5 Simple Stretches to Improve Digestion and Relieve Bloat

Simple Stretches to Improve Digestion

Whether you’ve just eaten a big meal, rich food, or have more chronic gut-related symptoms, indigestion and bloating never feel good.

The good news is that you can add some simple stretches to improve digestion into your daily routine to help you bounce back faster and relieve some of that digestive discomfort. Along with deep breathing and stretches that target abdominal organs, you can wring out all those stuck toxins.

Use these five simple stretches to improve digestion.

If you’re like most of us, you’ve indulged in Halloween candy, turkey and gravy, holiday cookies and New Year’s Eve champagne over the last several months. All this indulgence is excellent in the moment but can be tough on your waistline — and your digestion — as your body tries to keep up with your intake. Like they say, you are what you eat, and if you’re eating poorly, your gut (and your butt) will suffer.

Aside from cleaning up your eating act and double-dosing on probiotics, take a few minutes each day to optimize your digestion through movement. Stretches such as twists, side bends and forward folds create gentle pressure on your stomach and intestines to encourage circulation, reduce bloating and relieve overall abdominal pressure. Stretching also decreases stress, which allows your gut to rest and take a breather from its 24/7 job.

Do this quick and easy stretching routine each day, breathing slowly in and out through your nose, and give your gut some love. With each breath you take, try to stretch a little farther.

Seated Spinal Twist

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Seated spinal twist Oxygen Magazine

Targets: Lower back, stomach and intestines

Sit with your left leg extended, and place your right foot fl at on the floor next to your left knee. Sit up tall and wrap your left arm around your right knee, and place your right hand on the floor just behind your glutes. Draw your knee in toward your belly as you twist your head, shoulders and torso to the right. Hold 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Seated Forward Fold

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Seated Forward Fold Stretch Oxygen Magazine

Targets: Hamstrings and abdominal cavity

Sit tall with your legs straight out in front of you, ankles together, feet flexed. Fold forward by hinging at your hips, sliding your hands along your legs toward your feet. Hold and breathe at tight points, allowing your body to go farther into the stretch as your muscles release. Do for up to two minutes.

Seated Side Stretch

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Seated Side Stretch Oxygen Magazine

Targets: Lats, obliques and intestines

Sit up tall with your legs comfortably crossed. Raise your left arm straight up overhead, and place your right hand on the floor next to your hips for support. Lift up and out of your rib cage and then slowly lean to the right side, pressing down into your left hip as you ease into the stretch. Hold for 45 seconds, then switch sides.

Reclined Spinal Twist

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Reclined Spinal Twist Oxygen Magazine

Targets: Lower back, chest and stomach

Lie faceup with your right leg extended and pull your left knee into your chest. Extend your left arm to the side in line with your shoulder, palm down, and use your right hand to draw your left knee across your body toward the floor. Relax your shoulders, look toward your left hand and hold for one minute. Do on both sides.

Corpse Pose

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Corpse Pose Oxygen Magazine

Targets: Full body

Lie faceup with your legs extended and your arms along your sides, palms up. Close your eyes and focus on relaxing from head to toe as you breathe slowly through your nose for two to five minutes.

 Written by Stephanie Main, NASM-CPT, CF-L2, 500-HOUR YT for Oxygen Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected]

Featured image provided by George Pagan III

Healthy Gut Balance with MariGold

At MariGold, we believe gut health is very important. With every product we make, we make sure that each ingredient is premium quality and designed to treat your body well.

  • Chicory Root Fiber – many of our protein bars contain prebiotics in the form of Chicory Root Fiber, which helps feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. These helpful bacteria play a role in reducing inflammation and much more.
  • L-Glutamine – our protein bars also contain L-Glutamine, an amino acid that has been found to help heal the gut lining.
  • Non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin – an excellent source of Phosphatidylcholine in our protein bars, which has been shown to help the gut lining by forming a protective barrier.
  • Ginger – our Ginger Coconut flavor protein bar contains ginger, which is a common natural treatment for stomach issues, such as bloating and indigestion.
  • Collagen – Our Fat Bombs contain collagen, which plays an important role in building and maintaining healthy connective tissue throughout your digestive tract. Our Lemon Coconut Fat Bombs also contain Chicory Root Fiber as an added bonus!

All our foods are also low sugar (or no sugar), Gluten Free, Grain Free, Soy Free, Lactose Free, Non-GMO, Sucralose Free, and Hormone Free, and we never use any sugar alcohols.

After trying the simple stretches to improve digestion above, grab a gut-healthy snack! 

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