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24 February 2023

Let it Go: Making Time for Regular Bowel Movements is a Must

One of the fundamental tenets of nutrition is, "What goes in, must come out." and it is a truth that is well worth following.
Your body functions like a machine, absorbing what it needs from the food you give it and eliminating the rest through bowel and urine movements.

Think of it like a finely-tuned sports car


Imagine you're driving along the freeway in your cool sports car.
You stop at the pump and fill it with high quality gasoline, then open the hood and top-up the oil.
You set off down the freeway, and as you drive the car makes use of the gasoline and oil, and expels the waste product out of the exhaust pipe at the rear of the vehicle.


But there is a big difference between a Ferrari or a Porsche, and your finely tuned body. The Porsche expels the waste product on an ongoing basis as it move along the road, which wouldn’t be ideal for a human living in a civilised society. Thankfully, our elimination system is designed a little differently, which results in a BM, or bowel movement, every few hours.

The period between bowel movement will vary


Now, when I say ‘few hours’ this can very from every two or three hours, up to, sadly, hundreds of hours in some occasions. The period between BMs - bowel movements - will vary based on a multitude of factors covering everything from time of the days through to circadian rhythms, medications, alcohol and caffeine consumption, right through to stress and illness. And one of the biggest factors is what you are consuming.
The natural frequency of bowel movements varies from person to person and can change throughout your life, but ideally you should be aiming to have at least one BM per day, depending on how frequently you eat. If you eat frequently throughout the day, and your digestion is super efficient, you might well find yourself visiting the restroom multiple times, which is fine.

When should you worry?


The time to worry is when BM become less frequent than once a day, and if you are going less than three times a week, then it would be well worth visiting a doctor or other health specialist to see if you have an issue with elimination.
Don’t be embarrassed in the slightest about discussing how regularly you are eliminating as it is an issue that affects a lot of people - and I mean a lot of people. In fact few people will get through life without having at least the occasional bout of constipation or serious irregularity of BMs. So don't be timid, because ongoing constipation or desire to have a BM could seriously harm your health.

Some great habits to get into


But the good news is that in most case, such irregularities are nothing at all to worry about, and adopting some new habits can get things back on track very quickly, but it is definitely not something to ignore or learn to live with on a long term basis.
The first step to getting things back on track is determining whether an issue even exists. To start this, count how many bowel motions you have each day. One a day is not a problem, but it is preferable to have two to three, and even more if you eat very frequently. However, if you find that you are getting one every week or two every month, you have a significant issue.
Some folks may claim they just don't have the time for a bowel movement, or that they refuse to go anywhere other than their bathroom at home rather than a public restroom because they are out all day. But, whether you are at home all day, at the office, or enjoying a day trip, you are still best going numerous times during the day, if that’s what your body is asking for, as this will keep your colon content.
In another article I’ll go into detail about measures you can take, and specific things you can do to finetune those bowel movements, but here are a few things you can focus on right away.
1. Diet
Start by eating a well-rounded diet of whole foods with an emphasis on dietary fiber. Eating an adequate amount of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, is one of the most effective habits for preventing constipation.
2. Water


Consume plenty of water. This is important for keeping your digestive system running smoothly and preventing constipation. Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water per day can help keep stools soft and easier to pass.


3. Physical Activity


Exercise is another key habit for avoiding constipation. Increased physical activity helps to stimulate digestion, prevents sluggishness in the intestines and helps move things along in the body.


4. Reduce Stress


Take a few minutes each day to relax and reduce stress. Stress can cause the body to tense up and inhibit the natural flow of digestion.


5. Get into a good routine


Establish a regular bathroom routine. It’s important that you don’t ignore the urge to go to the bathroom and instead set aside time each day to use the restroom.


Following these five simple habits can help to prevent constipation and keep your digestive system running smoothly.

Do your best; it will be to your benefit.
This is a big and important topic and I've only scratched the surface, but if you suspect you need assistance, make sure to speak with a doctor or other healthcare professional. Taking care of this important issue can be a very important step on that journey to abundant health.
Stay regular.

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