Running to better digestive health?

Did the runners in London inspire you yesterday? I always do enjoy watching the marathon, especially when you see people who have really battled against adversity to compete, or the sense of achievement and knowing you’ve raised valuable sums of money for a worthy cause.

I’m currently awaiting a fourth knee operation so I can’t easily sign up for 2011, but I’m still keen on finding ways to keep myself in shape. And the great thing about exercise is that it can also keep the digestive system healthy too.

Our digestive tracts are ringed with muscles that contract to help move food through. Like other muscles in our bodies, these are also stimulated by exercise. So, if you exercise regularly you will keep the bowel muscles contracting at a healthy rate.

But, for those of you who may be a bit gym shy or, like me, are struggling with injuries, then you might think that getting into a healthy exercise programme is too much effort. But in fact there are simple ways you can incorporate some activities into your routine and give yourself a chance of a healthier gut.

  • Leave the car at home for short distances. Try walking to the shops, the school and especially the pub!
  • Do you like getting your car as close to the supermarket entrance as possible? Have you thought that walking those extra metres may do you some extra good?
  • Take to the stairs and reduce your use of escalators and lifts
  • How close is the phone to where you sit at home? Try and locate it somewhere else so you need to get up to answer it.
  • How many times do you pile your arms full of things to save you one journey upstairs? Lessen your load which will be much less likely to be dropped but will encourage you to do more journeys and benefit more.
  • In the good weather encourage lunchtime walks with colleagues – good for team bonding but also get exercise and fresh air.

What other simple exercise tips do you have? Share them online and help others give their digestive systems some exercise.