Abdominal bloating occurs when your stomach area feels full and tight. You may notice some swelling in the abdomen. Common causes include PMS, overeating, lactose intolerance, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Along with dietary changes, exercises can help relieve bloating symptoms. Consult your doctor if the feelings of bloating persist, as it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Lack of physical activity can result in constipation and cause you to experience abdominal bloating. If you have constipation, you have fewer than three bowel movements per week and may experience symptoms such as gas, bloating and straining when going to the bathroom. Those who cannot exercise because of illness or an accident and must stay in bed, or those taking certain prescription painkillers are more likely to experience constipation.
Cardio for Relief
Cardio exercises may help relieve abdominal bloating. When you exercise, it can help gas pass through the digestive system. Participate in a form of cardio exercise for a minimum of 10 minutes to find relief. Besides walking, you can participate in swimming, cycling, jogging, step aerobics or stair-climbing. Increase the time of your cardio workouts until you are exercising 25 to 30 minutes three to five times per week.
Since you are likely to feel bloated in the stomach area, core-training exercises can help you feel less self-conscious about your belly while experiencing symptoms. Examples of exercises you can do to work the abdominals include situps, crunches, bicycle maneuver, pelvic tilts and pelvic lifts. Perform each exercise a total of three sets of 12 reps. You should do abdominal exercises at least two to three times per week.
According to a November 2006 study published in the "American Journal of Gastroenterology," gas retention was significantly lower in individuals who exercised than those who were at rest. Moderate intensity pedaling was performed by test subjects. The study concluded that mild forms of physical exercise can help reduce symptoms in patients complaining of abdominal bloating.
Is This an Emergency?
- "Parents"; 10 Ways to Beat Bloating; October 2004
- American Council on Exercise: Ab Exercises
- MedlinePlus: Abdominal Bloating
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Constipation
- "American Journal of Gastroenterology"; Physical Activity and Intestinal Gas Clearance in Patients with Bloating; A. Villoria et al.; November 2006