Managing Constipation Over The Holidays – Tips From a Pelvic Floor PT 

The holiday season can be a time for family, celebrations, and good food. It can also be a time for constipation. Between travel, big meals, and a change in routine, your gastrointestinal system can get seriously slowed down. Check out these tips to keep everything moving this holiday season. 

Keep Hydrated 

Dehydration can happen due to the dry air on planes, reduced water intake due to the busyness of travel, or increase in alcohol consumption at your holiday gatherings. Water in our gut and colon keeps things moving through the system, which keeps you regular. Hydration also keeps stool softer so that you don’t have to strain when you go. 

Keep Moving 

Physical activity is great for your whole body, but it also helps keep your gut moving. Our normal exercise routines often fall by the wayside when we travel or have time off from work, but maintaining some exercise will keep your gut from slowing down. Give your digestion a jump start by taking regular walks and getting in any other workouts you can. It doesn’t need to be strenuous, just get out and move! 

Balance Your Meals 

We all love to have a big celebratory meal, but starving yourself until dinner and then overeating is hard on your digestive system. Even if you’re having a big meal later, try to have some regular healthy snacks or small meals throughout the day to keep your system moving. Eating and drinking generates movement of food through the gut, so having something every few hours spurs more gut motility and helps prevent a backup. 

DIY a Squatty Potty 

The best position to poop in resembles a squat, with knees a little higher than your hips. At home you may have a Squatty Potty, or any small stool that you can place under your feet while sitting on the toilet. When you travel, you can get creative on how to make your own. A small trash can, step stool, or small box could all work as something to put your feet up on. Getting into this position to poop will help relax your pelvic floor and ease any straining. For more information on how positioning matters for pooping, see our previous post on the topic:

Have a happy (and regular) holiday season! 

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