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Trying New Things: Getting Back to the Gym

I can’t make excuses, but here I am going to.

I wanted to start at the beginning of the year, working out. Of course the first of the year came and went, and I was not fulfilling my goal, which was to get back into the gym. I was completely exhausted. I go to work, teaching in Philadelphia School District. Although I love working with m students, they can be a handful. I am so beat when I get home, that the last thing I want to do is work out. But this past week I forced myself. Here were my observations that had to do with Crohn’s.

I’m afraid to do stomach exercises.

Because I had eleven stomach surgeries, I am always afraid that something is going to tear if I stretch my stomach muscles while working out. In November 2008, I had reconstructive stomach surgery; basically closed me up after healing from my huge fistula. There is mesh that keeps my stomach together. Now, I know in my head that my it would have to take a lot for that mesh to rip, I don’t want to take any chances. That is why I refuse to do any crunches, or other abdominal stretches. I am sure I will get over this in time, but for right now, no stomach exercises.

I sweat way too much!

Does anybody with Inflammatory Bowel Disease sweat a lot when working out? I wonder if it one of my medicines. I have talked to my doctors, although they can’t give me answer. They seem to think that I just have over-aggressive sweat glands. If you experience this, please reach out to me.

Once I start running, I have to use the bathroom. Because things are bouncing around in my stomach, it makes me have to relieve myself. This can get annoying when you have to start then stop again. It’s hard to get into a rhythm. I try to use the bathroom before running, but as we know with the unpredictability of Crohn’s, you never know when you got to go.

This coincides with the sweating; you have to stay hydrated!

I found myself very thirsty when working out. I realized that not only was I losing vital minerals and vitamins from sweating, but also from the frequent bathroom use. Of course I was thirsty! I had to remember to stay hydrated.

Joint pains!

Wow, I forgot about this part. Even though it has gotten much better, I still experience serious  joint pains. That is something that I had to keep in mind, as I run. I also have to remember that my bones can still break, because they are brittle from osteoporosis.

Overall, it feels great to be back in the gym. I think I have to look at the positives, that I am healthy enough to work out again. Slow and steady will win the race. Everyday that I am in the gym, that is one more day closer to my goal.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    1 year ago

    Yes, slow and steady. I too have struggled to get back into a workout routine as I find that when I do things high impact, I have to run to the bathroom. Now I prefer to stick with low impact workouts and lots of stretching.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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