Running When You Have Ulcerative Colitis

The following is an opinion piece written by Susan Garrick, who has suffered from ulcerative colitis for many years.

When you have ulcerative colitis, there are better ways to exercise than running.

I am a big believer that exercise helps alleviate the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. There are a few exceptions to that belief. I don’t believe that all exercises were created equally when it comes to them benefiting someone with ulcerative colitis.

Here are some of my experiences and advice for running with ulcerative colitis.

In my experience, running is one of the worst exercises that I have ever tried. I think it is because running is a high impact exercise. It seems that when I tried running, I had some serious stomach pain and cramping. I guess it is because running jiggles the intestines and digestive tract.

I tried running on the sidewalks in my neighborhood. I tried running on a rubberized track. I tried running on my treadmill. I tried running on a clay track. None of these options worked in my case. I guess running is running no matter where you run.

I am sure that there are some out there who have ulcerative colitis who are able to enjoy running without problems. Personally, I have not met anyone with ulcerative colitis who enjoys running. Most of the people that I know who have ulcerative colitis enjoy low impact exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga and even weight lifting.

I feel that I must give you a word of caution here. Running is considered an exercise program so, you should check with your health care professional before you start running. In some cases, you will become overheated when you run. With some medications used to treat ulcerative colitis, it is not advisable to become overheated.

It is also important to remember that during a flare up, getting overheated or doing strenuous exercise will inhibit your recovery. It could even make you feel worse. As an ulcerative colitis sufferer myself, I know that feeling worse during a flare up is the last thing that is desired.

I guess that you just have to try things like running and other exercises for yourself to see what actually works for you and your ulcerative colitis. It is like that with most aspects of dealing with this condition. What works for me may not work for you.