3 Quick Tricks for a Healthy Bowel Movement
Sick of feeling like your toilet habits are completely unpredictable? Jealous of your other half who seems to be able to go on demand after breakfast every day? Keep reading. You’ll discover 3 simple things you can start doing right this second to encourage healthier, more regular bowel movements.
Before getting started, take a step back and get clear on what a ‘healthy’ bowel movement actually is. If you’re already pooping regularly, well done. You don’t know how rare that is! Go do a dance to celebrate. If you’re not (which is VERY common so don’t worry, you’re not alone), I’m here to help you do something about it.
There are A LOT of things that influence your bowel movements, both in your diet and your lifestyle. So, there’s definitely not a simple fix. That doesn’t mean it’s not possible though. I went from having no idea where my next bowel movement was coming from to having a regular schedule, even with a lot of flying and crossing multiple time zones. Which means you can get there too.
Here are 3 tricks you can start trying right now that can make a world of difference:
1. PROPER POSITIONING
You may have seen those Squatty Potty adverts and had a giggle. I remember my friend Sam showing me one involving Unicorn poop on a train into London a few years ago and thinking it was absolutely hilarious. If you haven’t heard of it, the Squatty Potty is a footstool that fits under the toilet and props your legs up to a squatting position, which allows gravity to help with your bowel movements.
As funny as they sound, they have a point. Modern toilets are much too high, which means we sit upright on them. Squatting is actually the more natural and therefore, the ideal, position for us. I don’t think the cavemen struggled with irregular bowel movements, and part of that was down to their optimal pooing position. We think it’s a bit gross having to use a squat toilet when we visit Asia but, actually, it seems like they’ve got the right idea over there.
Last month, a few years on from seeing that Squatty Potty unicorn advert, I ordered us one. I popped it under our toilet and Jordan, my fiance, made fun of me for it for a few hours. A few days later, though, he goes “Soph, I actually really like that new stool thing. It helps.”
So, I highly recommend trying to get into the right position. If you don’t want to splash out and invest in a Squatty Potty, a simple footstool will do the job, as will a couple of toilet rolls (one under each foot).
2. A TOILET ROUTINE
I’ve talked a lot about how your body loves a routine, and it’s no exception when it comes to pooping. Setting up a toilet routine gets your body into a pattern and lets it know when it’s time to release. Ever been desperate to go, then you sit on the toilet and can hear other people in the bathroom so you get anxious and can’t go?! That’s psychology getting in the way of your bowel movements, and this psychological element is so important.
Surprisingly, constipation is much more common in people who jump out of bed in the morning, eager to hit the ground running. Taking a slower approach to starting off your day and slowing down in the morning can make a huge difference and really help get things moving.
Try setting your alarm a bit earlier every day, so you don’t have to jolt out of bed, but have a few minutes to go through a gentle morning routine. When your alarm goes off, lie there for a few minutes getting ready for the day - think of a few things you’re grateful for, picture the day ahead, or just simply enjoy being wrapped up in bed for another few minutes. Then make yourself a mug of warm water and lemon (which will help kick start your digestion for the day) and do a few minutes of gentle stretching. You could find a morning yoga routine on YouTube to follow, or just do a few cat cow stretches.
After that relaxed start to the day, try creating a ‘bathroom time.’ Go and sit on the toilet for 5 minutes. Even if nothing happens, still sit there. Going to the toilet at the same time every day will get your body into this routine and it will gradually become second nature.
3. STOMACH MASSAGE
This might seem a bit odd, but giving yourself a stomach massage can help create healthy bowel movements. It helps to stimulate movements of the internal organs in your gut, which gets your digestion going. On top of that, it can relieve stress (which also helps digestion) and relieve any pains caused from gas.
All you need to do is get a tablespoon of castor or coconut oil and rub it onto your stomach with 2 fingers. Move them in a clockwise direction, starting around the belly button, and keep going for about 5 minutes, or as long as you feel like.
I like to do this before I go to bed, so it can stimulate digestion whilst I sleep and hopefully result in a healthy bowel movement in the morning.
There are A LOT of things that influence your bowel movements, both in your diet and your lifestyle.
Here are 3 tricks that you can start trying right now that can make a world of difference:
Better Positioning - get yourself a tool to help you squat on the toilet
A Toilet Routine - slow down in the mornings and get your body on a regular pooping schedule
Stomach Massage - a lovely, relaxing way to stimulate digestion
You can start doing all 3 of these right away but don’t be disheartened if you don’t see the effects right away too. Your body takes time to get into new routines, so will take time to adjust to these things. However, if you keep at it every day, you should start to see the effects within a few weeks.
These are 3 quick tricks that can help you have more predictable bowel movements. However, there are SO many more things you can do to get you to a place where you’re pooping every day, without even thinking about it. This is one of the things I help my clients with every day.
Don’t know where to start? Let’s chat. Book in a free consultation call with me. You can fill me in on your struggles and ask any questions about how I can help. There’ll be absolutely no pressure - you’ll just be left with all the info you need to have a think about whether we’d be a good fit.
Do you have any other tricks that help with healthy bowel movements? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and letting me be a part of your journey in taking control of your gut, eating well and living your life.