: November 2018 – Present :
Hello, and welcome back!
I hope Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week on The Comical Colon has been interesting and helpful thus far!
Today I’d like to talk with you about the benefits of exercise for IBDrs and my favorite workouts!
Working out is, of course, important to every person’s health. And for those with inflammatory bowel disease, exercise isn’t just important, it’s crucial.
Why Is It Crucial?
For people with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease, working out can have some life-changing, and potentially life-saving, benefits:
1. Exercising—whether it’s cardio, weight lifting, calisthenics, or yoga—increases endorphins and reduces stress.
Why is this important? For those with IBD, stress often triggers flare ups. Keeping stress at a minimum heightens overall health by decreasing the chances of those painful flare ups.
2. Weight training is excellent for bone density and health.
Why is this important? People with IBD are at a risk for bone density loss, and therefore, osteoporosis down the road.
One reason for this is because flare ups can cause malnutrition, resulting in vitamin deficiency and the loss of bone density. Building up muscle strength is beneficial now and decades in the future.
3. Working out regularly can increase your immune system.
Why is this important? Many people with IBD have a weakened immune system. This is commonly caused by our medications, oftentimes corticosteroids or immunomodulators, which limit the inflammation in the GI tract by lowering the activity of the entire immune system. Exercising can strengthen it and lessen your chances of getting sick.
4. Exercising helps you recover from surgery quicker.
Why is this important? Not everybody with IBD will require the surgical removal of their intestines; but the better shape you’re in, the quicker you’ll recover if you do need to take the surgery route.
What I’ve Been Doing
During my hospitalization, I had non-stop diarrhea; I was unable to pass regular food. So I was placed on a strict liquid diet for the full five days in the hospital.
This diet left me in a constant state of hunger. I was always sleepy and weak. So when the physical therapist came by to take me for a few laps around the hospital hallway, I was extremely weak, slow, and out of shape.
When I finally returned from the hospital, I was roughly ten pounds lighter. I’m an ectomorph with a naturally small frame, so ten pounds was a lot for me to lose. Especially because it pulled from my muscle mass.
The six-pack outline I had worked so hard for? Gone.
The slight definition of my biceps? Vanished too.
The little bit of glutes I had proudly grew? Practically inverted. 😂 😭
So I slowly built back my strength by walking. I’d walk around my apartment complex daily. I’d travel about a mile, with a much-needed fifteen minute rest halfway through.
I was that out of shape.
Now that I’ve got my walking strength back to normal, I’ve recently started lifting weights again.
It covers everything: Biceps, triceps, forearms, shoulders!
And the great thing is that you can perform all the exercises with any dumbbell weight you’re comfortable with. I’m currently using a five-pound weight for most exercises, but due to the hospital incident, I’ve had to work my way up from two-pound weights.
I adore this 10-Minute Ab Workout, demonstrated by Alexis Ren. It’s only ten minutes, but it’s anything but easy.
There’s about sixteen different movements in this video, each performed for thirty seconds. Since my hospitalization, I’m no longer able to complete the entire video.
But I know I will be able to again soon!
Legs & Glutes
Time to get my glutes back!
This Malibooty workout by Tone It Up was one of the first workouts I ever did, many years ago. It’s not too difficult, yet, when done regularly, you can feel the results.
I won’t lie. The hospitalization was a set back. But I’m determined to get my strength back to where it was…and then some.
What Are Your Favorite Exercises?
Do you have a favorite coach you follow on YouTube?
Are you addicted to a certain type of workout?
I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
I’m looking to expand my arsenal of exercises to keep my muscles surprised. What are your go-to exercises?
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That’s a wrap for Day 6 of Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week.
Stay tuned for the 7th and final day to read what inflammatory bowel disease has taught me!
In The Comical Colon’s Facebook group, let’s start a conversation:
I truly believe that the way to bridge this disease type’s chasm of alienation, fear, being misunderstood, etc. is to engage in community and share our experiences to help others along their journeys. Let’s learn to share our fears, our trials, and our triumphs to find the comical in the deepest, darkest crevices of our guts.