Colchester Fitness Centre’s message to members this month has been to keep moving! Collectively our Bootcamp community has covered almost 4,000 miles during our November challenge, so we have certainly taken that message on board.

Being active is good for our health for so many reasons, but there are some specific opportunities we can tap into to really access the benefits of moving our body.

One of the best times to move is right after eating

Going for a walk or doing a few air squats after a meal, can improve nutrient absorption, reduce acid indigestion, and help minimise the overall stress load associated with digesting our food.

When we eat, we create a bolus of food – essentially a large, spherical mass made up of what we’ve just eaten – our stomach then dumps lots of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid on top to break it down into absorbable molecules. If we eat and then sit still or go straight to bed, these digestive enzymes only gain access to the very outside of the bolus of food. Because the enzymes are only in contact with a small surface area, they are less effective at breaking the bolus down. (Imagine pouring water over a loaf of bread, it would take a while for the water to soak through to the inside of the loaf.)

Exercise aids digestion

After eating, if we go for a walk, or do some light moving around, the digestive enzymes and the bolus of food in our stomach begin mixing together, which allows those enzymes to do their job much more effectively. As a result, we absorb more of the desired nutrients from the food, we reduce the risk of acid indigestion, we create less stress for the body, and we eliminate waste more efficiently. Over time, developing a positive habit like this can have a huge impact on our overall health and longevity.