Healthy Tips & Adivce
Some healthy advice
This section examines three key ways of avoiding painful bowel movements: physical exercise, a balanced diet and a positive attitude to the needs of your body. Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet and an understanding of your body's individual needs is an effective way to help keep your body functioning well and to help avoid painful bowel movements.
Regular exercise: a key to a healthy digestive system
It's a well-known fact that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. So, it isn't surprising that regular exercise is a very effective way of helping our digestive system to stay healthy too.
Exercise is important during all stages of one's life - from childhood, into adulthood and throughout later life. We've prepared some information about exercises that can help encourage a healthy digestive system.
You should try to ensure that regular exercise is part of your lifestyle. There are many reasons why we don't exercise enough. Many people find that they are just too busy to take the time to exercise. Some individuals find conventional exercise is just plain boring, and some may be intimidated by the expectations of competitive sports.
The benefits of exercise, however, can be enormous, especially for those who suffer from constipation. The secret to a successful exercise plan is simple: it should be something you enjoy doing, and something you can do regularly. It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the lift every day, or as involved as joining your local fitness centre. Exercise that especially strengthens the abdominal muscles can be particularly helpful in increasing digestive health. These include:
- tai chi and other gentle martial arts
Healthy food for a healthy digestion
This section looks at the important role of diet for a healthy digestion. A healthy, balanced diet is an essential part of a healthy digestion. That means having a diverse range of foods, drinking plenty of water, eating more fibre-rich foods and eating meals at regular times so that you are able to relax whilst enjoying your food. Remember, however, that our digestive system is very sensitive: sudden changes in diet can actually cause digestive problems. The intestines need time to adapt to change in diet, so always introduce changes slowly and gradually over a period of weeks.
Fibre helps our digestive system work efficiently. It is not absorbed into the body during digestion; instead, it passes all the way through the digestive tract, and is expelled when we defecate. Fibre helps keep the contents of the colon soft, and makes it easier for the muscles of the colon to push the contents along.
Waterter essential to good health
Water is not just a liquid that we drink when we are thirsty. It is a major component of our bodies and plays a role in nearly every bodily function. Water makes up 80 percent of our blood, 75 percent of our brain and muscles, and from 55 to 75 percent of our body weight. Even our bones contain water.
Water carries out very important functions in our body. If we do not drink enough water, our bodies can respond by extracting more water from the colon, drying up the contents and making bowel movements more infrequent and difficult.
More tips for good nutrition
This final section talks about how, in addition to eating plenty of fibre-rich foods and drinking lots of water, you can help your digestive system stay healthy by eating a balanced diet. Below are some tips for balancing your diet. Remember: changes to your diet should be made gradually. Sudden changes can upset your body's digestive process.
Meat, fish and tofu are all sources of protein. Be sure to get enough protein, but don't go overboard. It's a misconception that the more protein in a diet, the better. Too much protein may slow your digestion. Too little, on the other hand, can lead to fatigue or lack of resistance to infection.
Red meat, eggs, nuts, milk and milk products are the main sources of saturated fats in most people's diets - try to keep them to a minimum. You can reduce your intake of saturated fats by substituting some of the red meat in your diet with fish, poultry, beans and pulses. These foods are much lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which has been associated with heart disease.
Foods like rice, potatoes, pasta and noodles give our bodies energy and are good sources of carbohydrates. White sugar is also a carbohydrate, but should be kept to a minimum. If you crave something sweet, try satisfying your taste buds with a piece of fruit. Fruit contains natural sugar but also contributes fibre and other nutrients to your diet.
Vitamins and minerals
Don't think that you can eat an unbalanced diet and "catch up" on your vitamins and minerals by taking just a multivitamin/multimineral supplement. Eating healthy food that meets all your nutritional needs naturally is the most important aspect of a balanced diet. However under certain conditions the need for vitamins and minerals may not be sufficiently covered by the daily food intake. In such cases it is worthwhile - or even necessary - to consider the use of extra vitamins and minerals - particularly so in the elderly.