It’s no secret: Hemorrhoids are a pain and can be embarrassing to discuss. However, it’s important to find credible information to know how hemorrhoids occur, so you can prevent them if possible.

Also known as piles, hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the lower rectum or around the anus that is caused by straining or pressure in the rectum. This can be linked to many factors such as diet, constipation, pregnancy, obesity and even sitting for extended periods of time.

Exercise is not on this list because it’s actually an important preventative measure that helps the colon stay regular and reduces weight gain and the amount of time you’re sitting.

There is one exception to this rule – lifting heavy weights with poor form. When hitting the weights, you should practice proper breathing and lifting techniques. Do not do things such as hold your breath as you lift because it will cause more stain and increase the chances of hemorrhoids.

To learn more about actual causes of hemorrhoids, read our blog post, “Daily habits that can cause hemorrhoids.”