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Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, and the good news is that it has many benefits for your gut. It can promote a healthy immune system, help you lose weight, and reduce your risk of several chronic diseases.
Regular exercise also helps your digestive tract function more efficiently and naturally. For example, if you’re constipated, low-intensity exercises (such as walking) alongside your favorite digestion-aiding probiotic can make a huge difference.
Studies have shown that exercise also affects the composition of your gut microbiome. Researchers found that participants who did a six-week period of moderate-to-vigorous exercise had significantly different gut microbiome compositions than those who didn’t do any exercise.
While there’s no guarantee that exercise can have a long-term effect on your gut health, it’s a great way to start. Just make sure to dial it down and not do a workout you dread or that causes pain.
If you want to know how exercise can improve your gut health, continue reading.
What Is Gut Health?
The health of your GI tract is often determined by the composition and diversity of bacteria present. Beneficial gut bacteria aid digestion, synthesize vitamins and stimulate nerve function. However, there are also harmful microorganisms that can deplete your system and lead to more serious conditions.
Common signs of poor gut health include chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms may include fatigue, sleep disturbances, or mood swings.
Diet and lifestyle factors, as well as stress, can all have an effect on your gut health. Eating a plant-based diet, getting enough sleep each night, and taking prebiotics or probiotics are all effective ways to improve this state of wellness.
What Is Exercise?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exercise is “a body activity that promotes physical fitness, enhances the quality of life, and reduces health risks.” It can be done at any intensity level.
Exercise has the power to lift your spirits and boosts energy levels, especially for those suffering from depression or anxiety. Furthermore, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment and boosts your self-worth.
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. Not only does it prevent or delay many diseases, but it also helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves mental and emotional stability.
Does Exercise Improve Gut Health?
Our gut microbiome is an intricate network of bacteria that regulates our metabolism and immune function, supports our nervous system, and helps with food digestion. Exercising regularly can improve this microbiome’s health as well as help protect us against digestive diseases.
Recent research has demonstrated that moderate or vigorous exercise can have beneficial effects on the bacteria living in your gut. Not only does it increase beneficial microbial diversity and short-chain fatty acid production, but it may also reduce inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract.
Exercises like brisk walking, weight lifting, or yoga are some of the simplest ways to strengthen your gut microbiome. However, which workout type is best for you depends on your body type and level of fitness.
6 Ways Exercise Improves Your Gut Health
If you’re looking to improve your gut health, exercise is a great place to begin. Studies have demonstrated that regular aerobic exercise can alter the composition of your microbiome in the gut, favoring beneficial bacteria and suppressing harmful ones. Here is how exercise may improve your gut health.
Regulates Bowel Movements
Exercise regularly can improve bowel movements and reduce constipation while also relieving inflammation in the GI tract. Exercise has numerous health benefits, one of which is that it speeds up peristalsis. It is an involuntary movement of your gut muscles to aid digestion, which helps expedite waste removal from the body.
Improves Microbiome Health
The gut microbiome is a collaborative ecosystem that lives in your large intestine and works together to promote overall well-being. One of the best ways to promote gut health is through regular exercise. Exercise has also been found to alter the composition of your gut microbiome, particularly by increasing short-chain fatty acid concentrations in the stool.
Boosts Your Immune System
Exercising can enhance immunity in several ways. It enhances your body’s natural response to infections by reducing stress hormone levels and activating disease-fighting white blood cells. Exercise also boosts your body’s capacity to respond positively to vaccines, making them more effective against the disease.
Increases Your Metabolism
Your metabolism is a delicate system that can be affected by several factors, such as age, sexual activity, weight, diet, and hormones. Studies have demonstrated that even brief bursts of high-intensity activity, like sprinting, can continue to boost your metabolic rate for hours after you’ve finished exercising. This phenomenon is known as the afterburn effect.
Exercising is one of the most beneficial factors for your overall well-being. Not only does it lift your mood and reduce stress levels, but it can even aid weight loss efforts. By reducing stress levels, it can help improve your gut health.
Prevents Colon Cancer
Regular exercise has long been known to reduce your risk of developing chronic illnesses, including colon cancer. Exercising can also reduce your risk of polyps or abnormal growths in your colon, which could develop into colon cancer if not addressed early.
Exercises That Aid in Digestive Health
If you struggle with gassiness, bloating, or constipation, it may be time to consider a new exercise routine. Exercising can help improve your metabolism and gut microbiome while reducing stress. Here are some exercises that can improve your gut health.
- Sit-ups or Crunches
- Pelvic Floor Activation
We all know that exercise is a must for a healthy body, but did you know that it can also help your digestive system? Aerobic exercise promotes a healthy microbiome. Moderate exercise can boost the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. It may also benefit your gut health by decreasing the likelihood of developing IBD symptoms. Exercise can also help with bloating, constipation, and other digestive problems.