Pooping. We all do it. Don't try to pretend you don't, because you do. And if you actually don't poop...well maybe it's time to see a doctor.
You would think that something so basic and primal would be done properly by everyone, but that's not the case at all. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most people aren't pooping properly. You may think you are, but you're not.
There are five tips you should stick to if you want to maintain happy bowels, and keep your digestive system moving properly.
1. Sit Properly
It sounds weird, right? How can you sit in correctly on the toilet? But if you're not sitting with your knees higher than your hips, you're not sitting properly. The ideal position for a smooth bowel movement is leaned forward with your knees higher than your hips, your elbows on your knees, and your belly relaxed.
By sitting with your knees high, it allows the muscle at the base of your rectum to relax and lengthen, which opens the rectum and allows for a smooth movement. Keeping a step-stool by the toilet to allow yourself to be in this proper pooping position is recommended.
2. Don't Force It
You may think you have to poop, but you should never force it. Holding your breathe and pushing as hard as you can is terrible for your muscles, and can actually cause issues down the road. You see, when you put that much pressure on the rectum, you can cause the muscles to become overstretched, which will weaken them over time. This could cause issues holding in your bowel movements in the future.
Straining to poop can also cause hemorrhoids and anal fissures, so it's in your best interest not to force it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, well then try again later.
3. Keep A Schedule
You obviously can't control when you're going to poop, but sticking to a consistent eating schedule can help keep your digestive system moving regularly. Make sure you eat a lot of fiber with your morning breakfast and give yourself time to digest it and relieve yourself.
Holding in your poop can actually cause constipation, because the longer it sits in your large intestine, the more water that gets absorbed out of it, which makes the stool harder to pass. By keeping a consistent schedule, you can do your best to make sure that you're able to go when the urge hits you, and you'll hopefully have smooth sailing.
4. Get Comfy
Not many people like pooping in public places, which is totally legitimate. Pooping in a public bathroom is a recipe for disaster. But other than just being awkward, having a bowel movement in an unfamiliar environment can but some stress on your body, which makes it harder to pass the stool.
It's always recommended to go poop in an environment that you feel comfortable in, which for most people will be their own home. Your body will be able to relax, which in turn will let your anal muscles relax and make for a better pooping experience.
Don't rush the process, either. Give your body time to naturally do its thing. Maybe grab a book and settle down for a while.
5. Use Good Toilet Paper
YES. This is a real part of pooping properly. Other than just feeling nice when you wipe, quality toilet paper can prevent irritation in your anal region. Too much wiping with cheap toilet paper can damage the skin, causing irritation. Irritation can make it painful to poop, which then can cause you to hold it for fear of the pain.
If you do find that your behind is prone to irritation after pooping, it's worth it to invest in a wet wipe or damp cloth to wipe instead. There are also certain foods, like coffee and citrus fruits, that can increase the risk of irritation, so if you do notice some problems in that area, try cutting these foods out and see if that helps.
Pooping is natural. It's part of life. But instead of forcing bowel movements and living with constipation, why not do what you can to help make the process as smooth as possible?
[H/T: Reader's Digest]