The 6 Best Exercises To Help You Poop Immediately
Making healthy lifestyle choices and drinking plenty of water are key players in combatting constipation, but did you know that staying active can help as well? Along with helping you stay fit, strong, and independent, engaging in physical activity keeps you regular. As a matter of fact, according to WebMD, one of the main culprits behind constipation is not exercising as much as you should. Working out encourages bowel movements by decreasing the amount of time everything you eat passes through your large intestine.
To find out which exercises are the most effective in relieving constipation and giving your digestive system a boost, we spoke with Katie Kollath, ACE CPT and co-founder of Barpath Fitness. Below, Kollath breaks down the six best exercises to help you poop. Add the below moves to your routine pronto, and for more, don't miss 16 Foods To Help You Poop Immediately.
1. Massaging your Abdomen
Knowing how to give yourself an abdominal self-massage is a stellar technique to keep close by—especially if you get constipated often. "Massaging the abdomen can help to stimulate the muscles in the digestive system and promote bowel movements," Kollath explains.
To begin, lie down flat on your back. You can do this on your bed, on the carpet, or on a yoga mat. Position both hands on your lower abs slightly above your pubic bone. Gently move your hands in a clockwise circular motion, massaging this area of your stomach. Keep this self-massage going for several minutes, giving any areas where there's discomfort or tension extra TLC. Feel free to bring both knees into your chest, and slowly rock yourself back and forth in order to loosen up your abdominal muscles.
2. Deep Breathing
Don't underestimate the power of deep breathing exercises; they're especially effective in alleviating constipation. According to Kollath, practicing deep breathing can trigger the muscles in your digestive system, which will get the waste moving through your body.
Perform your breathing and bracing drills by lying down or sitting in a position that's most comfortable for you. Put both hands on your stomach. Kollath continues to instruct, "Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs with air and feeling your belly expand. Hold your breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat this process several times, taking slow, deep breaths."
3. Wind-Relieving Pose
Stretching it out with certain yoga poses can also help with bowel movements. Wind-relieving pose, specifically, is a productive exercise to do.
To set up, you'll lie down flat on your back and bring both knees into your chest. Hold into your knees as you slowly rock your body back and forth, Kollath instructs.
"Squatting is probably one of the most effective ways to relieve constipation," Kollath tells us. "Sitting in a deep squat helps people 'go' more easily during their actual time in the bathroom. However, performing squats on a regular basis will also help."
To perform squats, you'll slightly hinge your hips back, then descend as low as you can to the floor. If necessary, you can hold onto something to stay balanced.
5. Seated Twist
"Another great yoga pose to help relieve constipation is the seated twist," Kollath points out. "To perform this, sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the floor on the outside of your left knee. Twist your torso to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Hold for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side."
6. Low-Intensity Cardio
Last but certainly not least, performing some low-intensity cardio is one of the best exercises to help you poop. As Kollath puts it, this form of exercise will boost blood flow and activate the muscles in your digestive system. So select your movement of choice, whether that may be cycling, jogging, walking, or hiking. Kollath suggests starting out with a low to moderate intensity for 20 minutes each day, and "hopefully you will see some better bowel movements."