Stomach bloating is no laughing matter. It’s uncomfortable, painful and often embarrassing accompanied by gas! This nightmare swells the abdominal area, causing cramping aches and pain around the pelvis or chest areas.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural ways to prevent and get rid of bloating altogether. They can be easily performed at home to provide instant relief. But first, let’s look at the causes of this deliberating condition.
Symptoms of Bloating
Bloating originates from a slight swelling around the midriff area. Then it’s often accompanied by a number of the following symptoms:
• Dull, aching pains in the stomach, chest or pelvis • Excessive flatulence • Excessive burping • Unsettled Stomach
Common Causes of Stomach Bloating
Bloating and excessive gas problems can be traced back to digestive alignment. Often, it’s caused by a difficulty in digesting high-fibre foods in the small digestive tract. Direct causes may include the following:
• Swallowing excessive air whilst eating or drinking. You may be able to get rid of bloating by eating slower and drinking through a straw. • Health conditions such as Crohn’s sickness, ulcerative colitis or even diabetes. • Intolerance to certain foods such as lactose (dairy) and gluten (wheat). • Artificial sweeteners in gums or confections. xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol can cause excess gas that leads to bloating. • Constipation build-ups make it difficult to release gas and can lead to bloating.
10 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Bloating and Gas
There is a number of fast and effective methods to defeat bloating. Here are 10 of the best:
1. Peppermint Tea
A humble peppermint tea can work wonders for bloating and gas. Menthol is a powerful antispasmodic, it provides fast, relief to digestive tracts. It’s can even be used to help reduce anxiety and stress! Have a mug after each meal to reboot your digestive system.
2. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is great for soothing bloating, heartburn and general queasiness. The gingerols and shgaols within the natural root can unwind a tightened digestive tract. This helps dislodge trapped gas and prevent further build-ups. Supercharge your ginger tea with lemon juice and honey, drink it as often as needed.
3. Anise Seed
The natural antispasmodic qualities of anise will relax your digestive system and quickly alleviate cramps and pains. Its carminative nature expels trapped gas and reduces swelling. Make a mug of tea using one tablespoon of ground anise seeds. Drink before and after meals for maximum results.
When these ingredients are combined they create a highly effective stomach settling solution. Start by juicing one lemon into a glass, then add half a teaspoon of baking soda and mix in water. Drink this fizzing solution every morning before eating breakfast to get rid of bloating.
5. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal reduces gas, bloating and even relieves drug overdoses! It’s believed this highly porous substance traps chemicals, gas, and excess bacteria as it travels through the digestive tract. Try supplementing activated charcoal daily, either in powdered or capsule form.
Water is an essential element within our body. It facilitates a number of key bodily functions, including the digestion of food. Make sure you’re consuming at least 8 glasses of water daily. To combat bloating and gas, try upping your water intake. Spread your consumption throughout the day.
Garlic is a powerful natural healer, it’s anti-inflammatory and helps stimulate the gastric tract. Use it to boost your digestive power and squeeze out excess stomach gas. Purposefully add garlic to your dishes to help get rid of bloating. Fresh garlic beats ground garlic for potency.
8. Fennel Seeds
The healing herb has a number of medical benefits, including, relieving heartburn, acid reflux, and trapped gas. Mix broiled fennel seeds with a glass of buttermilk to help relieve bloating. Drink this twice per day to quickly calm down flatulence and queasiness.
Cinnamon can boost digestion, providing fast, effective relief from stomach gas and aches. Mix ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder with a glass of milk or water and mix well. Honey can also be added for a smoother taste. Drink this daily to relieve bloating and prevent future build up.
10. Get Moving!
The mere act of physical exercise can help greatly by releasing trapped gas and up-regulating the digestive system. Try going for a brief 10-minute walk after eating, or swimming for 30 minutes in the mornings.
Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion.
Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.
Why is it important to train up our core strength?
There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.
This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.
Also, they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However, for them to be most effective, you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.
In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.
There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.
By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.
When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.
Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.
In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.
What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.
7 Things that happen when you start doing planks every day
1. You’ll improve core definition and performance
Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:
Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.
2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column
Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.
Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.
3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism
Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).
4. You’ll significantly improve your posture
Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .
A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.
A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.
On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.
5. You’ll improve overall balance
Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!- but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.
6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before
Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.
7. You’ll witness mental benefits
Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.
How to hold a plank position
Get into pushup position on the floor.
Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
Hold the position for as long as you can.
Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.
Watch the video if you have any doubt!
Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:
How to improve your plank time gradually
Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.
Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.