But as a gastroenterologist who has treated thousands of patients, we know there is much you can do to take care of your own gut health, which might just save you a visit to our center.
Here, we want to share how exercise does much more for you than keeping your heart and lungs healthy.
Exercise increases good bacteria
We all have good and bad bacteria living in our gut. There are 300-500 species so you won’t thank me for listing them all here.
Usually, our bodies are able to keep bad bacteria in check but when they get out of control you get sick. That often means a visit to your physician who might prescribe antibiotics. The problem is antibiotics don’t discriminate between the good and the bad.
Exercise has been shown to increase species of the good kind, so just by being active you can have a positive impact on the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Plenty of good bacteria helps keep your immune system strong and your gut in good health.
Regular exercise keeps your movements regular
If you are not very active you’ve probably experienced the stomach pain that comes with constipation at some point. Maybe it’s a frequent complaint for you. The important thing to learn here is that the colon responds to activity.
So, getting your body moving also gets your colon moving.
Activity also develops good muscle tone in the areas of the body that all play a role in bowel movements. If they’re weak and in poor shape, they can’t do the job well.
Regular exercise leads to regular movements and helps keep the risk constipation at bay.
30 minutes, 5 times a week
The CDC defines physical activity as anything that gets your body moving.
The recommended level of activity is 150 minutes a week. An easier way to think of it is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If that sounds like too much of a commitment then you can break it down even further, perhaps 15 minutes, twice a day for most of the week.
A brisk walk or a run should comprise most of your activity but make sure to add in muscle-strengthening activities. You don’t necessarily need any special equipment, even a half-hour of heavy gardening will give your muscles a workout.
To conclude, while we recommend staying active for the reasons we have outlined, if you have any concerns about your digestive health get in touch with us through our contact form or call (310) 855-0222.
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