Exercise for gut health: 4 things you should be doing
Things you’ll learn in this blog:
When trying to lose weight, many different factors and situations can impact your progress and make it harder for you to shed pounds.
You may be seemingly doing everything right - eating a calorie deficit, exercising regularly, and even getting enough sleep.
So, why are you still not losing weight?
It’s frustrating, and one thing you might not have considered is that the health of your gut plays a massive role in your ability to lose weight and process food. If your gut isn’t healthy, losing weight can be a more arduous ordeal than it needs to be.
Thankfully, there are things that you can do at home to help improve your gut health, which in turn will make losing weight easier.
One of these things is adding some exercises to your routine that specifically benefit your digestive tract.
Here's a look at some of those exercises and more information about the fascinating world of gut health.
What is gut health (and why is it important)?
The term gut health describes the state of our gut microbiome or the vast array of bacteria that live inside our gut. Trillions of “good” and “bad” bacteria live within our gut, which plays a crucial role in our digestive health.
To maintain digestive health, a balance of good and bad bacteria is essential. Eating a healthy diet with whole foods and probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables can help this.
Additionally, regular physical activity and reducing stress levels can help to promote your gut by improving the digestive tract.
Although gut and digestive health are inextricably linked, it goes far beyond this and can impact our mood, immune system, and overall health.
There are several vital reasons why a healthy gastrointestinal tract is so important.
Firstly, maintaining your digestive system can help promote the absorption of nutrients from our foods. This, in turn, can help support vital immune function, well-being and energy levels and even improve mental clarity.
Secondly, having a balanced gut microbiome is crucial for keeping inflammation at bay. Chronic inflammation is closely linked with various health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and even mood disorders.
By supporting a healthy balance of bacteria within the digestive tract, we can help prevent these inflammatory conditions from developing.
So, whether you want to improve your overall well-being or stay healthy and lean amidst today's modern world, paying attention to your gut is essential.
Symptoms of poor digestive health?
How do you know if your gastrointestinal tract is in good health?
Several different signs can indicate poor digestive health. The symptoms can vary based on the specific condition. Still, some common markers include
- Irregular bowel movements
- digestive issues (i.e., nausea and constipation)
- Low immune system
- Feeling tired frequently.
Additionally, changes in food cravings or unexpected weight fluctuations may also be indicators of an imbalanced gut.
As you can see, it’s not always gut-related symptoms, but the other mood and immunity ones can be hard to pin down. And if you are experiencing any of these, it’s worth speaking to your Physician.
With proper care and attention, it is possible to create ideal conditions for optimal digestive health and avoid the negative consequences of poor digestion.
How does exercise heal gut health?
There is no doubt that exercise has various health benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving cardiovascular health.
But in addition, consistent exercise is also one of the best ways to promote a healthier gut.
This is because exercising helps stimulate the natural flow of our digestive system, which removes mucus, reduces inflammation and eliminates toxins.
Additionally, regular physical activity can help maintain the integrity and strength of our intestinal walls, keeping our guts functioning properly and rebalancing our gut bacteria for improved overall health.
So, if you're looking for steps to improve your gut, incorporate some form of physical activity into your daily routine – you'll be amazed at the positive results.
What exercises improve gut health?
So, what exercises should you focus on if gut recovery is something you are aiming for?
1. Brisk walking for gut health
One of the simplest ways to stimulate digestion is through brisk walking every day. Not only does walking get your blood pumping and help you stay active, but it also works your abdominal muscles.
You should aim to walk around 30 minutes a day at the very least, although you will get the best results if you manage to walk around 10,000 steps consistently.
Also, try to walk after a meal, as that helps with digestion and could aid you in improving your gut health.
- Related content: walking for weight loss, how to lose weight walking
Another great exercise to try is running if you have decent fitness levels. Not only will this help you burn more calories, and improve your aerobic fitness but the workout will also help you strengthen your stomach muscles, which will create a healthy gut.
Make sure you warm up before running and complete abdominal stretching beforehand, as this will also help enhance the effects of your run.
Some forms, like Vinyasa or Acro Yoga, involve plenty of core work, abdominal exercises and stretches to help your digestive system move smoothly.
Furthermore, yoga helps reduce stress. Stress can play a massive part in your gut health, so working on improving this can help improve it
The increased circulation that yoga promotes can also help your gut perform better, making it a much healthier part of you.
If you're looking for a more intense aerobic workout to challenge your body and mind, then high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be the ideal choice.
HIIT works by alternating short periods of intense exercise with rest periods, giving your body time to recover and increase its overall metabolism and energy levels.
Ultimately, finding the correct type of exercise routine is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut, so experiment with various options until you find what works best for you.
Ready to improve your gut microbiome?
Incorporating exercise into your routine is a brilliant way to increase fitness and alleviate a number of health concerns. But some exercises can also help to improve your gut and overall health.
Of course, it’s only one part of the puzzle - diet, supplements and stress management also play a major role in managing and improving gut health, and all should be considered as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Understanding your gut, the role it plays in your health and taking care of your digestive system is a significant step to helping you lose weight. The exercises outlined in this article are a great way to improve an unbalanced gut.
Neglecting your digestive health could ultimately impact your ability to lose weight, so it’s definitely something to think about if you are struggling to shift any extra weight.
If you’re doing al the above and still unable to shift the pounds, then a supplement such as PhenQ can help.