When it comes to improving digestion and fixing constipation, the conversation typically revolves around food, supplements and functional medicine. Unfortunately, this is only part of the conversation. There are so many other factors that can help us achieve perfect poops.
Things like play, laughing and movement…
These 3 are underrated and underappreciated…
Which is why I invited my friends Chad and Brenda to share some of their insights. They focus on movement and how it impacts our overall health – including digestion.
The boring truth is sometimes if you can’t poop then going for a walk or trying the exercises below might be the only thing you need to stimulate a bowel movement.
I’m really excited to begin trying some of their ideas in the video below. If you try them, please post in the comments what you are noticing and we’ll all learn together.
[Enter Chad and Brenda]
Movement is Absolutely Essential in Life
It’s what allows us to move from A to B, express the fullness of our physiology and keep our bodies healthy.
In the modern world, humans are largely immobile and we’ve lost our relationship with our natural ways of moving.
We’ve become caged in, much like that of a captive animal. No longer are we out in fields hunting, gathering or farming… these days most of us are stuck behind a desk, hunched over our computers and glued to our computer screens.
This entrapment comes at a cost. Research continues to pile up and links CHRONIC SITTING to many modern diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, and type II diabetes.
It’s also wreaking havoc on our postures! Look around and you’ll quickly notice forward heads, rounded shoulders and hunched spines. The more we look down towards our computers and phones, the worse this problem seems to get.
Chronic sitting in these poor postures can also have a drastic effect on other bodily functions such as our digestion. With this forward head posture, our upper traps get tight, shoulders round, our rib cage gets compressed and our diaphragm becomes restricted. We no longer breathe efficiently with the full expansion of the belly and diaphragm. Lack of movement lends itself to stagnation and constipation.
Also, we are frequently over-stimulated and chronically stressed, which puts our bodies in a sympathetic state (fight or flight mode) and keeps us from being in a parasympathetic state (rest and digest mode). The combination of poor postures, impaired breathing, lack of movement/blood flow and stress can negatively affect digestion.
We’ve Lost Our Natural Ways of Moving
As a culture, we are becoming more and more aware that many of the problems we’re facing are direct result of the foods we’ve been eating. People are moving away from processed and refined foods, toxic fats and high levels of sugar and noticing significant improvements in their energy, mood and digestion.
But tackling the food issue will only get us so far. We have to consider movement and other lifestyle factors as part of the protocol for achieving optimal wellness.
This is specifically the case when it comes to digestion. There are some incredibly powerful things you can do in order to optimize the breakdown of the food you eat, relieve constipation and improve your immune system.
We show you some examples in this video:
These movements are just a few of the solutions we incorporate in The Sitting Solution. As Doctors of Physical Therapy, we’ve worked with thousands of patients in chronic pain and we firmly believe that bringing wellness and activity around the workspace is essential to our health.
Our Recommendation is Simple But Highly Effective!
Get up and move in specific and intentional directions every 30-45 minutes for a period of 2-4 minutes.
This is your get out of jail free pass, with regards to the sitting problem. Our goal is to help you get out of pain, restore your posture and return to your natural ways of moving.
You can learn more about how you can incorporate more effective and intentional movement around your workspace here.
Move well. Move often.
Chad Walding DPT, OPEX L-1, RKC
Brenda Walding DPT, FDN