Excercising With Hemorrhoids: The Do’s & Don’ts

Hemorrhoids and Exercising

Exercising with hemorrhoids? You might find the whole idea to sound like a catch-22. On the one hand, exercise can seem to worsen any symptoms that you might have, related to hemorrhoids. Strenuous activities and heavy lifting can cause hemorrhoids to swell, exacerbating the symptoms. On the other hand, a lack of exercise can also make matters worse. Sitting still for an extended period of time can cause blood to pool, leading to painful pressure in the anal region. Moreover, a lack of exercise can actually cause constipation and worsen any associated hemorrhoids!

If you’re suffering with hemorrhoids, you may be scratching your head thinking, “I can’t live with exercise, but I can’t live without it.” With all this mind, what should you do to take care of yourself?

The key is to not give up on exercise- you just need to pick the right type! Exercise can be critical for maintaining a physical and mental strength to effectively manage your hemorrhoid symptoms.  Below are a few tips and tricks for selecting a routine that works with your hemorrhoids, not against them.

The Do’s of Exercising with Hemorrhoids: 

Find the right cardiovascular activities. Studies show that cardiovascular exercises can actually help to counter inflammation in the body- an important feature when you’ve got painful, swollen hemorrhoidal veins around the anus and rectum. Furthermore, cardiovascular activities trigger the release of “feel good” neurotransmitters called endorphins, which signal your body to block pain and reduce stress. Consider walking, hiking, swimming, dancing, or running- anything to keep your blood pumping and endorphins flowing.

Also, look for non-vigorous exercises that tone and strengthen your muscles. Yoga is a popular choice, not only for the physical health benefits, but also for the mental relaxation associated with the practice. Because hemorrhoids can take a toll on your mental health as well as your physical health (after all, there are social and emotional implications of living with hemorrhoids), it’s especially important to find an exercise routine that encourages a positive outlook on life.  And, be sure to exercise regularly.

The Don’ts of Exercising with Hemorrhoids:

Avoid activities that will heavily strain your muscles in your back and abdomen. Weight lifting can be particularly troublesome, as the tension can cause hemorrhoids to swell.

With whichever exercises you try, pay special attention to how your body feels and avoid activities that cause you pain. Some people with hemorrhoids struggle with sitting activities like spinning and rowing, as they increase pressure to an already sore area of the body.

Also, don’t forget your water bottle when you’re getting sweaty at the gym! Water is crucial for preventing constipation, which can then lead to hemorrhoids, or can worsen existing hemorrhoids.

Remember:  if your exercise routine is causing you pain, don’t do it! There are countless options to explore for burning calories and building muscle that won’t leave you sore in the wrong ways. Talk with your doctor for more advice on how to find and maintain a healthy exercise routine that fits with your symptoms and fitness goals.

Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates

By calling the board certified surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates, you can schedule a confidential consultation to find out about many aspects of hemorrhoids.  Take the first step toward health.  (310)273-2310.