Walking away from symptoms
In a recent trial of 75 adults with IBS, participants were split into 2 groups; one group was asked to increase their daily physical activity; whilst the other group was advised to maintain their current levels of physical activity. Researchers collected information from all participants at the start and end of the study on the severity of IBS symptoms and issues that affect quality of life, such as energy levels and sleep quality.
Participants in the physical activity group received monthly telephone advice on physical activity from an exercise therapist and kept a training diary. The control group received supportive monthly phone calls, but no exercise advice. They were encouraged to maintain their normal lifestyle. After 12 weeks:
- Severity of IBS symptoms in the physical activity group decreased significantly, compared with the control group.
- More members of the control group reported an increase in the severity of IBS symptoms.
- Emotional health, sleep, energy, physical functioning, and physical/social activity improved significantly in the physical activity group.
- The control group reported improvements in emotional health, diet, and social activity, but no improvements in other quality-of-life measures.
The trial included sufferers with a wide variety of symptoms and the outcome suggests that exercise can be helpful regardless of personal symptoms. Here are a few tips to help:
- If you are new to exercise, check with your GP or Healthcare Professional before increasing physical activity.
- Start slowly. Try adding 20 minutes of walking into your day, as strenuous activity may worsen symptoms especially at the beginning
- The most common types of exercise performed by study participants were walking, cycling, swimming, jogging, and Nordic walking. So it doesn’t really matter what you do, just that you do something.
- If you suffer from diarrhoea dominant IBS and you’re fearful about being too far from a bathroom, consider local sports facilities or parks where a public toilet is available. It may be difficult in the early days, try to keep going and stay motivated by focusing on your goal of disappearing symptoms. The people who took part in the trial feel better and so could you.
(Am J Gastroenterol Jan 4, 2011;)
Herbal medicine has a long tradition of use for digestive problems and many herbs are now subject to clinical trials. Your new exercise regime could be aided by our herbal remedies; you could make IBS a thing of the past. At Vitality Plus
Tel: 01706 330080
we always have a qualified practitioner on the premises, so you are welcome to pop in for a chat; you will be under no obligation to buy.
Vitality + Natural Health Clinic and Modern Apothecary, 41 Bolton Street, Ramsbottom BL0 9HU. We are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Our clinic is open for appointments from 9am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm Saturday