Share on Facebook

Constipated? 7 Ways to Poop Better Tomorrow

If you're among the nearly 19 percent of Americans who tends to get constipated, these simple constipation remedies can get things moving again.

toilet foot stoolsquatty-potty

Try a toilet stool

Yes. That’s right, a stool for potty time. Before the shiny porcelain toilet there was only a hole in the ground plus the act of squatting. A toilet stool, which you can find at most home goods stores like Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond, simulates the act of squatting for an effective constipation treatment. And yes, they really do work! A 2019 study in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found the use of a toilet stool helped participants have more satisfying bowel movements, reduced straining and spent less time on the toilet.

Get The Healthy @Reader’s Digest newsletter

people running on treadmills in a gymistock/skynesher

Get moving

Everyone knows that exercise helps the body perform optimally. But you might not realize that walking in the morning can also decrease symptoms of depression—and there’s a strong link between depression and chronic constipation, according to a 2019 study. Just a simple 10- to 20-minute walk outside gives your brain fresh air, light, and movement—all of which can decrease your psychological symptoms and serve as a constipation treatment.

Can Constipation Really Cause Lower Back Pain?

pills in pill organizeristock/emiliozv

Pop a probiotic

Take a stroll down an aisle of CVS or Walgreens, and you will see 10 if not 20 brands of probiotic capsules. So, what’s all the hype? According to Harvard Health, daily probiotic use may help those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, which contributes to constipation. Think of it as an ultra-concentrated dose of yogurt, full of good bacteria ready to do good work in your gut.

What Causes Constipation? 13 Factors You Shouldn’t Ignore

vitamin capsules on tableistock/smailciydem

Try a magnesium supplement

How could something as little as a vitamin help you go poop? Well, not only is this mineral great for your bones, but it also works wonders on your digestive system as a constipation treatment. According to Healthline, magnesium citrate relaxes your bowels and pulls water into your intestine, making it easier for stool to pass. Other common vitamins that help you poop include vitamin C, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, and vitamin B1. Here are some signs that you are not getting enough vitamin B12 in your system.

potato chips in bowlistock/Pavlo_K

Watch the simple carbs

Do you ever wonder how a party-size bag of chips affects your digestive system? Well, for one thing, it wreaks havoc on your bowel movements the next day. As a more effective constipation treatment, instead try adding vegetables, complex grains and “good” fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated—to your diet. According to WebMD, the good fats in olive oil help coat the intestine, making it easier for food to move through.

21 Amazing Health and Beauty Benefits of Olive Oil

woman working on a laptop computeristock/vgajic

Stand more

You may have a desk job, but that does not mean you have to sit for 12 hours. Try using a standing desk (or even a standing elliptical!). Your digestive system will thank you by behaving better. In fact, according to Smithsonian, standing up at your day job reduces your risk of obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other metabolic problems.

I Exercised With an Under-Desk Treadmill—Here Are My Honest Thoughts

glass of lemon water with iceistock/_vgajic_bhofa

Drink lemon water in the morning

Squeezing fresh lemon juice in a glass of cold water is a tried-and-true method to fight bowel backup. The cold water and the citrus of the lemon both work to jump-start your digestive system and treat constipation. Drink this concoction twice a day, and you will feel traffic moving again along the highways of your GI system. You can reap extra benefits from drinking it hot, too.

For more wellness updates, follow The Healthy on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Keep reading:

Miranda Manier
Miranda is the Associate Editor for TheHealthy.com and The Healthy section of Reader's Digest magazine. Previously, Miranda was a producer at WNIT, the PBS affiliate in South Bend, Indiana; and the producer in residence for Minneapolis TV news KARE 11, where she won an Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Award for producing gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial. Miranda also interned at Chicago’s PBS station, WTTW, and worked as the managing editor at the Columbia Chronicle at Columbia College. Outside of work, Miranda enjoys acting, board games, and trying her hand at a good vegan dessert recipe. She also loves talking about TV—so tell her what you’re watching!