Exercising with Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids – a painful and recurrent interference in your day-to-day life. Caused by pregnancy, obesity, or straining during bowel movements, over half of Americans will have suffered one or more of the typical symptoms of hemorrhoids by the age of 50.

Considering the indicators of inflamed hemorrhoids are undesirable and problematic – they can ruin even the brightest day – you might be asking if you can exercise while experiencing this problem? You may be wondering whether cardio exercise will ease or exacerbate the situation? Or, you might be thinking about whether you can still participate in your team sports.

Choose the right exercise to ease hemorrhoid symptoms! Allow exercise to reduce stress-levels and maintain your overall wellbeing to deal with your hemorrhoid issue.

What are symptomatic hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are simply a collection of padding-like tissue, veins, arteries, and nerves that act as a protective barrier during the exertion of bowel movement. They serve to protect and support the anal canal. Therefore, medically speaking, we all have hemorrhoids. In fact, we are born with them.

The problem only arises when this cluster, acting to cushion the exertion of defecation, becomes inflamed. In this instance, you may have symptoms such as:

  • itching
  • painfully irritated skin around the anus
  • swelling
  • rectal bleeding
  • rectal discharge

Perhaps you are wondering whether you need to take further steps to address your inflamed hemorrhoids. Don’t worry, your proctologist, otherwise known as a colon and rectal surgeon, will advise you on the best course of action.

And it is crucial not to ignore these symptoms. It is important to seek immediate medical advice. Rectal bleeding can be a sign of more serious medical conditions.

I’m suffering from symptomatic hemorrhoids; can I stay active?

Having read the symptoms of hemorrhoids, you are probably wondering whether it is safe for you to continue your usual activities and exercise routine. In short, the answer is yes, but be careful with the exercises you choose to do. Inform yourself about the safest exercises for your own health and comfort.

There is no hiding from the truth: exercise is good for you! Not only does it reduce the risk of more serious health risks, but it builds up your immune system, burns those pesky calories, and improves your cardiovascular and respiratory health (which leads to a healthy, happy heart). Consistently taking part in exercise is also known to stimulate bowel movement, which is linked to preventing, easing, and even curing inflamed hemorrhoids.

But you need to be informed about the two types of exercises: ones that promote healthy bowel movement; and the ones that are detrimental to the health of your anus because they cause straining, leading to inflammation, and/or they aggravate existing hemorrhoids.

Here are the best exercises to try out if you suffer from hemorrhoids:

  • Yoga: stretching exercises help blood flow to your anus, consequently providing faster healing and much-needed relief. Focus on stretching your stomach and thighs to treat your hemorrhoids.
  • Mild cardiovascular exercise: a 20-30-minute jog, walk or swim can increase circulation to your rectum, thus preventing blood clot formation.
  • Kegels: to carry out this exercise, contract the anal muscle for 3 seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times. Try to perform 5-7 sets in your day. Kegels work your pelvic floor and help to build up your anal muscles.

Performing these gentle exercises daily should not worsen discomfort but alleviate it instead.

And which exercises should I avoid when I have hemorrhoids?

In contrast to the above suggestions to ease symptoms of hemorrhoids through well-chosen exercise, some forms of activity can be problematic. To be clear, you should avoid any activity that produces an increase in discomfort and irritation.

Here are the types of exercise best avoided when suffering from symptomatic hemorrhoids:

  • Horseback riding, cycling, and rowing: any exercises that place exertion on sensitive areas will exacerbate pain. Avoid these at all costs!
  • Weightlifting: such a strenuous exercise will only inflame already painful blood vessels.
  • Squats: sitting down and squeezing your legs repetitively will not help matters. Doing these will only cause persistent sensitivity.

Do you play team sports? Stick to training when not suffering from hemorrhoids. Your regular capacity and aptitude at this time might be hindered by the presence and discomfort of hemorrhoids; they tend to rear their heads when things get sweaty!

However, don’t let hemorrhoids control you or your lifestyle. Simply change direction from your regular exercise routine and try out something new. Remember, exercise is an important part of daily life that maintains a healthy cardiovascular system as well as reducing levels of stress, so it’s crucial to sustain this as part of healthy living.


And the final tip is to ensure you don’t forget that water bottle! Stay hydrated to avoid constipation. Not only is constipation unpleasant at the best of times but, with hemorrhoids, it can worsen your symptoms leading to additional pain and discomfort.

Treat your body with respect during this time. Exercise as regularly as is comfortable and possible, and work within the boundaries your body is giving you.

If you are persistently feeling pain during exercise, even the recommended ones here, talk with your doctor for more advice on an exercise routine that can work for you.