Exercise and Gut Flora a Perfect Combination
Undoubtedly, regular exercise is important for a person’s overall health and wellbeing, but most of us don’t know that exercise is also helpful in improving digestive health. Proper diet and nutrients have much more to do with our digestive health, but activity and exercise play a broad role in the proper functioning of the digestive system. There is a whole microscopic world that exists inside our colon, commonly called the microbiome. The members of this flora eat when we eat, get stressed when we do, and, according to the latest study, this entire system activates and works properly when we do exercise. Exercise helps to maintain bacterial diversity and improves digestive health.
Why does gut health matter?
We all have a mini-ecosystem in our gut that helps us break down the food and absorb its nutrients. These microorganisms aid us in a vast range of metabolic, structural and protective functions for the intestine. In addition to it, the gut microbiome also affects a range of other body functions, such as:
- Endocrine functioning
- Mental health
Exercise and digestive functioning
According to researchers, regular exercise enhances the microbiota found in the gut and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Although physical activity impacts digestion, its benefits also include short-term absorption. Exercise also alleviates constipation, gas, heartburn and stomach cramps. It also increases blood flow towards the digestive tract and the muscles, which help food to move through our system. When a person exercises, their intestines naturally contract and pass waste through the system. Yoga, stretching and cardiovascular exercises are ideal ways to get moving.
The gut regulates the vast majority of our immune system. The 100 trillion gut microbiota (both good and bad bacteria) contribute to improving overall health and disease prevention. Exercise increases the butyrate level, which provides fuel cells for the gut lining, prevents organic compounds from food, reduces inflammation, helps to maintain gut integrity, and stops metabolites and toxins from crossing into the bloodstream.
Exercises pump gut health
Mostly aerobic activities, such as swimming, cycling, and running, increase the blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract and other organs. As a result, we get more digestive enzymes and more muscular intestinal contractions, bettering our gut health. Less strenuous exercises can also be helpful for digestive health. Certain yoga poses and abdominal stretching strengthen the abdominal muscles and increase blood flow.
Physical activities enrich the microflora of the gut, reduces the transient stool, and minimizes the amount of contact between gastrointestinal mucus and pathogens. Muscular mass, body fat percentage and physical activity are all significantly related to the population of several beneficial bacteria. This means leading an active and healthy lifestyle is more helpful to good bacteria than bad. Physical activities not only enrich the microflora of the gut, but also contribute to reducing gastrointestinal disorders, obesity and pathologies related to obesity. Exercise even has an anti-inflammatory impact on the gut.