Four easy indoor strengthening exercises
When it’s cold outside it’s easy to let regular exercise slide and swap it for the warmth and comfort of indoors. If you have compromised gut health, it can make it even harder to get outside and get moving.
Although overall more women than men tend to suffer from GI issues, there are still a high percentage of men who do – almost 83%. This month we are talking about men’s health, so we’ve enlisted the help of Jamie Sawyer, a specialist personal trainer to talk us through how exercise can help reduce gastrointestinal symptoms. The best bit is you don’t even have to leave the house to do them!
As a specialist personal trainer, Jamie works in sport-specific training, as well as rehabilitation and conditioning. A previously international-class athlete, he has worked with various professional sportsmen and women including boxers, rugby players and athletes. He understands the need to balance training and rehab methods and keep the body strong and supple.
We asked Jamie for some safe, achievable exercises that you can do at home. These are ideal for those suffering with gut health issues and can be easily progressed as you start to feel stronger.
Jamie says: “Suffering from any type of gastrointestinal distress can leave you clinging to the comfort of your sofa or bed. However, a better solution would be to get up and get moving.
Physiologically, exercise can hugely improve digestion. It has been shown to reduce the risk of constipation, and the symptoms of IBS and IBD. Additionally, it also has a profound positive effect on emotion and mood.”
He goes on to say: “Exercise can be as simple as putting on your trainers and going for a long walk or a small jog. You can even stay at home and perform your own body weight workout. Every little helps! Here are four simple but effective exercise ideas:
1: Sit to stand – With good posture, sit down on a chair and stand back up again without using your hands to help you rise. Try doing this for 30 seconds, have a little rest and try again. As you get fitter and stronger, aim to increase the time up to two minutes.
2: Wall press ups – Put your hands against the wall and walk your feet away behind you so you are at an angle. Then perform a press up. Again, try for 30 seconds. If you find that you can make the exercise a bit harder, place your hands on something a bit lower like the kitchen worktop or a solid table. Eventually, as you get stronger, you will end up performing the press up on the floor.
3: Stair climbs – Simply walk up and down the stairs. Try three minutes to start with. To make it harder try going a bit faster on the way up, and a safe and normal speed on the way down. If you’ve no stairs then head to a doorstep, pavement or even a solid stack of books and just step up and down that way.
4: Walking Lunges – Be it in your garden or around your bedroom, just walk and lunge. Again, set the timer for 30 seconds. Have a little rest and then go again. Increase the time when you feel you can.
These four would be a great combo to get yourself gently exercising and try and safeguard your health. If you can try and commit to moving for 20-60 minutes, three times a week then that would be fantastic.”