Constipation – Are You Full Of It?
The title of this blog post is not one that you’ll see on other fitness related websites.
But then again, if this isn’t your first “HFF Rodeo”, you’ve certainly come to expect more than just a re-hash of all the same stuff you see in the fitness mainstream magazines and blogs month after month.
So when I ask, “Are you full of crap?”, I mean it quite literally.
Your next question might well be “How does this have anything to do with my health and fitness?”
Glad you asked!
Some experts predict that up to 20% of the US population (some 63 million people!) suffers from chronic constipation. And in the US alone, laxative sales reach upwards of 1.5 Million dollars A DAY!
So why aren’t we hearing about this in the news, like we do about obesity and diabetes?
I suspect that one reason is that we are a rather prude nation, and it’s “embarrassing” for us to discuss elements of how our human bodies naturally function.
Please get over it, people 🙂
But it’s also not so obvious as obesity or diabetes. There are prescription laxatives, but there’s also dozens of over-the-counter laxatives in any drug store. Somehow conditions with medications you can get without a prescription seem less hazardous to our health.
And that’s a shame, because even if you are unaware of your constipation (because you’ve had it for so long, that it’s become the “norm”), it can still “reek” havoc on your health.
Dr. Bernard Jensen is credited with the famous quote “Death begins in the colon”. His extensive studies concluded that constipation actually poisons you from the inside.
Furthermore, the myriad of symptoms that can be caused or exacerbated by chronic constipation are often attributed to other factors. Paul Chek provides this partial list of symptoms:
- Gastrointestinal Upset
- Acne, Rashes, and other Skin Issues
- Low Back Pain
- Neck & Upper Back Pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Ear, Nose & Throat Issues
- Cardiac Irregularities
When you are constipated, your organs are overloaded and need more blood and energy from your body. The body will always give preferential attention to organs, even if it means temporarily sacrificing the function of your muscles.
How do you know if you are full of crap?
The HFF general guideline is one meal in = one meal out.
Yes, I am saying that you could be hitting the porcelain throne 3 time a day. Or you could make 1 or 2 extra large deposits, if you want to be more efficient with your time.
The bottom line is that you should be having at least one bowel movement per day, and feel as though you had complete elimination.
Mainstream medical professionals will often tell you that less than three BMs a week is what officially constitutes constipation. I don’t know about you, but sounds like they are definitely full of crap!
1) Drink 50% of your bodyweight in ounces of pure water a day.
2) Eat a high fiber diet. 24-40 grams a day is a general recommendation. But be sure to add fiber into your diet slowly, so your body can adjust.
3) Exercise – moving your body moves your bowels.
4) Reduce stress levels. When you are stressed, your sympathetic nervous system is activated, which “tenses up” your internal processes, and can lead to constipation.
5) Avoid Certain Foods – this can vary somewhat from person to person, but the most notorious constipating foods are pastries, cheese, ice cream, milk, highly processed foods and animal fats from non-organic sources.
6) SQUATTING – not as an exercise, but actually on the commode, when you are doing your business! The ideal posture for complete elimination is squatting with your knees up above your waist. Now I know that it sounds like a tough position to get into, that’s why I want to make you aware of a simple tool we (and several of our clients) have been using in the past few years – The Squatty Potty.
The Squatty Potty, along with the other 5 suggestions above, will go a long way to making sure you’re not full of it.
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