The Wonders of Water
Oh, I know what you're thinking, ‘I know that drinking plenty of water is good for IBS. Hasn’t this been done before?’. Well, yes, drinking plenty of water is good for IBS, at least from what I’ve read and my own personal experience, but that’s not what I would like to talk about today. In some of my previous articles regarding exercise for IBS, I made it very clear that we all not need be out there doing triathlons or climbing sheer rock faces with our bare hands. There are lot’s of great low impact exercises you can do and I have found absolutely nothing that compares with spending some time in the pool, Jacuzzi or…uh…very large bathtub ;).
Swimming and IBS
I have always been a lifter of weights, a pumper of iron, if you will. I used to like to jump rope and hike long distances uphill, at 90 degree angles (I’m kidding, in case you were wondering about the arrogance). Once I started my struggles with IBS, depending on the severity of my daily symptoms, my exercise routine needed to be modified, sometimes daily, to include everything from some weight training on really good days to a walk around the block on a not so good day. In between, I practice yoga, little Tai Chi, military stuff (pushups, pull-ups) and really anything that seems to make ‘physical sense’ on that day. A friend of mine is a swim instructor and asked why I don’t swim. Never really liked it to be honest with you. Water up your nose, stinging eyes, kids splashing water in your face and all the other things I generally notice around a ‘pool’ environment. Just not my thing. Or so I thought…
I joined the local YMCA because my kids have activities there and they have a really nice gym. I also thought I might try out some of this ‘pool workout’ situation. The first thing I noticed is how nice the warm water felt and how relaxed I immediately became. Relaxation is a rarity for me, so this alone was a good sign. As I ended up going two or three times a week, I started realizing that I could go as easy or as hard as I wanted. When I was finished even just 20 minutes of wading in the water, I felt absolutely fantastic.
A water guy now
I’ve been a water guy for a couple of months now and I have seen some improvements in the severity of my IBS symptoms. I don’t know if it’s the relaxation I’ve experienced, the strengthening of muscles I haven’t used before or just the variety of the exercise itself, but I have found it to be a great addition to my attempts at exercise. Just thought I’d share and perhaps suggest, that with the summer months approaching, you might want to give it a try. So...do any of your family members have a pool they might let you use for like...FREE?
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?