Constipation - How To Get Things Moving
Is your time on the toilet often a less than satisfying event? If you’re having less than one well formed, easy to pass bowel movement daily, you are not pooping enough and the effects of constipation could be affecting your life.
Good bowel movements are an integral part of good health, so it’s important to pay attention to the quality and frequency of yours. If you are straining to poop or not going often enough, here are 5 ways that you can start relieving your constipation.
Eat Enough Fibre
You probably have heard that fibre is important for healthy poops. Fibre helps things move smoothly through the digestive tract, and can absorb water and add bulk to stools.
If you’re eating a diet that contains vegetables and fruit with every meal as well as nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about getting enough fibre.
If you’re not eating this way, the most practical way to increase your fibre intake is to eat more whole plant foods, like the ones listed above. My favourites are fresh vegetables, freshly ground flax seeds, and chia seeds.
Try stirring a tablespoon of chia seeds into a tall glass of water with a squeeze of lime - it’s an easy way to help keep you full and up your fibre intake throughout the day.
Drink More Water
It’s been said a million times but if you’re not having 1-3 well-formed bowel movements a day, it’s worth repeating. Drinking more water is especially important when you’re increasing your fibre intake. Because fibre absorbs water kind of like a sponge, if fibre intake is increased without adequate water it can cause problems.
There’s no magic amount of water you need to be drinking each day - the 8 glasses a day rule is somewhat of a myth, although if that’s more than you’re drinking now it can be a good goal.
I always recommend starting your day with a tall glass of filtered, room temperature water. After not drinking any water for 8 hours or so, our bodies are thirsty! I also recommend you get in the habit of carrying a water bottle with you. Buy a glass or stainless steel reusable bottle, and bring it with you to work or throughout the day. This will encourage you to drink more and you can set goals as to how many times you want to refill it!
Move Your Body
When you move your body, things within your body get moving too.
Lack of movement and exercise slows down digestion and makes having healthy bowel movements difficult. Exercising daily, and at approximately the same time, can help get your bowel movements into more of a routine. Even just going for a walk at the same time each day can be really beneficial.
Exercise can also be helpful for stress relief, which can further help “release” what we are holding onto, both mentally and physically.
Allow Extra Time
You may be amazed what just slowing down on the toilet can do for your ability to go. Our bodies need to be relaxed in order to effectively eliminate, and rushed mornings that don’t allow a few undisturbed minutes in the bathroom are not ideal for healthy elimination.
Holding a bowel movement in because you don’t have time or because you want to wait until you’re in a more ideal rest room can result in compacted, hardened stools. Not to mention that the stool that is trying to get out is sitting in the colon where its toxins can be reabsorbed.
Squat To Poop
Humans evolved to poop in a squatting position – modern-day sitting toilets weren’t around until the 1800’s and much of the world still squats when pooping.
Squatting allows for the bowels to be fully released with much less straining, and many individual’s constipation is greatly relieved just my switching up the mechanics of their bowel movements. To mimic a squatting position on a toilet, you can simply raise your feet on a stool or even the top of the trashcan if you’re in a pinch.
Constipation is often greatly relieved by just incorporating a few small changes into your routine so be sure to give these tips a try!
By: Ali MacBoudreau
Ali is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Her mission is to help you discover just how vibrant and amazing you can feel, by giving you the tools you need to make lasting changes. (Hint, it involves delicious food!) To learn more about Ali and holistic nutrition please visit her website https://www.holisticali.com/about