Exercise can reduce inflammation and chronic diseases, which helps strengthen muscles and bones but did you know it can also affect your gut microbiome?
According to new findings from the University of Calgary published in The FASEB Journal, exercise improves gut health as well. A 30 minute workout a day keeps our digestive tracts healthy and happy .
Researchers say the gut flora of athletes demonstrates just how powerful physical fitness can impact the microbiome . There are many factors that can account for the different microbiomes of athlete. One example is their lean physiques and strict diets,” says Shrushti Shah, a PhD student specializing in Nutrition, Metabolism and Genetics .
To determine the link among exercise and gut bacteria in individuals who aren’t athletes, the study examined exercise type, time and intensity in a large cohort of middle-aged adults. Body weight, diet and hand-grip strength were also taken into consideration.
Researchers found promising findings in the study that moderate physical activity of 150 minutes per week improved the diversity and richness of gut microbiomes, than those who exercised less. With this, more exercise seems to be crucial in enhancing microbiome health. Thus, people should try to meet the Health Canada recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week.
When it comes to exercise intensity, the study found that duration had a greater impact on gut bacteria than intensity. It’s something the team should investigate further since the exact reasoning is unclear.
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In addition, results show that changes in the gut microbiome weren’t uniform. Compared with overweight individuals, those with a normal weight saw better results.
The gut microbiome is influenced by obesity independently of exercise. According to study investigator Dr Chunlong Mu, PhD, a postdoctoral associate in Kinesiology, poor dietary habits outweigh some benefits of exercise for gut bacteria .
Exercise is clearly crucial for gut health, but the findings also emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. You don’t have to be an athlete who works out for hours every week to accomplish this, just half an hour a day for five days will do.