Exercising with Crohn's: Getting Back Into It
Last updated: June 2021
This year has proven to be one of the toughest years mentally for many people. As much as I wanted to exercise, the pandemic made me more worried about catching the virus. Being immune-compromised from my medication for Crohn’s has kept me inside mostly for a year.
It has been hard, and exercise really didn’t happen. Now that I am fully vaccinated, I've started to review programs that involve running.
I always loved to run and was pretty good at it in high school. In college, I kept up with it, but have really stopped since I started working. I still struggle to find that happy medium of exercising and work balance. Hopefully one day it will come to me.
Needing bathroom access where I run
If I was going to run, I want to run in places that have easy access to a bathroom. This was not an easy task, but I decided to go out and hunt. Where I live there are beautiful trails, but sometimes it can get very remote.
I do not want to be outside running and be without a bathroom. I started to talk to some neighbors as well. I wanted to see if they had any “inside information" about the bathroom situation in the area.
They all know me and my situation, so I did not feel weird talking to them. They all gave me basically the same answers, and I was able to pinpoint exactly where I wanted to do my training.
Finding a Crohn's exercise buddy
I also thought if I am going to do this right, maybe I should find a running group or “buddy.” This way I can get some beginner pointers, and maybe make the running more fun.
I started to research running groups, but they were all too advanced for me. It got me wondering if I would be able to find someone to run that also had IBD.
It would be a great way to connect with someone while doing something healthy. I have been looking around websites, but I have not gotten too lucky. Any suggestions?
Adjusting my exercise routine
Crohn’s can limit your exercise, but do not let it stop you totally. Pick and choose fitness programs that you are comfortable with.
If staying in your home is easier because it has quick access to the bathroom, that is ok! I do not do any heavy lifting because of my scars/reconstructed skin surgeries that incorporated mesh in my body. Yes, I will adjust my running program based on my needs.
Getting into healthy habits
Exercising can be really exhausting, especially when you are running to the bathroom. Dehydration can cause you to become very tired and weak. It also can cause muscle cramps.
I will have to get back into the routine of drinking tons of water each day. I really struggle with this too, and hopefully, this will change. I do not drink sugary drinks, but a lot of coffee. I know I need to do better so I can be healthier.
I am really looking forward to running again, and to taking my mind off of my stress associated with Crohn's.
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