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Exercise to Keep Your Digestive Tract Healthy

digest Jul 16, 2020

Move to Keep Your GI Tract Healthy

Exercise can help support digestive health and function in many ways:

  • Exercise improves blood flow throughout your digestive system and the rest of your body.
  • Aerobic exercise like walking, running, and cycling can help to strengthen abdominal muscles. Strong abdominal muscles assist digestion.
  • Regular aerobic activity can also activate your digestive tract and stimulate muscles that propel digestive waste through your intestines.

The good news is that almost any exercise you enjoy can help your digestion. The Resilient Movement Plans  are great a place to start if you don't have an exercise routine. There are also more targeted activities designed specifically to help your gut, wind relieving pose and abdominal self massage.

Two Movement Practices for Better Digestion

1. Wind Relieving Pose: This yoga posture can increase blood flow to the digestive system and facilitate colonic activity. Here's how to do it:

  • Start by lying flat on your back and drawing both legs up to the chest.
  • Extend the left leg straight out.
  • Bend your right leg, clasping your right shin with your hands.
  • Draw your knee in close to your chest.
  • Hold for 20 breaths and then repeat on the other side.

2. Abdominal Self-Massage for Digestion

Abdominal self-massage is an effective and accessible practice to help your digestive system. We recommend downloading and printing the practice instructions if possible so that you have it handy when you need it. It works well if practiced immediately after the wind relieving pose. 

Download the Abdominal Massage Practice

Add Some Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is an underutilized tool to support digestion. It is fast-acting, safe, and can be surprisingly effective. Essential oils used in aromatherapy, like other integrative therapies, aim to unify physiological, psychological, and spiritual processes to enhance the mind and body’s inborn, natural healing processes. If you're ready to add aromatherapy to your GI support, try our Soothing blend.

The Soothing Blend is designed to calm agitation in mind and body and settle the GI tract. This healing blend includes lemon, spearmint, and ginger. Try it as an inhaler for convenient and travel-friendly relief or as an oil blend for custom applications. You can find it at the NMH  store. 


When you practice mindful eating, you avoid distractions (like your phone) so you can fully notice and appreciate the colors, smells, flavors, and textures of your food. You'll chew more slowly with this practice, which benefits your digestion and satisfaction while eating. Learn more.>>> 


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