Why Can’t I Stop Farting During My Runs?

All that deep breathing may be to blame.

We’ve all been there: Sometimes working out makes you break wind (just do a Twitter search for #yogafarts). It’s fine if you’re on a solo run, but if you are doing a group run, or with some running buddies, it can get a little embarassing. Here’s why it happens and what you can do about passing gas when you’re exercising.

The Truth Behind Your Toots
The causes of run-induced flatulence are multi-faceted, says Niket Sonpal, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. The first cause is all that heavy breathing. “This excess air gets trapped in the digestive tract, only to be released through the anus,” he says.

The second issue is that your sweat sessions tend to speed up digestion. “Aerobic exercises help move food through the digestive process faster and makes for the release of gases caught in the digestive tract,” Sonpal says. And unfortunately, anaerobic exercise – a.k.a. strength training – isn’t really any better. “Whenever you do a workout squeezing those core muscles, it makes you squeeze your colon too, literally pushing the air out,” he adds.  

How to Stop Your Stink
While you can’t totally eliminate your risk of ripping one while out with your running partners, there are a few things you can do to make it less likely. “Stay away from gas-producing foods before a run, such as wheat, corn and potatoes, and vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, lentils and cauliflower,” says Sonpal. On that same note, avoid carbonated water. During your run, focus on your breathing and try to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. “That way you swallow less air and in turn have less wind for the trumpet to play,” Sonpal says.

Make Friends With Your Farts
At the end of the day, remember that farting is simply a fact of life – no track, treadmill, or yoga class is immune. “Trying to hold it in and can lead to distension, bloating and cramps,” says Sonpal. “In the words of Shrek…better out than in”.


The article ‘Why Can’t I Stop Farting During Workouts?!’ originally appeared on Women’s Health.


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