Sweat your way to Gut Health
We love a good looking midriff. Some may even call us gut-obsessed . While munching on tigernuts is one way keep our microbiota balanced, there are many aspects of our day to day lives that affect our gut health and may be hindering all your mindful eating. For example. stress, certain medications and exposure to toxic chemicals and pesticides.
According to recent research, another missing piece to the gut-health puzzle is exercise. We all know the benefits of moderate exercise has on the brain and cardiovascular system – think increased energy levels, better sleep, concentration and mood (not to mention having a fit and fab bod). So how exactly does working up a sweat improve the health of your gut microbiota?
What does science say?
A recent study reveals the changes in composition of the microbiota in mice which performed exercise vs. sedentary mice. Those that exercised showed more abundance of good bugs Lactobacillales and up to 24 times more Enterococcus Faecium bacteria than sedentary mice.
Studies have also been conducted on humans where the microbiota of a group of athletes and sedentary adults were analysed. An enhanced diversity of gut micro-organisms was identified in the athletes which correlated with exercise and dietary protein consumption in comparison to those that led more sedentary lifestyles.
Physical activity can aid the gut healing process due to its ability to modify inflammation in the body. Inflammation plays a large role in gut disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Research shows that regular exercise may be in part due to the anti-inflammatory effects of myokines released as skeletal muscle contracts.
In addition to this, evidence suggests that physical activity can help the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract and decrease symptoms of bloating. Since many gut disorders are also related to one’s mental health and stress, it is also proposed that the stress relief from exercise may help gut health.
Studies also show that mind-body exercise like Yoga significantly reduces anxiety and uncomfortable symptoms related to gut disorders.
Let’s Get Physical
So time to get down like Olivia N-J and get physical? Hold your horses. You might want to make sure you’re doing the RIGHT kind of work out.
A study by the journal of Sport and Health Science shows that the demands of endurance exercise may damage the gut microbitia’s composition where endurance athletes appear to have a higher prevalance of gastrointeslinal troubles. This doesn’t necessarily mean cut the cardio all together, but maintain a balance between pumping iron and smashing it out on the treadmill.
Not a fan of training inside the four walls of a gym? Get your inner caveman on and check out some of our outdoor exercises for functional movement.
So next time you think about hitting the snooze button and avoiding for your morning sweat sesh (we know, it’s hard in the cold weather) think about the benefits physical activity has on BOTH shredding that hot bod of yours and helping improve your gut health.
P.S Don’t forget to pack your Tigernuts for a post work out prebiotic snack 😉
Love TFF xx