Exercise might relieve constipation when increasing intake of water and dietary fiber do not.
People who are used to sedentary lifestyle may groan but fear not, exercising the colon does not necessarily have to be strenuous abdominal work- out, aerobics or jogging.
A good way to begin is to extend arms overhead and stretch arms and legs upon waking up in the morning, prior to getting out of bed. Here’s an example of stretching exercise: while lying on the back, bend one leg using clasped hands to pull knee towards the chest. Alternate with the other leg. Another example is to sit up with legs extended straight and gently tap the back with knuckles. There are many suggested stretching exercises. The bottom line is respect the limitation of one’s body and not to over exert especially for people with backache problems.
Since it is easier to have the urge for bowel movement in the morning, stretching exercises may help constipation sufferers to wake up their bodies and activate the digestive system.
This can be followed by breathing exercise. The purpose is to draw more air into the abdomen by first exhaling slowly as much as possible through the mouth and then inhale through the nostrils until the abdomen expands upwards.
Leaving the bed involves walking. Walking, is an excellent form of exercise for the colon that does not require athletic skill and money. A 30-minute walk daily is recommended for overall health. However, busy people may break this quota into two or three “mini walks” and still reap most of the benefits.
Since everyone with two legs in tact has to walk, walking can fit into almost everyone’s schedule. For example: park a bit further away from destination, use the stairs instead of elevator, take the dog out or make other excuses to go around.
If possible, upgrade casual walking to brisk walking for better results. A group of middle-age people suffering from chronic idiopathic constipation began brisk walking regularly reported improved bowel movements after three months, according to a study.
In fact, people who walk more than often for sports can experience diarrhea in the middle of walks in the case of what is called “runner’s trot”. It is important though, to choose the right time for a rigorous walk. After a meal, blood flow increases to the respective digestive organs to break down the food and move it along the gastrointestinal tract. To take a walk right after eating would direct blood towards heart and muscles instead. The decrease of blood supply in the digestive system slows down peristalsis and less digestive enzymes, resulting in bloating, gas and constipation. Therefore, the best time to go for walking exercise is after a meal has been digested.
Buttock exercises can also be conveniently incorporated. Simply tighten and relax the buttock muscles gluteus maximus discreetly while walking or standing. The key to overcoming constipation is to remain physically active on a regular basis. Do not allow old age or frailty to dissuade one from doing some exercises. Why not start with the simple ones mentioned above?