The Etiquette of Passing Gas When Running

by On Jan 11, 2018

Happiness comes from within. That’s why it feels good to fart.

The Etiquette of Passing Gas When Running

Admit it, we have all been there. We have had the urge to pass the gas during workouts. Sometimes, it comes during our outdoor runs. Other times, it comes when we are sweating it out in the gym or yoga studio.

While passing gas is a good sign that you’re healthy, passing gas in public places is generally frowned upon. When running or exercising at places with a high-density of people, it can be a challenge to divert the gas from people around you, and it’s equally challenging if you’re at the receiving end. So, how to handle flatulence during physical exercise?

Why Do People Fart When Running?

Firstly, it helps to understand why people often fart when running. When we eat, the air that we swallow is trapped in our digestive tract.  When we run, we breathe heavily and trap more air in our body. This excess air from eating and heavy breathing get released out of the body through farts.

In addition, aerobic exercise also speeds up the process of breaking down the food which results in the faster production of hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane. When running, we squeeze our core muscles and colons, pushing out the air more frequently than when we are not running.

The Etiquette of Passing Gas When Running

Photo Credit: 123RF

So, it isn’t our fault if the gas keeps coming out during our run, right?

How to Avoid Passing the Gas?

While it is not possible to totally avoid passing the gas, there are a few ways to minimize its occurrence. Slow down when you eat in order to reduce the amount of air swallowed. During the run, try to breathe in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth, so that you swallow less air.

Experts recommend runners to reduce intake of foods that produce gas, such as potatoes, corn, wheat, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lentils and carbonated water; as well as foods that make your gas stinks, such as dairy products, beef, pork, Brussel sprouts and beer. However, some of these foods are high in fibre and have great health benefits when consumed regularly, so it isn’t necessary to cut them out completely.

Each person has a unique digestive system. Food that makes one person gassy may not have the similar effect on another person. A few safe foods that can give the extra boost of energy before a run without creating unpleasant gas are banana with natural peanut butter and avocado spread on a sourdough toast.

How to Deal with Farting When Running?

If you need to pass the gas when running at public places where there are other people around, these are what you can do.

  • Do: Turn back and see if there’s anyone behind you.
  • Do: Hold your gas until the person behind you has overtaken you.
  • Do: Step outside of race route, running path or gym when passing gas in a crowded place.
  • Do: Apologise to people nearby you if you pass the gas accidentally.
  • Do: Slow down to a walk to minimise heavy breathing.
  • Do: Synchronise your fart with the passing car, bus or other noises.
  • Don’t: Fart in front of other people. It’s rude and disrespectful, even if it’s silent.
  • Don’t: Pretend like nothing happens if you fart when there are people around you or behind you. They know it’s you.
  • That said, don’t: hold your fart. It’s a healthy bodily function. In fact, an average adult farts twelve times a day.
The Etiquette of Passing Gas When Running

Photo Credit: 123RF

What If You’re the Lucky One?

If you are fortunate enough to be running in someone else’s fart zone, here are what you can do.

  • Don’t: Run too near behind other people before it’s too late.
  • Do: Run as fast as you can away from the person who farts.
  • Alternatively, do: bring up what you feel to the person who farts.
  • Do: Laugh it off and move on.
  • Do: Forgive and forget.

How do you handle farting during exercise? Have you been a victim of another person’s fart?

Eva is a casual runner who has been hooked on marathons since her first race in 2011. She’s content to spend her weekends only on running. She is also a hiking enthusiast and traveling addict. When she’s not doing outdoor activities, she indulges in reading.

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