These Exercises After Eating Too Much Will Make You Feel Better, Stat

While you might not feel like working out after eating too much (hey, it happens!), these three moves can help kickstart digestion, ease any belly bloat, and more. 

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Photo: Oscar Wong/Getty

Overdo it in the food department? It happens (and hey, eating more can sometimes even be the secret to weighing less, if that's what you're going for). While that so-full-I'm-going-to-pop feeling is far from fun, there are better ways to combat it than plopping down on the couch or taking a nap. Exercise after eating too much can actually help with digestion, get your circulation pumping, and give you a little bit of energy, so, you know, you can feel more like yourself. (BTW, here's what nutrition pros suggest doing when you eat too much.)

Ready to move? Here, what experts suggest doing when it comes to exercise after eating too much.

Do Some Yoga

If you're in a food coma, an intense workout might be too aggressive. But yoga can get your insides moving and your body back to feeling normal (read: less bloated) in 15 minutes. Just take it from yoga instructor Tamal Dodge, who says points to two easy yoga poses, in particular, that you can do to help with digestion and increase your energy levels.

First up: "easy pose" or sukhasana. To begin this exercise after eating too much, sit with your legs crossed on the floor or, if you have one, on a meditation pillow. "Place your hand on the knees, draw in the stomach, and lift the chest, rolling the shoulders back and down; close the eyes for one to two minutes," says Dodge.

The second exercise after eating too much? Anuloma viloma or alternate nasal breathing. Start seated in sukhasana then place left hand on left knee, open right palm, and pull down right index and middle fingers. Close right nostril with right thumb, taking a big inhale through left open nostril. At top of inhale, close left nostril with ring and pinky finger so that both nostrils are shut. Pause briefly, then move right thumb off of right nostril and exhale out of right nostril. Keep right nostril open and inhale through right nostril. At top of inhale, close right nostril with thumb and pause. Exhale out of left nostril and inhale through left nostril. Then close it and exhale out of right. "Keep going like this, inhaling and exhaling out of each nostril for one minute. Repeat two to three times," he says. (See more: Try This Yoga Breathing Technique to Relieve Anxiety)

As for why yoga can be a helpful exercise after eating too much? For one, yoga has been shown to lower stress and anxiety as well as promote relaxation amongst participants. The calming response triggered by yoga can help prompt the body to "rest and digest," Ed Levine, M.D. a gastroenterologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, previously told Shape.

Go for a Walk

One easy way to get your dinner digesting better is to do some easy, low-impact cardio post-binge. Whether it's a quick jaunt around the block or a longer stroll through the neighborhood, walking is a good exercise after eating too much, says Ariane Hundt, a New York City-based trainer and founder of the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp. That's because research suggests walking can help speed up the time it takes for food to move from the stomach to the small intestines. And faster digestion has been linked with lower rates of heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, according to Time — both of which can be unwelcome visitors after one too many slices of 'za.

Work Your Core

After you've turned up a bit too much for Taco Tuesday, the last thing you'd probably want to do is focus even more on your midsection — after all, that bad boy is more bloated than usual and likely aches. But doing core exercises after eating too much can actually help ease any post-dinner distress. Here's the thing: Strong core muscles can help ensure healthy bowel movements, Niket Sonpal, M.D., New York-based internist, gastroenterologist, and adjunct professor at Touro College, previously told Shape. (Plus, a strong core is pretty important for every activity you do.) Not a fan of crunches or planks? No problem. Try this 5-minute routine or pick and choose some of the best ab exercises to include while working out after eating too much.

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