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How does exercise improve gut bacteria?

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The composition of a healthy lifestyle is – as we all know – to: eat well, stay hydrated, get a good nights sleep and exercise. However in our busy lives, the latter is something we intend to do but often dont get around to doing.

The benefits of good gut bacteria

Your intestines are home to trillions of fungi, bacteria and viruses, collectively known as microorganisms or microbes, and they have a vital role in controlling your digestion, immune system and central nervous system functioning. This microbiome contributes to your overall health.

By having a diverse and thriving gut microbe colony, it means you’re less likely to get sick.

Correlation between exercise and an improvement in the microbiome

 

In a recent study on humans, 18 lean and 14 obese, inactive patients were selected and their gut microbiome sampled before and after the six-week study. The patients were then instructed to do a cardiovascular workout for 30-60 minutes, three times a week over a six week period. The study aimed to see if there was a link between exercise and the gut microbiome – just the same as there is a correlation between diet and gut microbes.

Patients were told to maintain their usual diet and when the study concluded to revert back to their previous inactive lifestyle.

The results indicated a change in all patients gut microbiome – to varying degrees. In specific, there was an increase in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) production, these SCFA are produced by good microbes and are have a role in preventing inflammatory diseases. Interestingly, these higher SCFA levels declined once the patients returned to their sedentary lifestyle.

There were further differences in findings between lean and obese patients. Lean participants saw an even greater uptick in SCFA than their overweight counterparts.

Ample proof that exercise – independent of diet – is just as important to leading a healthy lifestyle as it promotes a flourishing gut flora. Can you imagine if you both ate and exercised for your best health, how vibrantly healthy you’d be?

Exercise and gut health

Researcher’s still don’t know the extent to which exercise affects the gut microbiome, so further studies are required. What they have found is that regular exercise has an effect on gut health but only for a short time – it’s not permanent. The takeaway, you have to exercise regularly to improve gut health.

Exercise for a more vibrant gut microbiome

As if we needed more motivation to exercise regularly, science has handed us another reason why – it’s good for our gut health. And good gut health plays a huge role in keeping our bodies free of disease. So slip on those sneakers and get your sweat on for a healthier you!

Still struggling to find the motivation to get out and exercise?

Slip on your sneakers and go find the best workout clothing for the job, if you look good and feel good, it should be easier making regular exercise a priority. Call it scientific motivation to get you moving for a healthier you!

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Hayley Flierl
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