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Exercise and the Gut Microbiome

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Have you ever noticed, you feel better when you exercise? Researchers are just now starting to elucidate the link between exercise and the gut microbiome. I mean – I think we all deep down know, yes, of course it make sense that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, and that it is likely it has some impact on the gut microbiome. But now we have science actually looking at what those changes are, and how we can make the best recommendations for you to be as healthy as possible.

Exercise and The Gut Microbiome

We know that exercise appears to play a role in inflammation, energy metabolism, and the gut microbiome¹. Now, researchers out of the U of C are looking at how high intensity interval training and lifestyle change impact the gut microbiome, and markers of metabolic syndrome in inactive adults living with gut disorders!

NEWSFLASH ALL YOU YYC FOLKS WITH GI DISORDERS (not just celiac!) – they’re recruiting for their September enrolment round!

They’ve recently opened it up from just those with celiac, to those with gut disorders – like IBS, and IBD.

You all know how I feel about research. I’m research CRAZY! As a participant, of course, there are a ton of cool perks:

  • Two – 60 minute exercise classes for 12 weeks (read: free, amazing exercise program)
  • Weekly group education sessions focused on lifestyle change (read: support, and mindfulness – all things you know I push in my practice)
  • Turning your body into a science experiment – you get your GUT MICROBIOME tested (my dream), a ton of labs so you can see your before and after progress, and – the super cool DEXA scan – that will tell you your bone mineral density, and break down your tissue mass (fat, muscle, etc.) so you can see how that HIIT influenced your body composition!

Clearly, I would enrol if I already didn’t do HIIT 3 times a week – I’m too active to meet their enrolment criteria! The enrolment criteria is:

  • Age (over 18 years of age),
  • Diagnosis of a gut disorder (celiac, IBS, IBD)
  • Not currently active as per Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines (150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week)
  • Live in the Calgary area
  • Can attend exercise sessions at the U of C 2 times per week for 12 weeks
  • Fluent in English

If you’d like to sign up -contact the Health and Wellness Lab at move@ucalgary.ca, and they will assess your eligibility!


  1. Mach, N., & Fuster-Botella, D. (2016). Endurance exercise and gut microbiota: A review. Journal of Sport and Health Science. doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2016.05.001

Categorized: Gut Health & IBS

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