Suffering from constipation? Want some exercises which are easy to incorporate into your busy life to help with this?
Charlene Hutsebaut, a well-known and experienced health and fitness personal trainer and pilates instructor, shows us a 5 minute exercise routine to help as stay more regular. Watch the video and read her explanation as to why certain exercises can help with this issue so many of us suffer from.
As a personal trainer and wellness expert I often have people asking me how to ease constipation. I always suggest they explore any medical conditions they may have with their GP first and if all is clear then we add in movements to aid in the process. Of course I prompt them to be getting enough fibre in their eating plans as well. A simple but sometimes forgotten tip is to wait 1-3 hours after a meal to be active so that the digestive process has had time to work. When you do start exercising the blood flow can go to the heart and muscles and not distract from the gut. Moderate exercise for 20 minutes is said to stimulate your bowels (American Pregnancy Association). Try repetitive cardiovascular activities such as walking, swimming or cycling.
I made this video with all of you in mind. Ease through it one to three times depending on your fitness levels and time available. With every move be sure to breathe. Types of exercises that specifically help you move your hips and abdomen are brilliant to target the intestines and bowels. The superficial (closer to the skin surface) muscles act as a natural massage for the internal organs lying underneath.
- The twisting moves (seated twist and saw) are particularly effective for this having a 'wringing out' nature to them.
- Squats are an excellent overall move for the leg, hip and core unit muscles. The flexing at the front of the hips as you lower into the squat may help stimulate the bowels to move.
- The roll down from standing aids in direct abdominal movement as you peel over and then return to an open tall posture to make space around the abdomen.
It is also vital that we deal with stress in our lives so our bodies can function optimally. The video here hits both these marks for you. These moves are done at an even mindful pace to help you focus on easing any strain. Stress can be a factor in constipation so dealing with your negative life or work stresses can help to become regular again. Choosing exercises that are mindful, grounded and moderate is essential to keeping the two nervous systems balanced. Too much regular vigorous exercise while stressed can over stimulate your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and exacerbate the problem. Our bodies want to be on a nice middle ground where our two nervous systems are able to balance each other out. So when one is needed such as the sympathetic NS during times of stress it can work efficiently but is then pulled back to the centre ground by the parasympathetic (calming) NS. It is a constant evening out. I once read someone saying there isn’t a true balance to our lives. They have a point but the when it comes to our nervous systems we want them both to work to keep the other in check. In my mind we then each have our own ideal balance where we feel good.
I have ended the sequence with an opportunity to destress by sitting and breathing while holding in an open posture. Feel free to repeat the video 2-3 times and once finished use this sitting breath time to relax for anywhere from 2-30 minutes. Just sit, breathe, feel your body. You don’t have to be “into” meditation to benefit from keeping your body still and just being in the moment. Like any exercise programme, you will want to use it regularly to feel the benefits. 2- 3 times per week alongside any of your other activities will help.
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Charlene’s training is a cutting edge fusion of pilates foundations, positive mindset and traditional strength and conditioning. Her unfailing optimism, encouragement, and completely non-judgemental attitude helps empower people to become the hero in their own stories. Award winning & nominated. In 2015 Charlene was honored to be the only UK woman to make Top Ten Global Finalists in the Life Fitness Personal Trainers to Watch Competition and won a Mayor of London – Community Volunteer Award for getting her London neighbourhood moving and united.
When she isn’t training, sharing a realistic healthy message on social media (@positivelyslim) or making online fitness videos, Charlene runs corporate wellness workshops, writes for Psychologies Magazine Life Labs, The Huffington Post UK, and is the featured expert in Passport – Monarch Airlines in-flight magazine. Charlene has been featured in London, Fabric, Grove, Woman, Natural Health magazines, as well as The Daily Mail and Express.