Exercise isn’t just beneficial for your physical health, but it may also be the key to maintaining a healthy gut. A recent study found that exercise duration is an important factor when boosting the microbiome – having more of an impact than intensity alone. According to experts, regularly engaging in longer bouts of activity can provide significant advantages for overall gut well being.
Beneficial bacteria throughout the digestive system, known as the microbiome, has been linked to some amazing health benefits. From deeper sleep and better moods to a stronger immune response – these microorganisms play an integral role in overall well being. Nutrition clearly plays a part in improving gut health but it’s not alone. Recent research published by The FASEB Journal suggests that physical activity is just as vital for optimal gut functioning.
Researchers studied a group of 350 middle aged adults in order to understand the influence exercise has on gut bacteria composition. They assessed physical activity, dieting habits, bodyweight and hand-grip strength before delving into how these factors shaped microbiomes among those who exercised more than 150 minutes per week. Results showed that exercising made an impressive impact as it increased both richness and diversity within the participants’ gut biomes compared to study subjects with lower amounts of regular exercise.
Interestingly, it appears that the key to better gut health through exercise may not be simply a matter of exercising more intensely but rather increasing physical activity throughout the day. This could be achieved in something as simple yet effective as biking or brisk walking to work and doing housework – being active for all moments during your daily routine.
Exercise is known to reduce inflammation and improve physical performance, but there’s more than meets the eye. A 2021 study uncovered an intriguing interplay between exercise performance and the microbiome. It was discovered that normal-weight individuals who completed moderate activity saw greater benefits compared to overweight people exercising at a higher intensity. This suggests that weight plays an important role in determining how beneficial changes can be from different levels of strenuous or light exercise.
Improve your overall health and well-being with just a few simple tweaks to your daily routine. Regular physical activity of at least 150 minutes per week can help maintain the delicate balance in our microbiota for optimal gut health. So take the opportunity during any part of the day to walk or cycle instead of driving, or taking stairs over elevators to keep yourself active!
More research is needed, however, on how exactly this has an effect on our bodies so we can continue living healthier lives with respect to good gut hygiene.
To view the original scientific study click below:
Physical activity-induced alterations of the gut microbiota are BMI dependent