If you’ve made a new years resolution to lose weight this year & you have IBS, here’s some more motivation. A recent study(Reuters) by the Swedes at the University of Gothenburg shows that moderate to vigorous exercise for 20 – 60 minutes, 3 – 5 days per week can be helpful with Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms. The study showed 43% improvement for those in the exercise group, compared to 25% improvement for those who did not change their habits. Not earth shattering but it does hint that exercise can be helpful for Irritable Bowel Syndrome & of course exercise is usually good for you overall, something that most people probably don’t get enough of.There are some caveats though. There was a large portion of people who did not see improvement in their symptoms. Exercise can sometimes make Irritable Bowel symptoms worse in the short-term(e.g. loose stools, sudden urgency, flatulence) . This can make it extremely difficult for someone who is trying to get into an exercise routine, especially in a public setting. Also vigorous exercise is probably not a good idea for those who are having trouble maintaining their weight.
If you are not able to make it into a public setting to exercise you should try different exercises at home. I purchased an exercise bike to ride at home while I listen to various podcasts(This American Life, Snap Judgement). Recently my girlfriend has gotten into Zumba. Though she doesn’t have IBS, those DVDs are something you could do at home and it might be more entertaining than riding an exercise bike. :)