One out of every three Americans will develop hemorrhoids sometime during their lives. Whether you acquire this unwelcome condition due to pregnancy, constipation or lifting, hemorrhoids are painful and irritating. Hemorrhoids can heal and return over again, and sometimes it is hard to know when they will flare and cause discomfort. Eating more fiber, increasing water intake and getting regular exercise is the best way to control hemorrhoids. While you may not be motivated to exercise when your hemorrhoids are giving you a pain in the posterior, walking or even taking a hike is a good way to get the blood flowing and start the healing process.
Because the tissue around the hemorrhoids is inflamed and swollen, it is important to choose low impact activities that do not cause friction or strain. Therefore, jogging, biking, jump roping, weight lifting and high impact aerobics are not the best choices. Brisk walking is a great place to start. Walk fast enough to bring the heart rate up. A good rule of thumb is that it should take effort to carry on a conversation with a walking partner. If you are strolling comfortably and conversation is easy, you probably are not getting much cardiovascular benefit from your walk.
Hiking is also a wonderful exercise. Research your surrounding areas to find some good hiking trails. You will enjoy some lovely scenery and fresh air while getting a workout too. Hiking will use different muscles than walking and will strengthen calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus muscles. Increasing blood flow to these areas will also increase circulation to rectal blood vessels and will help heal your hemorrhoids.
When you exercise, do not neglect proper attire. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing made of natural fibers. You do not want to irritate your hemorrhoids during exercise. Also, invest in proper athletic shoes or hiking shoes to prevent injury and provide adequate ankle support. Enjoy being outside this spring to benefit your heart, hemorrhoids and health!