You probably don’t need us to tell you that exercise is incredibly important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercise aids in weight loss, improves brain health and memory, and helps the production of endorphins, but did you know exercise is also incredibly important for aiding proper digestion? When done correctly, specific exercises and stretches can help improve your digestion and lower inflammation. The key is finding exercises that work for you, especially if you have a gastrointestinal disorder. Here are a few exercises that can help target your digestive tract:
Yoga has long been known to improve your mental and physical well-being. If you suffer from bloating and indigestion, worry not because there are stretches that target your digestive tract to get things moving. If you are new to your yoga practice, we recommend starting with a professional instructor, as focused deep breathing is a crucial part of getting the best out of your practice. Some of the most common stretches for better digestion include:
- Downward-Facing Dog
- Extended Puppy Pose
- Triangle Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Half Gas Release Pose
- Supine Spinal Twist
- Corpse Pose
Like Yoga, Tai Chi is another type of meditative exercise that focuses on deep breathing. The exercise is low impact and self-paced. While we can’t be certain of the benefits that Tai Chi has on digestive health, we can say that the gentle movements of the practice help to massage the organs and increase blood circulation. Additionally, the act of deep breathing can relieve stress and improve your overall quality of life.
Your core plays a major role in all your daily activities – it’s essentially your entire support system. Take care of your core and strengthen it so it can better support you from the inside out. If you’re new to exercise or if you’ve been using your busy schedule as an excuse to not hit the gym, start slow with some abdominal crunches, situps, and planks. To avoid injury to the back, we always recommend taking a class to help you get started.
We’ve all experienced it – the post-meal slump. Some of you might be feeling it right now. Next time you find yourself slumped over your desk after lunch, go for a walk! According to researchers, exercise stimulates peristalsis, a series of muscle contractions that help to move food through the digestive tract. Just 15 minutes of moderate exercise such as walking after a meal can aid digestion and control blood sugar.
We aim to help our readers lead a happy and healthy lifestyle in the face of GI challenges, and we understand only you know your limits and what your body can handle when symptoms appear. If you experience success with a workout that is not listed above, we would love to hear about it! Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any intense exercise program.