Exercise And Digestion Go Hand-in-hand

Written by Dr. Naveeda Adam on Tue, 01 August 2023


Looking after your digestive system is more important than you think. Your digestive system helps digest and absorb nutrients and eliminates waste, thereby maintaining optimal body function. It also plays a vital role in your immunity.

Also, the gut is called the second brain of our body! Now that you know how important digestion is, it is also important for you to know how crucial is exercise for the digestive system.

Here's how you can keep your digestive system in good shape with the right food and exercise.

Making sure you eat right should top the list for good health and digestion, but exercise for health and fitness is equally important.

  • Exercises to improve digestion help increase blood flow to the muscles of your digestive system.
  • It also gives a good massage to your muscles and helps food move along through a process called peristalsis.
  • Exercising can be a great way to balance your gut bacteria. It can prevent the growth of bad bacteria and also help the body absorb and digest what it needs from the food that you eat.

So here are some eating tips that you can follow before you kick start your exercise regimen:

  • Giving sufficient time to digest your meals before exercise can be a good way to boost digestive health.
  • If your tummy feels full with a heavy meal, you may need about 2-3 hours to digest your food. At this time, your blood sugar rises in order to help you digest. Wait till it comes back to normal so that your entire energy gets focused on the workout.
  • On the other hand, staying hungry before a workout can make you feel tired. Stay hydrated while you start your exercise. Staying dehydrated can cause acid reflux, constipation and low absorption of nutrients during digestion.
  • Avoid taking dairy, sugar and caffeine before your workouts. Have foods that you can digest easily for eg: toast or banana. Avoid proteins and a high-fibre diet since it can make you feel heavy on your tummy while slowing your digestion.

Exercises for the digestive system

1. Indulge in a walk:

When you walk, your digestive system gets activated to allow the passage of food and waste through the intestine. This helps improve bowel movement and also reduces gas and bloating. You can start with a half an hour walk around 3 to 5 times a week.

2. Cycle your way out:

This is one of the most effective ways to improve digestion. It helps in the quick movement of food and also reduces water loss in stools. Cycling can also reduce belly fat which can lead to regular bowel movements, reduced bloating and more overall energy.

3. The Asanas can help:

Yoga is an all-around great workout that can help to establish better mind-body balance and overall coordination. There's a direct link between yoga to help improve digestive issues such as acid reflux and bloating; yoga will also increase core strength and helps relax your abdomen thereby improving gut health.

These poses include downward dog, boat, child's pose, upward dog and triangle have all been proved to boost digestion. You can try these simple yoga poses to boost your digestion!

4. Try your hands on sit-ups or crunches:

These exercises can work your abdominal muscles. You can do it on an empty stomach. Core work out like sit-ups or crunches around 4-5 times a week can help reduce bloating and gas in your abdomen.

5. Managing the pelvic doorway:

You can squeeze and draw in your pelvic floor muscles around your anus as though you are lifting weight in an upward direction. Slowly breathe in through your nose and breath out through your mouth as you relax. Working on your pelvic floor muscles can help sort issues with bowel control. You can do around 30 repetitions in a day.

Now that you know all about the tips to improve digestion, incorporate exercise for the digestive system to improve your gut health. A quick and effective workout in a day can keep all your digestive issues at bay!


Dr. Naveeda Adam

Dr Naveeda Adam is currently Medical Officer of the Gastrology Department at the Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salam, Tanzania.

Did you like our Article?





Not Sure





  1. Krongkaew Soontornnon

    Tue, 27 June 2023, 11 months ago


    • GHBY Team

      Wed, 19 July 2023, 10 months ago

      Thank you for the appreciation, we are glad you liked it. Keep reading!


    Leave a Comment

    1. Exercise to improve digestion. Available from: Axa health 
    2. How Exercise Affects Your Digestion. Available from: manhattangastroenterology
    3. 5 Exercises that Aid in Optimal Digestive Health. Available from: giwebmd

    Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

    Current Version

    Aug, 01 2023

    Written By

    Dr. Naveeda Adam