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  • Dr. Colleen Gensheimer

Why Pooping While Traveling Can Be Tough & How It Can Be Better

Travel poops are real, and difficult in-laws or family can make your constipation worse.

Not to mention the heavy carbs, cheeses, and butter that can throw off our bowel routine as well as pooping in bathrooms that are not your normal space.


Well have no fear, Be Ready PT is HERE! I’m going to tell you a few quick tips to help you avoid constipation and straining while you travel for the holidays.

Use A Stool or Squatty Potty

If there is a stool available in the bathroom, put your feet on the stool during your bowel movement. The stool allows the best alignment for your pelvic floor muscle to relax for a bowel movement. If there is no stool available, no worries, you can put your feet on a small bathroom trash can, your luggage bag, or a stack of books lying around.

Massage

If you are feeling constipated on your trip, wake up a few minutes earlier and perform 8-10 minutes of bowel massage. This helps stimulate your large colon, moves gas along, and assists with the urge for a bowel movement. Start on your lower right abdomen just inside the right hip bone, perform small clockwise circles up to your right rib cage, go across underneath the right rib cage, and then down toward the left hip bone. Repeat this motion for 8-10 mins prior to your preferred bowel movement opportunity.


Fiber

Besides all the yummy holiday food that may be heavy in dairy or starches, try adding a side salad with leafy greens, an apple for a snack, or a smoothie in the mornings to assist with fiber intake and easy bowel movements.


Drink Up!

Water and caffeine that is! Drinking hot water with a little honey or lemon, tea or coffee in the morning around the same time as your bowel movement stimulates your gastro-colic reflex which, guess what….will always help you move your bowels! Be sure to drink plenty of regular water throughout the day to avoid firm stools.


As always, EXERCISE!

Even if you don't have gym access, going for daily walks while traveling can stimulate your bowels and move gas. If it’s too cold or rainy to walk this holiday season, try a simple circuit of air squats, glute bridges, and bicycle crunches. These lower body exercises will help to move the large colon!

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