It can be hard to exercise when you’re dealing with symptoms such as bloating, cramping, and abdominal pain. But for people with Crohn’s disease, it’s important to try to work out when you’re able.
Research shows that regular exercise can help ease the symptoms of Crohn’s and prevent relapse. Case in point: A research review published in December 2017 in the journal Clinical Experimental Gastroenterology concluded that exercise may improve some of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and boost quality of life. A study published in May 2016 in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases was conducted on people who were in remission from Crohn’s. The study found that those who exercised more were less likely to experience a flare after six months than people who didn’t do as much physical activity.
Still, there can be some limitations. If people are symptomatic and have active Crohn’s, they may want to stick to moderate- and low-impact exercise, says Jessica Philpott, MD, PhD, a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic.
No matter what type of exercise you choose, it might be a good idea to avoid big, heavy meals in the hours before a workout and scout out the nearest bathroom in advance.
Here are seven types of exercises to try. Just remember to talk with your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.