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Exercise for Hemorrhoids Prevention and Treatment

Maintaining a good level of general fitness will help to keep your resting heart rate low, and thereby reduce your overall blood pressure level. This will greatly help reduce your risk of developing hemorrhoids (also haemorrhoids or piles) in the first place, or improve the effectivenes of any other form of hemorrhoids treatment. In mild cases, it may even help the hemorrhoids cure themselves naturally, without any form of more aggressive treatment.

You can go a long way to achieving a higher level of fitness simply by adopting a more active lifestyle; embarking on a more aggressive exercise program may not be necessary, although it will improve your fitness level still further. Some simple methods of increasing your activity level include:

  • Walk or use a bicycle instead of driving for short distance journeys, such as going to your local shops, etc.
  • Use the stairs rather an escalator or lift, especially if you’re only going up or down one or two floors. If you’re traversing more floors, take the stairs for the first or last part.
  • If you make regular bus journeys, such as for going to and from work, get out of the bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way, or walk to the next nearest stop to catch the bus rather than using the nearest one.
  • Do your household chores, such as cleaning and ironing, more vigorously. Not only will you improve your fitness level but you might finish your chores a bit quicker too.
  • When drying yourself after a bath or shower, or even simply a wash, use the towel more vigorously. This will also help exfoliate your skin more effectively and improve its condition as well as increasing your fitness.

If you can build these simple activities into your daily or weekly routine, then your fitness level will gradually improve.

Beyond these simple activities, try going for a walk several times per week, or even better daily. Simply walking is one of the best methods of gently improving your level fitness. Being outside in the sun for a short while, ideally every day, will improve your health in other respects too. See www.sunforhealth.co.uk for more on the health benefits of sun exposure.

If you want to take things even further, try also regularly participating in some form of sport, or other physical leisure activity. If you can find an activity that you enjoy doing, then you will be more likely to do it regularly, or even frequently, over a prolonged period, and your fitness level will improve significantly, and stay that way.

There are also some exercise-related steps you can take that are more specifically aimed at combating hemorrhoids:

  • Try to avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods. Move around for a few minutes at regular intervals to get the blood that may have pooled in the veins in your rectal region moving again.
  • Try to avoid lifting heavy weights, especially repeatedly such as during weight training exercises.

Kegel exercises

Named after Dr Arnold Kegel, these exercises aim to strengthen the pubococcygeus muscle (PC muscle) in the pelvic floor. This is a large, flat, hammock-like muscle that runs from the pubic bone at the front to the coccyx (tail bone) at the back. It forms the floor of the pelvic cavity and helps to support the pelvic organs. It primarily controls urine flow and also contracts during sexual orgasm. This muscle also surrounds the anal canal, so improving its tone and function can reduce the pressure on the veins in this area and thereby reduce the formation of hemorrhoids.

Kegel exercises consist of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the PC muscle in sets, typically twice a day:

  • Quickly pump the muscle (contract and relax it) 15 times, pause for 30 seconds then repeat. Start with one set of 15 and gradually build up to about 100 (7 sets of 15).
  • Contract the muscle slowly, hold for 5 seconds, then slowly relax it again and repeat. Work your way up to at least 25 repeats.
  • Slowly contract the muscle to 1/3 of its way, pause, then continue to 2/3, pause again, then contract all the way, pause and relax. Repeat 10 times.

An easy way to identify, and thereby gain voluntary control of, the PC muscle is to stop the flow of urine in midstream. This requires contracting the PC muscle. Relaxing it again allows the urine flow to continue. Once identified in this way, the PC muscle can be voluntarily contracted and relaxed independently of urine flow.

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