Everyone knows that exercise, in general, is good for your overall health. Regular exercise gives you countless benefits for mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
What’s less well known is, there are certain exercises that are especially good for helping people relieve and prevent hemorrhoid flare-ups.
Any exercise that relieves strain, increases blood flow, and strengthens muscles in the pelvic area are beneficial for healing hemorrhoids.
When your health care provider approves you for physical activity, and when you’re feeling less sore, here are the best three exercises for help in healing anal/perineum injuries.
Lap swimming is a good overall exercise that is non-weight bearing and relieves weight and pressure on your body.
If you have access to a low-chlorine pool, you can enjoy swimming laps. Not only does it increase your blood oxygen levels, due to the rhythmic breathing you perform during swimming, the additional circulation help will help speed healing in your pelvic area.
If you have the opportunity, swimming in sea water is also therapeutic. The saline in the water simulates the epsom salt water you use during your sitz bath treatments (link to sitz bath soak product page) and can help support skin healing while you exercise.
Walking is the easiest and most accessible type of exercise. You can go on long or short walks in your neighborhood, or you can “walk” at home. This indoor walking can be done by marching in place, and is a great exercise alternative for people whose home may have limited space to exercise.
Start off your walking sessions with two days a week for 30 minutes at a time. There are a lot of walking books and magazines to teach proper technique, but the best way to walk is to just “walk.”
You don’t need to be a “power walker” or even walk very fast to reap the benefits:
- Increased blood flow in the pelvic area
- Taking the pressure off the anal/perineum area
- Counters the effects of sitting for long periods of time
Kegels – Direct Pelvic Exercises
Normally, this exercise is known for improving sexual health and tightening pelvic muscles for women experiencing incontinence.
However, Kegel exercises are good for men, too.
The squeezing action directed toward the pelvic floor muscles is a counter to the pushing straining action that normally comes with pooping.
Kegels can be performed discreetly anytime during the day. To “feel” the muscles you’re supposed to be exercising, when you next go to pee, try stopping the liquid in mid-stream by pretending you need to “hold it.” Once you’re able to stop yourself in mid-pee a couple of times, you know you’ve found your pelvic muscles.
(Don’t do this too many times. Once you’ve been able to stop your pee stream, “let it go.”)
This is the one exercise that can be done anytime, anywhere. You can discreetly squeeze & release your Kegel muscles in quick succession, or practice holding & squeezing for different lengths of time.
Here is a video demonstration for women:
And here is a humorous demonstration for men
(NSFW – language only):
Remember: though these three exercises are known to be good for relieving hemorrhoids, please check with your health care provider before attempting any of the above activities.