If you want to enjoy a healthy life, it’s important to look after your digestive health. Neglecting your digestive system overtime can cause a series of problems, such as irritable bowel issues, constipation, acid reflux, bloating, weight gain, increased fatigue and various other discomforts.
There are many ways you can improve your digestion. Making diet changes and eating healthier food, letting go of bad habits like drinking and smoking, properly managing stress. These can all have a positive influence on your gut health. Another efficient way to keep your digestive system healthy is through exercise. We all know that regular physical activity can help us stay in shape and improve our wellbeing, but it’s also great for digestion.
Exercise can help us pass food faster through our stomach and hence speed up digestion, and also maintain a healthy weight. According to a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, physical activity has also proven to be effective in the treatment of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Another study showed there’s a positive impact of exercise on the diversity of bacteria in our gut.
So it’s clear that embracing an active lifestyle is great for our digestive health. But what can we actually do in that sense? Well, plenty of activities. Here are our recommendations:
Walking is one of the best exercises to improve digestion. This is the type of exercise that is low-impact, accessible to almost anyone and with tons of physical and mental health benefits. Walking can prevent unhealthy weight gain and aid our digestive functions. According to research, walking can stimulate a faster movement of food from our stomach to the small intestines. Scientists have discovered that this quicker digestion of food is associated with fewer reflux symptoms, including heartburns.
If you want to maximize your walking sessions, it’s a good idea to start tracking your activity. This way you’ll be able to monitor your progress, stay accountable with your goals and be proud of what you’ve accomplished. All you have to do is install a pedometer app, like our very own ActivityTracker. You’ll receive useful stats about your step count, the distance covered, the calories burned or the active time. At the same time you’ll be able to set and adjust your own goals and see your progress for the last days, weeks or months.
If you haven’t practiced it yet, you’ve definitely heard of it or seen people doing it. Yoga is an ancient practice that combines a wide range of poses, meditation and breathing techniques to improve both your physical and mental health. This activity comes with a multitude of benefits, including helping you ameliorate your digestion. And we have scientific proof.
A 2016 research, conducted by University of California, concluded that yoga can play an important role in reducing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. A different study found that yoga can be regarded as an efficient treatment for patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. By relieving stress and anxiety, improving circulation and strengthening the muscles of internal organs, yoga has a direct impact on our digestive system and overall quality of life.
Riding a bike is a great recreational activity. At the same time, it’s also a great exercise for your health and fitness. Among others, constant cycling can reduce the risk of heart attack, diabetes and various forms of cancer, as well as strengthen bones and muscles, reduce body fat and alleviate depression.
Riding a bike is also one of the efficient ways to improve your digestive health. According to gastroenterologist expert dr. Ana Raimundo, cycling periodically can improve bowel movement, effectively combat constipation and decrease the risk of colon cancer. Research has also shown that an increase in a physical activity such as cycling can generate long-term positive effects on IBS symptoms.
Abs workouts aren’t just a way to get that much desired six-pack. Of course, the aesthetics part matters, we’re not gonna lie. But working on your abdominal muscles can generate a multitude of health benefits. This type of training can aid you enhance your athletic performances, improve your posture and balance or prevent lower-back pain. Of course, these are also great exercises for digestion.
Abdominal exercises such as planks, crunches or sit-ups can help you melt that unwanted belly fat and ensure a faster digestion. To obtain the best possible results and avoid getting injured, you need to do these workouts correctly. You can resort to a personal trainer or simply download a fitness app like Six Pack in 30 Days for instance. The app offers guided videos, to make sure you perform these exercise in a safe manner.
Engaging in deep breathing exercises can be truly beneficial to your overall health. This activity is designed to relax both the body and the mind, to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, to relieve stress and anxiety, help you sleep better and, of course, to improve digestion.
Scientists from the Medical University of Graz discovered that abdominal breathing exercises can help strengthen the diaphragm and reduce the symptoms of the acid reflux disease. Other findings suggest that mindfulness exercises like breathing can be used to treat a wide range of disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome.