It's the taboo topic no one likes to bring up, but one all of us have struggled with: constipation. Whether it's a small annoyance or a big disruption in your day-to-day activities, you definitely want things to run as smoothly as possible!
We've touched on the importance of regularity, possible causes of irregularity, and some helpful suggestions for getting things moving, but this topic is so complex and widely popular in our forums that we have some unfinished business left to discuss!
Consider these tips next time your bathroom routine gets a bit off-track.
1. Stress Relieving Activities - We often clog up when our body is under stress.
Try Belly Breathing. Breathwork, also known as Pranayama, helps release some of these stresses, while helping relax smooth muscle and assist peristalsis (muscle contraction and movement of the bowels). Breathing through your nose, inflate the lower abdomen with breath on the inhalation and then relax the abdomen on the exhalation. Continue with this breathing pattern for about 1-5 minutes and feel free to do it at various times throughout the day.
Some people think that if they vigorously work out, then their stress will go away. However, high intensity exercise will put more stress on the body and divert blood flow from the digestive tract to working muscles. If you’d like to use a workout to distress, opt for something a bit lighter such as a walk, yoga, a light bike ride, or a hike.
2. Fiber - Eating enough fiber can help move things along.
Fiber is often lacking in our overly processed diets. This is usually the root cause of constipation. However, don’t start eating too much fiber too fast, as this may result in bloating, gas, and an even more "clogged" system. Introduce 5 more grams of fiber each week until you reach your goal. A good number would be to consume 25-35 grams of fiber a day.
Continue to drink plenty of water! If we increase our fiber without increasing our fluid intake, then our attempt at relief may backfire. Fiber absorbs water and if you are not drinking enough, your stool will dry up and become even more difficult to pass.
3. Eat your Fruits and Veggies - We help make it easier!
It can be hard to eat your daily recommended number of fruits and veggies every single day, but with the NutriBullet, eating these just becomes breakfast as usual. Don't know where to start? Try our Slim Down Transformation Plan, a simple 30-day plan which introduces you to the process of Blasting and helps get things moving, increasing your daily fruit and veggie intake, upping your fiber, and adding more water to your daily regimen.
4. Water - It plays a bigger role than you think.
Hot water and lemon in the morning has been used to stimulate the bowels and promote healthy digestion. There is a concept in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine, called Agni, meaning “digestive fire.” Ayurveda compares our digestive capacity to a physical fire. We ‘extinguish’ this fire when we consume cold water, whereas warm water kindles digestive fire, supporting elimination. Give it a try instead of your morning cup of Joe, which actually may lead to dehydration if consumed in large quantities.
Dehydration may also cause constipation. We need liquid to add fluid into the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass.
5. Go when you “gotta go” - Holding it in could be doing some damage.
We all know there are certain times when going just isn’t an option. However, over time if we resist the natural urge to go, then the body no longer sends the signals to alert elimination efficiently, eventually ending in chronic constipation.
6. Exercise - It does more than build muscles.
Exercise has been shown to stimulate muscular contractions of the intestine, helping to produce a bowel movement. In addition, it can help relieve stress as we noted above. No need to go overboard, a nice brisk walk or yoga will do ya!
If you are experiencing chronic constipation, please see your primary health care provider to see if there is an underlying medical condition. Also, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any supplement to ensure that it is appropriate for you. Be aware that certain medications commonly cause constipation; most notably, antacids, antidepressants, antihistamines, calcium-channel blockers, diuretics, iron supplements, and narcotic pain medications.
Remember to keep drinking plenty of water and fill your NutriBlast with fiber-rich ingredients. By following a few of the tips above, you should be back on track in no time.