The older we get, the harder it becomes to move our bowels. The muscles in our intestines grow weaker as we age, so our bodies have a harder time pushing the waste toward the disposal exit. Add to that the low-fiber diet so common among most Americans, and it's no wonder you're having a hard time pooping.
Thankfully, there are exercises that make pooping easier. Here are a few of the best to try.
Squats – Long before toilets were invented, ancient humans squatted to relieve themselves. Squatting encourages the peristalsis that keeps your food moving through your digestive tract. Modern toilets take the pressure off our core muscles, but a few sets of squats will get things moving once again. Squat with heavy weights and you'll feel the urge to use the bathroom in no time.
Forward Bend – This is more stretch than exercise, but it does wonders to make pooping easier. The pose (bent at the waist, upper body as close to your legs as possible) relaxes your nervous system and compresses the abdomen, squeezing any waste material trapped in your intestines. There's only one way out for the waste material!
Walking – Did you know that a simple walk may be all you need to get your digestive system working again? Walking encourages the flow of blood throughout your body and speeds up digestion because it signals to the body that you need energy. The sped-up digestive process will send waste materials through your intestines more quickly. The result: a few minutes of walking can help you to poop!
Jogging – If you've ever tried to jog with a full colon, you'll know how hard it can be to stay clenched when the pressure builds up. The pounding movement of the jog will send waste material toward the disposal exit, and you may have to stop to use the bathroom before you finish your run. Not feeling the effects? Speed up the pace to a full run or sprint to encourage better peristalsis.
Downward Dog – This simple yoga movement can do wonders to help you poop. The inversion position creates space in your body and will release a lot of the built-up tension — including in your intestinal tract. You can encourage the movement of waste material along the large intestines, toward the rectum.
Jump Squats – Add a jump into your squats and you'll find the contraction of those lower body muscles will get your waste material flowing toward the exit. Squats are already one of the best exercises that make pooping easier, but the addition of the jump will increase the downward force on waste material. It may actually knock loose some of the fecal matter clinging to your intestinal walls and bring it toward your rectum.
These six simple exercises can do wonders to encourage healthy bowel movements. If you're having trouble using the bathroom, mix these into your workout routine to knock things loose and get your intestinal tract working at full speed once more.
[Image via Getty]