Constipation can be really bothersome to deal with. We don’t realize how much we take our digestive system for granted until it stops functioning efficiently.
If you’ve been struggling with constipation, you are not alone. Around 4 million Americans deal with constipation regularly. But the good news is, there are different methods you can find on the internet that can help you with constipation.
A lesser-known way to ease constipation is using exercise balls. Surprisingly enough, exercise balls not only help with your posture but you can also use them to do various exercises such as bouncing and rolls that can help you with constipation.
In this article, we will explore the different exercises that are great for your constipation problem. Whether you are pregnant or have a chronic problem, we have put together exercises that can ease your problem.
Table of Contents
Can An Exercise Ball Help With Constipation?
You wouldn’t think so, but an exercise ball is quite effective in helping with constipation.
Difficulty in bowel movements is the most obvious sign of constipation. And when you think of the causes, they can be varied. You can trace them based on any sudden changes in food intake or a major lifestyle change. To deal with this, many people prefer to attempt at-home remedies first before consulting a doctor since constipation is usually not serious. One such effective remedy is exercise.
Yoga, movement exercises, and exercise balls have been used time and again for constipation relief. And exercise balls are commonly used for various reasons, be it weight loss or health-related issues.
The reason why exercise balls are frequently used to deal with constipation is that they have a natural curve and elasticity which can provide some comfort to an ailing stomach. However, it is also important to know how to use an exercise ball effectively without causing additional harm.
What is the Best Exercise to Relieve Constipation?
If you’re at a loss regarding using an exercise ball to relieve constipation, here are 3 exercises with fitness balls that will help you get rid of the common symptoms accompanying constipation, including bloating and stomach discomfort.
Exercise 1: Bouncing
Bouncing is a method commonly used by pregnant women to induce birth. However, it is also famous among the mom-to-be circles who are often constipated due to hormonal changes or the fetus compressing their digestive tracts during pregnancy.
There is a reason why bouncing is at the top of this list. When you bounce on an exercise ball, you incorporate the muscles in your abdomen that are connected to your pelvis. To stabilize on an exercise ball, you intuitively suck in your stomach slightly and contract the muscles to do the job. This exercise not only offers relief but also aids digestion.
Following are steps to bounce with an exercise ball.
Step 1: Place the exercise ball in a flat spot.
Step 2: Carefully sit down on it while maintaining balance.
Step 3: Keep your spine straight and shoulders back.
Step 4: Widen your knees and ensure your feet are firmly placed on the ground.
Step 5: Gently bounce on the ball, focusing on your lower abs.
You can also roll the ball side to side using your pelvis.
If you are bored, do the exercise in front of the TV or laptop.
Exercise 2: Abdominal Massage
The name is pretty self-explanatory. While you can massage your abdomen with your hands, exercise balls make for great massagers.
Here’s how you can use them.
Step 1: Place the ball on even ground.
Step 2: Lay down with your stomach and partial hip on the center of the ball.
Step 3: Relax your entire body. If you feel some tension in any part of your body, shift your attention to that spot and take a few deep breaths as you relax the muscles.
Step 4: Take slow deep breaths, in and out.
Step 5: Move the ball with your stomach in the semi-circular motion.
Step 6: Gradually switch to circular motions in both directions.
Step 7: You can also roll from side to side.
Step 8: Move the ball from your lower abdomen to just below your ribs.
All the movements should be repeated. Do this for 10-20 minutes to get the desired effect.
Remember to let your body go during this exercise. It should not feel strenuous in any way.
This exercise should encourage your bowel movement and make you feel better, especially if you are experiencing some bloating.
If your body feels tense while performing this exercise and relaxing seems impossible, you may be stressed. And stress is one of the common reasons for constipation.
Finding the root problem may be the best fix if your constipation is not chronic or caused by pregnancy.
Exercise 3: Wide Asian Squat
In many Asian countries, toilets are on the floor unlike the chair-like commode in the West. Because of this unique design , you have to squat over them in a specific way to use them. This is because squatting is known to help with your bowel movement.
The exercise variation from the Asian squat is a great way to encourage your bowels. When you squat, your rectum is not pinched and your colon becomes straight, which might finally alleviate your bowel.
Most people would not be in the habit of squatting this way, so using an exercise ball may give you the support you need along with a challenge of stability.
Follow the steps below to do this exercise.
Step 1: Stand behind your exercise ball.
Step 2: Put your hands on top of the ball, slightly off the middle.
Step 3: Open up your hips, focus on your abdomen, and squat down.
Step 4: Either move up on your toes or put your heels down.
Step 5: Shift your hands to touch each other while still on the ball.
Step 6: Rest your head on the ball and relax.
Step 7: Relax your rectum.
If you do not plan to use an exercise ball, skip steps 1, 5, and 6.
You can also squat on seat-toilets for your bowel movements to make the already-tough process a bit smoother. There are squat tools available to aid the same.
Constipation may occur due to lack of adequate fluids, roughage, or even mental issues. With most people sitting for long hours throughout the day, bad posture is an expected side effect. And bad posture can lead to constipation! There are just way too many causes.
To fix this, whether you want to do the Asian squat, massage, bounce, or all three of them is up to you. Stick to a method that works best for you. We hope you found our post useful and can take advantage of exercise balls to help you with constipation problems.