22 min

EP #1389: How Gentle Walking After Meals Can Ease Bloating, Gas, and Improve Digestion "Health Power"

    • Mental Health

Lisa is joined by Dr. David Clarke who is a really fitting expert on the topic of - ‘fart walking.’  It’s a trending topic, even viral. It’s even known to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. 

While Dr. Clarke's primary focus is on Psychophysiologic Disorders (PPD), and he's president of the psychophysiologic Disorders Association - he's also board-certified in gastroenterology, making him a stellar resource on a the trending topic known as 'fart walking.' Believe it or not - it's a thing. Health.com, Self Magazine & others are reporting on it, and it's quite viral on TikTok and YouTube. Amazon is selling T-shirts about 'fart walking, and' 2024 is even being dubbed the year of ‘fart walking,’ according to Yahoo News.

Here are Dr. Clarke's points on the matter (it’s a bit long-winded. Pun intended)
 What are the main benefits to walking after dinner?Mild to moderate exercise, such as walking, has a beneficial effect on gastrointestinal muscle contractions by accelerating stomach emptying, improving transit through the intestinal tract, and promoting the clearance of gas and waste through the digestive system. This can help alleviate issues like bloating, and constipation.

2. How does a walk help with gas/bloating? Can you be specific about the mechanism? The walking promotes muscle contractions in the stomach and intestines that can lead to belching and farting, both of which reduce gas in the GI tract and thereby reduce the bloated feeling.

3. Does an after-dinner walk really reduce your risk of diabetes? How? Walking after a meal facilitates removal of blood sugar by the muscles and thereby reduces the need for insulin secretion by the pancreas. Walking also helps avoid weight gain by burning calories. Theoretically this should reduce the risk for future development of diabetes, but a formal study of this potential benefit has not yet been done.

4. How does it impact heartburn? Walking increases muscle contraction by the stomach which facilitates emptying of the stomach. More rapid emptying will decrease the time that acid is present in the stomach, which will reduce the time that acid has the potential to travel (reflux) into the esophagus (the muscular tube between throat and stomach) and cause heartburn. However, some people with poor tone in the sphincter muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach might experience more acid reflux when stomach contractions are stimulated by walking.

5. What's the optimal way to do a fart walk? Can you provide specifics on how long to walk for, how long after eating, and how intense of a walk it should be? Aim for at least 4-5 minutes of light to moderate walking within 60-90 minutes of finishing a major meal. For more sustained benefits for your GI tract and the rest of your body, incorporate 30-60 minutes of moderate-paced walking on most days of the week. Avoid prolonged exercise sessions beyond 1 hour or intense exercise, as this may start to negatively impact GI function. The key is to find the right balance.

Lisa is joined by Dr. David Clarke who is a really fitting expert on the topic of - ‘fart walking.’  It’s a trending topic, even viral. It’s even known to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. 

While Dr. Clarke's primary focus is on Psychophysiologic Disorders (PPD), and he's president of the psychophysiologic Disorders Association - he's also board-certified in gastroenterology, making him a stellar resource on a the trending topic known as 'fart walking.' Believe it or not - it's a thing. Health.com, Self Magazine & others are reporting on it, and it's quite viral on TikTok and YouTube. Amazon is selling T-shirts about 'fart walking, and' 2024 is even being dubbed the year of ‘fart walking,’ according to Yahoo News.

Here are Dr. Clarke's points on the matter (it’s a bit long-winded. Pun intended)
 What are the main benefits to walking after dinner?Mild to moderate exercise, such as walking, has a beneficial effect on gastrointestinal muscle contractions by accelerating stomach emptying, improving transit through the intestinal tract, and promoting the clearance of gas and waste through the digestive system. This can help alleviate issues like bloating, and constipation.

2. How does a walk help with gas/bloating? Can you be specific about the mechanism? The walking promotes muscle contractions in the stomach and intestines that can lead to belching and farting, both of which reduce gas in the GI tract and thereby reduce the bloated feeling.

3. Does an after-dinner walk really reduce your risk of diabetes? How? Walking after a meal facilitates removal of blood sugar by the muscles and thereby reduces the need for insulin secretion by the pancreas. Walking also helps avoid weight gain by burning calories. Theoretically this should reduce the risk for future development of diabetes, but a formal study of this potential benefit has not yet been done.

4. How does it impact heartburn? Walking increases muscle contraction by the stomach which facilitates emptying of the stomach. More rapid emptying will decrease the time that acid is present in the stomach, which will reduce the time that acid has the potential to travel (reflux) into the esophagus (the muscular tube between throat and stomach) and cause heartburn. However, some people with poor tone in the sphincter muscle at the junction of the esophagus and stomach might experience more acid reflux when stomach contractions are stimulated by walking.

5. What's the optimal way to do a fart walk? Can you provide specifics on how long to walk for, how long after eating, and how intense of a walk it should be? Aim for at least 4-5 minutes of light to moderate walking within 60-90 minutes of finishing a major meal. For more sustained benefits for your GI tract and the rest of your body, incorporate 30-60 minutes of moderate-paced walking on most days of the week. Avoid prolonged exercise sessions beyond 1 hour or intense exercise, as this may start to negatively impact GI function. The key is to find the right balance.

22 min

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