Christmas is definitely the period for over indulgence, so it’s important for me to keep an extra care for my digestive system and gut to cope with all the extra food and drink, so that I can still keep up my winter training! Here is some of my healthy gut, Christmas exercise tips…
Exercise is a great tool to help heal gut dysfunction, especially if you are doing a workout that you enjoy and helps to release stress. There is a powerful mind-gut connection, and many studies suggest that gut-issues are worsened by stress. Don’t over-think or worry about training… simply enjoy it and allow the mind to switch off; your gut will thank you for it! Winter is a great excuse to have fun with your training (races tend to happen in the summer!) so use the ‘off season’ to mix it up and have some fun!
One thing I do to tackle or avoid any tummy trouble is lying with my feet up against a wall – this posture is great for relaxing the whole body, and I always like to do it after a long run. Once I am in this pose, I really concentrate on rhythmic breathing patterns to help to relax the nervous system, which then helps the digestive system. I think this is also the perfect excuse to take some time to relax, as great as the festive season is, it can be overwhelming!
Yoga is a really great way to exercise and maintain a happy gut; there are tons of poses and flows that actually promote a healthy digestive system! I like to add on shot 10-minute flows after any of my tougher training sessions, to relax my body. Endurance training isn’t ideal for a healthy gut; this is due to reduced blood flow to the intestines during intense exercise, combined with the mechanical action of running, or the position on the bike for extended periods, Adding short yoga practices is a great way to counteract the symptoms caused from longer training sessions.
Walking is also a great way to give the digestive system a kick-start. If you’ve over-indulged during the festive season, take a brisk walk to help settle your stomach! It’s also a really lovely and sociable way to spend some quality time over the holidays!
Last but not least, I’m never without my good bugs, and definitely not at Christmas when I’m consuming far more mulled wine than Kombucha! Consistently starting my day with a shot of Symprove before a day of mince pies works wonders!