In addition to pain and discomfort, having a hernia can limit your ability to complete daily routines, lift objects, and perform high-intensity workouts as that can aggravate the sensitive condition. In some hernia types, there are also food restrictions that might prohibit you from eating certain things and enjoying your favorite meals.
While it is true that your activities become limited, it doesn’t mean that you should skip exercising altogether. In fact, living a sedentary lifestyle can make your abdominal muscles weaker, which can exacerbate your health condition. Moreover, fat accumulation in the abdominal area further stretches the abdominal wall, making the lining thinner.
It helps to wear a hernia belt while doing your daily activities as it can provide comfort, support, and pain relief to the user. Likewise, to keep yourself healthy and fit, you can try the following fitness tips:
Walk 45 minutes a day
One of the simplest workouts you can do without making your condition worse is walking. Walking for at least 45 minutes every day can help strengthen your abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and lower abdomen, which are common hernia sites. You can walk at a brisk yet steady pace to make your exercise more effective. Walking can also help you burn calories and lose excess weight, which is crucial in hernia management.
Do some pool exercises
Water exercises are also one of the safest ways to boost your cardiovascular fitness and strengthen your abdominal muscles. To start, you can walk in the pool for about 3 to 5 laps, then you can do 30 reps of half squats while your body is in the water. Performing these pool exercises can help strengthen the muscles in your abdominal area, boost your endurance, and improve your balance. After which, opt for a low-impact activity by swimming in slow and steady strokes.
Doing pillow squeezes will not only tone your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles but also your inner thighs.To do this exercise, lie on a mat with your knees bent then place a pillow between them. Hold the pillow with your thighs. Take a deep breath, then exhale. As you exhale, squeeze the pillow using your thigh muscles. Unsqueeze the pillow as you inhale. Repeat this 10 times for about 1 to 3 sets.
Working out is not the only thing you should focus on in terms of hernia management. Aside from exercising, diet modifications are also important to manage the symptoms of your health condition. Diet may vary, however, depending on the hernia type you have.
A hiatal hernia happens when a part of your stomach bulges up toward your diaphragm, leading heartburn, difficulty swallowing, acid backflow, and shortness of breath. For this reason, it is best to eat small frequent meals to prevent regurgitation. You should also limit your intake of fatty or fried foods, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol.
On the other hand, an inguinal hernia occurs when intestinal organs protrude through a weak spot in your abdominal wall. Doing activities that increase intra-abdominal pressure such as lifting heavy weights and straining can exacerbate the condition. Although no relationship has been established between an inguinal hernia and diet, it is best to avoid eating foods that may cause constipation and opt for high-fiber foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grain instead.
Keep in mind that before doing any form of exercise, you should get clearance from your doctor. While these home remedies are generally safe for patients with a hernia, some activities may not be suitable depending on the severity of your condition.