Christmas is all about overindulgence. Often with large course roast dinners, endless rounds of chocolates and more than enough glasses of wine.
But while the holiday season is a time for celebration it can also come with its fair share of gastrointestinal distress. This should come as no surprise given that the average person consumes around 6,000 calories on Christmas day alone – which is around triple what we need to survive.
Gastrointestinal distress such as bloating can be very uncomfortable and unfortunately the feeling is all too familiar during the holiday season. Holiday bloating can make your clothes feel tight, your belly’s feel puffy, and it can be a real drain when it comes to your overall energy levels and productivity for the day. Feeling bloated during the holiday period can make enjoying this time with family and friends difficult as the feeling of being uncomfortable all day has a significant impact on your overall mood and enthusiasm to join in the Christmas cheer. Here’s some tips to help you get some relief.
What Causes Bloating?
Quantity plays an important role in Christmas bloating, but also the diversity of rich food types we eat that our digestive tract is not used to digesting all at the same time.
Here are some common triggers to that unwanted bloated feeling during the festive season.
- Too much food – Consuming too much food especially in one sitting.
- Heavy meals and processed foods – Complex foods coupled with a sub-optimal digestion will make you more likely to experience digestive discomfort and bloating.
- Food sensitivities – If you are consuming certain foods that don’t agree with you (dairy is a big one,) then you may experience digestive upset, and yes, this includes bloating.
- Alcohol – Alcohol can remain in the intestine where it will ferment and provide fuel for gut bacteria; the result is lots of gas and bloating.
- Drinking too many carbonated drinks – If you consume a lot of soft drinks during the Christmas season then you might find yourself bloated more often than not. Avoid fizzy drinks as all those bubbles can make you feel puffy and uncomfortable.
- Hormones – During certain times of the month, you may be more bloated than usual. The good news is that exercise may help alleviate some of that bloat.
- Stress – Unfortunately, stress can lead to pretty much any and all unwanted symptoms including feeling bloated. Of course the Christmas period can be a trigger for stress for many people.
How To Reduce Holiday Bloating With Exercise
While exercise isn’t a cure for bloating, getting your body moving especially during the holiday season is always a good idea. Daily exercise may help to alleviate some of that uncomfortable full feeling you get when you’re super bloated so it is worth allocating some time for daily exercise throughout the Christmas period.
4 Exercises To Reduce Bloating
Here are some great exercises for bloating that can help strengthen your core, stretch the body, and reduce stress which in turn will help you find relief from bloating.
Exercise may help reduce bloating by moving some of that built-up gas through your digestive tract. Less gas equals less bloating. Exercises that help strengthen the abdominal muscles are super beneficial, and walking can help move food through the stomach more quickly, which can be helpful after a big meal. If you are feeling full and bloated after a large Christmas meal get up and walk! It may actually help you feel better faster.
Pilates is also another ideal way to stretch and strengthen the body and ease some of that gassy and bloated feeling. Not only is Pilates great for strengthening the abdominal muscles, but it can also be a great stress reducer, another key part of reducing that stubborn bloat.
Yoga is amazing for bloating, and there are even certain poses like the spinal twist, and bridge pose that can really help reduce that uncomfortable puffy feeling.
If you’re feeling so uncomfortable, and like you couldn’t possibly workout, try stretching. Stretching the body can help promote relaxation, and can really help open everything up. Your body may be super tense when you are feeling bloated. Try loosening up the body and reducing some built-up gas and boosting circulation for better digestion by doing some simple stretches. Lay flat on your yoga mat and bring your knees to your chest. You can also drop your knees to one side of your body with your arms out to your sides for a nice twist. Repeat this on the other side. Take your time stretching it out, and feel the relief from that uncomfortable bloated feeling.
SPCH would like to wish all of our customers a very Merry Christmas. May you and your families have a safe and Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you at Sandgate Physical Health Clinic in 2021.