TMJ Center of Los Angeles

How Exercise Can Improve Your Digestion

If you suffer from constipation or gas, there may be a simple solution to the problem. The digestive system can be be affected by your daily habits, including diet, and lifestyle. By regularly exercising, you can stimulate your digestive tract and improve its function.

Cardiovascular exercises such as running, walking, or cycling, strengthen the abdominal muscles. Like the large muscles of your arms and legs that you are using to move, your GI tract is a muscular structure. Exercising will stimulate peristalsis, or the concentric contractions that move partially digested food and waste products through the intestines. This process can help keep you regular and avoid constipation, as well as the bloating, gas, and cramps that can go with it.

Long distance running also draws blood to the muscles that are being used in the exercise, particularly those in the legs This lowers the blood flow to the GI tract, and can put strain on it, causing runners to sometime need to use the restroom without warning.

Less rigorous exercises, such as yoga and tai chi, can also improve digestion. Certain poses will increase blood flow to the digestive system. By massaging muscles and organs with the motions and poses of yoga, you can coax your GI tract into more efficient performance.Tai chi stimulates the nervous system, which benefits all of your organs by with improved functioning.

It is important to be aware of your limits while exercising, no matter what the reason. High impact exercise after a big meal can cause cramps, nausea, and vomiting. It is important to keep hydrated, especially while exercising. Water is needed to keep your digestive system functioning at its peak, so losing water to sweat or starting out dehydrated can defeat your intentions of improving digestion.

Coupled with a healthy diet, exercise can be a natural way to regulate and maintain a healthy digestive system. It will also keep you in shape, so you will look and feel your best.

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