What Type Of Exercise Works Well With IBS?
Last updated: August 2020
Anyone who suffers from IBS probably knows the struggle of trying to keep up with a workout schedule.
For far too long, I tried going to yoga or other workout classes, even if they made me super anxious. I was scared of having a flare-up during the practice, so I would avoid eating on those days. And more often than not, I felt miserable anyway. Was it just my anxiety triggering my IBS? Probably. But that didn’t make it any better.
One day, I simply stopped going. And I’ve found alternatives that work far better with my IBS and IBS-related anxiety!
My favorite way of exercising is to follow a YouTube video at home. But instead of just searching for a random workout routine, I have found one channel that I really like and stick to on a daily basis.
The workout that works best for my personal lifestyle and preferences is yoga. Not only is it possible to get some exercise without having to shower afterward (I simply hate sweating for some reason), but it also works on days when I’m not feeling good.
After a flare-up, I like to find videos that are more relaxing and don’t include any ab exercises.
Personally, I also love being super flexible with my workout schedule and adapt it to my daily needs. And once I’d found the right type of videos, I had no problem actually sticking to it!
And there’s another perk of some good at-home practice: you always feel safe because you have a bathroom nearby! To me, that’s so much more reassuring than having to use the public bathroom at a gym, for example.
Using the gym with IBS
I’ve been going to the gym on and off for many years now, and I love how flexible this type of workout is as well. You can go on days where you feel well, choose machines that you feel up to, and stay for as long (or short) as you like.
Really, the only reason why I often stop going is that I tend to get bored by using the same machines all the time. I’m not very creative with my exercises like some other people are at the gym.
But if you don’t have that problem, the gym might be a great way to work out while accommodating your IBS!
If you’re thinking about joining a gym, make sure that it’s close to where you live. That way, you’re far more likely to go often. And you can get home quickly in case IBS hits!
Choosing a gym that’s too far away might make you worry about having an IBS flare during practice and not being able to make it home in time. Believe me, I’ve been there.
Open classes that don’t require a regular presence
If you love going to workout classes, you might want to choose ones that don’t require a regular presence. For example, you could attend a Zumba class that’s held every day at 6 and go to it whenever you can.
On the contrary, a dancing class that takes place once a week and builds on all the things you’ve learned the prior weeks might be more complicated. I’ve done that, and whenever I would inevitably miss a week, I’d be totally lost the next time.
Basically, just choose classes that will be fun for you and won’t cause you any anxiety, even if your IBS gets in the way.
All in all, the right type of workout depends on your lifestyle and preferences. But when you have IBS, it’s great to find ways to exercise while accommodating the unpredictability of the illness!
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?