If you’re anything like us, you always look for ways to improve your health and fitness. And if you’re like most people, you probably don’t overthink your belly and abdominal muscles – until it’s time to show off that six-pack (or not) at the beach!
But what if we told you that bed rest can actually help your digestive system and possibly even improve your abdominal fitness?
A growing body of research suggests a strong connection between bed rest and better digestion function, and even a flatter tummy. Sounds crazy? Keep reading to find out more.
BUt First, What is Bedrest?
Bedrest is any period when you are confined to bed and are not allowed to move around.
This can be due to an illness or injury, but a doctor can prescribe bedrest for pregnant women or people who have just undergone surgery.
What ABout The abdominal system?
This is somewhat harder to define.
The abdominal system can refer to a group of muscles located along the front and sides of your trunk. These muscles help you move your trunk and support your spine. There’s four main muscle groups: the rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, and transverse abdominis. Each of these muscle groups does a specific job to help make your core strong. You can improve your abdominal system by doing exercises that target all these muscle groups. Plus, having a solid core can help improve your posture and reduce your risk of injuries.
The abdominal system can also refer to the organs that sit in the abdomen, most notably the digestive system. Throughout this article we will look at both the digestive system and the abdominal muscles that surround them as being the abdominal system.
What effects Can bed rest have on the abdominal system: a closer look
1. Bed Rest Can Help Improve The Digestive System’s Function
When you’re lying down, your stomach and intestines have a chance to work more efficiently. This can help to reduce bloating, gas, and constipation. It can also help to increase the absorption of nutrients from food.
More interesting is that bed rest can also help reduce the risk of developing diverticulitis – a condition that affects the large intestine and can cause pain, inflammation, and bleeding. One study found that people who spent more time in bed had a significantly lower risk of developing diverticulitis than those who didn’t. That shows the effects of bed rest on the abdominal system may be beneficial.
2. Bed Rest Can Help Improve Your Abdominal Muscles’ Blood Circulation
When you’re lying down, your abdominal muscles have a chance to relax, and the blood vessels in this area can then open up and that improve circulations. This can help to reduce inflammation and pain. It can also help to speed up the healing process if you have an injury in your abdominal area.
In addition, improved circulation can also help prevent varicose veins’ development. Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins that can be painful and unsightly. They usually develop in the legs and feet but can also occur in the abdomen.
3. Bed Rest Can Help To Strengthen The Muscles Of Your Abdominal System
When you’re lying down, your abdominal muscles have a chance to rest and repair themselves. This can help to make them stronger and more resistant to injury. In addition, strong abdominal muscles can help to improve your posture and reduce your risk of developing back pain.
Strengthening takes more than just lying in bed, though. It would help if you also did exercises that target your abdominal muscles. If able, some good options include crunches, sit-ups, and pilates.
4. Bed Rest Can Help Improve Your Abdominal Muscles’ Flexibility
When you’re lying down, your abdominal muscles have a chance to stretch and lengthen. This can help to improve your range of motion and makes it easier to do exercises that target your core. In addition, increased flexibility can also help to reduce your risk of injuries.
One of the best ways to improve the flexibility of your abdominal muscles while on bed rest is to do yoga. Many different yoga poses can help to stretch and lengthen your muscles. And, you don’t need any special equipment or a lot of space to do them. Just be sure to choose a routine appropriate for your fitness level.
5. Bed Rest Can Help Reduce The Risk Of Abdominal Disorders
When you’re on bed rest, you have a chance to rest and heal any existing health problems. This can help to prevent them from getting worse. In addition, bed rest can help reduce your risk of developing new abdominal disorders.
For example, bed rest may help to reduce the risk of developing GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). GERD is a condition that causes acid from the stomach to leak back up into the throat. This can cause pain, inflammation, and damage to the oesophagus.
Bed rest may also help to reduce the risk of developing ulcers. Ulcers are open sores that can develop in the stomach lining or intestine. They’re usually painful and can lead to bleeding.
6. Improves Abdominal Tone
When you’re lying down, your abdominal muscles have a chance to relax. This can help to improve their tone and make them stronger.
Of course, you can’t just lie in bed all day and expect to achieve a six-pack. But, incorporating rest into any fitness routine can help improve your abdominal muscles’ function and reduce your risk of developing hernias. So if you’re looking for a way to boost your abs, consider adding some rest to your workout routine.
7. Bed Rest Can Help To Improve The Appearance Of The Stomach
If you’re concerned about your tummy bulge, bed rest may be the answer. Lying down can help to flatten the stomach and give you a more toned appearance. It can also help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
The stomach is a muscle that can be worked on just like any other muscle in the body. But, when you’re lying down, the stomach is relaxed, and it’s easier to work on toning it. So, this is why bed rest can be beneficial for improving the appearance of the stomach.
What are the benefits of bed rest on the abdominal system?
In addition to improving the abdominal system’s function, bed rest can offer several other health benefits. These include:
1. Bed Rest Can Help Improve Circulation
When lying down, gravity works in your favour, and blood can flow more quickly to your organs and tissues. This can help to improve circulation and reduce the risk of developing blood clots.
Good circulation to your abdominal system is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. It can also help to reduce the risk of developing varicose veins in the abdomen.
Bed rest can also help to improve circulation to the pelvis, which is essential for reproductive health.
2 Bed Rest Can Relieve Abdominal Pain
If you’re suffering from abdominal pain, bed rest may be the best way to find relief. Lying down takes the pressure off the abdominal muscles and organs, which can help reduce pain.
Abdominal pain and bed rest work like a chicken and egg situation. It’s not always clear which comes first, but one study found that people who spend more time in bed are more likely to experience less abdominal pain.
So, if you’re struggling with abdominal pain, it may be worth spending some time in bed.
Note: Bed rest must can only be used as a short-term solution for pain relief and we always recommend seeing your doctor about any new pain experienced. And if you’re experiencing chronic abdominal pain, you must see a doctor find the underlying cause.
3. Bed Rest Can Help Hold Organs In Place
The abdominal muscles and organs are under a lot of pressure when we’re upright. This can cause them to shift out of place, leading to pain and discomfort.
Lying down takes the pressure off these organs and muscles, which can help keep them in place. This is especially important for pregnant women as it can help to reduce the risk of a prolapsed uterus.
For good bed rest, it’s essential to find a comfortable position. The best position for relieving pressure on the abdominal organs is lying on your left side with your knees bent.
If you’re pregnant, it’s also important to avoid lying flat on your back as this can pressure the vena cava, a large vein that carries blood from the lower body to the heart.
4. Bed Rest Can Help The Abdominal Muscles To Heal
If you’ve strained your abdominal muscles, bed rest can be a helpful way to allow them to heal. When you’re lying down, the abdominal muscles are under less pressure and can relax. This can speed up the healing process and reduce pain.
Neglecting to rest after a muscle strain can lead to further injury and delayed healing. So, if you’ve injured your abdominal muscles, it’s essential to take some time to rest and allow them to heal correctly.
Bed rest is also often recommended for people who have undergone surgery on the abdominal organs. This is because it can help prevent adhesion formation (scar tissue) and reduce the risk of hernias.
5 Core Muscles Can Benefit From Bed Rest
The core muscles are the muscles that make up the abdominal wall. These muscles provide stability and support for the spine and help to protect the internal organs.
The core muscles can be weakened by pregnancy, surgery, or other conditions that cause them to stretch or lose tone. Bed rest can be a helpful way to allow these muscles to rest and recover.
In some cases, bed rest may even be prescribed as part of a physical therapy program to help build up the strength of the core muscles.
What is more, recommended these days is “active bed rest.” This means that instead of lying in bed all day, you should get up and move around for at least a few minutes every hour.
This helps to keep the muscles active and prevents them from getting too weak. It also helps to reduce the risk of developing blood clots.
What are the risks of bed rest on the abdominal system?
While the effects of bed rest of the abdominal system may be beneficial, there are also some risks. These risks include:
1. Bed Rest Can Lead To Muscle Weakness
If you’re not moving around, your muscles can start to weaken. This can make it difficult to return to your usual activities once you’re ready to get up and move again.
Again, this is especially true if you’re not getting up and moving around regularly.
If you’re not getting up and moving around, your abdominal muscles can weaken. This can lead to constipation.
If you’re not careful, you could end up with severe constipation that could require medical attention.
As always, this information, along with the other things written here, are not medical claims, so speak with your doctor.
3. Loose Abdominal Skin
If you have a lot of abdominal fat, you may notice that your skin starts to sag after bed rest. This is because the skin isn’t getting the same support from the underlying muscles.
It’s not hard to say that too much inactivity due to prolonged bed rest can cause some noticeable changes in your abdomen’s appearance.
Tips for optimising your abdominal health through bed rest
1. Make Sure To Move Around Every Few Hours
Even though you’re supposed to be resting, it’s important to move your body now and then. This will help to keep your muscles and joints from getting too stiff.
2. Do Some Gentle Stretching & Exercises
There are several gentle exercises and stretches that you can do while you’re on bed rest. These can help to keep your muscles and joints from getting too stiff.
If you have a fitness trainer or physiotherapist, follow their recommendations for bed rest. Only they will know what exercises and stretches are safe for you to do depending on your condition or injury.
What Effect Can Bed Rest Have On The Abdominal System: Our Final Thoughts
So, what effects can bed rest have on the abdominal system?
Well, bed rest can help improve your digestive system’s function, increase circulation, reduce inflammation, and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Plus, it’s a great way to relax and heal. Just make sure to follow your doctor’s advice first and foremost if you’ve been prescribed bed rest.