Raise your hand if you have heard that exercise is good for you...
I can't see you, but I bet you are raising your hand as you read this, or at least thought, "yeah, obviously."
Ok smartypants... did you know that your gut changes according to the exercise you do?
It's true! And your gut and digestion benefit from a variety of exercises.
Here are two important ways exercise benefits your gut and digestion.
1) Exercise Diversifies Your Short-Chain Fatty Acid Production
Your gut produces different short-chain fatty acids (postbiotics) according to the type of workout you do.
A quick run-down on short-chain fatty acids: they are like the fountain of youth. The more we have, the better our body is protected from chronic diseases, inflammation, cancers, and an array of other issues. We want our body to produce a lot of them and a variety of types of them, by getting in lot's of pre and probiotics, and from exercising!
Ok, back to how SCFAs are affected by exercising...
Your body produces different SCFAs according to the exercises you do.
If you are a long distance runner, your body needs more support with endurance. Your gut will actually produce more SCFAs that support an endurance type of workout.
If you start body building, again, your gut will start to produce specific SCFAs that support that kind of intense workout. Isn't that cool?!
So changing up the type of workout you do throughout the week can be really beneficial to your body and gut. It can help you get a larger diversity of SCFAs being produced by your gut, supporting your body in a more diverse way, and helping your gut run smoother.
2) Exercise Gets Digestion Going in the Direction it Wants to Go- South!
No matter what type of exercise you are doing, from walking to dancing, from HIIT to yoga, exercising helps move your bowels down.
It feels obvious to explain, but when we are moving, so are our bowels. If we are sedentary, our bowels have a harder time moving south. It's kind of like the old adage- "An object in motion stays in motion...." When we are up and about, our bowels use gravity to help them move through our digestive tract.
Additionally, when we exercise, our heart and blood starts pumping. This further supports digestion with the increased pulses that also support our digestive pulses.
You didn't need me to tell you that exercise is good for you, but let your gut and digestion be another reason to prioritize it.
If you struggle with constipation and bloating, a regular exercise routine during the day when it most typically pops up could be helpful in alleviating or avoiding it.