Is exercise with fibroids a good or bad idea for your health? Well, that’s a really good question, since these typically non-cancerous uterine tumors can be affected by your lifestyle choices.
Now, some fibroids cause symptoms like heavy periods, painful sex or even incontinence. And seeking Uterine Fibroid Embolization should shrink your growths and improve your symptoms. But, before you seek fibroid treatment, trying certain exercises can also help you manage fibroid symptoms. At the same time, other activities could make things worse. So, to help you choose the right workouts, here are the key ‘dos and don’ts’ when it comes to exercise and fibroids.
Fibroids and Exercise: The Don’t List
Of course, we never want your workouts to worsen fibroid symptoms. And that means you should avoid exercises that such as crunches or sit-ups, since they put pressure on your stomach. In turn, they could press against your fibroids and make symptoms like pelvic pain that much worse. Instead, try to tone your abs with moves like planks that don’t press against your fibroids.
Another workout to avoid? Heavy weight lifting: this workout sends extra blood into your pelvis. And that boosts blood supply to your fibroids, which could help them grow bigger and more intrusive. (Something you’d obviously like to avoid.)
Finally, high-intensity interval training could also be a problem. If you’re experiencing heavy menstrual flow, and that leads to anemia, your body may be in a weakened state. In that case, you could burn out if you try a workout that’s too intense. Instead, we suggest focusing on exercises that can make you feel better with fibroids—or at least make your symptoms more manageable.
Running with Fibroids: Do or Don’t?
Most women can enjoy running, even with fibroids. But if fibroids and incontinence are a problem, you may find it difficult to go for a long run, since you’ll need to pee more often. Also, if you have heavy periods, you might need to change your tampon during a long run. Or, you could just be too fatigued for an intense training session. As a result, running with fibroids could be too tough for women with untreated fibroids. But don’t worry: there are plenty of other workouts you can try right now.
Workouts to Improve Fibroid Symptoms
While running may be too much for you, walking, swimming and jugging are great cardio exercises to try with fibroids. (As a quick refresher, cardiovascular exercise raises your heart rate. And that’s important, since research suggests that women with fibroids have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Plus, we can link fibroids, hypertension and atherosclerosis, meaning caring for your heart is even more important when you have these uterine growths.)
While boosting your heart health with cardio can prevent other health complications, it may also improve your fibroid symptoms. Why? This type of exercise is important when you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight. And your weight matters with fibroids, since extra pounds can lead to a hormonal imbalance. Then, since hormones like estrogen contribute to fibroid growth, those last few pounds could actually make your symptoms worse. So ramping up the cardio could help improve fibroid symptoms, both now and in the future.
What’s the best cardio to choose? We love to suggest a low-impact, high-reward workout like swimming. As an added bonus, getting in the water can improve digestion. And since fibroids can lead to constipation, jumping in the pool is a great exercise choice with fibroids.
Exercise and Fibroids: Three Workouts to Try Right Now
Swimming with a heavy period can be tough. So, during your flow, you may prefer trying yoga. This is a great workout choice since it keeps you active, and some poses can reduce pelvic pain, back pain and other painful fibroid symptoms.
Outside of the yoga studio, light jogs can boost your cardio and help you lose weight. Plus, this is a free workout that doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and it’s easy to ramp the intensity up or down, depending on your energy level that day. Finally, while you should avoid lifting heavy weights, choosing lighter resistance can help you stay strong without making fibroid symptoms worse. Not sure where to begin? Here are some moves you can try in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
At-Home Exercises to Try with Fibroids
Looking for a fibroid-friendly home workout? Here’s some great advice—and some important safety tips—from Anita Slaughter, a certified personal trainer who owns A | TRAIN FITNESS
1. If you’re new to exercise, ease into your new routine, slowly increasing workout frequency, duration and intensity.
2. Mix up your workouts. Rotate between different muscle groups to avoid overuse injuries. And always remember cardio—you get bonus points for walking or running outside where you can soak up that Vitamin D. (This is extra important with fibroids, since Vitamin D deficiency increases your fibroid risk.)
3. Always talk to a specialist before starting a new workout routine, especially if you have an underlying health condition like fibroids. Remember, our team of Dallas area specialists is here to answer your questions, whether it’s discussing your treatment options or helping you choose the right exercise to try with fibroids. So reach out today to schedule a consultation and get your questions answered!
Sources: A Train Fitness Coaching