This Feel Good Friday, I want to help your tummy feel its best. Being bloated is one of the things that can take away that awesome feeling. And since our goal is to have you feel better – actually…your BEST, this week we address your poo.

I’m amazed at how many people don’t realize that they need to have a bowel movement every day. Yes, you heard me. EVERY day.

So let’s get something straight. When someone asks ‘’Are you regular?’’, regular is not that you go every other day with regular rhythm. Regular is that you go a minimum of once per day.

There are a number of reasons why this is important and why this may not be happening.

Perhaps you’re not drinking enough water, eating enough fiber, doing enough physical activity. It may be due to lack of sleep, the social emotional issues of not wanting to go to the bathroom in a public place (like the cubicle at work), the wrong foods in your diet causing some inflammation.

Certain medications or supplements can also cause constipation. Or there could be a more serious underlying issue.

Being less than regular can lead simply to bloating and discomfort, or this can extend all the way up to hemorrhoids, anal fissures, or fecal impaction. That’s the opposite of FEEL GOOD!

So regular poo makes you feel good, and here are my tips to regular poo:

  1. Eat more fiber. Fiber can be found in beans, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  2. Drink more water. Half your body weight in ounces of water is a good starting point (for a 150 lb person that means 75oz of water)
  3. Don’t ignore the urge to go. Resisting the urge to go or waiting to go to the bathroom also can cause constipation or make existing symptoms worse.
  4. Eat fewer low-fiber foods. These include dairy products and sugary foods which can all cause constipation.
  5. De-stress. Stress is a huge factor in digestive issues for those who suffer from IBS, but all of us can experience an “off” feeling in our gut from stress.
  6. Take 500mg of Magnesium with a glass of water at night.
  7. Try a natural stool softener. Soak a tablespoon of flaxseeds in a glass of water in the morning and in the evening, strain it and drink the water. The flaxseeds can also be put into a smoothie or on your salads.
  8. Spend 5 minutes per day in the yoga pose, Makarasana or the Crocodile Pose. (Here’s how to do Makarasana).
  9. Enjoy a supine twist to the right, holding for a few breaths, and then the left to the left. (Here’s how to do a supine twist)
  10. Practice better poop posture. The optimal body position to be in when doing your business is sitting with your knees higher than your hips (use a foot stool or other flat, stable object if necessary), lean forward and put your elbows on your knees, relax and straighten your spine.

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