EXERCISES TO STIMULATE BOWEL MOVEMENT | 7 TYPES FOR EVERYONE

Reviewed by: Horia Marculescu, MD


A girl in blue sports equipment is jumping to prepare for jogging and other exercises.

If you are looking for simple exercises to stimulate bowel movement, then consider the following ones:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Jump Rope
  • Deep Breathing
  • Deep Squatting
  • Wind-Relieving Pose
  • Crunches

These exercises stimulate intestinal motility by contracting the muscles and expanding the lungs.

They keep the Gastro-Intestinal tract healthy, and they shorten the time the stool passes from the small intestine to the large intestine.

Also, they are excellent for workout and relieving stress by creating adrenaline. Follow the guide and get the most out of the benefits in the long-term.





1. WALKING

A girl is slowly walking with slow body movements to stimulate the bowel.

Walking is one of the most effective exercises to stimulate bowel movement because it makes the entire body move and the abdomen contract and expands.

Contracting the abdominal muscles will improve motility by stimulating and creating more intestinal waves so the stool will move towards the rectum.

Walking can unglue portions of the stool inside the large intestine that acts as a sticky glue if you suffer from dehydration.

If the food you ate had lots of sugar, carbohydrates, and fats.

Walking is the kind of exercise that everyone can practice, especially people who recover after surgery or trauma. Or they are not a good physical shape.


How to walk to stimulate the bowel?

  • Put on a pair of elastic pants.
  • Put on some comfortable shoes.
  • Get a clean cotton shirt for sweat.
  • Tie your shoe knots and fix the feet inside.
  • Get outside and start walking.

First of all, you need to start slow. For the first ten minutes, walk with slow steps. In this way, you will make the body adapt with ease to make more effort after those ten minutes.

After ten minutes of slow walking, try to accelerate the steps as if you were going somewhere in a rush. Now keep walking in this alert mode for 30 minutes without a break.

After 30 minutes of walking, take a 5 minutes break and relax. Try to inhale and exhale deep and slow to get as much oxygen as you can in your lungs.

Repeat this exercise 3 times if your body has enough energy left. If you feel tired and muscle sore, you should stop and relax.


A simple example of walking for beginners:

  • Walk 15 minutes at a slow pace.
  • Accelerate the pace.
  • Walk 30 minutes in alert mode.
  • Take a break for 10 minutes.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly.

Repeat the 30 minutes intervals 2-3 times with breaks (60-90 minutes). If you are new to walking and maybe you live a sedentary life, it is essential to start slow. This thing also applies if you are beginning with physical activity to stimulate bowel movement.

The reason is that your body needs to adapt slowly to physical effort. Otherwise, you will end up with fatigue, dehydration, and muscle soreness.

Increase the intervals to 40 minutes (80-120 minutes) if you are in good physical shape.


Walking is beneficial not only to bowel stimulation.

Walking is an excellent way to relieve stress and manage constipation. The more you walk, the better the results will be in the long term.

Walking requires little effort, and you can walk almost anywhere.

Also, it is an excellent replacement for running and other exercises, especially if you don’t have the time to go to the gym.

It is a safe way to prepare your body for long intervals of physical effort. Some of us can meditate during a long walk in the park, especially after sitting all day long at the desk.


What do the experts say?

According to The US National Library of Medicine: results suggest that walking as movement-based self-regulatory behavioral treatment is beneficial for IBS patients though maintenance of a self-regulated walking program may be more feasible and therefore more effective long term. [1]

On the authority of The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Research shows that a total amount of at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking consistently reduces the risk of many chronic diseases and other adverse health outcomes. [2]

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends: Walking briskly (3 miles per hour or faster, but not race-walking). [3] [back to top]



2. JOGGING

A girl in sports equipment is jogging with her head bent towards the front.

Jogging is similar to walking, and it is one of the most effective exercises to stimulate bowel movement because it puts the entire body to work.

Moving all the body parts and especially the abdomen will improve bowel movement using muscle contraction and intestinal pressure.

The stool inside the large intestine will move towards the rectum with ease if jogging will create enough pressure inside, starting from the upper abdomen.

Also, because of the constant and intense movement of the body parts, the intestines will expand, thus creating more waves to move the stool faster for evacuation.

Jogging is the kind of exercise that anyone can practice. All you need is a long flat surface and some good running shoes.


How to use jogging to stimulate movement inside?

  • Put on your running equipment.
  • Tie your shoes carefully.
  • Get outside to a park or someplace similar.
  • Walk for 10 minutes.
  • Now start jogging for 30 minutes.

The best thing to do before is to: walk for ten minutes. In this way, you will prepare your body for physical effort.

After you have warmed up your body, increase the speed of walking, and make sure you are moving the body as if you were running very slow.

After 30 minutes of jogging, take a 5 minutes break and repeat this step one more time.

Breathe deeply and slowly to get as much oxygen you can inside the lungs. You will start to breathe faster as time passes, and the effort becomes more intense.

The slower you practice jogging, the better it will be in the long-term. Try not to force yourself, and always stay focus not to run.


Training examples with jogging intervals

For better results, increase the total amount of time to 90 minutes of jogging. Repeat 30 minutes three times very slowly.

Try to maintain a constant rhythm and breathe more quickly. If you are in good physical shape, you can extend this interval for 120 minutes for great results.

It is essential to hydrate before and after this exercise. The muscles require water and vitamins for hydration. The stool inside the small and the large intestines also needs water.


Jogging offers more benefits beside bowel movement:

  • It creates pressure inside the intestines.
  • Relieves stress by creating adrenaline.
  • It improves stamina and endurance.
  • It puts all the muscles to work.
  • It prevents muscle soreness.

The best thing about jogging is that: the more you practice, the more stamina you will get overtime.

It is such a simple exercise with so many benefits. And it comes cheap too. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and eat fruits to get some vitamins into your body.


What do the experts say?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following: Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (e.g., jogging or running) for 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) every week. [4]

According to The Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans: Time spent doing warm-up and cool-down may count toward meeting the aerobic key guidelines if the activity is at least moderate intensity (for example, walking briskly as a warm-up before jogging). [5] [back to top]



3. JUMP ROPE

A girl in sports equipment is doing jump rope exercises by jumping vertically.

The Jump Rope exercise is one of the most fun and effective exercise to stimulate bowel movement because it puts every muscle to intense training.

Up-and-down jumping forces the stool inside the intestines to slide towards the rectum with ease.

Doing jump rope exercises will make the intestines move vertically up and down. In this way, vertical pressure will also push the stool towards evacuation.

This exercise requires a little bit of effort, equipment, and obviously, a long sports rope.

If you find this exercise a bit challenging at first, you should master jogging first and then come back to this one.


How to do jump rope exercise to stimulate the bowel?

  • Take the handles in your palms.
  • Place the rope behind your back.
  • Now, rotate your hands from back to front.
  • Rotate the rope from behind and push forward.
  • Jump when the rope reaches your feet.
  • Repeat.

Start this exercise slowly until the hands synchronize with the jump. Do not worry if you fail for the first 20-30 times. It is normal.

The purpose of this exercise is to get the internals moving and to prepare for stool evacuation.


A simple example of jump rope exercise:

  • Jump slowly 10 times for warmup without a rope.
  • Jump 10 times slowly with the rope.
  • Take a break.
  • Jump 15 times quickly.
  • Take a break.

Repeat this exercise 3-4 times and try to jump as vertical as you can. After two series, you will start to feel the abdominal muscles working.

Also, you will feel the stool and the gas inside the intestine moving. Try to keep balance as much as you can when rotating the hands.

Try not to move too much in front or back and try to stay in the same place where you started.


Benefits of the jump rope exercise

It is excellent endurance training in the long-term because it puts all the muscles to work at the same time.

Also, it makes the stool inside the intestines move towards the rectum using vertical pressure and abdominal contraction.

This exercise creates adrenaline faster than any other type. Using adrenaline, you will be able to handle stress in the short-term.

You will be able to have a better blood flow and proper digestion in the long-term.


What do the experts say?

According to The US National Library of Medicine: Jump rope exercise is a whole-body movement (upper and lower body) that requires rhythm, coordination, agility, speed, and strength. [6]

According to CDC Healthy Schools: aside from being a great aerobic workout, jumpers of all ages can compete nationally in categories such as speed, freestyle, and double dutch. [7] [[back to top]



4. DEEP BREATHING

A girl is inhaling and exhaling air using indications and vertical arm movements.

Deep breathing is a great exercise to stimulate bowel movement because it focuses on the lower part of the abdomen and the pelvic floor muscles.

Ideally, you want to inhale air deep into the pelvic area. This thing makes the lungs expand, and the rib cage opens. Next, it is essential to exhale the air out of your lungs slowly and gently.

Filling the lungs with air will increase their volume, thus, moving the small intestine.

Also, you will be able to contract the pelvic floor muscles with every deep breath.

In this way, the intestines will contract and move. As a result, the stool inside the intestines will also move towards the rectum.


How to breathe to stimulate internal movement?

  • Place yourself on your feet straight.
  • Take a deep breath gently and fill the lungs.
  • Try to inhale the air into the pelvic area.
  • Keep the air inside for 5 seconds.
  • Exhale the air slowly.

Repeat the exercise slowly 20-30 times, and do not force the rectum. Do not rush the process.

Exercise one or two times a day.

Try to keep the air as low as possible. Ideally, you want to move the air as close to the pelvic area so the lungs will expand to the maximum.

It is essential to inhale and exhale slowly and gently. When you feel the air in the lower abdomen, near the thighs and the pelvic floor, then you are doing it right.


Benefits of deep breathing

  • It improves your breathing technique.
  • It contracts the pelvic floor muscles.
  • It contracts the abdominal muscles.
  • It brings more oxygen to the body.
  • It is easy to practice.

The more you practice, the better it will be. This technique is an excellent vocal workout for singers. It helps them to have a clear voice and a loud voice.

Also, for people with vocal damage, the use of this technique is beneficial for voice recovery. The secret to stimulating the bowel is to practice this exercise at least once every two days.


What do the experts say?

As stated by The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: Train yourself to reduce gut responses through relaxation, breathing exercises, or mediation techniques. [8]

On the authority of The US National Center for Biotechnology Information: Physical movements with breathing are emphasized at this kosha, breathing practices to expand lung capacity and loosening practices to stretch and relax the muscles and loosen the joints; [9] [back to top]



5. DEEP SQUATTING

A girl is practicing squatting exercises in three steps.

Squatting is in the pelvic floor muscle exercise category, and it is one of the best exercises for bowel stimulation.

The reason is that: it increases the anorectal angle to create a clear path for the stool inside the large intestine and rectum.

Also, it puts pressure on the upper abdomen so the stool will move with ease. Deep squatting prepares for stool evacuation because it is the natural way to defecate.


How to use deep squatting to help the bowel?

  • Position yourself on your feet straight.
  • Lower your body slowly.
  • Keep the abdomen straight.
  • Put your elbows on your knees.
  • Keep the arms between the knees.
  • Stay in this position for 5 breaths.
  • Come back to the initial position.

Repeat this exercise 10-15 times slowly. Try to keep a foot distance between the knees. Also, keep the knees higher than the hips.

Always keep the abdomen straight and do not curve your body. The purpose is to work-out the pelvic floor muscles and to increase the anorectal angle.

You can use any support to hold on to if you want to make this exercise easier. But remember to focus on the pelvic floor area like the sphincter and the rectum.


Example of squat training and posture

For better results, try to squat for more than 10 breaths.

Also, you can place the elbows on your knees. Now, extend with the arms the space between the knees.

In this way, you will stretch the hips and thighs, and the anorectal angle will increase even more.


Benefits of deep squatting

  • It increases the anorectal angle.
  • It makes defecation feel natural.
  • It prevents thigh/hip wrist damages.

Also, it helps bowel movement by making clear paths inside the intestines for the old stool to move.


What do the experts say?

According to The American Academy of Family Physicians: try bodyweight squats white watching TV or walking outside while making phone calls. Remember: Exercise has so many health benefits that any amount is better than none. [10] [back to top]



6. WIND-RELIEVING POSE

A girl is practicing the wind-relieving pose sitting with her back on a yoga mat.

The Wind-Relieving pose is a beginner yoga pose that anyone can practice without too much effort.

This yoga pose is extremely efficient because it is similar to deep squatting and can stimulate bowel movement with slow exercises.

The movement of the knees going to the chest increases the anorectal angle and puts the pelvic floor muscles to work.


How to practice the wind-relieving pose for abdominal stimulation?

  • Place your back on the floor mat.
  • Keep your body straight on the mat.
  • Pull your knees to your chest.
  • Bend your back slowly.
  • Place your arms over the legs.
  • Hold the knees with your arms.
  • Count to ten.
  • Release the legs slowly and repeat.

Repeat this exercise slowly ten times if you are a beginner.

If you are in good physical shape, you can practice this exercise 15-20 times.

But repeat it slowly and gently at first because you do not want to put too much pressure on your abdomen and intestines.

Also, you should feel the gas and the stool inside the intestines move towards the rectum to evacuate. When this thing happens, it is a clear sign that it will improve bowel movement.


Wind-relieving pose warm-up example:

  • Pull your knees together slowly.
  • Keep the knees with the arms for five seconds.
  • Release the legs slowly.
  • Keep your body straight on the mat.
  • Repeat this exercise 10 times.

As with any other warm-up exercise, it is essential to start slow and to prepare your body first.

The better you prepare the body, the better it will react whenever you create pressure and tension over the intestines.

If you suffer from a slow bowel movement, then you will need a little bit of stimulation and a pelvic floor workout.


What do the experts say?

According to The US National Institutes of Health: Yoga postures comprise simple body movements such as standing, sitting, forward and backbend, twist, inversion, and laying down in supine position. Various yogic postures and exercises have been shown to activate specific muscles. [11] [back to top]



7. CRUNCHES

A girl is doing crunches on a fitness mat using indications.

Crunches are one of the best exercises for bowel stimulation because they focus on the lower abdomen and the pelvic floor muscles.

These exercises have many variations, but all of them create pressure inside the intestines, and they force the stool to evacuate.

The role of crunches is to move the stool inside the intestine as much as possible using only body movement.

Because crunches are similar to the movement of the Wind-Relieving Pose, the anorectal angle will start to increase. Thus, making defecation easier after a workout.


How to use crunches as stimulation exercise?

  • Lie on the fitness mat with your back.
  • Keep your body straight on the mat.
  • Move your thighs perpendicular to the floor.
  • Keep your calf parallel with the floor.
  • Move your head towards the knees.
  • Bend your back doing so.
  • Come back to the initial posture.

Repeat this movement slowly ten times. And repeat it gently at first. Consider exercising for five series of ten movements.

If you are used to the abdominal workout, you can do 10-15 movements.

If you feel pain or irritation, this thing means that the intestines are full of stool, or maybe there is another problem inside.


Benefits of crunches

  • They work the entire abdomen.
  • They work the pelvic floor muscles.
  • They move the stool fast for evacuation.

The more you train, the better the belly fat will burn.

Also, you will prepare the abdomen to handle effort because the intestinal area is quite sensitive to intense movement.


What do the experts say?

According to The US National Library of Medicine: Whether you work out indoors at home or outdoors, there are many exercises you can do that use your own body weight to help you tone muscle. These include Lunges, Squats, Push-ups, Crunches, Jumping jacks, Leg or arm raises. [12] [back to top]



8. KEEP IN MIND

One of the most common causes of constipation is the lack of physical exercise. Inactivity causes constipation in the long-term for everyone.

Regular exercise puts the muscles to work and improves blood flow. Also, it improves bowel movement by stimulating motility with muscle contractions and body movement.

Aerobic or cardio exercises make the heart rate increase the blood flow. Also, they will expand the lungs and open the rib cage.

The exercises presented in the previous chapters help stimulate the natural squeezing of the muscles inside the abdomen and the pelvic floor.


When is the best time to exercise?

The best time to do exercises is two hours after you had a meal that contains carbohydrates.

If you eat a meal that contains meat, you have to wait for at least three hours until you can do any exercise at all.

Digestion requires blood. Therefore, you have to give time to the internals and the small intestine to assimilate the food.

The stomach, the liver, the pancreas, and the small intestines need blood and oxygen. The more blood you have in the Gastro-Intestinal tract, the better digestion will be.

And the slower the physical activity will become because the muscles and tissues required blood and oxygen.


When is the time to visit a doctor?

If you feel discomfort or pain in the abdomen often, then you should visit a doctor.

If you get very dehydrated after a workout, then this thing means you have to find out what causes this symptom. If you often feel bloating, gas, and severe constipation after a meal, you should visit a doctor.

If you want to keep your digestive tract healthy in the long-term, you should have some urine, blood, and stool tests.

According to The American College of Gastroenterology: nerve signals or chemicals secreted by the gut or brain, may cause the gut to be more sensitive to triggers that normally do not cause significant pain (such as stretching or gas bloating). [13] [back to top]



9. SUMMARY

All of these exercises to stimulate bowel movement are suitable for everyone.

The following types are easy to practice, and they require little effort like walking, jogging, deep breathing, and deep squatting.

If you want to have better results and you are in excellent physical shape, then the following ones are perfect for you: jump rope exercises, wind-relieving pose, and crunches. [back to top]



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About the author

My name is Sebastian D., and I am the senior editor of constipationguide.com. With the help of my mentor, Dr. Horia Marculescu, I decided to create a practical guide to constipation relief.. read more



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