By now, we all know that exercise is good for us, but what you might not know is how it can have a profound impact on your digestive system. Studies have shown that how and when you exercise affect how you digest food and feel after eating.
Let’s take a closer look at some of best exercises to boost digestion and some natural digestion aids to supplement your workouts.
Effects of Exercise on Digestion
There are many microorganisms living inside your digestive system and while healthy microbiota can protect the body from disease, imbalances can result in a wide range of health conditions, including obesity. The foods you eat, as well as weight fluctuations, antibiotics you take, and your blood pressure have an impact on gut microbiota. However, exercise can help balance all of this out.
Among the obvious health benefits of getting your body moving, these are some of the ways that working out may help you digest the foods you eat.
- Relieve constipation
- Relieve bloating
- Boost your immune system
- Prevent obesity
Exercises that Boost Digestion
Exercise can be used as a therapeutic factor to keep your digestive system working properly. “Exercise helps stimulate intestinal contractility, and therefore helps with the passage of stool through the colon,” explained gastroenterologist Sumona Saha, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison. Exercise is incredibly important for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, and about 30 minutes per day is enough to have a significant impact.
These are some of the best exercises to try for better digestion.
- Deep breathing exercises are especially effective to ease heartburn.
- Simply stretching is great for alleviating constipation.
- Try aerobic exercises, such as running, biking, or swimming.
- Yoga is great for many types of digestion issues. These are the best yoga poses to practice for digestive health:
As a general rule, plan to wait about an hour after eating before engaging in rigorous exercise. This gives your body a chance to begin digesting the food you just ate and avoid uncomfortable muscle contractions.
Other Natural Digestion Aids
To maintain a healthy digestive tract, you may need more than just a regular dose of exercise.
Nopal cactus, for example, has natural and temporary absorptive properties that allow the slow release of water and sugars, thereby helping to reduce sugar spiking immediately after a high-sugar meal or drink. Nopal cactus’ high insoluble fiber content also absorbs intestinal and bowel wastes, pushing them through the colon and cleansing the entire system.
Another natural digestion aid is seaweed, which may come as a surprise to many people. Seaweed is an excellent cleanser, digestive aid, and detox nutrient. And in addition to its digestive health properties, it is also a great source of calcium, iron, iodine, fiber, minerals, protein, and chlorophyll, and antioxidants. Don’t let digestion issues stand in the way of you living your life. With a healthy combination of exercise, fresh organic produce, and natural digestive aids, you can feel great and enjoy the healthy foods you love.