Support your gut and strengthen your immunity to hit your fitness and wellness goals.
Over the past few years, research has prompted new trends based on ancient practices like intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets. At this point in the new year, it seems like everyone has tried at least one new food kick, but is exercise what we should really be focusing on?
I’m here to tell you that you may be missing one ancient “x factor” in your wellness plan: bacteria. The importance of good bacteria in and on your body has caused the phrase “gut health” to show up everywhere we turn. Your gut is the group of organs that includes your mouth, stomach, liver, intestines and colon. More than 70 percent of your immune system lives there. So if you’re interested in boosting your immunity — and fitness — keep reading because I’ve got some insight for you.
If you’re interested in boosting your immunity, start with your gut.
Today, 74 percent of Americans are battling some sort of gut-related ailment, and only half will bring it up to their doctors. This has contributed to the booming popularity growth of probiotics and prebiotics. Beyond what and how we eat, studies now show exercise also plays a part in a healthy gut. Yes, taking a daily probiotic will help, but targeted workouts are also key.
Researchers have found that 30 to 60 minutes of cardio exercise three times a week actually changes the diversity of good bacteria in the gut.
Here are three important points to remember about exercise and gut health:
1. Exercise boosts well-being by improving gut health.
Our bodies are made up of more bacteria than human cells. We have about 40 trillion bacterial cells compared to 30 trillion human cells. In a recent study, those with higher cardiorespiratory fitness had more diverse bacterial populations in their gut than those with lower cardiorespiratory fitness. A better-balanced gut leads to improved overall health and well-being.
2. Consistency is required for sustainable results.
When the experiment (and exercise) concluded, researchers found that participants’ microbiomes reverted back to their pre-exercise condition, which simply confirms the sensitivity and responsiveness of the human body, gut included. Stay consistent with exercise at least three times per week.
3. Too much exercise can affect your gut.
As with most things in life, when it comes to exercise, don’t overdo it. Listen to your body. Too much exercise can stress the body and lead to leaky gut, inflammation and even depression. Our intestinal barrier is only one layer thick and vulnerable to damage. If this barrier is compromised, it allows for food particles to permeate the gut and wreak havoc.
You can work to balance your gut by exercising in moderation, eating wholesome foods, getting a good night’s sleep and taking a high-quality probiotic to balance your bacteria.
Here’s to a healthier gut and happier you this year!
Written by Caroline Beckman for Oxygen Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image provided by Oxygen Magazine
Vitamin & Me: Exercise and the Microbiome
So what does physical health entail? Nutrition, sleep and energy, sure, but what about exercise? This may be the trickiest form of health to find balance in for some people. And if exercise is a part of your health journey that you struggle with, you may be in need of some reframing. Instead of dreading the next run or hour at the gym, why not see getting some happy endorphins as a chance to boost your gut health?
At Vitamin & Me, we firmly believe that it is so important to have diverse gut health. It may be the key to feeling well! Our Wellness Journal is flooded with informational blogs to break down gut health and how to cultivate a healthy microbiome. And if you’d like to hear straight from the leading Microbiome expert, check out our podcast with Dr. Scott Jackson, head of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Microbiome.
Have questions about which probiotic is the best match for your unique health status? Our founder, Jessica Houston, created a personalized vitamin quiz that we believe can help. Answer a few questions to be paired with the best vitamin for you! We only select the top, research-backed vitamins for you and your health. And if you have any questions, drop us a line at email@example.com.
We’d love to hear from you!