Exercise and IBD

The side effects of IBD, such as weakness and fatigue, often lead people to believe that all forms of exercise are off limits. People with IBD can, however, exercise and keep in shape in ways that will not cause symptoms to worsen. With the exception of being in a serious flare, consistently working out is always possible.


Low-Intensity Workouts


Working out at a low level of intensity is great for patients suffering from weakness since doing so requires you to exert minimal energy. Many free online videos demonstrate low intensity workouts. Some of these workouts you can even do at home.


High Intensity Workouts


These workouts are best for patients who were very athletic previously to getting diagnosed with or experiencing symptoms of IBD. The exercises are great if you experience fatigue but not weakness, and while they are usually shorter, they tend to require more energy.


Going to the Gym


If you can drive and feel you have the strength or energy to work out using machines, then going to the gym where you have proper equipment is perfect.


Cardio vs. Strength


I personally find that strength workouts are less exhausting than cardio workouts, so if you have less energy, I would recommend strength workouts.


When to Skip Working Out?


You should skip working out if you are experiencing severe symptoms that would prevent you from being safe while exercising. You don’t want to take a chance and hurt yourself just because you wanted to get in an extra workout.


IBD doesn’t mean you can no longer stay in shape. I have continued to work out since I have been diagnosed, and it hasn’t been that difficult. My uncle suffers from Crohn’s Disease, and he runs marathons multiple times a year. If you listen to your body and work out at a pace that is right for you, you will definitely be able to exercise.

It may seem impossible to stay active after being diagnosed, but there are plenty of people who have successfully stayed fit. Everyday Health wrote an article about nine professional athletes with Crohn’s Disease who did not let their disease get in the way of their careers. 


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