Yoga for Bloating, Digestion, Ulcerative Colitis, IBD & IBS
Exercise May Ease IBS Symptoms
IBS and Exercise: How You Benefit
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is usually one of the first steps in . Exercise can be an important part of that change. "Exercise as part of a behavioral modification regimen is good for IBS. Keeping fit is important. Patients with IBS tend to be less active, and exercise overall is good," says Norman Gilinsky, MD, a gastroenterologist and associate professor in the department of internal medicine at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
Exercise can help people living with IBS better cope with the emotional and physical triggers and symptoms of IBS. "In general, it improves well-being, and any strategy that improves overall well-being will improve the overall magnitude of IBS symptoms," says Dr. Gilinsky. Exercise "also helps with stress management."
Stress is a well-known trigger for IBS symptoms. Nerves in the colon control contractions of colon muscles to keep things moving. However, in times of stress, these nerves can cause abdominal pain. People with IBS are more sensitive to stress-induced abdominal symptoms, so it makes sense for stress reduction to be an important part of managing your IBS symptoms.
For IBS patients who experience frequent constipation, exercise offers an added benefit. In addition to improving your overall fitness level and reducing the stress in your life, exercise has been shown to help keep your digestive system working properly and may even decrease the occurrence of constipation.
A recent study from researchers in England showed that IBS patients who performed moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, reported that their constipation symptoms had significantly improved, compared with a group that did not participate in the exercise program.
IBS and Exercise: Fitness and Relaxation Options
Talk to your doctor about which exercise program might be best for you. Your doctor may recommend one of the following to help keep you fit, relieve stress, and keep your IBS symptoms at bay:
- Cardiovascular exercise:Aerobic exercises, such as biking or walking, improve your overall health and fitness and are great ways to release tension.
- Breathing exercises:By taking in deep breaths from the abdomen to get as much air as possible into your lungs, you are able to increase the amount of oxygen you breathe in, which makes you feel less tense.
- Yoga:There are many different types of yoga, but all involve combining breathing with stationary and moving poses. For maximum relaxation benefits, look for yoga classes that mention the words "gentle" or "stress relief," or look for beginner classes. If you want to focus more on fitness, you may want to move up to classes with more intense poses, as you get more comfortable with the technique.
- Tai chi:This is a “mind-body” exercise that began as a martial art in China. During tai chi, you move slowly while taking deep breaths and meditating. People who practice tai chi say it helps their digestive system work better and makes them feel calmer and more aware.
- Meditation:There are many types of meditation exercises, but in all of them, you sit comfortably and focus your attention on one thing, such as a particular sound or your breathing.
IBS and Exercise: A More Effective Routine
When you start an exercise program for fitness, relaxation, or both, you will want to make sure you get the maximum benefit from it. Try these tips for a more effective and more enjoyable exercise program:
- Exercise at the same time each day, and choose a time that is easy for you to stick to.
- Avoid exercising within an hour before or after eating.
- Exercise when you’re alert, rather than when you’re sleepy.
- Choose an exercise that you enjoy and that fits in with your way of life.
Eating a healthy diet and exercising are important for maintaining overall health. If you have IBS, you have even more reason to stay active: Regular exercise will help you relieve stress and may prevent constipation.
Remember to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program to make sure your exercise of choice is the right one for you.
Video: Exercise Routine for Digestion, Bloating, Endometriosis and IBS
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