There are many benefits of exercise. In fact, research has shown that physical activity can improve overall health, reduce stress, and help to maintain and improve bone health. You should engage in a regular exercise routine so long as you feel well enough to exercise, take certain precautions, and have clearance from your physician.
However, there may be times when your IBD symptoms, such as fatigue and pain, prevent you from engaging in physical activity. That is OK. If this occurs, do not push yourself to work out. It may do more harm than good. If your IBD symptoms prevent you from participating in gym class, make sure you and your caregivers discuss this with your school and your gym teacher to determine what accommodations can be made.
Since everyone’s IBD is different, you should talk to your doctor before starting an exercise routine. This is especially true if you are experiencing certain disease symptoms or complications, or you are recovering from surgery.
If your IBD limits the amount and intensity of your exercise routine, keep in mind that even low-intensity activities, like taking a 30-minute walk three times a week, can produce results. Another helpful hint: plan routes that allow for bathroom breaks if necessary. Also, if you enjoy different activities, try switching on and off between them, depending on how you are feeling.