Exercise affects gut bacteria

We all know exercise is good for you. We all know at least a couple reasons why:

  • helps facilitate weight loss and maintenance by:
  • burning calories and:
  • building muscle and increasing metabolism
  • reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer
  • improves mood

The list could go on. But a new study has shown that gut bacteria diversity improves with exercise. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract – the stomach and intestines – is home to a complex community of bacteria referred to as the gut microbiota. Gut bacteria is important for our digestion and our immune system. And we are always looking for ways to increase the good bacteria and minimize the growth of bad. We know about probiotics, various foods but it looks like exercise is also one of the ways to increase the variety (which means more good bacteria). The diet of the study participants was different as well and certainly influenced the study’s results. I would even say that the diet might have been such a confounding variable that this study just shows that exercise might play a positive roll, when combined with the proper diet.