While hemorrhoids may not be the most frequently discussed issue in the gym, it is something you shouldn't be embarrassed to bring up during a conversation with your fitness trainer.
In the United States, millions of people are affected by hemorrhoids, making it important to understand how different exercises can either prevent or worsen the condition.
Anal veins that are enlarged or swollen might make it difficult for you to do various tasks, including performing regular exercise.
If you are a gym freak or fitness maven, hemorrhoids shouldn’t sideline you from such activities. Considering that some exercises help alleviate constipation and lessen the chance of recurrence, while others can worsen the condition, it's important to be wise about choosing how you exercise.
Good Exercises for Hemorrhoids
People suffering from hemorrhoids benefit from regular exercise because it lowers the pressure in the blood vessels in and around the anus, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation.
It can also assist in losing weight, which is important because obesity increases the risk of developing hemorrhoids due to the additional strain placed on the lower abdomen.
As a result, exercise can lower the chances of hemorrhoids reoccurring or even developing in the first place.
Aerobics are low-intensity cardiovascular workouts that can help to improve core muscular areas, especially those in the lower body.
Walking, swimming, and other water-based activities, elliptical routines, and group aerobic workouts can help improve blood flow in the rectal area, which can help reduce the occurrence of hemorrhoids.
Certain yoga positions can help increase blood circulation so that the veins in the anal area remain healthy and functional. In one such pose, you lie down on your back and raise your legs straight up to a 90-degree angle, with your fingers placed behind your lower back.
Another pose that can be beneficial for constipation relief is the squatting stance (legs up the wall stand). Pilates and Tai Chi are two exercises that offer similar benefits.
In addition, controlled-movement disciplines can help develop overall relaxation, which may help relieve muscle tension in the pelvic and anal areas, hence reducing the chance of constipation problems.
Some common yoga poses are as follows:
- Sarvanga Asana - The Candle Pose
- Balasana - The Child Pose
- Viparita Karani - Legs Up-the-Wall Pose
- Pawanmuktasana - Wind-Relieving Pose
- Baddha Konasana - Bound Angle Pose
- Ujjayi Pranayama - The Breathing Pose
Kegel exercises are designed to target muscles in the pelvic area. There are several Kegel routines for men and women, and each has its own benefits.
Typical Kegel exercises are performed by squeezing the pelvic muscles while simulating the posture you acquire while urinating in the toilet.
They should be performed three times a day because regularly performing these exercises may help alleviate urinary incontinence and hemorrhoids.
Kegel exercises are especially beneficial for women who want to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and anal and rectal muscles after childbirth.
You can perform a Kegel exercise by contracting your vaginal muscles (as if stopping urination was necessary), holding it for a few seconds, then relaxing and repeating it multiple times. It's a discrete workout that can be performed practically anywhere at any time.
Exercises to Avoid During Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids might be made worse by certain exercises. In addition to putting strain on the veins in your lower abdomen, standing and sitting for extended periods can worsen hemorrhoids.
Exercises such as cycling, rowing, and horseback riding place direct pressure on your hemorrhoids, resulting in bleeding. Apart from that, sit-ups (and even squats) and other exercises that put a significant amount of strain on your back, such as crunches, can aggravate hemorrhoids by increasing internal abdominal pressure.
When it comes to knowing what not to do when exercising with a hemorrhoid, it is critical to pay great attention to your body. Your mind will tell you what it is capable of.
Take the following suggestions into consideration:
Avoid engaging in activities that can put a significant amount of strain on your back and abdomen muscles. Due to the tension involved, weightlifting can be particularly painful, as it can cause hemorrhoids to bulge. Squats may be the most harmful exercise for those suffering from hemorrhoids.
Pay close attention to how your body reacts to each workout you perform, and avoid activities that give you even slight discomfort. Exercises requiring continuous sitting, such as spinning and rowing, can be difficult for hemorrhoids patients because they increase pressure on an already uncomfortable body area.
Keep a close check on the food you consume between workouts in maintaining your body's optimal structure. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables might also help to keep constipation at bay. Furthermore, water is essential for preventing constipation. Be sure to have your water bottle with you when you go to the gym or exercise at home.
Whether you are experiencing hemorrhoids for the first time or are suffering from repeated flare-ups, you can control your symptoms and avoid future recurrence by incorporating exercise into your daily routine.
Regardless of your activity preferences, several practices can help lower your chance of worsening current hemorrhoid-related discomfort while exercising.
Staying hydrated, for example, can help avoid constipation from occurring throughout your exercise regimen. Putting on loose, breathable clothing can also be beneficial to avoid producing friction in the affected areas of the body.
The type, duration, and intensity of exercise that you can perform may vary depending on various factors, including your age and health conditions. Therefore, before getting started with a new fitness plan, you need to discuss your exercise targets and limitations with a doctor.