Did you know that regular exercise not only affects your heart health and overall strength but can also have an impact on your gut health?

Beneficial Bacteria

We know that exercise lowers stress levels, releases feel-good endorphins, and is good for both mental and physical health. But the benefits don’t stop there. Recent studies show that people who exercise regularly have healthier guts! One study in particular revealed that participants with healthier cardiorespiratory systems had more beneficial bacteria in their digestive systems and, as we know, a balanced gut means more energy, fewer digestive problems, better sleep and less stress.

The Gut/Brain Connection

We’ve talked here about the connection between the brain and gut and exercise plays a major part in keeping their communication positive. Exercise lowers stress levels, which can positively impact the stress-related flare ups that so many of us experience.

But What About My Symptoms?

If you are managing symptoms associated with IBS or IBD, regular exercise can be challenging. Rigorous exercise can exacerbate digestive issues, making some activities difficult. Who wants to get three miles into a hike and have to use the bathroom? And fatigue and joint pain are also very real issues that come along with autoimmune and digestive diagnoses.

Here are 10 ideas for getting some movement into your day when you’re experiencing a flareup or just not feeling well.

Find A Situation That Makes You Comfortable

Although there can be many concerns when it comes to exercising with gut-health issues, research shows that those with autoimmune disease and digestive issues benefit in the long-term from regular movement. So, for the sake of your overall health and wellbeing, it’s important to find a form of exercise that works for you. Choosing activities that work for you at this point in your journey can make a huge difference!

If exercise hasn’t been a regular part of your life for some time or ever, summer is a good time to introduce some movement to your life. In many places, gyms are still closed because of COVD-19, but there are so many great options out there like Zoom classes and Facebook and YouTube workouts. 

Or, just get outside and move! Feeling sluggish and tired? Antsy and stressed? A walk around the block or a hike at a local park can be an immediate mood booster.

Go with The Flow

Exercising with IBS and IBD can be easier said than done. I understand that there are very hard days (and weeks and months!). Be patient with yourself as you find what works for you. But don’t lose sight of the fact that movement can do a lot for your symptoms. Maybe a HIIT workout isn’t in the cards for you today, but a brisk walk is. Be flexible with yourself!

And if you are struggling to find the motivation to take charge of your gut healing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I am always happy to talk. 

Schedule your free Telehealth consultation here and let’s create a plan that gets you where you want to be. 

Happy healing!

Dr. Troy Willis
The Unfortunate Expert 


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