Ever heard “you are what you eat”? Most people think that it is just a saying but it is quite important and very true. Although there is this predominant opinion that it is our behavior that impacts our eating choices, the fact that our food impacts our body and the way we behave should not be ignored. We have seen that some food items impact our bowel movement in a way that eases food digestion whereas other times we see that food causes irritation and might even cause more harm. In the human body, food movement is very important. A contraction and relaxation wave carries the food from our mouth to our stomach and intestines. This movement is so strong that it will cause the food movement in the same direction even when we are hanging upside down.
Sometimes, this food movement faces some issues mainly due to the impact of our food choices. There is enough evidence that explains a passive lifestyle has a lot to do with digestion issues. People who have desk jobs and do not walk end up with digestion issues. On the contrary, people who stay active throughout the day or at least have a way to stay active have much better metabolism and digestion when compared to others. According to a recent study by Harvard Health, a simple 15 minutes morning walk is enough to improve digestion.
With the help of this article, we will explore the importance of movement and exercises. We will also talk about some of the best exercises that can help and facilitate the digestion process.
What Kind Of Exercises Are Good For Digestion?
There are a lot of different exercises that are connected with digestion. However, nutritionists believe that all kinds of exercises that involve physical activity are considered good for digestion. According to experts, your exercises need to be very mild and there is no proper time for the exercises. It is a common misconception that you need to exercise right after eating something. There is no doubt it will help you stay energized but the food that you eat on a regular basis is very heavy and might trigger a gag reflex. You need to have something light as a snack so that you can stay energized however, eating heavy food will cause digestion issues.
Top 5 Exercises to Help You with Digestion
Yoga is a good exercise that helps you gain full control over your mind and body. It consists of physical activity along with breathing exercises. Since breathing has a direct relation with digestion, it is perfect for speeding up the digestion process. Apart from this, studies found out that our mental peace has a very important relation with digestion which is the reason we feel the loss of appetite or digestion issues when we are confused, stressed, or depressed. With yoga, you will be able to improve your well-being. A study in 2015 also proved that mild yoga can help alleviate symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, the most well-known type being Crohn’s disease. There are so many different yoga poses that help with digestion. Even 30-minute yoga every day can help you improve chronic pains, digestion, physical discomfort, and more.
Walking is one of the most underestimated exercises so far. Most people do not understand that digestion can be facilitated with the use of jogging or running. Just a 30 minutes walk in the morning will help you improve your digestion, control blood sugar level, reduce blood cholesterol and improve overall health. Walking is also ideal for people with high fat retention power and obesity.
Cardio is a very good exercise to help you burn some fat. Within cardio, you will have so many different variations for working on each muscle group and you can simply select the one you like. Even outdoor games are considered cardio. As long as you are breaking sweat anything you will do will be considered cardio and it helps with digestion. Cycling, running, golfing, or playing football can all come under the umbrella of cardio.
4. Tai Chi
A traditional stretching method that is considered one of the best even today. Within tai chi, you will have so many different slow-motion movements mixed with deep breathing and simple stretches. Studies suggest that tai chi is exceptional for chronic illness, muscle spasms, chronic pain, and digestion-related issues. With the help of simple food and daily tai chi, you will not improve your quality of life, but you will also see improvement in digestion and muscle pain.
Most people think that meditation involves no physical movement so this might have no impact on the digestion process. On the contrary, there is enough evidence that supports the notion that mediation is linked with digestion. Some studies conclude there is a strong relationship between psychological well-being, mental health, and digestion. With the help of meditation, you will be able to reduce your stress and this will eventually improve your digestion.
What Are Some Of The Mistakes To Avoid For Better Digestion?
Most people do not understand that there is a food ratio and exercises ratio that you need to maintain. If you want to lose weight, your goal should be to reduce calorie intake and increase calorie exertion. Similarly, if you want to gain weight, your food consumption needs to be much more than your overall energy exertion. Experts say that just for helping their body with digestion sometimes people end up making wrong decisions. Some of the common mistakes that most people make include:
- Eating heavy food and going for a workout right away.
- Not taking 30 minutes to break after a meal
- Not having a snack before a workout
- Not staying hydrated before a gym session
- Not maintaining a good workout frequency and not letting the body heal
- Eating fatty food that is hard to digest
- Eating food that makes them feel bloated before a workout
Although these mistakes might not seem too much, most of us are not aware of food-related disorders. According to a recent study, almost 57% of people are not aware that they have digestion issues and food-related allergies. People with lactose intolerance usually feel bloated and uncomfortable throughout the day but still end up consuming regular milk because they feel it will help them gain calcium and other beneficial nutrients. You need to know that there are so many other food alternatives that you can try. These food alternatives will offer the same nutrition as milk. Even some plant-based milk substitutes come with fortified vitamins and minerals that will help you gain the same nutrition as normal milk.
To sum it all up, simple exercises or any kind of physical movement are very helpful in moving the food and facilitating the digestion process. With good exercise, you will not only improve your body health, but you will also see improvement in inflammation and blood cholesterol level. People with a slow metabolism will especially benefit from the exercises because it helps with speeding up the digestion process. According to multiple studies, physical activity is very good for resolving gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
There are so many different exercise variations you can try. However, cardio-based exercises and stretching exercises that help your mind relax are especially important. In most cases, people think that only intense exercises are important but food digestion has a lot to do with body relaxation as well. No matter what you eat, you need to help your body with digestion especially because the digestion process slows down with age.
Ann Edwards is a fully qualified personal trainer from Elite sports. She has been helping people in the field of bodybuilding and fitness for more than a decade. Her career in nutrition and physical therapy has made her a fine addition to our team.