There are some body functions that are so important for your daily routine and health, that they could make or break your day depending on how they go. A regular, healthy bowel habit is one of them.

However, there is no hard-and-fast rule for what a normal bowel movement is. It varies from person to person and could range from a few times a day to few times a week.

Two unhealthy patterns in bowel movements can be constipation or diarrhoea. Having less than three movements per week is generally considered constipation, while the occurrence of three or more loose and watery stools per day is considered diarrhoea. Hence, you should watch out for any change in pattern from your regular bowel movements. 

Here are 5 lifestyle choices you can adopt to ensure that you have healthy and regular bowel movements. 

Lifestyle Tips For Healthy Bowel Movements

1. Eat all of your meals at a predictable time each day. The bowel functions best when food is introduced at the same regular intervals into the body. 

Having regular meal timings can help create a predictable schedule of bowel movements as well. 

2. Maintain a high fibre diet. Eat foods that include both soluble and insoluble fibre. 

A diet that includes whole wheat, oats, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables can add bulk to your stool and help the waste move faster through your digestive system.

However, increase the fibre amount in your diet slowly, else you could end up being constipated.  

3. Add probiotics and prebiotics to your meals. Probiotics are foods with live bacteria beneficial for your gut, which include yoghurt, kimchi (a Korean dish that is a combination of vegetables, garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, salt, and fish sauce), and kefir (a fermented drink, traditionally made using cow's or goat's milk). 

Prebiotic foods such as garlic, onions, and bananas contain compounds promoting the growth or activity of probiotics. 

Probiotics and prebiotics stimulate the growth of gut bacteria and encourage regular bowel movements.

4. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and decaffeinated fluids to keep yourself well-hydrated. Water is one of the major components of poop and drinking more water can make your bowel movements easier to pass.

Avoid caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee, as they could draw out water from your stools and make it harder to poop.  

5. Exercise regularly. Some form of physical activity every day can stimulate muscles in the lower part of your digestive system and may encourage bowel movements. 

Exercise also helps prevent constipation by reducing the time it takes for food to move through the large intestine.

If you notice unusual patterns in your bowel movements that do not resolve with these lifestyle changes, consult a doctor about your condition. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.