This is going to sound very silly, and I’m really going to have to try and avoid tasteless jokes throughout, but I think we need to talk about poo.
Yes, you and mommy had this discussion at about two or three years old. But I’m willing to bet you focused more on not soiling your pants and quite a bit less on how to make sure that your poop is quality, regular and a product of a body properly doing its job.
So let’s get down to the business of making a quality number 2!
First, what gets you producing quality poops? As you no doubt realize, the process starts well before you sit down on the throne, but rather when you pick the food you will eat.
1. Eat healthy, quality poop-inducing foods. First of all, you almost can’t overdo leafy greens. They’re high in fiber (a good poop necessity) and their high amount of micronutrients keeps your body working smoothly in general.
Don’t scrimp on good fats. Eat plenty of oil, butter, avacados, olives, etc.
Good protein is good for muscles, including the ones in your bowels. Get a decent amount of grass-fed beef, organic dairy, wild caught fish and nuts.
2. Drink lots and lots of water. While technically possible, it’s highly unlikely you’re ever going to drink too much water so the more, the better. What does that have to do with poop? Water is the best lubricant in the body. It will keep things moving through and out with less friction, and thus less difficulty. To know if you’re drinking enough water, take your body weight, cut that number in half and drink that amount of water in ounces every day.
3. Get some exercise. Get out there; get your heart pumping. It’s good advice one way or another, but in terms of poop, it helps quite a bit. General movement stimulates our bodies’ many processes. It keeps everything in our bowels moving. Furthermore, it helps with constipation by moving water and waste through your large intestine more quickly and stimulating contractions in your bowels.
So what about the act of actual pooping? It’s true, there are ways to do it better. And here are a couple of tips:
1. Make it a routine. So much of success in life boils down to cultivating good habits. This includes bowel movements. Mornings are usually a good time, but maybe after lunch or before bed is what works for you. More than likely, your body will tell you. The point is, make it a little part of your day. Get yourself a magazine (or for most of us, it’ll be a smartphone honestly) and don’t worry about all of life’s little trials and tribulations. It’s pooping time, and you get to enjoy it.
2. Position yourself properly. This is perhaps where most people are going to have that “What???” moment. For all of our lives, we’ve just sat on the toilet and done our business, never even considering there could be a better way. Watch this video for a hilarious demonstration (as well as an ad for a product to help you position yourself for a proper poop).
The situation is this: Our bowels are supported by a muscle called the puborectalis muscle. It’s connected to our pelvis and wraps around the lower part of our large intestine so as to keep it in place. When you sit with your legs at a (more or less) 90 degree angle from your torso, the puborectalis muscle is tightened around the large intestine, creating a kink and making it difficult for your poops to make that last little stretch to the toilet bowl.
It’s much better to have a smaller angle between your legs and torso, closer to 50 or 60 degrees. Imagine hugging your knees—but not quite that extreme. To remedy this, you can lean over as you poop, or you can elevate your legs somehow. There are products (the video linked above is an example) that conveniently help you sit properly on your toilet as you poop.
There’s almost nothing more satisfying than a good poo, one that you don’t have to work too hard for and feels as if everything that was supposed to leave your body is now gone. To think, you might not really even know how glorious that feeling can be.
So do yourself a favor, live a life that promotes good pooping and you’ll also be living a life that promotes general health and well-being.