Bloating can be an uncomfortable and even painful experience. From a belly that feels full and puffy to losing energy and concentration, excess gas can affect our overall mood and ability to function.

Walking around all day feeling bloated isn’t a great way to live. It’s uncomfortable and can drastically impact your overall health – and that’s just too much to the stomach!

What causes gas and bloating?

Bloating is a tightness in the abdominal area due to gas created in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The effects of gas and bloating can range from mild discomfort and pain to a belly that is abnormally distended. Foods like wheat, garlic, legumes, onions, dairy, and of course, beans can cause bloating. Some people are also sensitive to apples and pears. 

Carbohydrates are sometimes not fully absorbed by the small intestine and end up in the colon. Here certain bacteria will ferment and produce gas. 

Other factors include water retention, stress, and hormonal changes in the body. Whatever causes it, most of us have experienced bloating and gas, and it’s not fun! Thankfully, there are ways to combat this uncomfortable condition, and exercise is one of them.

Exercise 

Besides cutting back on certain foods and drinks that cause bloating, exercise is an excellent way to reduce bloating. Although it won’t cure it, by moving your body, you will get some much-needed relief.

Exercise helps to move the gas built up in the digestive tract along, and with handy tools like a pull-up band, you can do all kinds of exercises at home! Even removing a little bit of gas will help relieve a little bit of tension – and that little bit of relief will do you a world of good!

Exercise may also help strengthen the abdominal walls, helping food move more quickly along the digestive tract. So avoid laying down after a big meal! Instead, get up and start moving. Hers are some excellent exercises you can do right now to help that bloating.

4 Anti-bloating exercises

#1. Yoga 

Yoga can be highly effective in reducing bloating. Some yoga poses are specially designed to relieve you of excessive gas, like the Happy Baby pose and the Seated Twist. There’s even a pose called the Wind Relieving pose

#2. Pilates

Pilates is a lot like yoga and can also help ease the gassy and bloated feeling. Pilates focuses on core exercises that strengthen your abdominal wall, which helps prevent bloating. 

#3. Walking 

If your body is moving, it is helping to move the gas along! As a bonus, walking also helps strengthen the abdominal wall, which will help reduce bloating. 

#4. Stretching

Whether you do yoga, pilates, or other stretches, stretching is by far the best way to take care of that tormented tummy. 

7 Easy-to-do stretches that reduce bloating

#1. Knees to chest 

Start by lying on your back, then pull your knees towards your chest, hugging both knees with your arms. This will open your hips slightly. Make sure to keep the tailbone as flat to the floor as possible, and remember to breathe!

#2. Spinal twist

Reach out your arms to make a “T,” but keep your hips and knees aligned with each other. Then gently lean both knees towards the floor in the same direction, but keep your shoulders and chest facing upwards towards the ceiling. Keep it gentle and stop if you feel any pain.

#3. Child’s pose 

Sitting with your knees on the mat and legs spaced apart as far as is comfortable, place your butt onto your heels. Gently bend forward and keep your arms stretched out in front. As you bend, make sure your back is straight.

Now rest your forehead on the floor. If you can’t fully rest your head on the floor, elevate it slightly or place it on a yoga block or a pillow. Hold this position for five breaths.

#4. Seated forward bend pose 

Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Gently bend forward from your lower torso and hips, lowering your chest to your legs. Go as far as you can, but don’t strain. If you can, grab your feet with your hands. If not, rest them alongside your legs in a position that feels right.

#5. Legs up a wall 

This pose helps with digestion and relaxation! Lie on your back next to a wall. Inch your way towards the wall. Raise your legs against the wall with your arms at your side and hands resting on your abdomen.

Your lower back should touch the floor, your butt against the wall, and your legs up against it. If your hamstrings feel tight, move your butt a little bit away from the wall.

#6. Downward dog pose 

Start on all fours with your palms pressed into the floor. Straighten your legs and push your back and butt up to create a v-shape with your body. Heels and palms pressed into the ground. Draw the tailbone up, shoulders away from the ears, and hold your ribcage in.

Hold this position for up to ten breaths. If you need to, bend your knees, but maintain the lift of the tailbone.

#7. Standing forward bend 

Stand straight with legs apart. Bend from the waist and round out your spine as you reach towards the floor. If you can’t reach the floor, or have tight hamstrings, bend your knees slightly, or use a yoga block.

Let your head hang to stretch the neck while reaching your tailbone to the sky. Feel the stretch in the upper back by holding your elbows or shoulders with the opposite hands, allowing gravity to help pull the shoulder blades apart.

Relief is just a stretch away!

Feeling bloated is just horrible. It can even be excruciating. But relief is just a simple few stretches away. By taking only a few minutes out of your day for exercise, you can help relieve the pressure and puffy feelings in your stomach and enjoy your day with less discomfort.