Pooping. It’s something we all do, hopefully at least once a day. If you aren’t having that a daily visit to the loo or your passing experience is particularly uncomfortable, it could be time for a change. After all, pooping is one of the most important functions of the human body, as it’s trying to remove unwanted and toxic material. Luckily for you, unless you’re dealing with a severe case where blood is involved (contact your doctor immediately), improving your poop can be as simple as a few lifestyle changes. 

Eat More Fiber

One of the most important and effective ways to improve your poop is by eating more fiber. This will add bulk to your poop, allowing it to pass more easily through the intestines. While it sounds like a hassle, adding fiber to your diet can be a delicious and simple addition to your meals. Be sure to add fiber to your diet slowly so you do not shock your digestive system with sudden and drastic bowel movements.

Some fiber-packed foods include legumes, dark-colored vegetables, apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries and cereals (make sure to choose organic cereals with simple ingredients and low sugar). As a note, it’s always best to eat the peel of the apple where most of the fiber is contained! 

Drink More Water

Drinking more water is probably one of the easiest ways you can improve your toilet time. I suggest buying a reusable water bottle so that you’ll always have your water on you, whether you are on the go or chilling in bed (just make sure to wash it out regularly, as mouth bacteria can grow quickly). Essentially, you can soften your poop by drinking 6-8 glasses a day, roughly around two Nalgene bottles for the hiking fans out there. 

Avoid Troublesome Foods

This next tip might hurt the most, to be honest. If you’re a cheese lover and lactose intolerant like me, you can understand the pain. Certain foods can dramatically affect the way we poop and by removing these troublesome (but oh so delicious) food items from our diet, we can improve our pooping experience. 

If you’re having trouble pooping, which you probably are if you are reading this, try keeping a mental note of which foods you eliminate from your diet for a week and how that affects your stool. For myself, avoiding all dairy really seems to do the trick for me. Some common foods negatively affect pooping include alcohol, sugary drinks, fatty and spicy foods and dairy.

Exercise More

Exercise can significantly improve your poop by stimulating the movement of the digestive system. After sitting in a sedentary spot for most of the day, as many of us do for our jobs, it’s important to get those internal organs moving around at least a couple times a day. Even changing your sitting position or getting up every hour for a quick walk to the water machine can be a difference maker. 

I totally understand, exercising can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. Not everyone enjoys the internal and external pressures of hitting the gym. Additionally, gym fees may be stretching that monthly budget a bit too thin. Something I’ve discovered is that the easiest way to work in an exercise routine is to truly be honest with yourself about what kind of types exercise you truly enjoy. That last part is extremely important.

Some days, you are going to be too tired from work or perhaps stressed out from a recent argument with your partner. Whether it’s hitting the empty park with a basketball or going for an ocean swim, exercise should be an enjoyable source of relief, rather than another task to fit into the day. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either. So be honest with yourself and find an activity you really have fun doing.

A healthy pooping routine is one of the greatest indicators of a properly functioning body. Being able to comfortably remove unwanted waste from the delicate balance of your internal systems can have a major effect on your quality of life. Incorporate the above tips into your life, and you’ll notice the changes within a day or two.