Uterine fibroids are a condition that can hamper one’s movement and fitness, due to the extreme pain they cause. While painful symptoms aren’t present for all women, for the ones that DO feel them, it can be really hard to keep moving. While you obviously won’t be able to do strenuous exercises like crunches and deadlifts, some alternatives exist that might help you stay fit.
What are Uterine Fibroids?
Fibroids are an extremely common condition that exists among women. These are normal and (usually) harmless knots of muscle (or tumors) that grow and attach themselves to the wall of the uterus. While these fibroids are usually benign, they can turn malignant and cause the patient to experience extreme pain and cramping, as well as excessive bleeding during their periods.
Fibroids can be of many different sizes, as they can exist in ranges of less than 1mm, to even greater than 8 inches in length. Uterine fibroids are experienced by almost 75% of the female population, therefore this is a very common ailment. Fibroids are also most likely to occur in a woman’s reproductive years; from the mid-20s to their 50s.
Some of the most usual symptoms of uterine fibroids are:
Excessive/heavier bleeding than usual during periods
Pain during sex
Bleeding in-between periods
Benefits of Exercising
Hormones are a huge factor in the development of fibroids. There have been tons of studies that have shown that women who work out more than 3 hours a week have about 30-40% less a chance to develop fibroids, than women who didn’t work out. Fitness also helps to reduce the levels of production of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. This helps regulate and even decrease the growth of fibroids.
Some of the benefits of fitness during fibroids are:
Increases production of endorphins: Endorphins are one of the four famous feel-good hormones. They help to decrease stress, relieve symptoms such as cramps, and muscle aches, and make you feel great in general. You can greatly increase levels of endorphins in your body by exercising, as well as increase your heart rate.
Weight and fat loss: Exercising naturally helps you to reduce excess weight and burn fat. This is highly beneficial as it helps you feel stronger and lighter, but also decreases the chances of fibroids.
Maintain a normal and healthy BMI: Since obesity heavily promotes fibroid growth, exercising is a good precaution against abnormal growth. Obesity also causes other health issues such as lack of flexibility, heart issues, back pain, etc. A normal and healthy BMI lies between 18 to 25 and can be calculated using various BMI calculators found on the web.
Makes you feel more energetic: Working out and exercising help to boost one’s energy levels and make one feel much more lively. Women who suffer from fibroids report that they feel extremely tired all the time. This is very likely due to excessive menstrual bleeding, which can cause anemia. Exercising is a great way to counteract this.
What exercises should be done while having fibroids?
When suffering from fibroids, it is extremely important to not engage in extremely vigorous activity AT ALL. Exercises involving your core (such as crunches and situps), HIIT, and weight lifting should not be pursued, as these exercises can increase fibroid growth. The patient should take the following exercises and regimens extremely slowly and carefully, and they must immediately discontinue them if they feel even a small measure of pain.
Cardio exercises (jogging, cycling, walking, etc)
Cardiovascular exercises are great for people suffering from fibroids. Since such exercise is low-intensive (if done properly), they go easy on one’s bones and joints, as well as help to stay in great shape.
Pilates is a great way to strengthen one’s muscles without making the body go through extreme pressure. It is also a low-intensive exercise, which is perfect for fibroid patients.
Since yoga is another low-intensive workout, it’s great for patients suffering from fibroids. It is a regimen that targets all of the major areas in the body, as well as increases strength and flexibility. Since some of the postures in yoga help relieve stress from the abdominal region, it can help remove some stress and pain from the uterine region for women. Yoga is also known to be a great stress reliever, energy booster, and a good weight loss method.
Low Impact Weight Training
Since heavyweight training can stress the body immensely, it’s not a good idea to pursue that. However, if one still wishes to do some weight training, they can still do low-impact workouts. Instead of trying to deadlift your PR every day, try going for lighter weights but with higher reps.
A classic workout, stretching is great for the body. It loosens up any muscles that might’ve gotten tight and painful, as well as promotes weight loss. While some movements might cause pain to patients suffering from fibroids, slow movements combined with easy stretching can be extremely beneficial.