If you or someone you know had an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, here are some tips on managing training/exercise while having a flare up.
We all know the benefits of exercise but sometimes when you are faced with a flare up, pain is increased, fatigue is also increased, mood & energy levels are decreased, it can be hard to know what to do and hard to push yourself.
Our top tips
1- Listen to your body, if you are feeling really rough, a simple short ten minute walk can improve mood more so than slogging through a run or high intensity session. Movement is medicine.
2- Be mindful of trigger foods/habits, this is entirely individual! If you are newly diagnosed, there may be a high chance you aren’t sure what your trigger foods are yet. Work with your doctor to find these out. Some general ones are high fibre food, greasy fried foods, alcohol & smoking.
3- If you are exercising outside, find routes that have bathrooms along the way or are close to your home, ideally both when having a flare up.
4- Hydrate!! Lots of water
5- Try out different activities and pick a few you enjoy so you can alternate between them and not get bored
6- Sleep well. Focus on a good sleep routine to let the body heal and inflammation reduce.
Having an IBD doesn’t mean you can’t exercise, in fact exercise has powerful anti inflammatory effects. Just knowing how to manage your IBD and train around it can help in the long term.