Difficulty with bowel movements? Exercise may help.
Exercise is often the antidote for keeping our muscles strong and supple while balancing our kale and donut consumption, and as much as exercise may help you look and feel better, it also helps you function better. Surprise! Consistent exercise can even impact bowel function.
At Midsouth Rectal Clinic, we address difficulty with bowel movements and want you to have all the support you need — including ways to support regular and healthy bowel movements. Explore how exercise impacts your bowel function in today’s post.
Constipated? Get Your Sweat On!
How do you know you’re experiencing difficulty with bowel movements? Not having a consistent bowel movement is not cause for alarm, but it is concerning.
A normal bowel movement will look different to everyone, but it can range from three times per day to three times per week, and being sedentary doesn’t help. Sitting for prolonged periods slows the digestive system, creates hard stool, and causes difficulty in passing or makes it exceedingly difficult to pass.
When activity is added, exercise can improve regular bowel movements and constipation. If you’re ready to leave the stomach cramping and bloating behind, get moving!
Stay Regular With Exercise
How do movement and exercise contribute to better bowel movements? There are a few factors that drive healthy and consistent bowel movements.
Enhanced Blood Flow
Let’s face it — when you’re sitting — your blood flow is minimal, but when your blood flow is increased, it gets to the intestinal muscles. When blood flows in your digestive tract, the time of transit for food passing is decreased, and stronger contractions occur, thus increasing bowel movements.
Sometimes your body just needs a little physical assistance from gravity. Think jumping rope, skipping, or vigorously hiking at an incline — these types of movements assist with bowel movements on a physical and mechanical level.
As you engage in physical activity that increases your breathing and heart rate, it stimulates nerves and muscles in your intestines which increases muscle contraction to decrease waste travel time.
Can You Time Your Workouts For Better Movement?
While adding more activity to your daily routine will prove to be advantageous, the best thing to remember is to allow your system enough time to digest food, so it’s not recommended to work out right after a meal.
Because the post-meal period has already started the digestion process, it requires energy and blood to work the digestive muscles. When you exercise after a meal this can delay this process and postpone food transit time.
What Exercises Are Best For Irregular Bowel Movements?
You can stay regular and promote consistent bowel movements with a variety of exercises including:
HIIT Workouts – High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a series of movements in a short amount of time that gets your blood pumping and your muscles and nerves stimulated to support healthy bowel movements.
Running, Jumping, & Dancing – For more of a physical response to support being regular, running, jumping, and dancing are the perfect activities.
Resistance Training – Add in deep squats and high box steps to promote increased waste transit times.
Yoga – Yoga poses are wonderful for difficulty with bowel movements because they’re gentle. Incorporate poses such as bow pose, cat-cow, and cobra.
Move More Today!
To decrease difficulty in bowel movements, just get moving, and don’t overthink it! It’s the small, tangible steps that you take that will prove to be what helps eliminate constipation. From taking a walk on your lunch break to doing a set of air squats every couple of hours, these little movements will help.
Other movements that promote a healthy digestive tract are taking the stairs, parking farther away when running errands, doing jumping jacks during commercial breaks, and even pacing around when you’re talking on the phone.
Additionally, hitting the gym a couple of times a week is also a great start.
Need More Information? Midsouth Rectal Clinic Can Help
Sometimes scheduling a consult with your doctor can help set you on the right path and rule out any major problems. Begin a conversation with the skilled physicians at Midsouth Rectal Clinic to finally address your difficulty with bowel movements.