Most of us know and understand the benefits of regular exercise. From reducing stress to helping you live a full, active life, it is difficult to go anywhere without hearing something about it. If you are a part of the one in eight women who have been diagnosed with endometriosis, regular exercise can also mean managing your symptoms better, and even have protective effects. Here’s how:
Exercise and Endometriosis
When you are dealing with a disease that causes you pain on a regular basis like endometriosis, the farthest thing from your mind may be keeping up with a regular exercise routine. Let’s look at what happens to your body when you have endometriosis so we can understand what and how exercising can help.
- Endometriosis feeds off the hormone estrogen, which leads to inflammation, bloating, pelvic pain, and more. The very act of exercise helps reduce estrogen.
- When bracing for the pain associated with endometriosis, the anterior side muscles groups of the pelvic floor, abdominal wall, and hip flexors are affected.
Pilates, Yoga, and More
The slow, gentle movements of Pilates and yoga have specific positions to help strengthen and lengthen those pelvic area muscles. The seated glute stretch, seated hip flexor stretch, and a wall side bend stretch are centered around working these muscle groups. Resistance bands can be incorporated into these to kick things up a notch when you are ready.
Other pelvic muscle exercises that you can incorporate a resistance band into include side lying leg raises, sit to stands, and glute bridging with TheraBand.
Even if you just walk 15 minutes a couple of times a week, it is important to keep moving and retain that overall sense of wellbeing. Walking can reduce inflammation and stress, and releases endorphins, which can make you less sensitive to pain.
Don’t Overdo It
Working within your limits is key in keeping your body mobile and prevent burnout. You need to allow your body to rest when it needs to. If you are used to regular high-impact exercising, this is not to say that you cannot continue to do it after diagnosis. Start with low intensity, gradually working your way up, as some exercises can increase endometriosis symptoms like crunches, running, and burpees to list a few.
It is ok to change things up to keep your motivation going and keep the consistency. Get outside, go to the park, go swimming if the gym is burning you out, or not your thing. If you are moving at a regular consistency, you can be your greatest asset in helping reduce your endometriosis symptoms.
At Women’s Health Care Research, we are committed not only to working with patients to find current treatments that will deliver the most impactful results, but also in working to develop new treatment options through clinical studies.
If you or someone you love is struggling with endometriosis, Women’s Health Care Research currently has enrolling studies for those seeking new treatment options. Qualified candidates who participate may receive study-related care at no cost and receive compensation for travel. To learn more and see how you or someone you love may qualify for a study, click HERE.