Constipation is complex. It’s easy to think it’s all about fiber intake and gut health, but your digestive system is far fickler.
Simple changes in your routine like the weather or daylight savings time can throw it for a loop. A weekend getaway can turn into a weekend backup, and the massive routine wrench issued by the pandemic isn’t helping.
Stress can have a significant influence on regularity.
That’s nearly half the people in North America struggling with constipation. And I bet the number of people who’ve gone through it at least a few times in their life is a lot higher.
But there are ways to get back on track and keep things moving. Sometimes it takes getting creative, while other times, it could be as simple as including more fruit, vegetables, and other fiber-rich foods in your diet.
Here are a couple of potential quick fixes that might help restore your routine.
If you find yourself straining on the toilet, as in you’re pushing really hard and getting nothing for your efforts, you may want to put your feet up.
First off, you don’t want to push. That can lead to further problems that, I assure you, you don’t want to deal with. You may be able to relieve the pain by putting a stool at your feet, so your knees are above your hips.
One study found that this practice eased straining in 90 percent of participants. It may work by better aligning the colon so things move more quickly. The “squat” position is something to shoot for.
If your trouble is more that you’re not experiencing any inkling to go the bathroom, it might be worthwhile to lace up your sneakers for a 20-minute walk.
Exercise like walking may help stimulate muscle contractions that help move food through your digestive system. So, after a meal, or even anytime, head out for a brief walk to get things moving (in more ways than one!).