How to Improve Your Second Brain: Your Gut

3D Illustration of Human Digestive System Anatomy

Your stomach is a hub of intelligence, holding the equivalence to a small pet’s brain. It’s host to 200 million neurons and hundreds of billions of bacteria that influence our personalities. 

Your brain and stomach are in constant conversation. They both use the same neurotransmitters, it’s the language that nerve cells speak.

In both IBS and IBD, the mind and body are connected; however, it’s unclear which symptom started first. Did the mind affect the body or did the body affect the mind? Either way, we know they are intertwined and that we have to heal the ‘whole’ person in order to improve the condition of any ailment.

HOW YOUR DIGESTION AFFECTS YOUR WHOLE BODY

All health starts in the gut! Our digestive tract contains most of our immune system and 90% of our serotonin (the feel good chemical). These are just some of the many reasons why maintaining a healthy digestive tract is so important for the health of our entire body. Here are a few tips to help keep your body – and your digestion – running smoothly:

CHEW YOUR FOOD

Digestion starts in the mouth. The act of chewing not only breaks down our food into smaller particles to swallow, but it secretes saliva, coating the food with enzymes that begin to digest fats and starches right in your mouth.

EAT YOUR MEALS STRESS-FREE

The state of mind that you are in when eating will affect your digestion. Eat meals at the table with loved ones. Turn off the TV. Put away your phone.

DECREASE DRINKS AT MEAL TIME

Drinking too much with meals will decrease the amount of stomach acid which is needed for proper breakdown of food and nutrients. In fact, drinking too much during a meal will actually shut down the digestive process. Take small sips of water at room temperature if thirsty.



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At Home Exercises to Keep Fit During Quarantine

Moving your body is important on so many levels. During this time of social distancing, maintaining fitness should be a top priority, along with good diet and stress mitigation. And it’s entirely possible to get a stellar workout, without all of the expensive equipment. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger, seven-time Mr. Olympia and action-hero extraordinaire, said, “There are a lot of things we can’t control during this crisis, so we need to focus on what we can control.”

He said, “Gladiators and Vikings didn’t have gymnasiums. I started my own fitness journey with chin-ups on a tree branch by a lake in Austria.”

If the idea of pumping iron, a la Arnold, doesn’t do it for you, get into yoga during this time away from society. While any kind of sport or exercise can be food for the body, mind, and spirit, yoga guru BKS Iyengar said, “Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life.”

When it comes to staying fit at home, there is something for everyone, whether it’s calisthenics, aerobics, Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, pilates, or bodyweight exercises.

None of these activities require a gym, and they can all be done at your own pace. Or, if you’d like, you can follow online videos of expert fitness teachers. There are plenty of great yoga classes online taught by a variety of dedicated and experienced teachers.

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