A lot has been written about starting our mornings with something that sets us up for success the rest of the day.
Much of that advice has been about practices to inspire you and set up a positive mindset for the day. It’s about setting yourself up for success.
This is AWESOME, and it’s part of the Start the Day Right habit I coach my clients through in my Happy Healthy Habits program. I work with my members to help them figure out the practices that work for them in the morning based on what makes them feel great and gets their minds in the optimal space, their time constraints, their work and family obligations, etc. (it’s going to be different for everyone).
But the other part of Starting the Day Right is…
Yep, I talk about poop with my members. A lot.
Starting the day with warm water (preferably 2-4 cups) and then eliminating, is a magical experience, especially if you’ve tended toward constipation in your life.
This is one of the habits I help my clients implement. It might not seem like something we would care about that much when we’re dealing with wellness habits, but it makes such a difference in both our long-term health and our day-to-day quality of life!
Drinking warm water not only hydrates us after 8 hours of not drinking anything, but it also stimulates peristalsis in our digestion, ultimately leading to a bowel movement.
Going first thing in the morning flushes toxins from the previous day, AND it feels amazing to let go of yesterday’s waste and go into a new day refreshed and ready to receive.
I also find that I am more in-tune with my body and its needs throughout the day when I’ve been able to go in the morning. Being costipated, even for a day, really messes with our body’s cues and signals, and it’s especially hard to tell when we’re hungry or satiated when we haven’t eliminated in the morning.
But what if no matter what you do, you continue having struggles in that department?
42 million Americans are constipated! So if you’re in that boat, know that you’re not alone!
4 Tips for Morning Elimination
If that’s you, here are a few things that might help:
1. Drink warm water first thing in the morning to stimulate peristalsis and get your bowels moving. You may only need a cup, or you may need 4 cups! It depends on how much water you had the day before, your body constitution, etc. But don’t get too lost in the details: just feel what your body needs, and if you haven’t gone yet, you might just need more water.
**BONUS: Drinking water first thing in the morning also helps to start your day hydrated, giving you a leg up on stress, fatigue, immunity, and future elimination.
2. Drink your water before you drink coffee, tea, or anything else. These can dehydrate you, so even though it might feel like your morning joe helps you go, it makes you more dehydrated in the long-term (which also makes it harder to eliminate in the future). I’m not saying don’t drink coffee: just try to wait until after you hydrate!
3. Take time to sit on the toilet each morning. Even if your body doesn’t feel like it needs to go, sit for a few minutes anyway. This starts to train your body to ‘know’ when it’s time to go.
4. Use a short stool under your feet (or you can use a Squatty Potty) to create the natural and optimal position for elimination. The way we use toilets is actually not natural for humans: for most of human history, and still in many parts of the world, people squat(ted) to go to the bathroom, which puts the colon in the right position to properly eliminate. Using a stool on your toilet can replicate that position, allowing for easier elimination.
Let me know if these tips help with your morning elimination!
I’d love to hear, and I’m happy to help. Sign up for a Health Goals Session if you have challenges with this and want to discuss further!