There are a number of types of exercise that have been shown to be very effective in reducing the impact of stress as one of the causes of abdominal pain and IBS symptoms. Yoga has been proven to help calm the digestive system and offer relief from symptoms such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. Gentle stretching exercises and careful breathing help to release tension and reduce the effect of stress on the body.
Below are a several examples of exercises that stretch and tone the muscles and help relieve tension. It’s always advisable to learn exercises directly from a trained instructor. Yoga classes, for example, will provide you with professional, ongoing support.
Please note that you should take care when exercising if you’re in pain or feeling nauseous. Your instructor or healthcare professional can give you more information.
This easy traditional yoga exercise calms the senses and normalizes the breathing frequency. Deep, regular breathing can reduce stress symptoms remarkably.
• Sit comfortably upright and cross your legs (but you can also do the exercise sitting on a chair, e.g. in your office, taking a break)
• Form a roof-like figure with your hands, only the fingertips touching
• Look down at the tip of your nose and inhale gently for about five seconds
• Hold your breath about another five seconds
• Breathe out gently for five seconds
• Continue for 3 to 10 Minutes
Everyday stress can leave your shoulder muscles tense and aching. Here’s an exercise you can perform while sitting at your desk.
Stand or sit comfortably. Let both arms and shoulders hang loose. Now turn your shoulders forwards, then upwards, then backwards and back down - draw large, slow circles in the air with your shoulders. Take about five seconds for a complete turn. Breathe out when pulling up your shoulders and in when letting them back down.
Repeat ten times, take a short break then go through the exercise once more.
This gentle exercise can be practiced at work or at home, whenever you feel tension in your neck muscles.
Sit in an upright position and lift your arms above your head. Bend your elbows so that they are facing the ceiling and your hands positioned behind your neck. Now place your hands on top of one another, with the tips of your fingers pointing down along your spine so that your back is being stretched.
Hold this position for 15 seconds, then release the tension very slowly.
Repeat three times with a short rest in between.
It’s important important to keep the muscles of your abdomen toned and supple. This simple exercise provides your abdomen with an effective training session.
Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent and your back straight. You can hold your arms straight out in front of you for balance or you can cross them over your chest. From this sitting position, slowly roll back so that your shoulders are just a few inches above the floor. Pause and then slowly roll back up to a sitting position. As you do this exercise, always press the small of your back downward, rather than arching your back, in order to prevent strain. Repeat ten times.