We all have been there, within minutes of eating or drinking anything, your belly goes from flat to bloated! Even if you’re in amazing shape and eat healthy, beating the bloat can seem like an impossible task. If you’re not sure exactly what bloating is or feels like, generally speaking it feels like you’re super full. Your lower stomach, or entire tummy, may be distended, and can sometimes even feel hard.
Bloating is nothing more than air or gas trapped in your GI tract, and for most people is typically caused by eating fatty foods, drinking too many carbonated drinks, overeating, drinking too much alcohol, stress, eating too much fiber, or even menstruation. For others, belly bloat could be the result of a dairy intolerance, being dehydrated, eating too many processed foods or foods with sugar alcohol. Even chewing too much gum can cause your belly to inflate!
Although the best way to beat the bloat is to tweak what you eat and drink, there are also specific exercises that will help you keep your tummy flat. For a tinier tummy today, try some of these simple exercises.
Go for a walk – Even just a 15-minute walk around the block, on the treadmill, or around your house can help diminish bloat, especially after eating. It doesn’t have to be brisk to get the job done! Even a leisurely stroll with friends or a walk with your dog can make a huge difference. A low-intensity workout like walking helps reduce bloating by moving excess gas that may be trapped along the digestive tract. The result is a flatter and fitter looking stomach!
Cycle it out – Not a fan of walking? Take it to the bike! Whether you’re a Peloton fanatic or you prefer to cycle outside, you can pedal away your belly bloat with just a 20-minute ride. Want to really see results? Take the intensity up a notch and try cycling for a full 30-minutes!
Just dance – There is almost nothing more freeing and satisfying than dancing to your favorite song, but when that joy also helps you beat belly bloat, it’s a total bonus! To boogie your way to a better belly after meals, fire up your favorite playlist, move the furniture to the side, and get your groove on! Your belly, and your mood, will thank you for it.
Yoga baby – Yoga doesn’t have to be hard or done in long sessions to be effective. You also don’t have to be a total guru and bend and twist your way into a pretzel to get the job done. Just a handful of poses like knees to chest, cat/cow stretch, child pose, and boat pose can relieve bloating. Try holding each pose for 30 – 45 seconds and repeating the sequence 3-4 times for fabulously flat abs!
V-sits – While some traditional forms of ab work can often make bloating worse, the v-sit can be a saving grace! How you ask? The contraction made by the v-sit puts pressure on the bloated area and allows the muscles to alleviate pain and bloating. Just make sure to do them slow and with intention. About 20 reps should do the trick and help you get a more svelte stomach.
Skip the elevator – You have likely heard it before but if you hate exercising, or you just don’t always have time for a great sweat session, hitting the stairs, anytime you can, is a great compromise. In addition to getting your heart pumping, taking the stairs engages the muscles in your legs and your core, and helps your body to alleviate bloating naturally and super effectively!
Hit the weights – Doing some light to moderate weight training , especially a quick full-body routine could be all you need to say bye-bye to your belly bloat. Try using 8-12 lb. weights and performing a series of exercises to help get your entire body moving, your blood pumping, and your tummy totally deflated!
While trying these exercises, keep in mind that what you eat matters too. Sticking to a healthy eating plan and learning how to cook healthy recipes is imperative to keeping your bloating to a minimum. If you could use a little help fine tuning your fitness and nutrition program, I’ve got you covered with the Sloane Squad! Want additional tips and blogs about how to stay fit and healthy? Click here to read more!