Celiac Disease And Exercise

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  • By Robin Westen

    If you suffer with Celiac Disease, you know how frustrating and discouraging that can be. But you can fight off its side effects through exercise. Here’s how physical activity can help you:

    Exercise Controls Weight

    Some people who suffer with celiac disease find themselves packing on pounds, especially when they substitute processed and low-nutritive food in exchange for gluten-free choices. If this sounds like you, exercise may be the answer. Just 30 minutes a day will help you burn those additional calories.
  • Exercise Builds Strong Bones A common side effect of celiac disease is osteoporosis and osteopenia (lower than normal bone density). Both are the result of poor absorption of minerals. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, and running, can help to keep bones strong. Weight training is another positive choice. Unfortunately, swimming and bike riding are not effective ways to build bone health.
  • Exercise Boosts Mood Since celiac disease can limit and affect life in many ways, it’s not unusual for sufferers of the condition to feel occasionally frustrated or down in the dumps. One of the best ways to combat the blues is through exercise. Countless studies have shown it releases hormones known as endorphins, which increase feelings of happiness. Also, the neurotransmitter serotonin is released during exercise, and that can also assist in getting an upbeat attitude.
  • Exercise Bumps Up Circulation Regular exercise keeps your heart pumping and blood moving, which over all, keeps the digestive tract healthy--essential for all of us, but especially for celiac disease sufferers. The process may even help in healing the damage created from gluten – although the jury is still out on that one.
  • Exercise Increases The "Halo Effect" Studies show people who exercise regularly tend to make better nutritional choices. Scientists call this association the “halo effect.” It means that positive qualities in one area of your life transfer to another.