Low-Impact Workouts To Try If You Struggle With IBS Over The Holidays

Hayley Madigan demonstrates fast punches
(Image credit: Symprove)

December is upon us and with it the last mad dash to Christmas, a push to tie up projects before the holidays disrupt everything – meet-ups with friends, office parties, family feasts. It’s all good fun, unless the combination of stress, more alcohol and rich food gives you gut problems, including IBS.

If you’re looking at the next few weeks with trepidation, try adding these workouts to your routine. They’re programmed by PT Hayley Madigan on behalf of probiotic brand Symprove

Symprove says it’s well established that low-impact exercise may help relieve the symptoms of gut issues and we concur: the role of exercise in gut health has come up before when we talked to Dr Megan Rossi about constipation and dietitian Jo Travers about IBS. In a survey, Symprove found 54% of respondents didn’t know exercise may help and 80% actively avoided activity during a flare-up.

While we’d never encourage anyone to exercise if they’re worried or uncomfortable, these sessions are a great way to integrate low-impact training into your day even when the holiday season kicks into high gear.

Each workout is short – one’s just four minutes – and none requires any equipment. Give them a try and see if they make a difference. 

Circuit Workout

Perform each of the exercises below for 45 seconds, resting for 15 seconds after each. Repeat for a total of three of four rounds.

Tabata Workout

This workout follows Tabata timings, but while Tabata traditionally requires you to go all-out, here you keep your movements slow and controlled. Do each exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move on to the next exercise. Complete four rounds of the exercises in total.

Pyramid Workout

This workout is a bit more challenging and takes longer than the others. In the first round, for every exercise perform four reps on each side, then in the next round perform six reps on each side. In the next rounds do eight and 10 reps, respectively, then come back down the pyramid. You’ll do seven rounds in total. 

More Low-Impact Workouts

Jonathan Shannon

Jonathan Shannon has been the editor of the Coach website since 2016, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and has run a sub-40min 10K and 1hr 28min half marathon. His next ambition is to complete a marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.