At Vivante, we’re the digestive health experts. We live for this stuff. Here’s a short summary of another academic article our gut health nerds found interesting…
Our dietitians and Health Coaches often tout the benefits of exercise to our GIThrive members, but is it all a bunch of hoopla? Are we overestimating the role of exercise in digestive health? Well, that’s what the authors of this study were hoping to find out, specifically for people with Crohn’s disease. Because Crohn’s is a condition with periods of flare-ups and remission, researchers also wanted to find out if exercise is safe for Crohn’s. For example, would starting an exercise program somehow trigger disease activity?
For ages doctors have recommended exercise for many chronic diseases, and for good reason. The inherent benefits of exercise are well established: improved psychological well-being, increased physical capability, physiological benefits (heart and lung function, weight management, better sleep—the list goes on). But what benefits, if any, does exercise have on Crohn’s disease, a life-altering inflammatory bowel disease with no known cure?
A group of sedentary patients with inactive or mildly active Crohn’s disease started a 12-week walking program where the only requirement was to walk for 30 minutes, 3 times a week. The results of the study? Very promising. Most participants reported noticeable improvements in their mental and physical well-being. What’s more, they reported no negative effects on their disease activity. These findings show that for patients with Crohn’s, a mild-intensity exercise program like walking is not only safe, but it can improve physical health, general well-being, and quality of life.
Yes, moderate exercise with Crohn’s can make a real difference. For those interested in activities that are a little more strenuous than walking, these results should (at least in theory) extend to other mild exercises like light jogging, swimming or yoga.