Are you having digestion problems like bloating, acidity, gas regularly? While your first thought would be to reach for those OTC meds, you need to understand that medication will only provide temporary relief. If you want to get rid of your digestion issue for good, it’s important to first understand the digestive process in order to treat it effectively. Yes, consuming gut-friendly foods is part of the effective treatment but so are exercises for digestion.
Here’s the thing — the digestion process is vital as it breaks down the food we eat and converts it into energy and nutrition for your entire body. Sounds important right? Well, it is, but the sad truth is that even though this is one of the most important functions performed by the body, we’re all still guilty of taking it for granted. Your digestive system is not only responsible for aiding in removing toxins from the body but also keeping your stomach light and detoxed. When problems arise with this bodily function it can lead to issues like indigestion, constipation, irregular bowel movement, and other digestive disorders which take a toll on your overall physical and mental health. Poor digestion is also linked to fatigue, restlessness, disrupted bowel movements, stress, poor gut, and liver health. It can even cause a hindrance to your weight management goals.
As mentioned earlier, exercises for digestion can be beneficial for your overall health. But don’t worry, you don’t need to start with HIIT; there are simple exercises for digestion that are perfect for those who don’t enjoy working out. It’s important to perform these exercises regularly as they help move food through your digestive system efficiently and even reduce problems like inflammation and stress. Wondering which exercises for digestion are good for you? Keep on reading to find out:
List Of Exercises For Digestion
If you’ve taken up biking during the lockdown, you might already be feeling a change in your body. A 10 -15 minute bike ride is enough to help get your digestive system back on track. Rather than going for a strenuous cycling session, keep it short and avoid this exercise after dinner for digestion.
Aside from improving your digestive tract, cycling a couple times a week can also reduce belly fat, bloating and you will also experience a surge in your energy levels.
As you may know by now, yoga is beneficial for both your mind and body. It has many positive effects on the body, one of them being improving your digestive system. If you’re looking for exercise for digestion and gas, give yoga a shot. Some yoga exercises for good digestion are Asanas like Paschimottasana, Balasana, Pavanamuktasana, Trikonasana, and Ardha Matsyendrasana as they help treat multiple digestive issues. Yoga is also a great exercise after dinner for digestion as it improves the digestive process without putting too much stress on your GI tract.
This is the most simple and effective form of exercise. Walking is a great exercise for digestion and it even helps ease some symptoms of IBD. With any exercise — this includes walking — it’s important to start slow. If you’re a beginner, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
- Start with a brief 15 -30 minute walk around the block.
- Keep your back straight and not stiff
- Allow your arms to swing freely
- Step from heel to toe
- Pick the right shoes with good arch support
4. Core Exercises
If you want to take things up a notch to improve your digestion, you could invest some of your time in core exercises. Situps, abdominal crunches, twists, and planks are all examples of core exercises that help build stronger abdominal and back muscles and are also great for digestion. But before you start inculcating these exercises for digestion into your daily routine, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Always stretch after core workouts to avoid tightening of muscles around your digestive tract.
- Cat/Cow or a Cobra pose are great stretches for post-core workouts
- It’s important to do these exercises properly or seek advice from a professional to avoid injury to your back.
5. Tai Chi
This is an ancient Chinese practice that involves slow movements and deep breaths. Similar to yoga, Tai Chi is also a low-impact way to stretch and exercise and the benefits are endless. This is not only a great exercise for digestion but it also helps decrease anxiety and depression and it is also known to improve cognition.
6. Deep Breathing
Last but not least — deep breathing. Believe it or not, this simple action can do a lot for your digestive system. Slow, deep breathing fills your lungs with oxygen and can even calm your mind. There are two types of deep breathing – chest and abdominal. Chest breathing helps when we feel stressed, anxious, or in pain while abdominal breathing relaxes the belly. In the latter, the deep inhales make the stomach expand as the diaphragm moves down to allow air to fill the lungs. Here is how you can perform deep breathing exercises for digestion:
- Find a comfortable, quiet location and lie in a flat or reclined position.
- Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest.
- Inhale slowly, taking deep breaths through your nose into your abdomen to push your hand up.
- Exhale through your mouth. Gently blow out the air, making a quiet, relaxing sound.
- Your abdomen should rise as you take in a deep breath and fall as you exhale.
7. Elevation of the Legs
This exercise is also known as the Boat Pose in yoga. It involves drawing everything toward your center while allowing air to flow through the abdomen. This pose not only aids the digestive process but also relieves bloating and gas and strengthens the abdomen and back.
If exercises for digestion aren’t working and you still continue to face digestive issues, you can head to our website to book a free consultation with one of our ayurvedic doctors.