ZocdocAnswersDoes exercise lessen constipation?

Question

Does exercise lessen constipation?

I feel like when I used to exercise more, my bowel movements were much more regular. Could that be true, or was it just that I was eating differently then? If it is true, then what kinds of exercise are best for staying regular? Are there kinds of exercise that are bad for your digestion?

Answer

Exercise can have many beneficial effects upon the body. Keeping an active lifestyle is important because it helps keep your weight down, improves mood, and improves quality of life. Discuss these questions with your primary care doctor because he or she will be able to discuss these concerns with your further. If you feel that exercise has helped improve your bowel movements, consider restarting an exercise regimen because it is likely that this has helped lessen your symptoms of constipation. Also, a healthy diet is essential to keeping your bowel movements regular. Diets rich in leafy green vegetables, fruits and vegetables, and avoiding meat products are all good ways to improve your overall GI health. Staying hydrated while you exercise and afterwards are also important to keep your bowel movements regular. In terms of exercises, there are unlikely to be any exercises that would be bad for digestion and it is likely that most exercises will improve your constipation, or at least, not worsen it to any degree. Again, it is best that you be evaluated by your primary care doctor who will be able to best assess the appropriate steps to help treat your constipation.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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