It’s thought that around 70-80% of your immune system is housed in your gut, so it’s important to take care of yours by creating a healthy microbiome.
You can do this by trying to create a balance between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut, which can be achieved by eating the right foods and taking microbiome supplements.
But did you know that exercise can also play a role? Certain types of exercise may help to influence the health of your digestive system, helping you to support your overall health and wellbeing.
How Can Exercise Affect Your Gut Health?
Exercise has been linked to increasing microbial diversity in the gut, which can help you to create a more balanced microbiome.
Signs of an unhealthy gut can include fatigue, bloating and stomach cramps. You should speak to your GP if you’re concerned about your gut health, while considering the lifestyle changes you could make to your diet and exercise regime could also be beneficial.
Being active can help to keep your body and your gut moving, helping to promote digestive health.
What are the Best Exercises for Gut Health?
Taking time out of your day for a gentle walk can have multiple health benefits. Not only can a 30-minute walk allow you to get your daily dose of vitamin D, but it could also potentially help with regulating your bowel movements.
A sedentary lifestyle can have a negative effect on your gut health, leaving you feeling bloated and uncomfortable, so it’s a good idea to take a short walk at least once a day (preferably after a meal) to help to keep your body and your gut moving.
Cycling is a great aerobic activity that helps to increase the blood flow in your body. This increase in blood flow could help to smooth out any disruptions in your gut and help promote optimal digestion.
Any exercises known for increasing blood flow around your body, such as swimming and jogging, may also have a similar effect on your gut health.
Crunches focus specifically on the abdominal area and can help you to burn belly fat, which could help to prevent common digestive issues, such as gas and bloating. Try to work these in to your warm-up routine or challenge yourself to do 10 crunches each morning before you start your day.
4. Breathing Exercises
Practising breathing exercises as part of your yoga or meditation routine could help to prevent digestive complications such as acid reflux, heartburn and bloating.
Make sure you’re breathing deeply, into your stomach, holding your breath for a few seconds before releasing it slowly. Repeat this cycle for a few minutes to help relax your mind, body and gut.
The gentle nature of yoga can help to destress and relax your body, which can help to support your gut health, stretching your stomach muscles and encouraging mobility in your gut.
Focus on full-body stretches that are designed to relieve stress, such as downward-facing dog, as these are believed to be best for supporting the health of your gut.
Gut Health Supplements
At Garden of Life, we have an extensive range of microbiome supplements designed to support your gut health. These supplements contain a diverse mix of live bacteria, with different formulas designed for different health needs.