How To Improve Digestive Health & Avoid Constipation and Bloating

Movement is like an injection of oxygen, energy and flow to the body. Which is why it is so important for the digestive system. Put simply if you do not move the body, you are more likely to have slow and stagnant digestive function.

When I talk about movement I refer to organised exercise and random acts of activity during the day. Healthy bowel movements are yours for the taking by simply implementing mild-to-moderate intensity exercises.

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How​ Does Movement/ Exercise Affect Bowel Movements?

Muscles need to be exercised in order to stay in shape and function well. The bowels are muscles that need to be exercised. If you don’t use it you lose it.

  • Exercise stimulates the lymph nodes which carry dead blood cells, antibodies and cellular decay from the body through poop.
  • Exercises that work the abdomen and spine help maintain good bowel tone, keeping the intestines in their proper place, providing structure for them to work against, and strengthening muscles within the digestive tract.
  • Exercise accelerates breathing and heart rate which helps stimulate peristalsis, the natural contraction of intestinal muscles that help move poo out quickly.
  • Exercise increases transit time which decreases the time it takes for food to move through the large intestine. This limits the amount of water absorbed from the stool (poo) preventing hard and dry stools that are difficult to pass.
  • Lack of movement as a result of aging or spinal cord injury can cause impaction of poo in the colon due to a reduction in colonic mass movements and poor use of abdominal muscles to assist in elimination.

 

Interesting​ ​fact​ ​-​ daily moderate exercise was associated with a 44% reduction in risk of constipation in women. In a study done with Hong Kong adolescents, constipation was consistently more common in inactive and sedentary students.

 

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