IBD, stress, and exercise . . .

Prior to being diagnosed I was becoming a very active person. Exercising was something that I was starting to enjoy, and when I’m excited about something I need to know everything about it. I did research on how to become a better runner, the importance of having a strong core, the best food for energy etc. But maybe I started my research a little too late . .  because I got a hip injury (or maybe that was the first sign of this disease, “shrugs”) and I had to stop all exercise for months. My symptoms eventually got worst which led to my diagnosis. Even though I’m taking 14 pills a day, none can truly help me with stress. My major stress area has always been my stomach.  Whenever my stomach hurts I would stop whatever I was doing, take a deep breath, and count to 10. The main reason why I started jogging was to train for a mud run, but also to reduce stress, and it helped.

Today, I had severe cramps that I believe were not just IBD related. Instead of leaving work early I decided to fight it by taking a 30-minute walk for lunch, I felt a lot better. I also took advantage of the standing desk in my office because it was too painful to sit, and that also helped. But once I returned to my desk to work, my stomach started hurting again, and that’s when I realized it might be stress related.  Since the walk helped and the weather is getting nicer I plan to make it apart of daily routine, and it’s always good to get some fresh air.

I did some research and found the below article from WebMD, titled “Exercising When You Have IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease.” What stood out for me was the 7 exercise tips:

  1. Minimize impact – it’s recommended to do low impact exercise, yoga, pilates, etc
  2. Go uphill – They suggest you should walk instead of run on a treadmill and increase your elevation
  3. Map out the restrooms – It’s best to know where the nearest restroom is before you work out, just in case you might have an emergency
  4. Plan potty breaks – It would be wise to go to the bathroom before you workout
  5. Choose your sports wisely – If you’re going to play a sport for exercise, golf might be safer than basketball
  6. Listen to your body – don’t push yourself when you’re experiencing a flare, rest when needed
  7. Keep your doctor in the loop – I think it’s wise to ask your doctor(s) (primary physician & GI)  if you are healthy enough to do such physical activity, and any questions you might have

Full Article:   http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/ulcerative-colitis/features/exercising-when-you-have-a-gi-disorder

I’ll keep these tips in mind since my GI told me to reduce my stress asap!  and exercise has always helped .


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