Gut Speak, Week 5
Exercise decreases transit time – or “dwell” time for stool, which minimizes the time that the toxins and carcinogens in your solid waste stay in contact with the gut. As we age, our secretory glands tend to slow down production of gastric and other digestive juices, making the digestive process slow down. This means that the toxins and carcinogens and non-beneficial bacteria in your poop have greater contact with the tissues of the intestines, thereby increasing colon cancer risk.
Sometimes issues with nerve damage can cause digestion to slow down even further. Inflammatory bowel diseases like diverticulitis can show up as we age, too, in part due to genetics and in part due to stress and lifestyle factors, like smoking, excessive alcohol intake, poor sleep hygiene and a low fiber diet. Pre-cancerous polyps can develop in the colon, trapping food and stool. Exercise jiggles your insides around in a good way so simply put, it gives a little assistance to your gut’s ability to move food from mouth to exit chute!
Normal elimination can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days but the happiest people I know eliminate more frequently. A slow transit time can increase discomfort and grumpiness. I saw a card one time that pictured a white-haired woman in conversation with another white-haired woman on the cover. One woman was beaming like the cat who ate the canary, while the other woman inquired if there was a new man in her life??? The card opens to witness the beaming woman reply- “No silly, I pooped today!”
The moral of the story is, for best health and to feel your best, keep on exercising to keep on pooping!