Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating
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Bloating is both uncomfortable and unsightly and when the condition hits, exercise can often be the last thing on your mind. However, exercise has been proven to help relieve symptoms of bloating and with gyms finally open across the UK, what are the best workouts to help reduce your bloating symptoms?
Whether opting for a nice long walk, a brisk jog, a bike ride, or even a jaunt on the elliptical machine, cardio workouts are known to help deflate your bloat.
Physical activity such as cardio workouts will help expel gas that causes pain and help move digestion along.
Health experts advise aiming for 30 minutes of mild to moderate exertion.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the frequency of chronic gastrointestinal distress in runners was analysed.
The study aimed to estimate the frequency of GI distress experienced by runners over 30 days and to establish the validity and reliability of a retrospective GI symptom questionnaire.
Runners (70 men, 75 women) recorded GI symptoms with a prospective journal for 30 days with their GI symptom data being collected after the 30-day period.
The study found that men and women experienced at least one GI symptom but was reduced when incorporating running.
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Cardio exercise is also an effective method according to Dr Mehmet Oz, who said: “Jumpstarting your physical activity can give your digestive system a boost and help reduce bloating.
“Rigorous cardiovascular exercise, such as running or aerobics, activates the sweat glands that release fluids that the body could be retaining.
“Even just a 15–20-minute stroll around the neighbourhood after dinner can help with digestion.”
Other recommended exercises include yoga poses. According to Rebecca Weible, yoga instructor, founder, and owner of Yo Yoga!, “When you feel bloated, the back and core muscles are going to feel really tight, because the organs are expanding.
“Stretching is going to help open things up a little bit, and it can be really relieving.”
The torso twist
According to Healthline, the torso twist increases blood flow and circulation which is exactly what a person needs when suffering with the inflated sensations.
To do the move, sit down on a mat with your legs extended and arms at your sides.
By activating your core, bend at the knees and bring your legs up toward your chest, balancing on your tailbone. Bend your elbows and bring your arms in front of your chest, palms touching each other.
Ensuring that your core is engaged, and your back and neck remain straight, begin to rotate your upper body to the left, stopping when your right elbow crosses your knees.
Return to the middle and repeat twisting to the right.
A healthy weight can also help relieve digestive symptoms such as heartburn and other acid related-stomach complaints, says the NHS.
It is important to drink plenty of water before and after exercise. Dehydration can make constipation worse.
If the bloating persists however, consult your doctor. It could be a sign of a more serious condition.
According to the NHS: “Bloating, and a persistent feeling of fullness are key symptoms of ovarian cancer.”
It’s important to monitor your bloating symptoms and if persistent, speak with a healthcare professional.
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