Moving my body is an important part of my IBD self care. I find exercise helps me by:
I have always been a pretty active person. My parents started me in sports like soccer, basketball and softball as a little girl and I continued playing sports through most of high school. I was active in a very different way in college with regular gym sessions and the occasional intramural sports game. In college I walked everywhere. To class, to friends houses, to shops and of course to the bars. After moving to Atlanta where you have to drive everywhere I still continued to frequent the gym. I had a few different personal trainers during my early years in Atlanta. In the last 3 years I have been loving group fitness. Group fitness is one of my favorite ways to move my body. The sense of community is amazing and the work outs are empowering. I also think it takes a lot of strength to grow and find yourself while working out among others. So much can be learned Barre and yoga are my go to for group fitness. Sometimes I venture to spin or pilates as I enjoy variety and trying new fitness studios.
It can be hard to exercise while living with IBD. Running for instance I find so hard. Hard on my knees and hard to breathe. Not to mention running makes me have to poop. Sometimes this is welcomed but the fear of not making it to the potty certainly kept me from running for over a year. I am slowly starting to do more of it and the plan is always to get back home so I can use my own restroom upon ending a jog. Depending on how I am feeling a simple walk can get my bowels moving, yet other times, not at all. Again uncertainty is common place with IBD and this is no different.
What I love about yoga sculpt and barre3 is that they are both low impact on the joints. Any moves that are higher impact have effective modifications to keep the knees and joints safe. I hypothesis that these exercising have less of a bowel movement trigger because they are low impact and include less jostling of my insides. Sometimes all I want is a bowel movement and there are other times when all I want is to stay away from the toilet. Regardless, exercise always makes me feel better physically and mentally. Group fitness at fitness studios also always have restrooms so if you need to leave class...you can get to a restroom pretty quickly which is so delightfully comforting.
I feel physically healthier, happier, more balanced and ready to take on the world when exercise is part of my regular health routine. When I am on vacation and eating differently and not exercising I am more tired, more crampy, more bloated and generally feeling less well. I noticed this a few weeks ago when I returned from an amazing trip. When I resumed exercise and eating better I began to feel better in a matter of days. It was magical.
Even if all you can muster up is some basic stretching or a short walk. Give it a try. It could help you in your IBD fight. Like everything else with IBD exercise too can be trial and error. Listen to your body and try what interests you. Don't forget to remind yourself that the goal with exercise is progress not perfection.