IBD, stress, and exercise . . .

Prior to being diagnosed I was becoming a very active person. Exercising was something that I was starting to enjoy, and when I’m excited about something I need to know everything about it. I did research on how to become a better runner, the importance of having a strong core, the best food for energy etc. But maybe I started my research a little too late . .  because I got a hip injury (or maybe that was the first sign of this disease, “shrugs”) and I had to stop all exercise for months. My symptoms eventually got worst which led to my diagnosis. Even though I’m taking 14 pills a day, none can truly help me with stress. My major stress area has always been my stomach.  Whenever my stomach hurts I would stop whatever I was doing, take a deep breath, and count to 10. The main reason why I started jogging was to train for a mud run, but also to reduce stress, and it helped.

Today, I had severe cramps that I believe were not just IBD related. Instead of leaving work early I decided to fight it by taking a 30-minute walk for lunch, I felt a lot better. I also took advantage of the standing desk in my office because it was too painful to sit, and that also helped. But once I returned to my desk to work, my stomach started hurting again, and that’s when I realized it might be stress related.  Since the walk helped and the weather is getting nicer I plan to make it apart of daily routine, and it’s always good to get some fresh air.

I did some research and found the below article from WebMD, titled “Exercising When You Have IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease.” What stood out for me was the 7 exercise tips:

  1. Minimize impact – it’s recommended to do low impact exercise, yoga, pilates, etc
  2. Go uphill – They suggest you should walk instead of run on a treadmill and increase your elevation
  3. Map out the restrooms – It’s best to know where the nearest restroom is before you work out, just in case you might have an emergency
  4. Plan potty breaks – It would be wise to go to the bathroom before you workout
  5. Choose your sports wisely – If you’re going to play a sport for exercise, golf might be safer than basketball
  6. Listen to your body – don’t push yourself when you’re experiencing a flare, rest when needed
  7. Keep your doctor in the loop – I think it’s wise to ask your doctor(s) (primary physician & GI)  if you are healthy enough to do such physical activity, and any questions you might have

Full Article:   http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/ulcerative-colitis/features/exercising-when-you-have-a-gi-disorder

I’ll keep these tips in mind since my GI told me to reduce my stress asap!  and exercise has always helped .

CCFA Team Challenge . . . .

Prior to being diagnosed with colitis I was very active. I would jog 3 times a week and attend a body-pump class every Saturday, which was a mixture of aerobics and weight lifting. It was for my training for the Mudderella, my first ever mud run.  It was a great experience and I’m glad I did it. After the race I had hoped to continue running, but the pain in my hip increased and I officially had a hip injury. After seeing my doctor, a chiropractor, and a physical therapist for weeks, I went cold turkey and haven’t done high impact exercises since September.  Now that its getting warm again, I really want to start running, but knowing me I have to be motivated.

After browsing CCFA.org I discovered “Team Challenge”.  It’s a 16-week endurance training program where you get the opportunity to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis research by running a half marathon, marathon, or triathlon.  You can join a local team and members can be fellow IBDers or people that know someone with an IBD. Since I live in the DC metro area, I attended an information session for the Greater Washington DC/VA team. I decided not to sign up this year since I’m newly diagnosed and still adjusting to this new lifestyle, I didn’t feel I was in the right place to take on such a commitment. Maybe next year 🙂 The cool thing about the information session  was that I met the team’s coach, mentor, and manager and they all had an IBD  and shared how Team Challenge changed their lives for the better, it was very inspirational.

I’m not doing team challenge this year, but for those of you looking for an endurance challenge and have an IBD or know someone who has an IBD, check out the info below.

More details about Team Challenge can be found at http://online.ccfa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=tc_home and check out the video below:

Kudos to : Phillies’ Jake Diekman

Phillies’ Jake Diekman has had UC since he was 10 years old. I admire him because many IBDers do not have the energy to be active.  I know prior to being diagnosed, I was very active and loved it, but I no longer have the energy lately. But for someone with UC who takes 20 pills a day and is a professional baseball player?!?! I have no excuse.  I think it’s great that he’s not only sharing his story, but  also starting a campaign to raise funds for IBD research with the CCFA. Very inspiring 🙂

Kudos to Jake Diekman for spreading awareness about IBD.  Check out his story below and his interview with ABC news 6 in Philadelphia http://6abc.com/sports/phillies-jake-diekman-continues-to-gut-it-out/537668/ 🙂

Look at his facebook posting, such a cool dude. I love his tattoo! 🙂

gut it out