Exercises for irritable bowel syndrome

Exercises for irritable bowel syndrome

In today’s article we will learn about Exercises for irritable bowel syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a problem of the digestive system, which can affect the digestive system (especially the large intestine) over a long period of time. Symptoms of IBS may appear differently in different patients. Its two most common symptoms are constipation and diarrhea . Other symptoms of IBS include pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen , flatulence and gas problems. Let’s start Exercises for irritable bowel syndrome.

According to a study published in the journal of Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences University in 2018, about 15 percent of the Indian population is affected by the problem of IBS. The ratio of this disease among Indian men and women is 3:1.

The prevalence of IBS is even higher in western countries; if we talk about America only, about 20 percent of the people here are affected by this disease . Globally, women are at greater risk of this disease than men.

IBS is not life-threatening, but it can have long-term effects. This disease affects people between 15 and 50 years of age, but its exact cause is not yet known. However, there can be many factors for this disease. The surface of the intestines is lined with layers of muscles (hairy), which expand and contract in a regular rhythm and carry food through the intestinal tube to the rectum, thereby completing the digestion process.

If a person is suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, these contractions may occur more rapidly and for a longer period of time than usual, causing gas, bloating and diarrhea. In some conditions, contraction of the intestines slows down the passage of food, causing difficulty in passing stools.

Exercise is beneficial in reducing the symptoms of this condition. However, it cannot provide exact cure. Stress can trigger the symptoms of IBS, in such a situation, stress can be managed by including exercise in the routine along with proper diet, this also helps in controlling IBS.

Exercises for irritable bowel syndrome

Exercises for irritable bowel syndrome
Exercises for irritable bowel syndrome

Benefits of irritable bowel syndrome exercises

Normally, our intestines absorb all the nutrients present in food waste before expelling it from the body , but in case of IBS, the intestinal muscles do not function properly.

There is no cure for this disease, but its severe symptoms can be controlled by making appropriate changes in lifestyle. To relieve symptoms, avoid foods that may trigger IBS. Apart from this, doing regular exercise will be beneficial to keep stress away.

A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in 2015 found that consistent physical activity had positive effects on people with IBS and other psychological conditions.

The purpose of exercising in this condition is to stimulate the muscles in the digestive system and control stress. Following are the benefits of exercise for IBS patients:

  • Helpful in reducing stress: Regular exercise releases a hormone called endorphin in the body, whose balanced quantity makes the person happy and helps in keeping stress away. In many patients, IBS is triggered by stress, therefore, stress-reducing exercises have a positive effect in controlling IBS symptoms.
  • Muscle strength: If someone exercises regularly, his muscles become strong and he remains fit. This helps IBS patients to manage pain and other problems.
  • Controlling severe symptoms: Low to moderate exercise can control severe symptoms of IBS. Apart from this, regular exercise does not cause difficulty in defecation, it reduces pain and eliminates the complaint of constipation or diarrhea in patients.

The connection between exercise and IBS

People suffering from IBS symptoms are suggested to do regular exercise so that they remain confident and have a positive personality. By doing this they stay away from unnecessary worries , due to which they do not have to deal with stress and according to researchers, stress is one of the biggest reasons for triggering IBS.

Apart from this, what a person suffering from IBS eats and drinks also has an important impact, in such a situation do not be careless about your diet. Talk to a doctor to learn about an appropriate diet, as they can make suggestions based on symptoms.

Even if a person suffering from IBS is following the diet recommended by the doctor, stress or other psychological factors can worsen his condition. Therefore, it is very important to include exercise in one’s daily routine, so that the body’s immunity can be increased.

Researchers say that exercise not only controls stress effectively, but it also produces ‘happy hormones’, which can help manage the IBS condition better.

Types of exercises for IBS

Those who are suffering from any long term problem including IBS should not do high intensity exercise. People with IBS may develop diarrhea if they are involved in long-distance running, football, jumping rope or other high-intensity activities.

Exercise for people with IBS

  1. Aerobic exercise: Engaging in activities such as jogging , walking , cycling , and swimming is usually suggested to reduce IBS symptoms.
  2. Yoga: Doing yoga poses like Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Pawanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose) help in improving the bowel functions as well as the underlying problems.
  3. Breathing Exercises: These are exercises through which stress, anxiety and lung function can be improved. These are able to prevent triggering IBS. When the intestines are relaxed, digestion works smoothly.
  4. Tai Chi: Ever heard of the ancient Chinese martial art on TV? It helps in keeping the body fit. Apart from this it also promotes coordination between mind and body.

Exercise tips for IBS patients

Keep in mind, always choose such exercises which you can do easily. As important as exercise is, warming up is equally important. To control the onset of IBS symptoms, here are some measures that you should include in your daily routine:

  1. Create a routine: Before engaging in an exercise program, create a routine for yourself. After this, do regular warm-up and subsequent exercise. This makes the body adapt to exercise and helps it adjust to physical intensity better.
  2. Choice of exercise: Try different types of workouts to find out what type of exercise you are comfortable with. If a person finds high-intensity weight-training exercises to help control IBS, they can include it in their routine. If someone benefits from yoga or tai chi, they can include it in their daily routine.
  3. Wait after eating: Do not eat anything for about an hour before or after exercise.
  4. Work according to the body: When a person gets extremely tired during exercise, he should stop for some time. Exercise can be started again when you feel normal.

Abdominal breathing for IBS patients

Abdominal breathing is a type of breathing exercise, which helps in better breathing.
Method of doing this exercise:

  • Lie comfortably on your back on the mat.
  • Place one hand on your stomach slightly below the ribs and the other hand on your chest. 
  • Now, take a deep breath through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds.
  • After this, exhale through the mouth. The chest should not move during this period.
  • Do this process for five minutes.

Relaxation exercise for irritable bowel

Yoga and Tai Chi exercises are effective in reducing stress and pain. Anyone suffering from IBS can do this exercise like breathing:

  • Lie comfortably on your back on the mat. Leave both toes of the feet loose.
  • Keep both hands comfortably and straight on the ground, but palms should remain upward.
  • Close your eyes. If necessary, adjust the head and neck position to find a more comfortable position.
  • Now, try to bring tension in both your feet and toes.
  • Lift your shins off the mat about two inches.
  • Remain in this position for a few seconds and then come back to normal position.
  • Now, tense the muscles of your hips and thighs. Remain in this position for a few seconds and come back to normal position.
  • Now create tension in the hip and thigh muscles, remain in this position for some time.
  • Now pull the navel inward and create tension in the abdominal muscles. Remain in this position for some time.
  • Now make tight fists and bring tension in the arms. Now raise your arms about two inches above the ground. Stay in this position for some time and then bring the arms to normal position.
  • Now, tense your shoulder and neck muscles and remain in this position for a few seconds.
  • Now, close your eyes tightly and make folds on the forehead; For example, the lines appearing on the forehead during anger, now remain in this state for some time and then come back to normal state.
  • Finally lie down for five minutes and during this time leave the entire body loose as in breathing.

Takeaways for exercising with IBS

Often people suffering from this disease do not do regular activities. This can affect not only their stomach but also their mental health. Because these patients often feel that they cannot enjoy life like their friends and other family members, eat anything or go out for traveling and other regular activities.

IBS can be triggered by stress and other psychological factors. In such a situation, exercise can help in controlling the symptoms of IBS.

Although it is incurable, it can be managed by making appropriate changes in lifestyle. For this, there is a need to include healthy diet and regular exercise in the routine.

When exercising, patients should try different types of exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming, aerobics, and strength training. 

Trying different types of activities also helps patients understand how their body responds to these activities. Apart from this, it is also known which exercise is helping in reducing the symptoms of IBS.

At present, it is important to understand that no matter what the age of the person suffering from IBS, they need to include abdominal breathing and relaxation exercises in their routine. These not only help in reducing stress but also help in feeling positive.