Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Fitness and Exercise » Crohn's and Combat Sports (Boxing/Martial Arts)

03-22-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Crohn's and Combat Sports (Boxing/Martial Arts)

Hi All,
I've spent some time over the last year or so getting back into good physical health. Just over a year ago I had a very bad flare that put me into the hospital for a week and a half where I lost about 20 pounds (from 180 to 160). I frequented the gym and noticed a big loss in muscle mass. Now, I'm finally back to where I was in terms of muscle mass (10 pounds of fat is just gone and unable to be put back on).

So, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm not in remission, but I'm on meds that seem to be working ok. I go to the gym about 4 days a week and I'm looking for something a little more. I'm quite interested in boxing, but I'm worried about it and getting jabbed in the intestinal area. Does anyone else do boxing or even martial arts? How has it worked out for you with Crohn's? Thanks.
03-22-2013, 12:50 PM   #2
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Cat-a-Tonic's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
I don't do any martial arts, but I've been thinking about maybe looking into some classes, so I'm curious to see what responses you get. I am going to tag Rygon here because I know he does kickboxing sometimes.
03-22-2013, 12:56 PM   #3
Super Moderator
CrohnsChicago's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Chicago, Illinois
I used to take boxing classes before I came down with crohn's symptoms. I would LOVE to get back into that someday in my near future. It was so much fun and you got an AMAZING workout from it.

Talk to your doctor about it as well maybe? See what they think when they compare your past symptoms to where you are now. But I see it this way, if there is a pro-football player out there with crohn's (Matt Light Reveals Long Battle With Crohn's), then the option is available for some with IBD to try high intensity/combat sports.
Crohn's-Colitis May 2012
Current Meds:
6-MP (100mg) / Asacol (4800mg)
Past Meds:
Prednisone/ Entocort / Flagyl
Current Supplements:
B12 Shot (1cc/mo) / Multivitamin / Vitamin D (1000iu) / Calcium (1200mg) / Omega 3 Fish Oil (4800mg)
Additional Info:
Anemia/Borderline Anemia - whole life
Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 2009 (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, mindfulness meditation)

03-22-2013, 12:56 PM   #4
Lisa's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New York
If you are not experiencing symptoms, and don't have a history of surgeries or perforations etc I don't see why it should be an issue. I've done some pretty strenuous activities (was a volunteer firefighter for one) and never had an issue....

30 plus years and counting with UC/Crohn's!
on remicade since 11/05

While my experiences may not be what everyone has had- I feel it is worthwhile to share any and all experiences that may be beneficial to others.
03-22-2013, 01:17 PM   #5
rygon's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Grimsby, United Kingdom
I found the exercising was worse for my guts than the actual sparring.

This all depends if you would want to go sparring at all. I havent sparred in a few years as I just wasnt fit enough (it is much harder than the normal nights), but the other classes had us hitting bags, one on one sparring with pads etc and that definately got me fit and well built.

I would look around if you havent tried it before as there are good classes and bad classes (my 1st class was absolutely rubbish, but I didnt realise until 2yrs later when I tried somewhere else). Try the normal nights 1st and once you feel fit and comfortable, then go on to sparring.

It would also be worth telling them about your bad stomach, and ask if it doesnt start plaing you up can you do a different exercise, or just rest for a bit. That way they know not to try and push you when you do feel bad.
Current Meds:
2x 1200mg Mezavant, 3x50mg Azathioprine, Infliximab (6 weekly)
03-23-2013, 03:47 PM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Thanks all. I figure I'll go for it. And per rygon's suggestion, I don't necessarily have to do sparring, and if I do, it's good to let them know I have Crohn's. Perhaps they may have dealt with others that have the same or similar problems. Can't live life being afraid of everything. I figure I'll go for it. Thanks again.
03-24-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
Forum Monitor
Join Date: Mar 2013
I would go for it if I was you, I did the army's version of MMA training Combatives level 2 and 3 with Crohn's. In level 3 we did 3 90second fights every friday, plus whatever sparring and rolling during the week leading up to it. I have never had surgery so if I am not flaring I assume my guts are durable and pain free enough to take a few shots or have someone roll over me.
One day my stomach was aching a tad and I found my Defense to be much better then days I wasn't so concerned about getting kicked or punched.
04-02-2013, 11:52 AM   #8
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Boston, MA
Thanks, amry. That's kind of what I like to hear, the "go for it" mentality. I don't like living life being afraid of things. Might as well try it out and see how it goes. If its not so good, then I'll stop. Otherwise, I'll never know if I don't try.
10-07-2016, 08:50 AM   #9
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Texarkana, Texas
I have UC and do BJJ luckily my coach has Celiac and understands my problems. We work through it and I've been doing it for 7 months no issues. It has actually helped my stomach issues. I haven't had a flare up in months.
10-18-2016, 12:00 PM   #10
dccrash23's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Crohn's Castle, Alberta
After I was able to get a handle on my Crohn's I started doing Muay Thai and I haven't had any problems with it. It took a while to get comfortable with idea of taking shots to the gut, but once I got conditioned to it is pretty routine now! The issue that I have to watch out for is fatigue. The works outs are intense and if I attempt them on low energy/sleep, I can wear myself out real quickly.
11-25-2016, 04:54 PM   #11
Super Moderator
CrohnsChicago's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Update: Last year I joined a crossfit-style of bootcamp which was super high intensity and survivied And my trainer for that class had UC and was a triathlete himself. He was very inspiring to work out with. And we both knew when it was time to train and when it was time to give your body a rest and take care of it. In remission for 4 years now and fatigue is a normal part of my life even in remission. So listening to my body is very important. Something to consider when taking up any kind of extreme and/or high-impact sport.

I'm currently taking a different high intesnsity bootcamp class 2-3x week and instead of an hour long class like it used to be last year I now reduced the time to 30 minute sessions which has helped me reduce some of the fatigue I had with doing bootcamps.

Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Fitness and Exercise » Crohn's and Combat Sports (Boxing/Martial Arts)
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