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How Exercise Contributes to Gut and Brain Health

man lacing up running shoesWhile exercise yields great benefits, such as more energy, weight loss, and improved heart health, it can also boost your gut and brain health.

I want to let people struggling with gut health or brain fog know that exercise can do wonders in these areas.

How Movement Aids Digestion

The more movement we’re doing, the more we can increase the likelihood of the body’s ability to make the digestive juices needed to break our food down and maximize what we’re eating. Yoga, in particular, is a great exercise because it uses twisting movements that can stimulate the gastrointestinal organs.

Yoga also incorporates breathing, which helps with digestion, as well as brain health and mental health. Breath helps activate the vagus nerve, which stimulates the parasympathetic arm of the nervous system. This is responsible for sending blood flow, energy and nutrients to the organs to help us rest and digest.

Boosting Oxygen to the Brain

Another benefit of exercise is that it can help increase oxygen flow to the brain, as well as boost nitric oxide production. That helps increase circulation and blood flow without raising blood pressure.

Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase a protein called BDNF, which is a brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This is an important protein that helps with neurogenesis and neuroplasticity and allows neurons to communicate with each other. The more BDNF we have, the better cognitive health and mental clarity we have.

Exercise also releases a rush of endorphins, those “feel good” chemicals that act as neurotransmitters that help us improve our mood and positivity.

Whether you enjoy yoga, running, CrossFitting or other forms of exercise, the important thing is you’re moving toward optimal gut and brain health! If you are looking for support or help with exercises to benefit your gut and brain health check out

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