Millions of people suffer from chronic and acute gastrointestinal disorders (GI disorders) every single day. Without a doubt, it affects quality of life. It may discourage you from working out as you would like to, but that’s not to say that you need not exercise at all.
In fact, by learning what works for your body, and how and when you should exercise, you can fit it into a part of your healthy lifestyle.
But first, if you’re wondering which GI disorders may prompt you to modify your workout, the following are frequent occurrences:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – this is a chronic disorder characterized by symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
- Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – this is a condition that results from dysfunction of a muscle in the esophagus that causes backflow of stomach contents. The muscle is supposed to prevent the backflow (reflux) of stomach contents.
- Peptic Ulcer Disease- results normally from the overgrowth of particular bacteria in the esophagus or stomach and causes small tears in the lining of these locations. The exposed areas are then very tender, and become painful when exposed to stomach acid.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease- this includes a few conditions of an inflammatory origin, including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
So what are you to do? Simple, modify your workout. Follow some of the tips below, and exercising will be much more pleasant to do.
Getting enough water during your workout and throughout the day is important for anyone, but even more so for people suffering from Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis. If you have any of these two GI disorders, you have an increased risk of dehydration, as well as anemia. If you notice bleeding in the days following your workout, it is advised to take a few days off and allow the intestines time to heal.
Do Not Set Your Workout In Stone
Though you may enter the gym with the intention of walking on the treadmill for an hour, if halfway through you feel the need to stop and ease it up on the stationary bike, go ahead, and do that. This way, you still get in your workout without the disappointment of having to quit.
Having a chronic GI disorder may make for some uncomfortable social situations. One of these includes random spontaneous diarrhea. If you know you’ve experienced this in the past, be prepared for it should it occur again. Always walk with a small stash of toilet paper or wet wipes to take care of your business should you need to. Also, map out the necessary locations so you know where to find the restrooms if you need it.
Let Others Know Of Your Condition
This is especially important if working out in a group or with a trainer. By letting people know ahead of time what may or may not happen, you are understood by those around you in the event you need some help. You are likely to gain respect from having people understand your desire to get fit regardless of difficulties you may face.
Know What Your Body Is Capable Of
Living with a GI disorder involves periods of good along with periods of bad. It makes no sense, nor should it be attempted, to indulge in an intense workout session when currently experiencing acute symptoms of your condition. Not only may the extra stress from the workout worsen your symptoms, but it may also weaken your already strained immune system.
Having a GI disorder is not the end of the world. You need to work out smart, understand your body, and be around people who understand. You can still enjoy good health, by making an honest effort in the face of adversity.