5 Stretches To Do After A Big Meal When Your Body Needs A Little Help Moving Things Along
There's nothing quite like being slightly immobile after your Thanksgiving feast, amirite? Seriously, though, being with food baby is nothing to fear, friends — overindulging is what the holidays are all about. You eat your food, you do a few stretches after the big meal, and then you sit down for a little while until the pies come out. God, I love Thanksgiving.
But really, the truth is, stretching after a meal can be great for digestion; getting a bit bendy might even help you poop, because a little bit of movement can help more than you think in "stimulating the bowels to help move the food bolus, gas, and, ultimately, waste, through your system,” Rebekah Gross, M.D., gastroenterologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, told Women's Health.
And, no, I am not apologizing for getting all TMI here, thank you very much. You and I both know that your body might need a bit of a nudge after all the gravy and mashed potatoes you'll be nomming on, and there is nothing wrong with that.
So, after you share a delicious Thanksgiving feast with your fam and friends, unwind with some of these restorative stretches. Who knows — your family might even want to join in once they're as bloated as you are. Or they'll just incessantly roast you, but hey, that's why you love them, right?
Seated Spinal Twist
Yoga twists can be an incredible way to stretch your body and rev up your digestion after a heavy meal. Engaging in an internally invigorating stretch like seated spinal twist can help move blood flow toward your digestive organs and improve their overall functioning, Ali Washington, author of The Perception Diet, wrote for DOYOUYOGA.
Seriously, your food baby will thank you for this one, fam.
Knees Into Chest
If you simply do not feel like moving after your Thanksgiving feast, I feel you so hard, so try lying down for a nourishing knees-into-chest stretch.
This position can help stimulate movement in your stomach if you're feeling uncomfortable after eating a bit too much, Sarah Levey, certified yoga instructor and co-founder of Y7 Yoga Studio, told Cosmopolitan. And, I mean, all you have to do is lie on your back and give yourself a huge hug, which is something I, for one, can really, truly get behind.
Happy baby pose won't just make you smile while you're doing it; the stretch can also help "massage the stomach organs and stimulate the digestive system," yoga instructor Jacqueline Buchanan wrote for DOYOUYOGA.
Rocking back and forth on your sacrum as you think about all the yummy food you just shared with your loved ones has never sounded so good, y'all.
Maybe, up until now, you've only done this stretch when your yoga teacher instructed you to, but it's time to take it to your post-Thanksgiving dinner chill sesh, guys. The side bending triangle pose will make for a happy stomach in no time.
“Side bending energizes the digestive juices through stimulation of the gallbladder and liver,” Bethany Lyons, co-founder of Lyons Den Power Yoga, told Women's Health. “The inherent twisting motion tones the obliques and energizes abdominal organs.”
Extended Wide Squat
When your belly is all like what have you done to me WOMAN??? after you go back for your seventh serving of stuffing, just pop a squat, and all will be well in the world.
"This low squat is the digestive system's hero," Kathryn Budig, an internationally recognized author and yoga teacher, wrote for Yoga Journal. "It puts everything into perfect alignment for easy elimination."