What is the link between exercise and gut health?

Written by Kitty Chao.

 

The human gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is inhabited by a wide cluster of microorganisms that play protective, structural, and metabolic functions for the intestines. Gut microbiota has many functions and one of them is maintaining homeostasis.

Our gut microbiome contains trillions of microorganisms which work to affect:

  • Metabolism
  • Immunity
  • Endocrine functions
  • Mental health

Exercise can improve your gut health, the importance of gut health, and specifically healthy gut bacteria, has really taken centre stage in terms of its wide ranging effects on overall health and disease resistance. We are now seeing research that adds gut health to the list of benefits associated with physical exercise.

 

How can physical exercise health with gut health?

Research has shown that endurance exercise so cardiovascular exercise such as running, swimming, cycling that is performed for a sustained period of time can elicit both a muscle based and systemic response. During endurance exercise, there was observation of inflammatory alterations, and transient immunosuppression’s, and the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism, oxidative stress, and dehydration.

It can also help with:

  • Producing substances that protect against gastrointestinal disorders and colon cancer
  • Maintains the balance of microflora to rebalance dysbiosis
  • Enrich microflora diversity such can lead to reducing weight, and obesity-associated pathologies
  • Lowering stress levels which is closely connected to a healthier gut microbiome

 

Overall exercise itself is able to enrich the microflora of the gut which could contribute to reducing weight, obesity-related pathologies, gastrointestinal disorders such as colon cancer.

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