Exercise is good for overall health, but it is a must for people who suffer from illnesses like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
In reality, IBD is not just one single disease, but a combination of two diseases, namely Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. It involves the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (gut), causing discomfort and pain.
Here are the top must-know exercises that are extremely useful for people who have Inflammatory Bowel Disease. These exercises will help you fight the discomfort and help you control the condition better.
(1) Tai Chi. It helps in exercising all the joints and muscle groups in a rhythmic motion, which helps in maximizing your lower body strength while strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. It is said that if you perform Tai Chi in the morning, you can move much more freely all day long without complaining of joint pain.
Tai Chi is an effective way of massaging your feet as the blood rushes all through the body, stimulating the acupuncture points in the body which aids in upping your circulatory and balance movements.
It is a must to keep your head straight when practicing Tai Chi as it helps in maintaining balance. And, the Chi node right at the top of your head is a central meeting point for the meridian lines of the body, which helps in releasing negative energy from the body.
Also, make sure that you keep your back straight as it helps in accumulation of energy in your stomach (which is two inches below the navel) – forming the centre of gravity when performing Tai Chi. Keep distance in between your toes as this helps in maintaining balance, particularly at the times when you are standing on one leg.
(2) Brisk walking. Get going and stick to a walking schedule, whether you are new to exercising or you are already in shape, if you have inflammatory bowel disease. As one of the most sought after and easy exercises, brisk walking involves no special tool or equipment, other than a supportive, well-fitted pair of walking shoes.
Walking up the hill or lifting the incline on a treadmill helps in increasing your intensity and is highly recommended by experts. Changing your surface at regular intervals helps in intensifying your walking workout. Walk on trails, manoeuvre around rocks as this segments the muscular demand.
Brisk walking should be preferred as it helps to burn up the excess fat in our bodies, strengthens muscles, bones and joints. Walking fast helps to boost the level of HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) or ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood and also reduces the level of LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) or ‘bad’ cholesterol.
(3) Push ups. Place yourself face down with the palms on the floor. Keep the neck, back & hips aligned and abdominals contracted. Do not arch the back downwards or upwards. Bend the elbows outwards and bring the chest close to the floor. Push back upwards till the arms extend completely and feel the contraction in the chest muscles.
(4) Squats. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart, arms firmly on your waist. Look straight ahead and keeping the abdominals contracted arch the back slightly outwards while bending the knees. Stop when the thighs are parallel to the floor, extend the knees and return to the standing position.
(5) Standing calf raises. Stand on a platform with the feet slightly apart, holding on to a bar for support. Keep the torso upright and legs straight. Raise the heels by planting the toes into the platform. Pause for a moment and then slowly lower the heels down slightly below the edge of the platform.
(6) Bent over lateral raises. Stand with the feet slightly wider than the shoulder-width and knees bent. Bend over from the hip so that the torso becomes parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep the abdominal and back muscles contracted to stabilize the position and maintain a flat back. Keeping elbows soft, raise arms to the sides till they are horizontal & parallel to the floor.