If you regularly lift weights, always check your form and breathing. Doing either improperly could potentially put you at risk of developing hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are caused when veins near your anus become swollen, which often occurs when you are straining and placing excessive pressure on the abdomen.
Consider talking to a doctor or personal trainer to determine if you are breathing properly when lifting weights to prevent the development of hemorrhoids. If you already have hemorrhoids, your doctor may suggest that you avoid weightlifting while your hemorrhoids heal to prevent further irritation.
Hemorrhoids From Lifting Heavy Objects
Straining and holding your breath while lifting weights could cause the veins near your anus to become swollen and possibly poke through your anus, resulting in uncomfortable hemorrhoids. Grunting and holding your breath as you lift weights forces the air in your lungs downward, putting pressure on your internal organs and the veins in your rectum.
Other Causes of Hemorrhoids
Other activities and conditions besides lifting can lead to hemorrhoids. Some of these include pregnancy, chronic diarrhea or constipation, and obesity. Your chances of developing hemorrhoids increase with age because the tissues around your anus begin to weaken, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Weightlifting and Hemorrhoids
If you already suffer from hemorrhoids, your doctor may suggest that you discontinue lifting weights while you are healing depending on the severity of your symptoms.
The exertion of weightlifting could increase the pressure in your abdomen, which may lead to a worsening of your hemorrhoid symptoms. The abdominal pressure that builds up when you are weightlifting is similar to the pressure your body creates when you strain to have a bowel movement.
Prevent Hemorrhoids Caused by Weightlifting
A regular weightlifting routine doesn't have to lead to hemorrhoids. If you practice proper breathing during exercise, you can prevent hemorrhoids when lifting heavy objects and weights.
Avoid holding your breath and pushing in the direction of your anus as you lift weights. Instead, take a breath before lifting; then hold your breath, pushing the air in the direction of your throat as you lift, exhaling completely after each repetition.
Exercises for Hemorrhoids
Regular exercise is beneficial when you're suffering from hemorrhoids. While weightlifting with hemorrhoids might be contraindicated, yoga and walking are good forms of exercise that can help you prevent and relieve hemorrhoid symptoms.
Try taking a 30-minute walk each morning to prevent hemorrhoids, and perform Kegel exercises throughout the day by contracting and releasing your perineal muscles several times.
Exercise may also help with the underlying issues that cause hemorrhoids such as obesity or sitting too long.
Other Hemorrhoid Treatments
In addition to exercise, maintaining a healthy diet with high-fiber foods and supplements will help prevent hemorrhoids by keeping your stool softer and bowel movements regular. Stay hydrated to further prevent constipation.
Avoid scratching your hemorrhoids as this can cause further damage and discomfort. Consider using a cream to relieve pain and itching.
Consult Your Doctor
Although rare, you may experience severe complications from your hemorrhoids, such as anemia or a strangulated hemorrhoid, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you experience rectal bleeding or extreme pain, consult your doctor.