Occasional constipation is nothing to joke about. That heavy, cramping feeling in your gut can be more than uncomfortable; it can interfere with your everyday routine. Constipation is most common in children, the elderly, and women over 50, thanks to hormonal changes in those stages of life. So, how do you maintain regular bowel movements?
When constipation happens
For most people, constipation only happens occasionally and can be dealt with fairly quickly. If you deal with constipation more than a few times a year, you could be experiencing a chronic problem. Changes to your lifestyle and what you eat can be helpful, but it’s essential that you see your doctor if you find yourself backed up too often.
Dehydration, low-fiber foods, and a lack of physical exercise can contribute to your constipation. The good news is, along with natural supplements like those from wellspringmeds.com, there are several steps you can take to get your bowels on track. Let’s look at a few ways to help you stay regular.
Drink water for regular bowel movements
If you aren’t getting enough water, your stool can become hard and compacted, making it difficult to pass. Increasing your water intake can increase the lubrication in your bowels, soften your stools, and make it easier for your body to pass its waste.
For adults, drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water a day to fight constipation and stay adequately hydrated is usually a good idea. If constipation becomes a problem for children, an electrolyte-rich supplement like Pedialyte can help get things moving.
Foods that contain high amounts of fiber can help to relieve constipation. Whole wheat and grains, for example, work to break down foods, soften your stools, and aid indigestion.
Adding a bran-based cereal to your breakfast, choosing whole wheat bread, and adding an extra helping of vegetables to your meals can help you to have better digestion. Not only is a fiber-rich diet healthier, but it can also help you to stay regular.
Exercise and regular bowel movements
You can add constipation relief to the multiple benefits of regular exercise. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can help to keep you regular.
If your routine is sedentary, you are more likely to experience more instances of constipation. Those who work at a desk and have limited mobility during the day are also at higher risk for constipation than those whose jobs are more active.
Physical exercise can improve digestion and help foods move their way through your intestinal system, giving you some relief from your constipation. Moderate exercises like walking, biking, yoga, and jogging are a great way to stay in shape and keep your constipation in check.
Even with the proper hydration, diet, and exercise, it’s still possible to feel occasionally constipated. For relief, many people turn to a laxative that stimulates your system enough to help you go.
Although laxatives can be helpful, they should be used with caution. If you are trying a new laxative, start with the minimal dosage until you know how they work for you.
Make sure that you give the laxative enough time to work, up to eight hours before you take another dose. If you aren’t sure about using an over-the-counter laxative, you can try a few of these natural remedies to find relief:
- Castor Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Aloe Vera
- Oat Bran
Bowel movements: De-stress to stay regular
Busy schedules, less than restful sleep, and demanding careers can cause you to have higher than manageable levels of stress. When your body is under stress, you will more likely suffer from digestive issues leading to occasional constipation.
Stress can have a dramatic effect on all of the systems of your body. If you follow a healthy eating plan, drink enough water, and get regular exercise but still suffer from constipation, you may need to try relaxing. Meditative techniques, taking some time to yourself, and making sleep a priority can help you get back on track.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications like Tylenol, antacids, and antidepressants can cause you to become constipated. Talk to your doctor about your medications and if they may be contributing to your irregularity.
Suffering from constipation can be more than just physically uncomfortable. For occasional constipation, focus on drinking more water, managing your stress, adding more fiber to your diet, and getting exercise. If you are looking for ways to get back on track, consider some of these tips to help you stay regular.
About today’s writer
Kelly is a freelance writer for the last 5 years now. Her writing career started in 2014 in a small Huston journal. Now, Kelly is a happy freelance writer, writing on many topics.