Hitting the gym can be a chore when you’ve got zero health issues. Add in the fatigue and constipation of UC, and working out can be downright painful. But it’s also important: In a 2014 study, doctors found that regular exercise provides numerous health benefits for people with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like ulcerative colitis.
In fact, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, exercise has been shown to boost the immune systems of people with UC and decrease inflammation. And since people with IBD are at an increased risk of mental health problems like depression and anxiety, the mood-boosting and stress-busting effects of exercise are that much more important. (To wit: A 2013 study found that stress may increase your risk of UC relapse, so keeping it in check is a top priority.)
But what kinds of exercise won’t send you running to the bathroom mid-workout? How can you get a move on without feeling like, dare we say, crap? As someone with UC myself, I’ve learned how to stay fit without inflaming my condition. Read on for my tips as well as advice from top experts.