to be in a gym to exercise. Yes, it’s nice and for me, motivational to be out of the house, but you certainly don’t need a gym to walk or run, do you? So outside I go, being sure to maintain a 6-foot distance from other runners and walkers. I kid.

I have also made a surprise discovery. I love riding a bike. I haven’t ridden a bike since I was 12 years old. I got myself a beat-up mountain bike on Craigslist and man, I’ve been all over the place on that thing. I love it. When I’m feeling well. Needless to say, if my IBS is giving me trouble, I’m not riding the bike that much. My point is, is that I found something completely new and fun during a stressful and unusual situation, that has done an awful lot to disrupt my "normal" daily routine.

Indoor exercise for quarantine

As for the inside. I cleared space in my tiny apartment (in my bedroom) for pushups, situps, a pullup bar that mounts in my doorway and a yoga mat. Plenty of room for a full-blown workout, should I be up for it. I do pushups, crunches, planks, squats (be careful) and tricep extensions using a kitchen chair. I have plenty of room for Yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation. This was essentially my exercise anyway. It’s just that I have to do it my home and not in public. The exercise is really the important part, not the venue. Am I right?

Everybody is different

Now, I realize that my exercise plan might not be the same as yours. It’s really just about creating the space to do it and more importantly, the motivation to get yourself to do it on your own. Going to the gym was really more motivational than anything. I’d see other people working hard and it inspired me to do the same. When you are responsible for your own motivation, you have to look inside and find your reason for wanting or needing to do it. This can quite difficult under any circumstances.

I suggest starting slow and making your "indoor gym" as comfortable and pleasant to be in as possible. Start with a couple of days a week, if it's only the walking, for now, that’s great, too. The ability to motivate yourself and to be flexible and creative is really all it takes. Good luck and before you know it, you might be in better shape than before you were stuck inside.

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