Some people poop every day at the same time at the same toilet. We all know they're healthy. How about people who don't poop that frequently? They're pretty healthy too! How often you take a dump actually depends on your diet, age, and daily activities. Meaning to say it can differ from person to person. According to gastroenterologists, three times a day to three times a week is normal, as long as your feces isn't too hard or too loose.
So what is constipation, if it's normal (for you maybe) not to poop every day? And what makes someone constipated? Constipation is when you're having a hard time defecating because of hardened feces. Most cases of constipation are due to our lifestyles. So here are ways for you to have a healthy bowel movement:
1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
You might be having a hard time taking a dump because there's not enough fiber in your diet—you're not eating enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. And a pretty bulky stool goes down easier than a small one. Also, dietary fiber isn't digested by your body. It passes through your stomach, small intestine, colon, then goes out of your body, which will aid the feces in going down.
2. Drink plenty of water.
Water gets the food you eat moving through your stomach, large intestine, and colon, and it keeps your intestines smooth and flexible too. If you're not drinking enough, or worse, you're dehydrated, the large intestine will soak up the water from your food waste, so the stools will have a difficult time passing.
3. Have an active lifestyle.
Exercise helps your bowel movement by reducing the time it takes for your food waste to move through your large intestine. That limits the amount of water absorbed from the food waste into your body, making your stools pretty soft to pass.
Cardio exercises are notably good for treating constipation. They speed up your breathing and heart rate, hence stimulating the natural contraction of your intestinal muscles. And intenstinal muscles that contract efficiently help pass the stools quickly too.
4. Don't hold your poop in.
When you feel like taking nature's call, holding your poop in often and for extended periods of time can cause constipation. The food waste moves through the colon, which gives you the urge to take a dump. If you make your stool stay there for a while, the colon will keep absorbing the water in the stool, which can make it hard hence difficult to pass. (FYI, there are worse side effects to holding you poop in! You can tear the skin around your anus or damage your internal sphincter, the muscle that gives you easy bowel movements.)
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