Good Bowel Habits


The best bowel movement is when:

  • The feeling that you need to go is definite but could be deferred if necessary
  • Once you are sitting on the toilet there is very little delay in going
  • No straining or effort is needed and the bowel motion is comfortable to pass
  • There is a good feeling of relief and pleasure afterwards.

How often we open our bowels varies greatly: most of us do not have a precise routine and it is normal for women to have irregularity relating to their hormonal cycle and status.

Our bodies are designed for squatting to empty both bladder and bowel. Try to have a good position on your toilet to replicate a squat. Using a low stool for your feet, knees wide apart and leaning forward all help to achieve this. See my product page for an amazing squatting stool we have for sale.

Bowels are sensitive to routine and respond to disruption of day to day patterns

Fibre makes bowel motions bulkier and easier to pass and encourages a good environment inside the colon. Fruit, dried fruit, nuts, grains and vegetables are all good fibre foods. Probiotics are a helpful addition if you have had antibiotics or an upset tummy.

When travelling:

  • Sometimes people find that they do not “go” when they are away from home. This is usually nothing to worry about.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods
  • Take a packet of high fibre biscuits or muesli bars to snack on during the journey and while away.
  • OR you can take a natural fibre product such as Metameucil or Psyllium husks a day or two before your trip, and then during the time you are away.
  • Drink plenty of fluids at regular intervals while travelling.
  • Herbal Alpine tea can be very helpful to encourage regular bowel movements


This is the ideal way to void (bladder and bowel) and also to use for day to day activities.

We don't do this often enough and lose the ability very quickly over our early child hood years.

Look at this baby's perfect squat: you can still achieve this with time and practice!

There are many ways in which the mind affects the bowel and the bowel function affects the mind. Strong emotions, stress and worry can all affect the bowel function by either speeding things up (diarrhoea type symptoms, urgency, frequency) or slowing things down (constipation and pain)



  • Fibre in your diet is really important
  • Have a regular morning routine if possible
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Do not ignore the feeling that you need to go to the toilet
  • Lots of fluids during the day at regular intervals


Embarrassment about discussing bowel problems can make it difficult to talk to your Doctor BUT be brave as you are not the only one who has these problems. HOME PAGE


References and resources:

“Understanding your bowels” Heaton K, Family Doctor Series,