5 Stretches to Aid 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 Stretch

Seated Spinal Twist

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.

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