Memphis personal trainer Tonya Tittle shows you how to stretch away digestion woes and aid with healthier and possibly faster digestion.
Most of us at one time or another have been at a holiday party, event, or just over indulged when it comes to food and can relate to the feeling of an overfull stomach. Instead of reaching for medicine to soothe digestion why not go the holistic route. Digestion is important for overall health and many doctors and researchers believe that poor digestion is the reason for many illnesses. Straightforward stretching regularly improves digestion; when you target areas like upper body or torso stretch, it is efficient as it twists, folds, and stretches the mid and lower torso. It helps because when done often, it toughens up the pancreas and surrounding organs.
Take note of these 4 stretching tips to help your body process all the food that you have treated yourself to.
Stretches – HOLD MOST STRETCHES at minimum 30 seconds each
This stretch will calm you, which in turn assists in relaxing your digestive system and leads to more effective elimination. It also helps you tone your digestive & the excretory system.
To do this: Lie on your stomach with your forehead on the floor placing your hands under your shoulders and your elbows close to your body. The pictures above show 2 versions of a modified cobra stretch (great if you have limited flexibility in your spine). If you can straighten your arms…go for it!
Relax your shoulders and keep them lowered away from your ears throughout the pose. Squeeze your buttocks, and press your hipbones and pubic bone into the floor. Slowly lift your head, chest and upper torso off the ground.
Keep your buttocks squeezed as you slowly roll back down to the floor, starting with your middle torso and ending with your nose and forehead.
Knee/Knees To Chest
If you’re feeling bloated or constipated after tucking into your holiday festivities then try this simple yet effective trick to get things moving.
To do this: Lie on your back and bend both knees into your chest or one knee if needed. It is almost as though you are giving your knees a big bear hug. Rock your knees from side to side to help massage your abdominal organs and get things moving.
Seated Spinal Twist / Lying Spinal Twist
This stretch is a great way to get things moving in the tummy department and it also helps with posture.
This seated twist massages the digestive organs by directing your breaths and movement to the whole abdomen. Twists can also squeeze out toxins from the organs by assisting blood flow in this region.
To do this: Sit with your legs straight out in front of you and then bend your right knee and place your right heel as close to your left buttock as you can. Your foot and thigh shouldn’t be touching though.
Reach your right arm behind you and plant your palm on the floor. Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee to help you twist. The picture on the right is a great one as you can twist to the right and left several times. Be sure to exhale while twisting and try to get the knee to touch or get closer to the floor each time.
* If stretching is not your thing then have a glass of detox tea or some warm lemon water.
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