How much physical exercise must be done to improve the intestinal microbiota?

Physical exercise is essential for prevent a good number of chronic diseases. The positive effects of physical activity on the musculoskeletal system, the lungs, the heart and circulatory system, immunity and the nervous system are well known. Now, a study confirms that physical exercise is also beneficial for the state of the digestive microbiota.

150 minutes a week for your intestinal microbiota

The research from the University of Calgary (Australia), shows that 150 minutes of physical exercise a week are enough (about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) to produce an increase in the diversity and number of beneficial bacteria that inhabit the intestine.

Athletes are often skinny and follow strict diet and training programs; these factors alone may explain why they have healthier microbiotas than the population average, explains lead researcher Srhushti Shah, an expert in nutrition, metabolism and genetics. For this reason, scientists decided to find out if exercise alone could improve people’s microbiota, regardless of other factors.