Exercise and the microbes of your gut may seem an unlikely pair, but research has shown that, apart from its numerous other benefits, exercise can improve your gut flora as well. The various microbes that make up your gut flora react to lots of different things in our body. You’ve probably heard of probiotics and prebiotics in yogurt and other products, but really taking advantage of what healthy gut flora means you should be hitting the gym too.
As published in the online journal Gut, scientists at the University of Cork in Ireland examined the gut flora of athletes undergoing preseason training for rugby. As preseason camp is a controlled environment for athletes (with coaches and trainers assigning diets, exercise and rest), the scientists were able to look at very reliable data. They then compared the gut flora of the athletes with that of healthy nonathletes.
Of perhaps chief importance in the scientists’ discovery, exercise seems to increase the diversity of the microbes inhabiting the gut. When numerous gut flora are able to coexist, it means that the advantages of gut flora, like preventing obesity and improving Insulin Efficiency, will be able to continue optimally.
As a result of their exercise, the athletes also had less overall inflammation and higher metabolisms than their non-exercising counterparts.
The protein the athletes ate also played a role in fueling gut flora diversity. Such as in the YOU%2B program, a higher protein diet has numerous advantages beyond improving gut flora.
This study continues to shed link on the numerous ways that our habits and routines influence systems and parts of the body that we may not expect. The interconnectedness of our bodies might still be being discovered, but we can make use of what we know already. Just like exercise can improve your gut flora, resting properly will help you at the gym, getting your vitamin D can make you happier, and many other interesting, practical ways we can improve our overall health.
You can learn a lot more about the interconnectedness of the various systems of our body by checking out more articles on this site as well as by reading Dr. Steve’s book, Reprogram Your Life: Bioscience for a Healthier You.
For now, improving your gut flora can be done with exercise and through diet. Eating probiotics, getting enough fiber (such as through fruits, oats and vegetables) and getting enough quality rest can all improve the benefits of gut flora on your body.
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