Everyone has a different frequency of bowel movements, but you can generally tell when something is off. If you need some help scooting things along, try a few of these simple tips to make yourself poop.
1. Go to Town With Fiber
Fiber is your best friend when it comes to pooping. Some types of fiber add bulk and signal your colon that it’s time to go. Other types of fiber act like a lubricating gel that absorbs water, softens your poop and helps it slide along smoothly.
Make sure you’re getting plenty of fiber by eating some of the following foods every day. Generally speaking, the more of these you eat, the more you poop:
- High-fiber fruit: apples, pears, berries, bananas and papaya
- Veggies: broccoli, avocados, leafy greens, carrots and beets
- Legumes: lentils, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and split peas
- Whole grains: rolled oats, whole wheat foods, barley, brown rice and popcorn
- Nuts: almonds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, chia seeds and pecans
2. Grab a Big Glass of Water
Sometimes, constipation is caused by dehydration. Without enough water, poop turns into dry “concrete” in your intestines. You should be drinking plenty of water every day for good health anyway, but especially if you’re having trouble pooping. For the best results, drink a big glass of water at the same time you eat fiber, such as at breakfast.
3. Give Your Colon Some Gentle Encouragement
Did you know you can “push” poop through your digestive tract with a gentle massage? This technique is called colonic massage. It can provide many benefits including alleviating constipation, getting rid of gas and reducing the amount of effort you need while pooping.
Here’s how it works:
- Sit up or lie on your back with your knees bent.
- Massage your abdomen using your fingertips or palms.
- Follow the colon from the lower right in a clockwise direction.
- Put gentle pressure on the four corners of the abdomen, including under the ribs.
- End the circle by pressing gently under the belly and pulling up.
- Repeat from the bottom right again.
Some people make small circles as they massage around the abdomen. Others use small taps. The idea is to help your body “squeeze” poop through the intestine without having to strain your muscles.
4. Take a Hike (Literally)
Have you ever accidentally passed gas while working out? This is no accident. Exercise is great for stimulating bowel movements. As your body moves, so does the food in your gut. You decide whether to enjoy some high-intensity biking, a healthy jog or a laid-back walk.
Exercise also produces feelings of calm. Stress is a common cause of constipation, so relaxation can be an excellent remedy. If you live near an outdoor space, go for a hike. Physical activity helps your bowels and the fresh air helps your mind.
Make Time for Your Gut
The next time you’re having trouble with bowel movements, get up early the next day to make yourself a healthy breakfast. Enjoy some whole wheat toast with avocado, and make a smoothie with bananas and berries.
Put on some light music in the background. Take your time eating. Relax. Then, kick back and get ready for the show.