I’ll just say it… this blog post is about pooping.
Before I started writing it, I researched euphemisms for the movement to soften the blow – my favorite “dropping a deuce.” But if you’re among the 65 million Americans that regularly experience constipation, it’s no joke.
Bowel movement regularity is an essential indication of your healthy body. And the longer it takes to go, stools harden and become even more challenging to pass. And when a hardened stool finally does pass, it can be quite painful.
If you find yourself blocked up, you might be wondering: What can I do to make myself go right now? And is it safe to force the situation?
The answer to both questions is Yes!
Some methods have been around forever; others may have been staring you in the face. Here’s a reminder that you should be doing all of them regularly.
1. Drink more water
Take a look at how much water you’re drinking every day and strive for eight cups – more when you exercise or if it’s hot and you’re outside. If you’re not drinking 64 ounces of water a day, your intestines may be lacking the fluids needed to soften your stools fully. Increasing your intestinal water can help restore regularity within a few days.
2. Eat high fiber foods
In general, we do no get enough fiber from our diets. Fiber-light foods like meat and cheese, common in the American diet, tend to back things up. Eating two or three meals high in dietary fiber will usually help things move. Fibrous vegetables and fruits – avocados, apples, squash, peas, and berries – are a good start.
It’s the most traditional remedy for a reason, prunes work. Prunes contain a high amount of dietary fiber, which helps break up hard stools and push them through your intestines and out your bottom.
Prunes also contain a substance called sorbitol that promotes water being drawn into your large intestines, similar to how a laxative works. As a result, hard stools become more fluid, making them easier to pass through your system.
4. Get your body moving
Have you been experiencing newfound constipation while cooped up indoors or have been missing regular workouts? If so, try a brisk walk or break a sweat any way you can. Exercise makes for more successful trips to the bathroom, another reason you should find the time for exercise every day.
5. Squat exercises
Yes, it’s true; squatting triggers your colon to get things moving again. Squats optimize the angle between your anus and rectum and may even help with a more relaxed and complete elimination. Try doing squat exercises while you’re working out.
6. Toilet stools
You could find instant relief with a toilet stool. They are designed to elevate your knees about your stomach, mimicking a squat. As you now know, squatting optimizes the angle of your pelvic floor to allow stools to pass more easily. While almost anything that elevates your knees will work, a toilet stool that stores beneath the bowel makes it convenient and reminds you to use it regularly.
7. Probiotics with Prebiotics
An imbalance in your intestinal microbiota, which are the microorganisms living in your digestive tract, may cause constipation for some people. Probiotics and prebiotics work together to balance your microbiome and get your system moving again quickly.
A recent study showed that people given a combination of probiotics and prebiotics experienced a significant improvement in constipation along with relief from abdominal pain and bloating.
Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Defense contains the right type of probiotics with prebiotics to promote bowel movement regularity. And unlike other probiotic/prebiotic combinations, Dynamic Defense starts working within hours instead of days.
Final thoughts on laxatives
Reaching for a laxative once in a while is ok, but chronic use can eventually wear out your colon and, paradoxically – lead to worsening your condition. If you find yourself chronically using laxatives for a bowel movement, you should consult with your physician as there is possibly an underlying condition that warrants further investigation.