How Can Exercise Support Your Liver?

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The liver is a fantastic organ that does much more than what many people give it credit for. Some of its jobs include filtering your blood, eliminating toxins and waste products, creating proteins that support your circulatory system, and helping to balance blood sugar levels. Needless to say, taking care of your liver is a smart investment. One way to keep it healthy is with regular exercise. Why is physical activity important for liver health?

The Connection Between Body Fat and Your Liver

It’s normal for the liver to have a small quantity of fat. After all, your liver plays a role in metabolism, so it needs to break down fats and convert them into energy. That said, too much-saturated fat can become a problem, triggering inflammation and eventually causing long-term damage. Scar tissue can make it hard for the liver to detoxify your blood effectively.

Regular periods of moderate-intensity exercise are an excellent way to keep body fat in check. According to the PennState College of Medicine, physical activity can support liver health by reducing fat directly in the liver and also supporting a healthy weight.

Ideally, you want to aim for 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and resistance training a week, but even less-intense physical activity provides some benefits. For example, if you need to avoid high-impact activities, swimming is a valuable alternative that helps you stay active.

The Importance of a Nutritious Diet

You can also reduce your overall intake of saturated fat by choosing nutritious foods instead. Many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains support normal liver functioning and help take care of it.

Leafy green veggies, almonds, berries, herbs, and spices are some examples of foods that contain antioxidants and vitamins for your liver. Additional sources of nutrients for maintaining your natural detox system include liver support supplements. The goal is to cover a wide range of support nutrients related to liver function by prioritizing a good diet. Supplements can help you fill in the blanks when a busy schedule or poor dietary choices result in less-than-recommended levels of important antioxidants.

Other Benefits of Exercise for Liver Health

Exercise can be good for your liver in other ways besides supporting a healthy weight. For example, it can help optimize blood flow to the liver, delivering more nutrients to the organ.

Moderate exercise can also help reduce overall inflammation in the body, which may include liver inflammation. With less inflammation, liver tissues can perform their functions more effectively.

The key is to be consistent. Shorter periods of low- or moderate-intensity exercise are preferable to a long period of intense exercise once a month. Even activities such as walking your dog, working in the garden, or going for a bike ride help you stay active.

Tips for Exercising Regularly

If you have a busy lifestyle, you may think that working out every day is an impossible goal. In reality, getting some physical activity doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Some of these tips may help in your case:

  • Set reasonable goals: Trying to perform three sets of 15-20 reps, or jogging a mile, from the beginning can be discouraging. Start smaller and work your way up as you achieve each milestone.
  • Break workouts into smaller periods: Nothing says you need to exercise for 30-60 minutes in one go. It can be just as effective to divide exercise into 15-minute portions throughout the day, such as during your lunch break and after work.
  • Grab a friend: Family members and friends can help you stay motivated. A good workout buddy can also make exercising more entertaining.
  • Keep it simple: You don’t need to be an expert in lifting weights or aerobics to get started. Even something as simple as using a step counter to reach daily goals can help.

Can you invest 30 minutes from watching the nightly news for a brisk walk or another exercise? The tradeoff is worth it, both for your liver and your overall well-being.

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