Irritable bowel syndrome is a large intestine disorder, and its symptoms range from cramping and bloating to abdominal pains and gas. The symptoms can affect a patient's quality of life, particularly in social gatherings. For instance, IBS patients might avoid crowded areas due to stomach rumbles and constipation issues. The good news is that various treatment procedures can address the condition, including dietary changes, medication, alternative medicine such as acupuncture and psychological therapy. However, did you know that exercise also plays an essential role in IBS treatment? Here are effective exercises you can incorporate into your IBS treatment plan.
Yoga -- Yoga focuses on controlled movements and stretches in different positions to improve flexibility, breathing, and mental relaxation. While there are different types of yoga, the basic principles are the same — connecting the brain, body, and mind. A study published in 2019 revealed that yoga exercises helped improve digestion in IBS patients, reducing the condition's symptoms. Moreover, yoga helps reduce anxiety and depression, two mental illnesses that worsen IBS symptoms. Yoga practitioners believe that the exercise effectively treats IBS because of the mind-body connection, which improves communication between the brain and the gut. Yoga poses, such as bridge and spine twists, are excellent at relieving IBS symptoms. Therefore, if you suffer from IBS and want to try out a new enjoyable and effective exercise, enrol in a beginners' yoga class.
Cycling -- Australians love to cycle for fun, exercise and as a mode of transportation. Unknown to many people, cycling also helps improve IBS symptoms. Although stationary or mobile cycling exercises the legs and heart, the movements also target the body's midsection, where the large intestines are located. As you cycle, your core muscles flex and extend, helping release gas trapped in the gut. Over time, the core muscles become strong and prevent gas accumulation in the intestines. A study conducted in 2015 indicates that IBS patients who maintained cycling habits over a long time sustained improved IBS symptoms five years after taking up the exercise.
Walking -- Humans were created to move, but industrialisation changed everything, and people prefer the convenience of cars, elevators, escalators and other gadgets that aid movement. Many people take walking for granted, but it is an excellent exercise. If you do not exercise, your blood sugar levels can go out of control and exacerbate IBS symptoms, such as diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. Walking helps keep your blood sugar levels under control, improving IBS symptoms. In addition, a 2020 study shows that patients who walked a lot had less severe IBS symptoms.