Exercising With Crohn's

How to get started with a new workout plan while managing Crohn's disease.

Exercising With Crohn's

By Crohn's Connect Staff Published at January 23 Views 1,120

Many individuals living with Crohn's disease, or any form of inflammatory bowel disease, find it difficult to establish a regular pattern of regimented exercise. For many, this is due to the physical manifestations of their disorder such as cramping, fatigue, muscle soreness, diarrhea and the like. In fact, these manifestations of inflammatory bowel diseases generate the perception that exercise might actually further aggravate the condition. According to Everyday Health, quite the opposite is true.

Exercise may actually help to mitigate the symptoms of Crohn's patients, thereby greatly increasing their quality of life. Still, many individuals looking to establish a regular fitness regime are at a loss for how to get started. Before beginning a new workout routine, consult your physician and check out our three tips below for exercising with Crohn's:

Prepare Your Body Adequately

One of the most common mistakes made by individuals new to establishing a fitness routine is not taking the proper warm-up steps before a workout. As you might imagine, this involves a fair amount of hydration, stretching and proper nutrition. Everyday Health reports that Crohn's patients should avoid eating a large meal within three hours of their scheduled workout. As an alternative, it is recommended that these individuals eat several small meals throughout the course of the day. This way, their nutritional needs are met while still maintaining a low risk of flare-ups or episodes of incontinence. Hydrating thoroughly on a regular basis may also help reduce the risk of inducing diarrhea through exercise, and stretching both before and after a workout is key to muscle recovery, strength and flexibility.

Pick the Right Activity

One of the most crucial parts of establishing a regular and reliable exercise routine is determining which exercises are right for you. This is truer for people with Crohn's than it is in general. According to Everyday Health, as many as 25 percent of people who suffer from forms of IBD, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, also live with arthritis. For these individuals in particular, it's extremely important to find a low-impact exercise regimen that won't cause prolonged pain or stiffness in your body. Many Crohn's patients have experienced success with swimming, bicycling or power walking, as these provide a cardiovascular workout without putting too much pressure on the musculoskeletal system. Consult your physician to determine which exercises are appropriate for your body.

Adapt Exercise to Treatment

While exercise and regular physical activity do have the capacity to mitigate symptoms from Crohn's disease, as well as relieve stress, remembering to adapt your workout regimen to your treatments is extremely important. If you're undergoing a new round of medicine or recently have had surgery, then you'll want to ease into an exercise routine. In many cases, this may mean stopping entirely until your body feels up to the challenge and your physician has cleared you for physical activity.

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