You already know you should get enough exercise to maintain a healthy body. But did you know that physical activity also helps your digestive system work the way it should? Read on to learn about four exercises that keep digestion moving.
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Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day. This is especially helpful if you experience constipation. Aerobic exercise includes activities such as walking briskly, bike riding, playing tennis, swimming, jogging—anything that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat! Vigorous activity improves the circulation to the gut and stimulates enzyme production—two benefits that keep your intestines 'running' on schedule.
Stress can worsen conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and indigestion. Regular exercise can help reduce stress levels. You may find that yoga is a helpful way to relax and manage stress in your life, which could help improve your condition.
If you experience bowel control problems, also known as fecal incontinence, pelvic floor exercises can help. To do them, squeeze and relax your pelvic floor muscles. Aim for 50 to 100 reps per day. Your healthcare provider can teach you to do the exercises the right way.