How Exercise Helps With Gut Health
Learn about the importance of incorporating the best exercises in your daily routine for a healthy gut.
In this article:
- Gut Health and Fitness
- Gut Exercises and the Microbiome
- How to Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria Through Exercise and Physical Activity
Adding The Best Exercises In Your Routine For A Healthy Gut
Gut Health and Fitness
Having a healthy gut doesn’t just mean looking for health foods that provide your stomach with good bacteria. Overall fitness also plays a role in having a healthy digestive system. Gut health is more than just the foods you eat, rather, it’s a lifestyle that helps in maintaining a healthy microbiome. Let’s first start by reviewing some of the basics…
Gut Exercises and the Microbiome
The collection of bacteria and fungi that resides in the gut, also known as the microbiome, is responsible for nearly your entire immune system. The overgrowth of bad bacteria and fungi can cause digestive issues and complications. In fact, studies show that many digestive disorders can be caused by a lack of diversity of bacteria and fungi in the gut. We generally think about supporting gut health through probiotics, prebiotics, and the foods we eat that provide the gut with ample nutrients for beneficial bacteria and fungi to thrive.
However, in addition to diet, exercise plays an important role in maintaining optimal gut health. According to a study, mice that exercised displayed a different composition of gut bacteria when compared to those that had little to no activity. In fact, the physically active mice contained more Lactobacillales bacteria which, in conjunction with Bifidobacterium, has been known to enhance nutrient absorption, lower cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease, and exert an anti-inflammatory response.
This theory is further supported by another study where researchers concluded that athletes contained a more diverse microbiome. Since these researchers have found that physical activity can actually improve digestive symptoms and function, exercise may offer some relief to those suffering from digestive issues. While more research is needed to determine exactly how exercise impacts the microbiome, it is clear that an increase in physical activity may offer additional support in maintaining a healthy microbiome.
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How to Promote Healthy Gut Bacteria Through Exercise and Physical Activity
Any physical activity requiring you to move can become an exercise. It can range from simple walking to a more complex aerobic exercise. You can try working out at home by yourself or work with a personal trainer at a gym.
What is Aerobic Exercise? This is a type of physical exercise aimed at using oxygen for energy during a workout. It can be low to high impact, both aimed to increase the heart rate and breathing. Here are the top five ways to get more exercise in your daily routine:
1. Schedule It!Pretend like you are scheduling a meeting. Physically block the time out of your day to go for a walk, hit the gym, take a yoga class, whatever activity fits your routine. Chances are if you schedule time out for yourself or even send yourself a calendar invite, you are more likely to commit to making it happen!
2. Take the Stairs
Opting to take the stairs is such a great idea because every little step counts! It really is all about getting movement and activity into your daily routine. So taking the stairs to your apartment, office, or anywhere in your day all add up and make a difference.
3. HIIT WorkoutsHigh Intensity Interval Training or HIIT workouts are a great way to incorporate an intensive full body workout in a very short period of time. Generally, most HIIT workouts require very little machinery and space so they can be done virtually anywhere: at home, in a park, or even in your hotel room all at your convenience. If HIIT workouts are too extreme for you, you can start with a low-impact exercise like walking or strength training. You can also look into cardio routines. Not only will you be able to improve your gut health, but also exercising helps with weight loss and muscle mass development.
4. More Mini-WalksAn High-intensity Interval Training session at the gym isn’t the only way to get your heart rate going either. Even a few minutes of walking around the office can help. Make an effort to take small breaks throughout the day to walk, stretch, and move your body…especially if you are sitting at a desk all day! Small breaks of movement may also help boost productivity as well! Next time try walking to lunch at work or set a timer so that every so often you are getting up and moving.
5. Get Outside!
Spending time outdoors is an awesome way to incorporate extra activity not to mention it’s also calming and nourishing to the mind, body, and soul. Finding a local park or trail to hike are excellent ways to get outside and incorporate daily movement.
Now that you know how exercise leads to a happier gut, optimize it even more with these 5 simple steps from BIOHM Health:
Along with taking good fungi and bacteria probiotics, adding exercise into your routine is definitely a step in the right direction for a healthier, happier gut!
Are you moving your muscles to help improve gut health? Share the exercise routine you do on a daily basis in the comments section below!
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Carley Smith @fairygutmother http://www.fairygutmother.com Additional Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757670/
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 9, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.