Digestive disorders have been on the rise in the past few decades, and this could be attributed to the ever-changing lifestyle that is shifting towards fast food, a sedentary lifestyle. These are contributing to several digestive disorders in the body. Constipation is one of the most common disorder that has plagued several people and causes havoc in the life of these patients.
There are several conventional medicines that you could use to treat your constipation. There are several side effects with using these medicines, and in some cases, also tend to worsen the conditions.
Since eons, natural remedies and alternative treatments have been the first line of defense for treating constipation. However, one of the well hidden and most effective treatment would be exercises for constipation.
Best Exercises to relieve Constipation
Cardio for Constipation
These exercises help in getting your blood pumping and are one of the best and simplest forms of physical activity to help you avoid and cure constipation. Running, swimming, cycling, and any other exercises would help you increase your breathing and help in increasing the circulation of your heart and thereby stimulating your bowel.
Additionally, if the full-on hardcore workout isn’t your thing, then we got you covered. Even just going for a brisk 30-minute walk can do the trick and prove to be wonderful for your digestive system. Cardio proves to be one of the best ways to relieve stress, which is one of the significant risk factors for chronic constipation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(1) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week. They also suggest exercising for 30 minutes a day at least five times a week.
Yoga for Constipation
This ancient discipline of exercise from India is another great way to help the stimulation of bowel movement in your body and to get rid of constipation. Yoga consists of poses that are synchronized movements of the body in a particular manner, and these poses help the digestive tract to move the stools. This is possible because some of the postures are twisting of the torso and crunching of the stomach muscles.
Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)
As the name suggests, this pose helps in alleviating discomfort present in the large intestine and also helps in clearing any flatulence that could be present in the body. Additionally, it also helps in stimulating your bowels and helps to improve overall digestion.
How to Perform this pose:
- Firstly, start by laying flat on your back on the mat, with your legs fully extended in front of you.
- Now slowly raise your right knee right up to your chest and hold it in the place with your arms wrapped around for a count of 20 deep breaths
- Now slowly release the clutches of your knees from your arms and let it your leg extend fully back again to the resting position.
- Now perform the same with your left leg for another 20 breaths.
- Once that is done, repeat the process once more, this time holding both your legs pressed against your chest for 20 breaths.
Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Twist)
This is another yoga pose(2) that as the name suggests includes twisting of the muscles that help in the stimulation of your digestive tract and blood flow to your stomach muscles.
How to Perform this pose:
- Lie flat on your back and bring both of your knees right up to your chest.
- Firstly, stretch your left leg straight.
- While having your shoulder pressed against the floor, move your right knee across your body to the left and look toward your right while doing so.
- Hold this position for 20 breaths and then slowly release.
- Repeat the same process with your left leg.
Ardha Matsyendrasana ( Seated Twist)
This is an excellent pose for constipation and helps in improving circulation throughout the body. Also, it is a pose that even beginners could do.
How to Perform this pose:
- Firstly sit comfortably on the mat with your legs fully extended in front of you.
- Now, bring your left knee up and making sure that your foot rests flat on the
- the ground close to the buttocks.
- Now, while in this position, twist your torso by placing your right elbow on the opposite side of your left knee and looking over the left side of your shoulder.
- Hold this pose for about 5 deep breaths and then release.
- Once done, you could repeat the same action on the opposite side of your body.
Meditation for Constipation
Stress plays a major role in causing constipation. Hence practicing mediation could help your body to improve your digestion and help in alleviating any stress that may be causing constipation in your body. Additionally, breathing exercises take only a few minutes and can be performed anywhere.
This technique is referred to as the 4-7-8 technique that can be done anywhere.
Relax and sit back on a chair with your back straight and your hands resting on your lap
- Now exhale entirely with your mouth and make sure there is no residual volume of air left in your lungs.
- Close your lips and now inhale only through your nose for four seconds.
- Hold your breath in now, for a count of seven seconds.
Once it is done, exhale completely through your mouth for a count of eight seconds
Repeat these steps for three more times for a complete four cycles.
Constipation is a severe medical condition that has taken the world in its grip. You should try these exercises, but it may require a bit of practice, in the beginning, to figure out what works for you. However, staying active and managing your stress is of paramount importance if you don’t want to suffer from constipation.
It is also to be noted that you should always consult with your doctor before adhering to any of these new regimens of exercises. Also, while performing any of these exercises if you experience any health issues, stop using the method, and immediately consult your physician.
1. What can I take naturally for constipation?
To cure constipation naturally, drink more water, consume fiber, eat probiotics etc.
2. What positions help constipation?
Yoga positions like crescent twist, standing forward bend, supine twist are beneficial in relieving constipation.
3. What side do you lay on when constipated?
You should ideally lay to the left because it promotes better coordination between your digestive system and gravity.