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Your body is designed to move: the best practices for gut-directed fitness

Oct 02, 2023
Your body is designed to move: the best practices for gut-directed fitness

While nutrition plays a crucial role in gut health, we mustn't overlook another essential aspect: physical activity. Your body is designed to move, and incorporating gut-directed fitness into your daily routine can have a significant impact on your digestive system's well-being. In this article, we'll explore why movement is essential for gut health.

The Gut-body connection

Before we explore the best practices for gut-directed fitness, it's important to understand the relationship between your gut and physical activity. The gut-body connection is a complex web of interactions that influence each other in various ways. When we engage in regular movement, it stimulates the gut muscles and helps to regulate the digestive process. Improved digestion reduces bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal discomforts.

Benefits of gut-directed fitness:

  1. Improved blood circulation: Physical activity increases blood flow throughout your body, including your digestive organs. This enhanced circulation ensures that your gut receives an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients, promoting overall digestive health.

  2. Stress reduction: Stress is known to negatively impact your digestive system. Regular exercise can help reduce stress levels, lowering the risk of digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion.

  3. Balanced gut microbiome: Regular movement can positively affect your gut microbiome. Studies suggest that exercise can increase the diversity of beneficial gut bacteria, which is associated with better gut health.

  4. Enhanced motility: Physical activity can stimulate the muscles in your digestive tract, aiding in the movement of food and waste through your system. This can help prevent constipation and improve regularity.

Best practices for gut-directed fitness

Now that we've established the importance of movement for your gut health, let's explore some best practices to incorporate gut-directed fitness into your daily life:

  1. Daily walks: A simple daily walk can do wonders for your digestive health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking to get your blood flowing and your digestive system engaged.

  2. Yoga and stretching: Yoga poses and stretching exercises can help relax your abdominal muscles and reduce tension in your gut. Incorporate a gentle yoga routine into your weekly schedule for maximum benefits.

  3. Cardiovascular exercise: Activities like jogging, cycling, and swimming are excellent for enhancing blood circulation and reducing stress. Try to engage in cardio exercises for at least 150 minutes per week.

  4. Strength training: Building muscle through strength training not only boosts your metabolism but also supports overall body function, including digestion. Incorporate resistance exercises into your routine two to three times a week.

  5. Mindful movement: Mind-body practices promote relaxation and can help reduce stress-related digestive issues.

Incorporating movement into your daily routine

  • Start small: If you're new to regular exercise, begin with manageable amounts of activity and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. Listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.

  • Find activities you enjoy: Choose activities that you find fun and enjoyable to help you stay motivated in the long term.

  • Set realistic goals: Set achievable goals to keep yourself accountable. For example, aim to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

  • Establish a routine: Create a schedule or routine that includes dedicated time for physical activity. Consistency is key to reaping the gut health benefits of regular movement.

Takeaway

Your body is designed to move, and engaging in gut-directed fitness is a valuable step toward improving your digestive health. By incorporating the best practices mentioned above into your daily routine, you can support better blood circulation, reduce stress, promote a balanced gut microbiome, improve motility, and enjoy a healthier gut.

Remember, achieving and maintaining optimal gut health is a holistic journey that encompasses your nutrition, mental well-being, and physical activity. Choose your preferred form of exercise, and let your body's natural design work its magic on your gut health.

 
 
This article was authored by Julija Spicynė, certified Hatha and Vinyasa yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Head of Gut-directed Fitness @ Guthealth.care. Do you need support with a symptom, condition or gut health goal? You can book a free online consultation with Julija here.

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