When we think about digestive health, we tend to think of getting lots of fibre and probiotics. But our daily routine and lifestyle plays a large role in our optimal digestive functioning. We can all agree that creating daily helpful habits help us create growth and change for the better. We can probably also agree that it is not always easy. It takes practice and like learning anything knew, consistency helps us build our habits. Our digestive health is the same, it loves routine and keeping at it with consistency can help a lot.
With our routines changing a bit more now, here are 6 simple gut-loving daily habits that you can incorporate into your day to support your gut health. Choose a couple and give them a try.
Drink 2 cups of water first thing in the morning
Especially before having coffee. This rehydrates your body after being without liquids overnight and stimulates your digestive system. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon as the sour tastes also stimulates the digestive process.
Spend 5-10 minutes alone in the morning
This time can be spent doing breathing exercises, stretching, taking a shower and so on. Do this before checking your phone or emails in the morning. This allows you to spend time in the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system which is where optimal digestive function resides and sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Set time aside to have a bowel movement
Rushing in the morning takes you out of the “rest and digest” nervous system state and into the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system state. Your digestion does not function best in this state and can contribute to constipation in some and diarrhea in others. Setting aside the same time every morning helps the body create a bowel habit especially for those who experience constipation.
Go for walks throughout your day
Physical activity helps to bring blow flow to your digestive organs, strengthen the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract and helps to relieves stress by nourishing your rest and digest nervous system. Like the rest of your body that benefits from periodic movement throughout the day, especially with lots of screen time, your gut will be happy you got moving!
Try some hydrotherapy with a cold blast to end your shower
Adding 30 seconds to 1 minute of cold water to end your shower increases circulation and stimulates the vagus nerve which links your digestive system and brain and promotes relaxation. It might take a few times to get used to it but it is worth a try.
Spend 5-10 minutes alone before bed
Just like you helped support your nervous system in the morning, it is also a great idea to do this at night. Your body repairs and replenishes the most during rest. Taking time to get back into the parasympathetic state of rest and digest helps this process get started. You can do this by practicing gratitude journaling, gentle yoga or meditation.
If you notice the change in your routine has been tough to adjust to and your digestion is taking a hit, speak to a healthcare practitioner. There are many factors that contribute to common digestion concerns and Dr. Ramlal is here to help you uncover those that affect your unique situation. Take action by booking a complimentary discovery call so we can discuss a plan to get you feeling your best.
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Dr. Ramlal believes that we can all be the best version of ourselves and this starts with taking care of our health. We are worthy of having the life we want and doing all the amazing things we want to do. She is passionate about looking at the bigger picture of the factors that shape our health and curating strategies to help others reach their greatest potential. Dr. Ramlal has a strong belief in creating a space to cultivate growth, awareness and fostering the mind-body connection to nourish the foundations of health. As a clinician, her area of focus is helping those with digestive concerns such as irritable bowel syndrome, break free from the constraints of diarrhea, bloating and constipation that are keeping them from living and feeling their best.
I would love to hear from you, let’s connect on Instagram @drroxanneramlal