How Does Exercise Affect Your Digestive System?

Written by Ameya C • 

Do you often suffer from digestive problems like gas or constipation? Have you wondered what can actually help you with your stomach ailments? Many a time we pay no heed to what we eat and how we live, that our digestive system gets affected.

But then, did you know regular exercise can make your digestive system healthy? Apart from that, there are other effects of exercise on the digestive system which are beneficial! Want to know more? Then read on!

The Digestive System:

The digestive system is more complex than what they show us in television advertisements for antacids or painkillers. It includes feet of winding intestine, the bowels and your stomach. The digestive system helps break down food and passes nutrients to most parts of the body. It also helps allot how much energy your body will be provided. Our lifestyle, diet and work culture can have many adverse effects on the digestive system, which can trigger complications or even inefficiency in this intricate system (1).

[ Read: Home Remedies To Get Relief From Indigestion ]

Many relaxation techniques, physical activities and exercises have been known to help your body absorb essential nutrients more effectively. Exercise can indeed help the digestive system (2), and following are the ways that show how.

Top 2 Effects Of Exercise On Digestive System:

1. Boosts Blood Circulation:

Exercise helps improve the blood flow in your body, which also includes the digestive system. You should remember to keep your body in motion by exercising regularly. This will help digestion, as it ensures that the digestive tract is not lazy and is kept in motion. You should consider exercising regularly to beat a slow digestive system. Exercise can also help rid you of problems like gas, heartburn, constipation and stomach cramps. As it boosts blood circulation, exercise is also good for the heart, blood pressure and other arterial conditions (3).

[ Read: Healthy Foods For Good Digestion ]

2. Provides A Digestive Routine:

Although exercise is crucial to digestive health, you cannot play down the importance of proper food with regard to your digestive health. Remember to eat more fat-free and high-fiber foods that are rich in essential nutrients. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, carrots and spices like garlic, ginger and others are effective digestives that are especially healthy, if you combine them with a proper routine. It is often more important to give your body the time to digest rather than simply reduce your portions. Also, if you tend to drink less than 2 bottles of water every day, drink more of it. Exercise usually saps water from the body, and sweating can eliminate the water needed for proper digestion. This can lead to complications, and you need to ensure that your digestive system is functioning well. Exercise can thus help you determine a proper digestive routine (4).

Yoga For Digestion

One of the best exercises for digestion, yoga is a low energy exercise which focuses on strengthening and stretching your muscles to help promote digestion. One of the best poses for digestion is the camel pose.

Camel Pose (Ustrasana):

The camel pose is very good for digestion and the bowels and is also a great exercise for the back. It appears to be difficult to do, and it has been rumored to adversely affect the back. However, studies proved that Ustrasana not only strengthens the back muscles, but also eases stomach problems and aids digestion (5).

[ Read: Home Remedies To Treat Digestive Problems ]


Although moderate, routinely performed and light exercises like yoga boost digestive health, know your limits. Don’t overexert your body today just because you missed yesterday’s session. Remember that this is a gradual exercise and the results will not be experienced immediately.

Don’t train on a full stomach; it can lead to many complications like breathlessness, nausea, vomiting and even light-headedness. If you have had a rather filling meal, take a walk or perform some basic digestive yoga poses. Walking is one exercise that is not heavy on the body and gets the job done, i.e. improves digestion (6).

So are you ready to delve into these effects of exercise on digestive system? We hope that we have been able to highlight how exercise helps the digestive process. Have you experienced any other effect of exercise on digestive system? Share with us here. Leave a comment below.

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Ameya C

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