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Getting regular exercise for IBS is one of the best ways to manage your symptoms. But not all exercises are going to benefit your gut…

IBS symptoms can make exercise more challenging, so I’ve outlined the best and worst exercises for IBS to make sure you get the most out of your workout session!

Hello, I’m Anna Mapson, a registered nutritional therapist. As part of my work at Goodness Me Nutrition, I help people with IBS to find relief and make a plan for their journey to better gut health.

Let’s talk about how you can take charge of your symptoms and start feeling better today!

 

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Exercise is an important part of managing IBS symptoms because it helps improve your overall physical health and well-being. Regular exercise can:

 

✅Help gas escape as you move

✅Reduce stress and anxiety

✅Help with weight loss

✅Combat inflammation

✅Improve sleep

✅Reduce constipation

✅Strengthen muscles

✅Build mental resilience

 

No doubt about it, exercise is good for IBS, but if you’re having symptoms/flare-ups during or after exercise, there are ways to help. Use these tips to avoid cramps, pain, and diarrhoea during and after exercise.

white man in blue shirt reaching for an open toilet seat, clutching his stomach

What type of exercise is best for IBS?

Ultimately the best exercise is one you can stick to and enjoy, and we should all aim to move our bodies for 30 mins a day, in any way we can, but here are a few tips for what types of exercises are best for your IBS, and why:

 

1. Walking is great for IBS

The gentle motion up and down inside your stomach could help encourage a bowel movement by moving food through the system. walking also encourages gas to escape which can help with bloating.. 

Walking is free, and is a low impact sport which means it’s good for anyone with sore knees or joints. 

 

2. Yoga helps the gut brain connecton

There are many studies linking yoga and improved digestive health. This could be down to the increased relaxation, focus on your breath, and muscle building elements of yoga. 

Yoga helps with IBS by

 Stretching out your core muscles can help with IBS and releasing trapped gas. This is particularly true for positions where your bottom goes in the air! 

  • Relaxation and breathing support stress reduction
  • Twists are particularly beneficial for your digestion, by moving your muscles in the gut and creating space. 

 

3. Swimming

 Being in the water can be a gentle and low-impact exercise which feels great when you’re hot and bothered. Swimming pools are also useful if you’re worried about being too far from a bathroom. 

  • Swimming moves your whole body so is a great all round exercise
  • Being in the water can be soothing for sore bodies
  • Many people find swimming relaxing, you can’t stop to check your phone all the time, so you’re cut off from notifications for half an hour. 

 

4. Cycling is good for IBS

You can vary the intensity of your cycle ride which is useful if you’re building up your strength and fitness

 Having some control of your symptoms through being physically active can also help a lot of people with IBS. When you feel nothing you change with your diet makes a difference, it’s good to have another angle to try.

dark green hand weights, pink skipping rope, water bottle and phone on light pink background

Worst exercises for IBS

If you have IBS symptoms, you may have found that some of your favourite exercises are no longer enjoyable. Here are some exercises that might not be so good for your IBS:

  • Running – Frequently triggers diarrhoea. You can read more about my tips for better running with IBS
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – Can draw blood away from the gut causing cramps, bloating, and pains
  • Endurance exercises like marathon running.

How to start exercising with IBS

Whether you’ve been dealing with digestive issues for years or have recently discovered that your stomach has a mind of its own, I can help you find a way to manage your IBS so you can stop panicking about the nearest toilet or embarrassing gas.

Through years of training and clinical experience, I have developed the Gut Reset, to help people resolve their digestive issues like bloating, constipation, and IBS flare-ups.

Let’s discover what’s causing your gut to go into overdrive and work together to find a solution.

The good news is that there are many ways that food can help put the brakes on the unwanted symptoms of IBS so you can get sustainable relief without restrictive dieting.

 

Let’s have a chat!

 

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Hi I'm Anna Mapson, registered Nutritional Therapist.

I help people with IBS and SIBO get control of unpredictable gut symptoms to find long term relief from painful and embarrassing IBS without restrictive dieting.

I can help you to:

  • understand your digestion better, so you recognise your triggers
  • eat a well balanced diet, with tasty meals that are simple to prepare
  • develop better digestion and more energy

Find more about my 3 month 1:1 Gut Reset programme

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