When your digestion isn’t in perfect shape, your body gives you signals in the form of bowel irregularity, bloating, excessive gas, acidity, etc. Often, we wrongly think that these conditions are not within our control.
However, that may be far from the truth. By making a few easy lifestyle changes by eating right and being more physically active, you can overcome the problem of your digestive system. This, in turn, will help your system to play out its primary role: of absorbing and delivering nutrients for general health and getting rid of unwanted waste in the body smoothly and effectively.
By following a few outdoor activities, you can actually aid your digestion and remain fit and happy.
1. Brisk walking
Taking a brisk walk soon after a heavy meal is effective in easing the digestive process and helping you get over that sluggish, heavy feeling. By walking for about 20-30 minutes after a meal, you do not suffer any digestive problems such as heartburn or indigestion. It also encourages stimulates the action of intestinal contractility by helping the stool pass through the colon.
As with walking, cycling too is useful for good digestion. If you cycle to work, school or to the store, you can use it for your primary purpose and to strengthen your calf muscles, stomach and arms. By riding your bike for barely 15 minutes a day, you can quickly restore your digestive system to normal.
It works by allowing food to pass smoothly through the large intestine, reducing the amount of water that goes to the stool. In this way, an outdoor activity like cycling helps create better digestion.
Everyone knows that gardening innocuously works almost all parts of the body—in fact, it’s an excellent cardio workout without trying to be one. By bending over plants to trim them, cut branches, plant saplings or any other related activity, you lean forward, causing your stomach to cave in.
This acts as an excellent cardio exercise, often much better than stomach crunches. This action, prolonged until your gardening work is over, helps aid the digestive process and keep you happy.
Yet another outdoor activity that can spur your digestion to work better is snowboarding. By getting into your snowboarding gears and enjoying the sport, you’re actually exercising your hamstrings, calf muscles and quads, and your foot and ankle muscles, apart from your abs muscles. Together, this helps burn 480 calories per hour for someone weighing 68 kg.
It also improves your mental health by lifting your moods and lowering your anxiety levels. On the physical side, it gives an excellent cardio workout. It improves blood flow all over the body and digestive process functioning. Consequently, it keeps your digestive tract active and moving smoothly.
An active digestive system means you won’t be constipated, nor will you experience gas, cramps or bloating. Regular snowboarding will also reduce the need for blood required by the digestive system to function because your muscles are now more efficient.
5. Deep breathing
Perhaps, you aren’t aware that improper breathing can have a deep impact on your digestion by resulting in bloating and heartburn. However, it’s easy to remedy this by sitting up erect and breathing slowly and deeply, putting all your stomach muscles into play. Very quickly, you will be able to relax and manage your stress levels.
There are many schools of deep breathing, such as yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and Qigong breathing. The latter two methods massage your internal organs very gently and help stimulate blood circulation and aid healthy digestion.
6. Go camping
Camping has general health benefits for the whole body, though people often indulge in it for the fun aspect. For instance, when on campsites you go swimming, hiking or cycling, you’re exercising your core without knowing it.
Or, when you eat grilled food at your campsite, you’re eating healthy which benefits your overall digestion. And when you sleep under the stars with the light of the campfire on your face, not only are your sleep cycles improved, but your melatonin levels help to normalize your sleep.
7. Take your dog for a walk
Walking your dog is as healthy for you as it is for him. While it gives your pooch cardio exercise, it also socializes him and makes him less hyperactive. And you? Not only does it make you fitter and more agile, you are also relieved of constipation and enjoy better digestion, particularly if you take a walk soon after a heavy meal.
From this, we can see that digestion is not a process in isolation but is connected to every physical activity that we may perform. The point is for us to be as physically active as possible so that digestion is a smooth and natural process.