Skip to main content

Exercise to Help IBS? Here's What You Should Know

Exercise to Help IBS? Here's What You Should Know

When it comes to managing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), paying attention to your diet plays a central role. But IBS is a complex condition, and symptoms are affected by many factors, including stress and anxiety. 

There’s no known cure for IBS—yet. But because physical activity and exercise have a minimizing effect on stress, researchers have found it can play a helpful role in easing IBS symptoms. 

At Rivas Digestive Center in Hollywood, Florida, our IBS specialist and board-certified gastroenterologist John M. Rivas, MD, offers comprehensive care for IBS, from diagnosis to treatment. Here's a look at what you need to know about exercise to help IBS.

Can exercise trigger IBS symptoms?

Generally, exercise isn’t a trigger for most IBS symptoms. Because IBS is linked to stress, it’s possible that very intense exercise or lengthy activities, like running a marathon, may cause some physical stress that causes IBS to flare up. 

Everyone has different IBS triggers, however, so be sure to pay attention to the things that cause your IBS to act up. Some of the most common triggers include:

For some people, certain medications or chemicals can also be IBS triggers. 

Can exercise help IBS symptoms?

Current research shows that moderate-intensity exercises and low-intensity exercises correlate with improvement in the severity and frequency of IBS symptoms and other gastrointestinal disorders. 

Likewise, medical researchers have found that the more sedentary (less active) people are, the greater their chances of having IBS or having more severe/frequent IBS symptoms. While they’re still studying how exercise helps, they believe it’s linked by:

Because there are usually no downsides to exercise and it’s linked to positive outcomes with IBS, most practitioners believe exercise plays a key role in holistically managing your IBS. 

Which exercises should I try for my IBS?

The best exercise for your IBS is the one that you’ll continue to do. This means choosing an activity you enjoy that fits well into your lifestyle. Be sure to talk to Dr. Rivas or your primary care provider before starting any new exercise routine.

In the meantime, here’s a list of some of the most popular low- to moderate-intensity exercises for managing IBS:

Most patients at Rivas Digestive Center experience significant IBS improvement after combining exercise with other lifestyle changes, like following a FODMAP diet and identifying personal triggers. 

For personalized recommendations on managing your IBS, schedule an appointment online or over the phone at the Rivas Digestive Center in Hollywood, Florida. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can Food Sensitivities Cause Chronic Abdominal Pain?

Struggling with ongoing abdominal pain and not sure what’s causing it? It could be food sensitivities, a food-related issue that’s different from food allergies and other GI conditions. Here’s what you need to know.

What Can I Do for Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?

Are hemorrhoids causing discomfort during your pregnancy? Take control of your pregnancy journey and find comfort for you and your baby by discovering effective strategies to manage and find relief from pregnancy-related hemorrhoids.

How to Support Your Child's Gut Health

Paying attention to your child’s gut health is important because when gut health suffers, their overall health can suffer, too. In this post, we’ll show you how to support a healthy gut microbiome in your child.

Everything You Didn't Know About Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is caused by inflammation in your digestive tract, and it can trigger a range of problematic symptoms. If you’ve been diagnosed with this serious digestive condition, keep reading to learn what you need to know.

How Vitamins Might Play a Role in Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition with a strong genetic component. Recent research has revealed there may be a link between certain vitamins and the development of this disease. Keep reading to learn more.