Exercise is good for the intestines and prevents digestive diseases

The digestive system works better, improving symptoms such as bloating, indigestion, constipation... thanks to regular exercise habits.

The function of the digestive system is to break down food, eliminate toxins, and absorb nutrients to create energy. Many factors contribute to poor digestive health and one of them is a sedentary lifestyle.

Dr. Vu Truong Khanh, Head of the Department of Gastroenterology - Hepatobiliary - Pancreas, Tam Anh General Hospital in Hanoi, said that exercise has many benefits for health and spirit, and also plays an important role, keep the digestive system healthy. Exercise reduces stress and maintains weight, two factors that affect digestion. Exercise also helps reduce digestive problems, allowing the body to absorb nutrients better.

Enhance intestinal activity

In addition to stress and an unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to digestive disorders such as constipation, gas, bloating… Regular movement will stimulate the intestines, increase intestinal activity and prevent digestive problems. At the same time, it also increases blood flow to all muscles in the digestive system, allowing food to pass through faster, even when you are at rest.

Dr. Khanh said that regular exercise helps reduce stress, so it is beneficial for people with functional digestive diseases. Functional gastrointestinal diseases are diseases that do not have actual damage to the digestive tract but are mainly contraction disorders in the digestive tract causing symptoms in the affected part. In the esophagus, it can cause functional retrosternal heat, increased sensitivity to reflux, in the stomach, it can cause functional indigestion, and in the colon, it can cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Enhance beneficial microorganisms

The brain and gut are connected. You may notice that stress causes stomach cramps, bloating, or loose stools. Exercise reduces stress and makes digestion easier. Exercise has a positive impact on the bacterial structure in the intestine or gut microbiome. Intestinal microorganisms play an active role in protecting the immune system. This natural mechanism aids in maintaining health, inhibiting the growth of many harmful bacteria, digesting food and absorbing essential nutrients.

Reduces the risk of gallstones

Dr. Khanh said that exercise also improves metabolism, can reduce the risk of reflux, and reduces the risk of gallbladder stones and many types of cancer related to digestion by 20-30%. Being overweight increases the risk of developing gallstones because it increases the amount of cholesterol in the bile. Being sedentary and being overweight increases the risk of gallstones.

Reduce the risk of stomach diseases

When the body moves, blood flow increases. This can improve circulation in all organs of the body, including the digestive tract. Exercise reduces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, and stimulates endorphins to improve the body's mood and reduce the risk of stomach disease caused by stress.

Improve digestive symptoms

Forms of exercise increase activity in the intestines to help excrete stool. Besides, it also improves the total transit time of food through the large intestine by increasing the natural contractions of intestinal muscles, allowing for more frequent defecation.

Diverticulosis is common in sedentary people. If the patient exercises regularly, colon pressure can be reduced, food is transported faster, and bowel movements are stimulated. The release of natural endorphins during physical activity can reduce chronic pain and abdominal discomfort.

According to Dr. Khanh, there is an association between physical activity and colon cancer risk. People who are physically active have a lower risk of colorectal cancer (or colon cancer) than people who exercise less.

Exercise is good for digestion

Dr. Khanh suggests some exercises to improve digestive health including:

  • Yoga poses can promote digestion. You can practice some yoga poses like twists and forward bends that can improve digestive problems like constipation and reduce the severity of IBS symptoms.
  • Brisk walking adds contraction to the intestines, allowing food to be digested through the digestive organs. You can easily see that regular walking can improve bloating, flatulence, and make defecation easier.
  • Cycling can reduce the amount of water lost in the stool and improve digestion. Cycling not only helps the digestive system work better but also reduces belly fat and is good for the heart. Types of physical exercise such as swimming, running... all increase the health of the digestive system.

The timing of exercise is related to eating meals. When your stomach is full, you should exercise 2 hours after eating to limit the risk of reflux. At the same time, you should pay attention to combining exercise with a healthy, balanced diet and drinking plenty of water to keep your digestive system healthy.

Source: VnExpress Newspaper