People who live with a chronic disease like Crohn’s Disease can greatly benefit by exercising regularly to effectively manage symptoms and the flare-ups that occur periodically. In addition it is one of the best ways to beat stress, which while not a cause of the illness, can exacerbate the symptoms causing unnecessary pain and discomfort.
In fact, several studies have shown that light, low impact exercise works well for Crohn’s Disease sufferers. Walking three times a week may not seem like much but for many it is enough to improve their well being and bolster quality of life for the afflicted. In addition to reliving stress, exercise also helps alleviate depression should it occur. It also goes a long way in battling the crippling effects of osteoporosis or weakening the bones of the skeleton. Weight bearing exercises like walking, dancing, jogging, or stair climbing strengthen your bones and reduce the risk of complicating injuries and weakness.
Before embarking on an exercise program it is advisable to talk to your doctor first. He or she can help you set the level of activity that will work best for you and your condition. Choose an exercise that you will enjoy. This is basically to keep yourself motivated. If you don’t like to jog, for instance, choosing jogging as your activity would be counter productive. Ask yourself if you are a solitary exerciser or do you prefer support. If you’re solitary then running or cycling might be your thing. If however, you are more social in your workouts, then choose something like a dance class or find a walking club.
Always pay attention to your body, once you start your workouts. Take rest breaks and make note of any negative reactions by your body, pain or discomfort, in other words. If you should experience an outbreak after you complete your workout, tell your doctor at the first opportunity. Your program may only require a minor adjustment in intensity until you get used to the program.
When exercising with Crohn’s Disease there are some things to remember: stay close to a restroom or bathroom. This is a good idea for emotional and physical comfort. If you’re a runner, then take a route that will take you past public restrooms. If you prefer taking exercise classes, tell your instructor about your illness and always workout from a spot near the door in case you have to make a sudden exit.
Drink plenty of water and fluids before and after your workouts to stave off dehydration. Dehydration is a special concern for those suffering from Crohn’s Disease, because one of the problems with the illness is chronic diarrhea which depletes the body of fluids. With a little pre planning you will find yourself looking forward to your daily exercise workouts.