Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic condition which affects the large intestine. It can be very uncomfortable, and it often has a huge negative impact on the lives of sufferers. It requires long-term management and the symptoms vary. Symptoms include:
IBS symptoms can fluctuate in intensity and can come and go. When symptoms are experienced this is called an ‘IBS flare-up’.
There is no cure, however, there are multiple lifestyle habits you can introduce which may ease symptoms, one of them being exercise.
Generally, exercise doesn’t cause symptoms of IBS to worsen however, you must be careful how intensely you are exercising. Overly vigorous exercise may aggravate symptoms however, light to moderate exercise has been shown to ease symptoms.
There is ongoing research into exactly how exercise manages IBS symptoms, it is believed that it is linked to;
Exercising brings with it many health benefits, it is recommended that adults should aim to be physically active every day and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week. Read more here.
Walking is a great exercise option for IBS sufferers, it is low intensity and you won’t require any equipment.
This can be enjoyed with family members or friends (obviously taking into consideration social distancing measures). It is also a good opportunity to get fresh air and reconnect with nature, which may also benefit your mental wellbeing, having a positive effect on your gut.
If you want a slightly more intense exercise you could try going for a light jog or cycle, if you have access to a bike. This can keep you physically healthy, strengthen your muscles and possibly ease your IBS symptoms.
Stretching is an effective way to ease IBS symptoms, moving and massaging your digestive muscles and organs can help to release trapped wind and encourage bowel movements. It can also reduce tension in your gut meaning cramps may get less intense. Releasing tension from anywhere in your body will likely reduce stress which is a common trigger of IBS. Click here for some easy yoga poses for IBS symptom relief.