6 simple tips for a better and easier poo, according to experts
We all have or own unique bowel habits, and it’s great to know your own body. While how often and how easily we poo may vary, there are some steps we can all take to ease the process and help create better, healthier poo patterns.
Pooping, pooing, nipping for a number two, call it what you will – we all have to do it. And let’s face it, when things are running smoothly, we don’t really give it much thought, but as soon as something goes wrong, it can have a huge impact on our quality of life. From constipation and diarrhoea to bloating and discomfort, we could all do with healthier bowel habits.
There are some simple steps we can all take to ease the process along and they might just help with any issues, such as constipation, by helping you to maintain regular toilet habits.
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Use a stool for your stools
Step one – make sure you’re sitting correctly. A quick google search will tell you how to sit properly for your poo, and the key is to have your knees higher than your hips.
“The most important thing is to get your feet up on a stool or a stack of books, anything that allows the muscle that wraps around your rectum to release,” advises dietitian and poo expert Sophie Medlin. “This will make it much easier for the poo to pass out, preventing fissures and piles from excessive straining. 90% of people who use a stool under their feet when they poo strain less and 71% had quicker bowel movements.”
It’s something we tend to do when we’re younger and have shorter legs – it’s time to go back to basics and get a stool.
Take your time
In our hectic, stressful lives, it’s difficult to prioritise taking time on the toilet – it tends to be something we rush through in order to get back to our day. But Medlin believes this isn’t helping at all.
“I always recommend that people take some time on the toilet, in the correct position, ideally in the morning,” she says.“Often people have lost the signal that they need their bowels open, so making some time to see what happens without straining at all is a good idea.”
Even if this means setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier, try to set aside some time each morning before the madness of your day, and see if this helps you with more regular bowel movements.
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Breathe into your poo
Better breathing is the key to so many bodily functions – and having a good poo is no exception. Many of us simply hold our breath and push down, but this isn’t the way to go, according to the experts.
“Rather than holding your breathand pushing down, try more gentle exhales,” recommends Beth Davies, a personal trainer and women’s health expert. “This will help you relax and allow for a more natural poo. Straining causes downward pressure to the pelvic floor, which ultimately weakens the muscles.”
Medlin agrees, recommending deep, slow breaths into the lower abdomen before bracing your lower stomach forward and keeping a relaxed mouth and jaw – your breathing will help your muscles to relax into this.
When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go
We’re all guilty of ignoring the urge to go to the loo at times. Mid-meeting may not be the perfect time to excuse yourself, but it is really important to be tuned into our body’s signals, as ignoring them may, over time, cause more problems.
“Act on your bowel urges!” advises Davies. “This means not holding on for a poo (and going later as this may cause constipation) but going when you feel the natural urge.”
Sometimes, the simplest fixes can be the most effective.
Have a cuppa
This one is music to our ears. If your morning beverage leaves you dashing for the bathroom, you’re not alone. The experts agree that a warm drink in the morning can work wonders for regular bowel habits – just make sure that you’re actually able to take the time to go to the toilet afterwards.
Try a massage
If you’re still struggling to poo, try rubbing your belly.
“Abdominal massage is a great way to help to stimulate a bowel motion when you’re constipated,” explains Medlin. “Gently rub your tummy up from your right hip to under your right ribs, across your stomach from right to left below the ribs and then down from the left rib to the left hip. This traces the direction of your colon and can help to push the poo along.”
Even if your bowel habits don’t improve, some relaxing breathing, a cup of tea and a massage sounds good to us.
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