Exercise is Good for Digestion

The typical diets of today are high in simple carbohydrates, acidic foods and preservatives, which has resulted in inclining rates of digestive disturbances in first world countries. Stomach ulcers affect 25 million U.S. citizens, while gastrointestinal problems are the most common reason that patients see their doctors. Irritable bowel syndrome has become a common complaint, particularly amongst those who take chronic medications. Acid reflux, gastritis and heartburn are problems that often result from thinning mucosal linings in the stomach. The use of aspirin and NSAIDS has caused a massive increase in the incidence of gastritis. Intestinal complaints are also caused by bacterial imbalances. This has left many patients with chronic conditions that are, at times, difficult to address. Nutritional supplements, antacids, high fiber diets and the supplementation of natural intestinal flora all have their roles to play in improving digestion, but some forms of exercise are also remarkably efficient.

Cardio workouts speed up the movement of food through the intestines. The muscles in the gastrointestinal tract become more active and the resultant rapid processing of food prevents dehydration associated with slow bowel activity. This tendency towards dehydration creates a self-perpetuating cycle in which dehydration worsens digestion and poor digestion causes further dehydration. Aerobic exercises, along with adequate hydration, can help to break that cycle. However, those who overdo cardio training tend to suffer from gastritis, reflux, diarrhea and nausea. These negative impacts are more common in females. Lighter exercises that employ low impact movements tend to improve digestion by directly targeting the anxiety levels that can cause ulcers and worsen irritable bowel syndrome.

Heavy exercise can cause sluggish digestion when the body sends energy to the muscles rather than the digestive system. In contrast, lighter aerobic exercise that targets the stomach muscles helps to keep the intestines stimulated. The quickened pulse and breathing rates associated with this form of training also achieve a more toned digestive tract. The simple act of increasing activity levels helps the bowel to contract effectively, reducing constipation.

Those who are suffering from severe constipation often have reduced energy levels and pain that prevents them from taking on an intensive exercise regimen. In cases where digestive complaints are particularly severe, a slight increase in activity can bring improvements sufficient to allow a steady increase in training intensity. The mere act of walking for ten minutes a day provides an excellent beginning for an exercise program targeting digestion. For such patients, alternative training methods that include gentle, slow movements are often more practical. Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi allow trainers to build an exercise regimen more rapidly and painlessly.

Some poses used in hatha yoga specifically target the abdominal muscles to help relieve reflux and intestinal problems. Cat stretches, hip rotations and similar sequences improve abdominal strength and circulation while simultaneously relieving the anxiety that often plays a major role in worsening digestive problems. The strengthening of the muscles around the spine and in the abdomen helps to improve posture, which further stimulates improvements in intestinal functioning.

The intensive workouts that accompany heavy cardio regimens help to speed up the metabolism. These high impact methods require excellent stamina and should only be undertaken gradually after a doctor`s consultation. Those who suffer from diarrhea, gas and bloating may find that high impact training worsens their symptoms, with moderate workouts bringing better results for those with IBS, peptic ulcers and diverticulosis.

Patients with severe digestive diagnoses such as Crohn`s disease often struggle to maintain the energy levels required to keep up a regular fitness program. Nonetheless, such patients usually gain more benefits than adverse effects through training. Chronic sufferers are better able to reduce symptoms by using low impact aerobic exercise under a doctor`s supervision. Similarly, playing low impact sports offers better results for sufferers of ulcerative colitis. Suppliers such as <a href=”http://www.sportsballshop.co.uk/acatalog/Rugby-Balls.html”>Sportsballshop.co.uk</a> offer both high and low impact equipment to support a training program targeted at improving the symptoms of chronic diseases affecting the digestion.

Enjoy Feeling Good!
Danielle