Does Exercise Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

The answer to 'does exercise help Irritable Bowel Syndrome?' is not a simple yes, but all depending on the type of exercise. These are some great guidelines to ease IBS with exercises made for your gut.

Does Exercise Help Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Harm?

So many people in our lives tell us that exercise is an important part of being healthy.

But does exercise help Irritable Bowel Syndrome or is it harmful for someone with IBS to exercise?

Just the thought of exercise for someone with IBS can be torturous.

If your abdomen is cramped and hurting, why would you want to go to the gym?

I’ve got some interesting points to make on this subject that are worth checking out!

To The Point

does exercise help Irritable Bowel SyndromeCan exercise help IBS?  Yes, but trick answer.

If you have IBS, intense exercises can potentially make it worse.

Stick to light exercises, you can always increase the intensity if need be.

Take Control With An Exercise Routine

Having a regular routine is helpful for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

You won’t magically have a routine from the start, but as you are able to determine triggers and experience less flare ups, you will find a routine that works best for you!

My exercise routine is scheduled around the times that I eat to allow for the best exercises that will not worsen my symptoms.

Exercise can help reduce stress as well as ease certain IBS symptoms.

The Do’s

  • DO participate in light exercises
  • DO have a work out routine
  • DO stay hydrated throughout the work outs

The Don’ts

  • DON’T try intense exercises (running, sprinting, etc.)
  • DON’T eat directly before working out
  • DON’T overwork yourself

Best Exercises for IBS

Does exercise help Irritable Bowel Syndrome


I always thought yoga was overrated, but if you haven’t tried it, it’s AMAZING!

Yoga can help people with many different conditions, including digestive illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Yoga is a great way to relax while also easing pain in different areas of the body and strengthening muscles, while becoming more flexible.

The greatest thing about yoga is that it’s a physical and spiritual practice, giving you a well-rounded experience.

The Best Yoga Exercises For IBS

There are specific yoga poses that can benefit those of us with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

I really like these three books below, as they offer a lot of information and really great poses for people with digestive issues.

Yoga for Digestion: 12 Simple Yoga ExercisesYoga for Digestion: 12 Simple Yoga ExercisesYoga for Digestive Problems VideoYoga for Digestive Problems VideoThe Practice of Yoga for the Digestive SystemThe Practice of Yoga for the Digestive System



How about a nice stroll through the park?  Or even around your house!

I don’t know about you, but I love going for a walk on a nice day, just taking everything in from outside.

Walking can help ease the pain of cramps and break up gas bubbles trapped in the body.

I also can’t tell you how many times I had awful abdominal pains and a quick walk worked wonders!


A casual swim in the pool is a great, light exercise.

I’m not talking about swimming laps for speed here.

I’m talking about a nice relaxing swim across the pool.

I find that swimming across the pool for 20 minutes is a great exercise that doesn’t feel strenuous. 

The Top Exercises for IBS-C Plus More!

Constipation: Nutrition, Diet and ExerciseConstipation: Nutrition, Diet and Exercise

The Constipation book is a great resource for people with IBS-C.

This book outlines some great exercises to relieve constipation.

On top of the exercise tips you get a wealth of information on the subject, plus diet and nutrition information for constipation.

If you have chronic constipation, you need this in your life!



One Last Reminder

The next time you’re experiencing the pains and discomfort of IBS, skip the part where you ask yourself “does exercise help Irritable Bowel Syndrome?” and just get right to it!

It’s easy to talk yourself out of doing anything during an IBS attack, but these light exercises can help tremendously.

Photo Credit 1: By arztsamui at

Photo Credit 2: By tiverylucky at

The answer to 'does exercise help Irritable Bowel Syndrome?' is not a simple yes, but all depending on the type of exercise. These are some great guidelines to ease IBS with exercises made for your gut.




  1. I think (and correct me if I’m wrong) the intensity of the workout can increase slowly and progressively. It’s all about building endurance and body strength to handle it.

    • I agree that many people can adjust their work outs over time and probably tolerate more as they get used to the work outs, but I know it’s not the case for everyone. Personally, running for example, will aggravate my lower abdominal muscles, even if I haven’t eaten. But other cardio doesn’t seem to bother me and I can do most strength training exercises, just have to take it slow with strengthening the abs.

  2. I have Irritable bowel syndrome since i was in high school. And it is really irritating and puts me in a bad mood always. My mom made me eat prunes always and drink prune juice. It helps but i want to eliminate IBS totally, so i’m glad for this article of yours, i’ll try it right away. thank you for sharing this

    • Kelly, I’ve also had it since high school. I’ve made so many lifestyle changes, including exercise since then and it has dramatically improved. I hope you find some relief!

    • Czjai, you should try it! I was skeptical at first and thought it was overrated, but once I started yoga, I wanted to do it every single day! It’s challenging, fun and makes you feel amazing afterwards.

  3. Given what I’ve read and heard about IBS, I knew yoga would offer some respite. Swimming and walking sound perfect too.

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