As we age, our gut health changes. Most of the time, not for the better. But. The good news is that with a few simple lifestyle tweaks, we can keep our gut bacteria healthy and mitigate (if not prevent completely!) some of the negative effects of ageing on gut health. Here’s what you need to know about gut health and how to improve your gut health as you get older.
The gut microbiome changes with age, becoming less diverse and more susceptible to inflammation
Gut health is an important and often overlooked factor in personal training and overall well-being. In fact, it can become much more complicated. The gut microbiome changes over time, becoming less diverse and increasing inflammation risks. This study shows chronic inflammation represents one of the most consistent biologic features of ageing. Blindly following general supplementation-for-inflammation recommendations without first attempting to understand your unique gut microbiome might not reap desired results. Similarly to personal training for fitness goals, how to improve your gut health should be personalized to you.
Older adults are more likely to suffer from constipation, due to a decrease in muscle tone and mobility
With age, many people experience deterioration in mobility, strength, and coordination. This affects the frequency of constipation because exercise helps constipation by lowering the time it takes for food to move through the large intestine. While you might assume this article is addressed to someone over 60, the body’s response depends highly on the individual’s attitude and lifestyle. Simply said, your biological age may not reflect your actual age and your gut microbiome. Change your workouts as you age instead of allowing them to cause damage in the long run. We discuss how exercise can boost gut health in this article.
How to improve gut health by restoring balance to the microbiome with the right supplements
One of the very first supplements many people associate gut health with is probiotics. In many cases, probiotics (and prebiotics) work wonders. They offer the potential to improve gut health by restoring the delicate balance of the microbiome. For the best results, the right supplement should be selected based on the results of functional lab testing. This is something we practice in The Metabolic Reset program to address the underlying immune-related issues.
The muscles in the digestive tract become stiffer, weaker, and less efficient.
Digestion becomes increasingly challenging with age. The muscles in the digestive tract become weaker and less efficient. They become more susceptible to damage because new cells aren’t forming quickly enough. At Limitless, we practice integrating Functional Medicine with fitness. This approach helps people understand the connection between what they do in the gym and how they live outside of the gym. The right type of exercise and recovery regime can make all the difference! They can help reduce blocked arteries, ward off hypertension, and work towards eliminating the need for medication. Thus allowing our digestive system to perform optimally for longer.
You can’t digest foods you once could
It can be disheartening to not be able to enjoy foods you once could. In other words, you can’t digest foods you once could. But why? Factors like lifestyle changes and medical conditions can have a significant impact on our gut health. Keeping personal trainers in the loop regarding your internal troubles is not TMI. Lifestyle, personal health conditions or any events that have adversely impacted your gut are very useful information. These can help them design positive habits that work best with your lifestyle in both nutrition and digestion. For example, an experienced personal trainer might program certain flexibility exercises to further aid digestion. Such personalised training has come in particularly handy for people who have endured gut-traumatising events like intestinal flu, food poisoning or even pregnancy. Don’t give up. It IS possible to find long-lasting solutions for such delicate digestive issues.
The role of the gut in intuition and internal body-sensing
Age-related neurodegeneration can erode our mental health and emotional wellness. The gut has been identified as a possible key element in this intuition-based form of self-protection. Studies have even shown that people can sense changes within their bodies and environmental factors! Understanding the role of the gut in intuition and internal body-sensing can provide valuable insights into age-related declines in mental health. Even leading us with information for the right actions. Just as how personal training helps improve mental health, so does healthy gut management and its impact on cognitive health.
It’s interesting to note that the gut health patterns of a person change according to their age. The stability of the gut microbiome during middle age is particularly significant as this is when most people experience problems with their gut health. This quickened pace of change in late adulthood highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy gut throughout one’s life.
Having trouble sleeping, skin changes or a lag in your training performance – are just a few symptoms of a troubled gut. Gaining a deeper understanding of your health status can help you start feeling like your healthy strong self again! In conjunction with our in-depth health assessment, functional lab testing can help get to the root of the problem so you can rebuild your gut.
Contact us today for a Functional Medicine Health Coaching experience or get started by booking a free Discovery Chat to get your specific questions answered by our senior coaches.