Leading a healthy lifestyle is a recent trend that many people try to live up to. However, while most of you may falsely assume that any fitness routine should be centred on a body weight decrease, a well-toned body, and a model-like figure, some exercises come in handy when you are feeling bloated, low on energy, or under immense stress. Today, we will focus on effective exercises for bloating so that you can relieve belly bloat any time the need arises. Aside from that, we will share a few practical tips to save you from the discomfort of a bloated belly by preventing the condition.
What is bloating?
Before you learn how to reduce bloating, you must be fully aware of what it is. Usually, bloating is described as a condition that makes your stomach feel tight and uncomfortably full due to gas build-up. It is true that bloating isn’t a deadly condition in most cases, but it does not feel very good, and it is best to learn how to prevent or deal with the condition if the inevitable happens.
What does bloating feel like?
A bloated belly feels like it is incredibly full, stretched, or both. Some people experience cramps, gassiness, burping, swelling, and even pain when bloated. All these factors occur when your digestive system gets too stretched or the big meal you’ve eaten moves through the system slower than needed. Sometimes, it is all about the weak abdominal muscles rather than the digestive tract issues. It helps to state that belly bloat can negatively affect your everyday activities due to the constant need to release built-up air, low energy levels, and decreased productivity.
What causes belly bloat?
Very often, when you start thinking about how to relieve belly bloat, you forget to reflect on the reasons that may have led to it in the first place. There are a few common causes of bloating to watch out for. Spoiler alert – not all of them are connected to your eating habits and patterns.
1. Too much food
When you eat too much in one go, your digestive organs may not be fully prepared to deal with the load. The increased volume of consumed food will have an effect on abdominal distension so that your stomach will protrude more. Besides, food triggers gas build-ups which consequently result in bloating.
2. Food intolerance
Whether you like it or not, not all foods are known to agree with you equally well. Your digestive system is unique, and thus you will react to different products individually. The most common bloating triggers are dairy products, eggs, shellfish, nuts, various additives, and gluten. So, if you have any of those on the menu, you should experiment and figure out which one is the bloating culprit.
3. High-carb beverages
People who drink soda regularly are more prone to frequent bloating than those who drink it rarely. It doesn’t take long to assume that the gas in fizzy drinks builds up in your stomach and leads to bloating discomfort.
This may hit you as a surprise, but unruly hormones can also trigger bloating. Women deal with such unpleasantries when their period is about to hit or when they enter the menopause stage.
Not everyone knows, but increased stress levels directly impact your digestion. Whether it is pleasant stress, or emotional or physical stress, it will result in uncomfortable and annoying bloating. In cases like this, the first thing to do is try to focus on reducing stress, despite the background from which it comes.
10 most effective exercises to reduce bloating
Despite the cause of bloating, there is always a practical way to deal with it. Usually, it is an effective combo of deep breathing, belly stretching, and twists that positively affect your colon. Use these debloating exercises when the need arises and forget about the unpleasant feeling once and for all. Keep in mind that better digestion will give your body more energy, which is a side effect not to be treated lightly.
Spinal twist exercise
Seated forward bend
Legs on the wall
Standing forward bend
One-legged spinal twist
#1 Wind-relieving pose
One of the primary stretches for bloating on our list would be the Knees to Chest pose.
Assume the starting position – lie on your back.
Bring your knees to the chest and hug them with your arms.
Centre your attention on the feeling of your thighs touching the stomach.
Take a few deep breaths to relax and relieve gas and bloating tension.
You can add some body moving to the process. Rock from one side to the other side or rotate for about 30 seconds in every direction.
#2 Spinal twist exercise
Spinal twists will help you stretch your belly so that it gets more space. Besides, the position results in a slight massage of your internal organs, which assists in reducing bloating. Here’s how you can do it:
Lie down on the floor.
Spread your arms on the sides so that your body forms a T-position.
Keep your hips and knees in line.
Lean both of your knees toward the floor in the same direction.
Make sure your shoulders and chest are squared and facing the ceiling.
Repeat the exercise for as long as it takes you to feel better. 10 repetitions are the least you should aim for.
#3 Child’s pose
The experts have it that the Child’s pose is a perfect way to massage your stomach and bowels using your body weight. Here’s how you can do it:
Get down on your knees on a yoga mat so that your legs remain apart and your butt touches your heels.
Push the upper body forward.
Stretch your arms in front of you.
Make sure that your spine is straight.
Rest your head on the floor. You can use a yoga block or pillow for enhanced comfort.
Hold the position for five breaths.
#4 Seated forward bend
Another position to improve your digestion and reduce bloating is the seated forward one. Here’s how you can do it:
Sit down on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
Keep your back straight and make a slight bend forward from the hips.
Lower the torso to the legs. Go as low as comfortable.
Extend from the hips and try to touch your toes with the crown of your head.
#5 Legs on the wall
Not everyone knows that a gentle inversion can increase blood flow and improve digestion. Here’s how you can do the exercise:
Lie down on the floor, feet facing the wall.
Lift your legs against the wall.
Keep the feet flexed.
Place your arms on each side of you for improved comfort.
Relax in the position for a couple of minutes.
#6 Cat-cow pose
The main reason exercise is so popular when dealing with boating is that inhaling helps with belly stretching, and exhaling is all about gentle compression. Such alternate movements ensure that you soothe your stomach and improve your digestion quickly. Here’s how you can do it:
Start with all fours on the floor.
Keep the spine in a neutral position.
Breathe in to engage your abs, and breathe out to round the spine.
Act as though you are pulling the belly button to your chest.
That is the cat pose.
To succeed with the cow pose, you have to arch your back and lift your head and butt as you inhale. Make sure that your shoulders are away from the ears.
Keep switching between the positions for a few minutes to release the tension in the back and neck.
#7 Downward dog
Another position aimed at stretching the belly and enhancing the digestive processes would be the downward-facing dog. The exercise is one of the simplest and quite influential on the list. Here’s how you can do it:
Stand straight with your feet hip-width from one another.
Bend forward with a straight spine and engaged abs.
Touch the ground with your palms right in front of you.
Try to recreate a V shape with your body.
Stand firm with your heels on the ground (if the position is too challenging at the moment due to your limited flexibility, you should lift the heels slightly up, with your knees bent).
Draw the tailbone back and up.
Keep the shoulders away from your ears.
Stand in this position for about 5-10 breaths.
#8 Standing forward bend
While most debloating exercises are pretty simple and beginner-friendly, the forward bend is among the easiest to succeed with. Here’s how you can do it:
Stand straight with your legs slightly apart.
Bend over from the waist and round your back as you are about to reach the floor.
If you can’t quite touch the ground yet, you can use a yoga blog or any other waist-high surface to assume the position.
Stay in the position for as long as you feel how your hamstrings and calves are stretching.
Let the head hang in the process so that you release all the tension in the neck region.
#9 One-legged spinal twist
Some stretching exercises improve blood flow and release stomach tension without any visible strain on the system. The given position belongs to the list. Here’s how you can succeed with it.
Sit down on the mat.
Keep your legs extended.
Bend your right knee and bring the heel as close to the body as possible. If you want to achieve some extra support, you can place the right leg over the left leg, keeping the heel close to you.
With your back straight, turn the torso to the right, with your left arm on the outside of your bent knee.
Place the right arm on the floor right behind you.
Breathe in and out.
Change the position.
The last option on our list would be a simple bridge. Here’s how you can do it:
Start lying on the ground.
Place the arms beside the body.
Bend your knees and keep your feet flat.
The knees and heels should be in line with one another.
Push your hips up with your heels.
Watch as your chest stretches.
Keep the position for a few breaths.
Bonus: practical debloating tips to memorise
Belly stretches and debloating exercises come in great use when you are dealing with bloating. However, some other practical pieces of advice will help you relieve the discomfort.
1) Potassium-rich diet
In many cases, sodium is the root of all bloating evil. Sodium-rich foods make you bloat like crazy, and the best way to deal with the matter is to wash that sodium out of your system. The easiest way to achieve the goal would be to add potassium-rich foods to your menu. Certain foods are exceptionally high in potassium. Avocado, banana, and sweet potatoes are on the list. So, making a daily menu out of those and flushing it down with water will help you debloat in no time.
2) Walk the bloat off
Surely, moving around when you feel full and bloated does not seem like the best idea, but it works. All that gas moving inside of you needs to get out, and there is nothing better to help it out than a long walk in the park.
3) Herbal tea
If the idea of a long walk does not seem that appealing to you and you would rather stay home, you should brew yourself a cup of helpful tea. Peppermint, ginger, or dandelion root tea would be of the utmost preference in situations like these. These herbs are known to promote digestion, so that you will feel better in no time.
4) Epsom salt bath
Contrary to popular belief, a nice bath can also help you deal with stomach bloat. However, you must follow a special ritual to achieve the desired effect. The truth is that Epsom salt is a critical component of the routine. It's all because the magnesium that the salt contains is a natural saline laxative. What does it mean? It means that it will drain all the excess water out of your body.
5) Get a foam roller
There are multiple benefits to owning a foam roller, but we are curious about how it may assist in a given situation. Foam rolling is known to improve the body’s circulation. Aside from that, it has a controlling effect on the nervous system and boosts both the digestive and detoxification systems. All it takes is around 10 minutes of rolling to feel some bloating relief.
6) Add some lean proteins
We are what we eat, and there is nothing you can do about it. If you are sick and tired of feeling bloated all the time, altering your menu in favour of lean proteins is a good idea. While foods like salmon, chicken breast, or beef can keep you full throughout the day, they never trigger bloating.
7) Keep a digestive enzyme at hand
In some cases, going for a walk or initiating a debloating fitness routine isn’t an option. That is why you should be aware of how to deal with the matter effectively without ruining your day. Taking a digestive enzyme before you eat a large meal or when you feel stressed is an excellent way to prevent bloating.
8) Take your time
The modern world is quite hectic and chaotic. However, it does not mean that you can’t slow down for a while for your own benefit. If you take your time, eat slowly, and enjoy the meal, you will not only prevent bloating from happening, you will also consume fewer calories, which will have an overall positive effect on your body.
9) Try coconut water
It’s been mentioned that sodium build-ups lead to bloating. While you can’t cross salt out of your life once and for all, you can do something to help your body process it well. Aside from drinking still water and tea, you can spice things up with coconut water. The beverage tastes heavenly and can help that increased sodium out. However, some people may be intolerable to coconut water, and it helps to consult your doctor first.
10) Try acupuncture
Implementing acupuncture in your life may sound a little scary, but the ancient practice has proved to be more than effective when it comes to bloating. The key here lies in finding a skilled practitioner who will puncture your body with tiny needles to help you boost energy, reduce stress, and debloat.
Speeding up debloating process with Eleviate
Eleviate is more than a wellness and mindfulness app. Our devout experts have put a lot of effort into gathering the most effective tips, exercises, and practices to improve your overall quality of life. With our debloating pieces of advice, professional help, and workout routines, you will battle the condition once and for all. Besides, the ever-growing and friendly community of same-minded people will help you find new friends and support when you need it most. Join us today and watch your life take a turn for the better, instantly!