With the holidays coming up, many of us will be travelling to be with our family and friends. This travelling can cause constipation. Why? Because our daily routine gets disrupted, we eat different types of food, including more junk and processed foods which are very low in fibre, drink less water (and more alcohol!), and don’t exercise. All of this takes a toll on our digestive system and this can disrupt our bathroom schedule. It can be embarrassing to talk about, but it’s something we’ve all experienced. Today’s post will give you some handy tips for how to prevent and treat constipation so that you can get on with enjoying your break.
It’s always important to drink enough water, but it can be difficult to get your daily H2O quota when you’re away from home. Make a refillable water bottle one of your packing essentials and remember that most restaurants and bars are happy to top it up for free. Dehydration is the leading cause of constipation, so this really is one of the most important good habits.
Warm drinks help you reach your daily water quota and are kind to the digestive tract. Choose warm water with lemon, herbal tea, or coffee. Caffeinated drinks also stimulate the bowels and can help give them the kickstart they need. But don’t go too crazy on caffeine either! It might disrupt your sleep!
Pay close attention to your diet and resist the urge for salty snacks as these can make the problem worse. High fibre foods, like prunes, add bulk and can keep you regular. Carry high fibre snacks around with you and nibble on them throughout the day. Try to incorporate probiotic foods too, such as natural yogurt or kefir. These promote the growth of the gut’s good bacteria.
Make sure to exercise too. While you might not have an opportunity to hit the gym, there are other forms of physical activity you can do. A brisk walk stimulates your digestive system and is particularly good after a big meal. Even if you can only pace an airport lounge, doing something is better than sitting still all day.
If You’re Constipated
If you feel blocked up, massage your abdominal area using clockwise motions. Pay particular attention to the left-hand side as this can be a traffic jam zone – if you know what we mean! Avoid straining when you use the toilet because this can cause damage. To encourage an easier movement, sit with your feet raised off the ground as this helps your muscles to relax. Try propping them on top of a low stool like a portable ‘Squatty Potty’ (look on Amazon) or freestyle using a backpack.
And finally, avoid using laxatives as much as possible because they can be harsh on the body and disrupt its natural balance. If you’re really desperate, opt for one that contains senna as this will be a more gentle reliever.