Sure, exercising can cause you to lose weight, which ultimately can improve your gut health. However, there is a stronger link between getting your sweat on and kicking bad bacteria out. Exercise can improve your gut health. As the “Father of Medicine,” Hippocrates once stated, “all disease begins in the gut.” So, by using exercise to better your gut health, you may be able to strengthen your immune system, boost your mental health, and improve your skin care. Here is how exercise can help improve your gut health.

Welcome to Your Microbiome

Your gut is home to trillions of cells. In the womb, these microscopic beings (microbes) were your first introduction to life. They helped shape your immune system, and eventually, your skin grew around them. Trapped, these microbes continually bump into one another. This action causes chemical reactions that create new cells. 

When we enter the world, the bacteria in our system do everything from help break down foods to absorb nutrients to convert carbs into energy. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet complicates this process. Long-term consumption of Western foods clogs up the system. 

Diets rich in saturated fats and artificial sweeteners starve out beneficial bacteria, leaving room for inflammation. In the wake of inflammation, pathogens can spring up in the microbiome. In turn, your gut health becomes compromised, setting off unfavorable symptoms that range from weight gain to depression to unhealthy skin. 

Exercise is an ideal way to help break up some of the stagnant sugars that are weighing your system down. By moving around, you give the probiotic bacteria a fighting chance. You also help improve the diversity within the microbiome.

Exercise and Microbial Diversity 

The microbiome is all about checks and balances. When one bacterium gets out of control, it can be harmful to the others in the system. Like humans, no bacteria are created alike. Therefore, some strains assist with various functions in the body that others can’t. That’s why it’s in our best interest to have a wide variety of bacteria in our body. 

Research shows that fitness is an ideal way to boost diversity in the microbiome. The reason for this is that moving around shakes around your insides. As a result, microbes that are hanging out in one particular area are moved about to another section. That action forces them to react with microbes it might otherwise not have contacted. This naturally creates more biodiversity in your microbiome.

Changing up your workout routine can also improve biodiversity. For instance, running can cause several reactions due to the frantic nature of your movement. However, doing yoga poses such as a downward dog can also cause stagnant microbes to flip upside down. By varying your exercise routine, you can also vary your microbial count. 

Exercise and Probiotics Go Hand-in-Hand

We all need energy to power through a workout. It just so happens that some of the foods we eat also power the probiotic bacteria in our gut. These foods are known as prebiotics, and they are ideal workout partners.

Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that our body can’t break down. Therefore, these sugars sit in our gut so that the probiotic bacteria can feast on them and grow. Most of these fibers can be found in a variety of healthy foods, including:

  • Whole Grains
  • Artichokes
  • Onions
  • Apples
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Legumes
  • Kraut
  • Oats
  • Sweet Potatoes

For best results, be sure to consume plenty of complex carbohydrates. That way, when your probiotic bacteria consume the fibers, they release beneficial vitamins and minerals to the system. By eating complex carbs, you will have more energy to fuel you through your workout. 

Probiotics and Exercise 

For some people, they do better with personalized fitness programs. The same can be said for probiotics. Generic probiotic supplements may not do much to improve your gut health. As we mentioned before, adding more of the same to the system can be detrimental. That’s why many are finding it helpful to join a gut health program.

Thryve is a complete gut health program that is all about personalization. They send you everything you need to test your microbiome at-home. Mail in a sample with their kit and their specialists will test your microbiome. Based on the results, they will formulate a personalized probiotic unique to your system.

Every month, the probiotic gets delivered to your door. To help the bacteria colonize, they also work with you on a healthy gut diet plan. Based on the probiotics in your supplement, they recommend the proper foods to improve your gut health and help meet your wellness goals.