The gut microbiome has become one of the most exciting fields of medical inquiry of the last decade. Much of the research began as an effort to understand and address a variety of chronic stomach ailments that have come into popular focus over the last 25 years, conditions such as Crohn’s disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcerative colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Psychotherapists and psychologists have long postulated a connection between psychological ailments, psychosocial stressors, and stomach disorders. For example, 61% of people with IBS also have a DSM-diagnosed anxiety disorder. The classic understanding posits that high stress levels and anxious tendencies can cause disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract, including high stomach acid levels and hyper-reactive bowels, that may lead to various GI disorders.
Most people look at exercise as a something you do solely for your body. Specifically, many people look at exercising as simply a calorie destruction mechanism to be engaged in so that that they don’t get fat. Much of our current attitude around exercise comes from 1980s fitness concepts such as the the carlorie-in/calorie-out complex. Doing something to avoid something else is usually a very poor motivator for humans. As a result exercise often falls into the basket of “things I should do” that while enthusiastically embraced right around New Years, eventually ends up being discarded by the time spring cleaning rolls around.