Do you wonder if you can exercise with fibroids, those typically non-cancerous tumors in your uterus? It’s important to manage your care, especially with lifestyle choices.
Sometimes, fibroids give you symptoms like heavy periods, pelvic pain or frequent urination. Treating your fibroids with a protocol like Uterine Fibroid Embolization should stop those symptoms. But if you aren’t quite ready to treat your fibroids, exercise can help you manage those symptoms. As long as you choose the right activities. So, to help you make smart choices, we’re sharing our top ‘dos and don’t’ for working out when you have fibroids.
What Exercises will Hurt My Fibroids?
Since you’re working out to stay healthy and manage your symptoms, avoid workouts that make symptoms worse. This means staying away from moves that put pressure on your stomach—think ab work such as sit-ups or crunches. They may painfully press on your fibroids. Instead, try ab boosting moves like crunches that don’t pile on pelvic pressure.
You should also stay away from lifting heavy weights, since this type of exercise can push more blood into your abdomen and lower body. Why is that a problem? By moving more blood to your core, you increase your fibroid’s blood supply. And that could translate to additional fibroid growth, which is obviously not what you want.
Finally, some HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts might hurt your fibroids. Since symptomatic fibroids can lead to heavy periods and anemia, they drain your body’s strength and energy. For that reason, extremely intense workouts could prove too much for your body. Now that you know which moves to skip, let’s focus on the exercises that can help reduce your fibroid symptoms.
Fibroids and Running: Can They Go Together
In theory, running with fibroids shouldn’t be a problem. Yet some fibroid symptoms could make running more difficult. Especially on longer excursions.
Specifically, if your fibroids cause incontinence or make you urinate frequently, longer training sessions may prove difficult. You could also find it too hard to run if heavy periods leave you fatigued. So, running with fibroids won’t be for every woman. But, in the meantime, you have so many other options to explore.
What Kind of Workouts will Improve Fibroid Symptoms?
One of our favorite ways to manage your fibroids is with cardiovascular exercises like walking, jogging or swimming. These are considered cardio because they raise your heart rate. That’s important, since recent studies suggest that women with fibroids are more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors than women without fibroids. Plus, there’s a link between fibroids, hypertension and atherosclerosis, and some clinicians even view fibroids as a risk factor for future cardiovascular disease.
Clearly, boosting heart health through cardiovascular exercise can be important when you have fibroids. Even better? Engaging in cardio is a great way to manage fibroids because they make you feel good while helping you maintain a healthy weight.
It’s always important to work towards a healthy weight, but it’s especially helpful if you have fibroids. That’s because, when you gain weight, your hormones can become unbalanced. And an overdose of hormones may boost fibroid growth. So getting your cardio in will help manage those fibroid symptoms now and down the road as well.
Now, as for specific forms of cardio, swimming is one of our top choices. First of all, it’s low impact, so you’re unlikely to get hurt, even if you’re new to exercise. Also, swimming can help your digestion. And since constipation is an especially troubling fibroid symptom, swimming is a great exercise option!
Exercise and Fibroids: Three Great Workout Choices
Not ready to jump in the pool, especially during a heavy period? Choosing a yoga workout can help you stay active and flexible. Plus, it could reduce back and pelvic pain, especially if you try these curated yoga poses for fibroid sufferers.
If you need a bit of a cardio boost, try a light jog or run, especially if you’re trying to lose some weight. This is a great choice because you don’t need a gym membership or any special equipment. Plus, you can switch up the intensity level to suit your current state of health.
Finally, lifting light to moderate weights is another great way to boost your overall exercise routine, even with fibroids. But if you’re ready to dive into a new exercise program, but want to workout in the privacy of your own home? Never fear, we’ve got some home-workout safety tips to help you get going!
Safely Working Out at Home
We want you to be safe, wherever you get your sweat on. And to help protect your health, we’ve asked certified personal trainer Anita Slaughter, owner of A | TRAIN FITNESS, for her top at-home workout tips! And feel free to reach out and train with Anita from home. She offers virtual training and Zoom fitness classes!
1. If you aren’t exercising regularly, ease into a fitness program and slowly increase the frequency, duration and intensity.
2. Add variety to your fitness program. Mix up your muscle groups so you don’t sustain overuse/repetitive injuries. And throw plenty of cardio in the mix, with walks or runs outside for the added Vitamin D benefit.
3. If you have underlying health issues (like vein disease) or you’re concerned about safety, consult a professional. Telehealth is now available if you need to get clearance from a physician or fibroid specialist.