Can exercise improve your gut health?
We all know we should be exercising regularly for our overall health, but did you know that regular exercise can also improve your gut health? A recent study suggests that routine exercise can increase beneficial microbial, diversify microflora, and improve the development of commensal bacteria.
Exercise And The Gut
Studies have been conducted to determine if exercise can help improve gut health, outside of just the food you eat. A recent study shows the impact of movement and no other factors. Mice and humans of all sizes were put on a cardio program that required them to move for 30-60 minutes a day.
Their gut microbiome was checked before and after six weeks. Many participants showed an increase in gut microbes that assist in the production of short-chain fatty acids that are produced by consuming resistant starch.
Short-chain fatty acids are responsible for a host of benefits including:
- Weight Loss
- Reduction in Inflammation
- Improvement in symptoms of IBS and IBD
- Balanced blood sugar and improvement in insulin sensitivity
- Reduction in anxiety and depression
- Repairs to "leaky gut"
- Increased absorption of nutrients
After the initial review of the gut, participants went back to their sedentary lifestyle. After the microbiomes were tested again, the microbes in the gut had gone back to their previous state.
Exercise And Your Stool
Your stool is a key indicator of how your gut is functioning. Regular, healthy stool represents a healthy gut. Exercise can lower the time it takes food to get through the large intestine which allows water to stay in the stool and pass easier, keeping your digestive tract in better shape. In addition, an active body leads to active intestinal muscles, so squeezing out stool also becomes easier with regular exercise.
Best Exercises For Gut Health
Working out doesn’t mean going to the gym for hours. A good place to start is by taking daily walks for at least 30 minutes. Yoga and meditation are great also examples of adding mindfulness to your day. Gentle postures and posses can enhance digestion and help decrease bloating.
With any exercise, start slow and start building over time. Listen to what your body needs and let it guide you. Avoid pushing yourself too much, this can exacerbate issues and lead to additional frustration during your healing process.
It’s Also About Lifestyle
If you’re working out regularly but still feeling constipated, it’s likely that you’re not eating the right foods or taking the right supplements. Exercise alone cannot solve your gut issues but should be part of a diet free of food triggers and supplements that support your gut health.
If you feel like you don’t know where to start in your gut health journey, try out our GoodGut Program. The program was created with you in mind. It contains 5 supplements and a 21-day guide to help you feel your best. Pair that with our Healthy Habits Food Journal to keep your diet on track.