What I've Discovered About Exercise

Firstly, I will say, that there will be no mind altering, earth shattering revelations made about exercise in this article. So don’t get too excited... What I’d like to talk about is my own experience with exercise and the lack of it with relation to my IBS. This is my experience and yours may vary markedly, depending on the severity of your IBS, your own physiology, your personality, etcetera…etcetera…etcetera. While we’ve discussed the importance of finding the right diet, drinking plenty of water, spirituality, mental health and EXERCISE…I have to say, for me, exercise has been the most important factor in keeping my IBS symptoms at bay. This is not easy and it took me almost a year to get my ‘routine’ together…but I’ve noticed that when I get sidetracked or ‘can’t find time’, my IBS comes back with a vengeance. So, I’d like to say just a little about how I’ve incorporated exercise into my life and the very tangible benefits I’ve seen from this inclusion.

Start small

When I first started struggling with IBS, I think I actually thought that I would never be able to exercise again. How am I supposed to go to the gym, with all that pushing and pulling and movement and such, when there is a fire burning below? I had visions of passing gas in front of the cutest girl in the place and having to run to the bathroom every five minutes. How was I supposed to get any exercise done under these conditions? Well, under those conditions…I wasn’t. So, I started at home and in the woods near my house…all private like. Started with some pushups in private, crunches were tough…ya know? Yoga was good, walking was good and soon, hiking was good. Once I noticed my core strength returning, I was slowly and I stress…SLOWLY, able to do more. Soon the pushups became pull-ups and the hikes got longer and more difficult. After making this bit of progress, I noticed that I wasn’t afraid to go to the gym anymore because the IBS HAD STABILIZED. It wasn’t gone…never really gone….but manageable. And so…I entered the much feared gymnasium. Know what? I was just fine.

Many types of exercise

Now, I’m not saying that you can start eating cheeseburgers all the time or returning to your Starbucks habit and that exercise will make it all better. The diet stays. And I will say this, the bunch of times (and I mean a bunch) that I fell off the wagon and I went a week or two with no exercise, my IBS became so obviously worse. Also, the longer you stay away from your physical activity the longer it will take to get back to that place of stability. So, I think this is a good thing. Not only does it help with the IBS, but my mental health and overall wellbeing as well. I’m gonna keep going with this and hope that it sticks, because we need all the help we can get with this IBS thing. I’ll leave you with this…there are all kinds of exercise. Simply walking, if you do it frequently enough, is great exercise. I’ve even heard that if you just do ten minute sessions on a regular basis, that it is very useful. Choose what’s right and comfortable for you, but choose…and I truly believe you will see some very real results. Thanks for listening.

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