Soothe Your Irritable Bowels With Exercise

More than 30 percent of Americans suffer from chronic abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or heartburn—all symptoms of a disorder called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But new findings show simply getting your body moving can help alleviate your worst tummy troubles!

According to the International Journal of Sports Medicine, regular exercise can help patients find relief from IBS and therefore seems “intuitively appealing,” the researchers said.

The 12-week study conducted by Amanda Daley, Ph.D., of the University of Birmingham in the U.K., involved 56 participants who were diagnosed with IBS. They were separated into two groups: 1) one that didn’t exercise and 2) one that received consultations on exercise skills and knowledge, plus 30-minutes of moderate exercise sessions five days a week.

The findings showed that the exercise group reported a significant reduction in IBS symptoms—especially constipation. Daley and her colleagues concluded this to be “encouraging” since most IBS patients routinely avoid exercise because of their symptoms.