Everybody poops. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, not everybody poops when they want to. Be it full-blown constipation or just a general feeling that you can do better, use this quick and somewhat dirty list of bowel movement best practices as tips to eliminate like a ninja.
1. Get some fiber!
Indigestible material that acts like an intestinal sponge, fiber absorbs water and expands, in turn giving mass to existing stool while making it softer and easier to pass.
It’s easily found in an assortment of natural and healthy foods (fruits, grains, and vegetables), and one can always bolster their diet with fiber supplements. Be forewarned: too much fiber can result in excessive bloating, gas, and explosive results.
2. Do some coffee cleansing.
A trusted go-to for many, coffee is a natural stimulant that offers a swift kick to your digestive balls.
As with fiber, avoid overdoing it. If one cup doesn’t help you out, don’t be so quick to reach for another one. Coffee is a diuretic, which makes you urinate more. Excessive amounts can cause dehydration, which leads to constipation, so…
3. Drink more water!
Already hinted at in the first two tips, water is important to having a healthy poop. Would you rather pass a moist brownie or a dry cookie? It’s an easy fix, so if you’ve got 99 problems, dehydration should not be one of them.
4. Get a move on.
If you’re feeling a little stagnant, focus less on the bowel and more on the movement. Go out for a jog, do some yoga, or hammer out some squats and jumping jacks. Yes, you may feel bloated and waddling in the beginning.
Keep your eyes on the prize—at the very least, you’ll get in a quick workout instead of sitting around and wondering if you’ll ever poop again.
5. Try squatting.
Sitting upright while pooping is arguably one of the biggest challenges many digestive systems must overcome in order to take care of business. A forward hunched position is said to provide better alignment for a more easeful (if not at first slightly awkward) elimination.
Can’t manage to squat on your toilet? Try squatting beforehand for a few minutes before sitting down, or find a way to raise your feet up a few inches off the ground (yoga blocks FTW).
6. Give yourself a gentle massage.
If you’re sitting on the throne with a quiche stuck in the oven, try thickly rolling up a towel, placing it under your navel, and folding forward over it. Gentle, constant pressure might be the soft pat on your back necessary to help pass that bubble.
No towel? Frame your navel with both fists, palms facing in and thumbs up. Avoid poking or prodding, and do not attempt AT ALL if you feel any sharp or intense pains.
7. Don’t force it.
Please, oh please, do not try to squeeze one out. A gentle push from toning your abs with a slow exhale through pursed lips is perfectly acceptable. Don’t go full Schwarzenegger at the end of Total Recall—there have been many horror stories of hemorrhoids, hernias, and burst blood vessels.
If anything, use your time on the toilet as an opportunity to relax and meditate with focused awareness…on letting go…of poop.
What poop hacks do you practice? Share them in the comments below!