April 16, 2014

Exercises to Relieve Constipation


Each year in the U.S. chronic constipation leads close to 2.5 million doctor visits and an estimated 7.5 billion in medication costs. Constipation is something that everyone has experienced at one time or another. For some it is resolved quickly but for others it is a persistent problem. Exercise is a great way to keep your colon and digestive system active. There are several exercises recommended to maintain a regular bowl routine.


Certain yoga poses can increase blood flow to the intestines and stimulate contractions. This can help the flow in your digestion and relieve constipation.  Two common poses are listed below.

  1. Virasana:  also known as the hero’s pose, is done kneeling on the ground, knees apart, feet touching with the toes pointing behind you. Keeping your back straight, gradually drop your hips down until they are resting between your feet. Place your hands on your knees and breathe normally.
  2. Pavanmuktasana (gas releasing pose):  Lye on your back, pull both knees up to your chest, exhaling as you draw your knees to your chest. Gently add pressure, bringing your thighs close to your stomach. Bring your head up, touching your knees with your forehead. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Squats and Lunges:

The movement made when you squat is similar to how we normally sit to go to the bathroom. Squatting aligns the intestinal tract to encourage bowel movement. Lunges help move the intestines back and forth. Intestines are 25 feet long and every time you lunge, you are moving close to a third of the intestines. Five lunges a day is recommended for best results.


Walking is not only a great way to get your body in motion, but also is less strenuous than running for those who cannot do high intensity aerobic exercise. Take a brisk 10 to 30 minute walk to create movement in the intestinal tract. Long and fast strides are the best way to kick your intestinal tract into gear.

If you struggle with persistent constipation, Columbus Clinical Research, located in Columbus, Ohio, is conducting a clinical research study to determine a new experimental drugs ability to relieve constipation. To learn more about this study or to volunteer for a clinical research study visit our website.