Many efforts have been made to help researchers understand the link between physical activity and gut health. In recent years, the body of evidence connecting exercise with a healthy gut has significantly widened. We now know that there’s actually a strong correlation on a microscopic level: The bacterial composition of the digestive system seems to change based on how often you exercise. The link is so strong, in fact, that one study found that physical activity three to five times per week can noticeably reduce the severity in IBS symptoms.
Because gastrointestinal health is such a multifaceted issue, there’s still a lot to learn. However, implementing a physical activity regimen can provide a range of benefits to you today. So what works?
Running, Hiking & Walking
If you've ever noticed you have more of an urge to go when you're out on a walk, run or hike, you're not imagining things. Exercise stimulates the intestines to contract, which helps to move things along naturally. A regular exercise regimen lasting 20-30 minutes per day can improve constipation and provide a more general sense of wellbeing.
Yoga, Breathing & Stretching
You don't have to engage in hard-hitting exercises to get benefits for digestion. Intentional breathing exercises such as yoga or meditation both help to strengthen diaphragm muscles, which can ease the symptoms of acid reflux. Using a basic resistance band such as a Theraband will help you to stretch more deeply and hold poses for longer using the correct form. Therabands are a versatile tool that can be used in physical rehabilitation capacity and to improve strength by targeting specific muscle groups.
In addition, this type of exercise is strongly associated with stress reduction and a boost in mental energy.
Now that you know you don't need to hit the gym hard after every meal to get digestive benefits from movement, we encourage you to try stretching with a Theraband daily.
Make exercise a part of your health care routine, along with a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh foods and fiber.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, not waiting until you are thirsty to do so. Staying hydrated allows your body's cells to work in peak condition by helping to transport vital nutrients and regulating a range of bodily functions, including digestion.