It’s the end of the year and you’re probably feeling a little (or a lot) bloated. Whether you’ve been stuffing yourself with turkey and pumpkin pie or simply indulging in too many rich holiday foods, it can be hard to breathe and your pants feel tight.
The good news: There are simple things you can do to help relieve bloating and get back to normal. After a big holiday meal, many of us find ourselves bloated and uncomfortable. Stretching also helps blood flow return to normal, which can reduce aches and pains that can occur after a big meal. You’ll need a yoga mat for these three simple stretches. Hold each stretch for 20 seconds or more, breathing deeply as you hold it.
1. Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, toes pointing forward. Make fists with your hands and raise them above your head, palms facing each other. With control, gently raise your arms overhead while keeping your elbows straight. You should feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders and chest. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then lower your arms and relax.
2. Raise one arm overhead with a straight elbow and grab the back of the neck with the opposite hand, pulling gently toward the ceiling and holding for 15 to 30 seconds. Then repeat with the other arm and side of the neck.
3. Lie on your back with both knees bent and legs together; press your lower back into the floor while pushing your lower abdominal muscles against your spine; hold for 10 to 20 seconds; release; repeat three times.
Bonus: If you’re feeling really stiff after a large holiday meal, try these two moves: Sit up straight on a chair or couch with both feet flat on the floor; lean forward from the waist until you feel a stretch in your lumbar spine; hold for 20 to 30 seconds; repeat