Digestive health can cause many annoying gastrointestinal issues that affect daily life negatively. bloating, diarrhea and constipation are just some issues that can occur when your gut health isn’t where it should be.
In this running for diverticulitis guide, I will be sharing some information on what impact running could have on overall digestive health. The information for this blog post comes from an old scientific manuscript that looked at the effects of Vigorous Physical Activity on digestive health.
It includes a large sample size of human participants that were diagnosed with diverticulitis and were willing to run at different paces whilst completing follow-up questionaries. Their diet, BMI, age, and sex were just some of the things tracked.
Running May Help with Stress Related Digestive Issues
Recent studies have confirmed that gut health can influence a person’s mental health and also vice versa with stress making gut health worse and leading to things like ulcers, IBS and more. It’s thought that running helps with stress by increasing blood circulation to the brain releases the hormone serotonin.
Over 90% of this hormone is produced in the gut according to Science Daily so, in a roundabout way, the gut and brain connection can help with your digestive health and potentially with IBS symptoms over time. The next time you find yourself stressing over something, definitely take some probiotics and go for a quick run.
Running May Help with Diverticulitis
This amazing manuscript & study from 2010 looked at the link between Diverticular disease and vigorous physical activity like running for example. The study started by claiming that in 1995, one study showed reports of lower diverticulitis in men that often ran and were physically fit. It was said that vigorous hard running worked better than moderate running for improving overall fitness.
The data from this study showed that men and women who ran > 4 m/s had an incredible 70% reduced risk for diverticular disease compared to a slower running speed of < 2.8 m/s which showed the importance of running hard at an intense pace for diverticulitis if you can manage it physically. 127 men and 21 women diagnosed with Diverticulitis were included in this preliminary study making the data and results strong.
In the conclusion of this in-depth manuscript, they did find an association between vigorous physical activity and a lower risk for diverticular disease. It was noted that running and jogging were the only activities that were shown to potentially help in a study. They also mentioned that running and eating a higher fiber diet were important.
People with Diverticulitis were found to have dysbiosis with lower levels of Lactobacillus Bacteria in their guts according to the Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. Running whilst taking a probiotic supplement and eating a lot of fiber may help some people with their diverticulitis symptoms. Just remember to avoid things like seeds and popcorn which can make Diverticulitis worse.
Closing Thought on Running for Gut Health
Whilst these studies are quite old, the science still stands true and shows that running can improve your fitness and overall digestive health leading to potential benefits for things like diverticulitis.
It’s important to also eat high prebiotic fiber foods from foods like asparagus or dark leafy greens. Eating these foods and drinking plenty of water may help to lower inflammation in your intestines.
If you have any digestive symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately and follow their advice. They will be able to physically examine you and offer advice on if you can run at a high intensity which was proven to be an important factor in the previously shared studies.
If you have had recent surgery for diverticulitis your doctor will be able to share how many weeks it will take to recover and when you will be able to safely resume strenuous exercise.