Once again my daughter was writhing in agony. Her face was bright red
and her usually happy face was contorted into a grimace. She hadn't had a bowel
4 days. This type of terrible constipation
occurred on a regular clip for her, sometimes as often as several times per
I was baffled about what to do. She ate a vegan diet. She tried to stay hydrated. We did research and outside of harsh laxatives, the answer seemed elusive.
“I know it seems ridiculous for me to be acting so upset about poop but I am really suffering, Mom. I have cramps so bad and it feels like it's going to come out but it just won't.” I felt so helpless but was determined to find something that would work. I wasn't ever going to watch her have this terrible experience again.
My mom happened to
call while all of this was going on. “I have a friend who had the same exact
type of constipation,” she stated. “Her doctor had read a few science articles
about walking and how it helps, you know, to get things moving. He advised her
to try it. She started walking every day and she said that she hasn't had that
Walking seemed to be a great answer. My daughter wouldn't have to use any harsh medications or eat anything weird. It was also something she could start right away. We lived in a warm climate so she was good to go.
I decided to look up articles about walking and how it can improve bodily functions like pooping in order to encourage her. She loved walking but maybe with added the added incentive of easy pooping she would walk on a regular schedule.
The first article I came across was in Prevention. They reported that gastric mobility expert, Tara Aalaichamy, stated that “a regular walking routine can greatly improve gastric mobility.” Apparently when a person is going to undergo abdominal surgery, “One of the first things an abdominal surgery patient is required to do is to walk because it utilizes core and abdominal muscles, encouraging muscles in our GI system.”
Next I read an article from the National Institute on Aging (even though my daughter was a young adult) that for constipation treatment it is, “important to go on walks and make it a part of everyday life.”
The National Institute of Health recommended walking for in their advice for treatment of
constipation. All of
the websites I visited recommended at least some form of exercise for
constipation so I knew I was on the right track. I knew she loved walking and
wasn't fond of other forms of exercise so this seemed to be an easy sell.
The next day I talked to my daughter about her embarking on a walking regimen. We lived on a peninsula and the whole neighborhood was a giant loop she could walk around. We also lived a 3-minute walk to the beach so on really nice days, she could walk there.
“I'll do anything to be able to live like a normal person,” she stated, “If walking regularly helps, what do I have to lose? Nothing because I will still be getting in shape and walking makes me feel great.”
So began my daughter's walking routine. She decided to walk around our neighborhood for 30 minutes each day and if weather permitted, an even longer walk on the beach.
The first day for her walking was great, but no poop. “I won't be discouraged, I'll walk again tomorrow and the next day because I really do think this will help me,” she stated. It did help because after walking for 30 minutes the next day, she had a normal bowel movement. And again the next day. And the next.
“I feel great just from walking each day but the walking has made me regular and that is a real plus,” she reports. I’m just happy that I don’t have to watch my daughter suffer anymore. Walking for just 30 minutes a day ended her constipation and gave me peace of mind.
If you are eating right and drinking plenty of water but are still experiencing constipation, give walking a try. You may end up being more regular!
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