We all dread feeling bloated or gassy, especially if we're far away from our favorite sweatpants. But after a particularly fibrous lunch (darn you, cauliflower rice!), a little bloating is expected and totally normal.
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Drinking some extra water is the best place to start, but a little movement can help encourage healthy digestion, too. All you need is 10 minutes to help relive bloating symptoms with this total-body stretch routine, courtesy of K. Aleisha Fetters, certified strength and conditioning specialist.
1. Knees-to-Chest Stretch
- Start lying flat on your back, neck long.
- Bend your knees and rest your calves against the back of your thighs.
- Hug your knees into your chest, keeping your lower back on the ground.
- With every exhale, bring your knees closer to your chest.
- Hold for 1 to 2 minutes.
Fun fact: This is also known as the wind-relieving pose, Fetters says. "The closer you can bring your legs to your chest, the more compression you'll get on the abdominal cavity to help get gas moving."
- Start kneeling on all fours with your hands directly in line with your shoulders, knees in line with the hips.
- On an inhale, arch your back, dropping your belly toward the ground and raise your chin, opening up your chest. Pause here for a moment.
- Exhale and drop your chin toward your chest, rounding the back and drawing the navel into the spine. Pause here.
- Repeat this motion for 1 to 2 minutes.
3. T-Spine Rotation
- Begin lying on your right side with your hips, knees, ankles and arms stacked.
- Bring your knees to a 90-degree angle in line with your hips.
- On an exhale, open your left arm out to your left side, forming a T with your arms.
- Bring your gaze across your left shoulder.
- Hold here for 1 to 2 minutes, twisting at the abdomen gently.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
"It's important to remember that the stomach and back aren't that far apart and issues in one can also translate to pain in the other," Fetters says. "Here, releasing tension in the lats may reduce some pain in the GI tract, while also relieving excessive pressure on the gut created by gas."
4. Lying Spinal Twist
- Start lying flat on your back, arms at your sides and legs extended straight.
- Keeping your right leg on the ground, hug your left knee into the chest.
- Bring your knee across your body and over to the right side of your body, bending at 90 degrees.
- Place your knee on the ground in line with your hip.
- Reach your left arm straight out to the side and gaze over to your left side.
- Pause here for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
5. Seated Side Bend
- Sit cross-legged on the ground with your sits bones firmly planted on the floor.
- Bring your shoulders down and back, away from your ears.
- Place your right palm on the ground, right outside your right hip.
- Raise your left arm straight toward the ceiling.
- Leading with your left fingers, bend toward your right until you feel a stretch along your left side.
- Pause here for 1 to 2 minutes and repeat on the other side.
"This stretch focuses on the sides of the abdomen, which, despite often getting tight, we rarely address," Fetters says. The side bend will help relax your abdomen, which can help alleviate stomach issues.
6. Open Triangle Pose
- Stand with your feet 3 to 4 feet apart, hips squared forward.
- Point your right foot to the right, perpendicular to your left foot.
- Reach your right arm down to your right shin or toes.
- Simultaneously, reach your left arm up toward the ceiling, gazing up at your hand.
- Pause here for 1 to 2 minutes and repeat on the opposite side.