As we age it is true that we move slower. Not just the speed that we walk or run. I’m talking about how well we move our bowels. Yes, I said bowels. I mean, having a really good routine and knowing you are healthy is important.

Constipation is so common that an entire shelving unit at your local grocery store is full of antacids, laxatives, probiotics, and colon cleanses. No body likes the pains that come from being backed up. In fact, I have personally swallowed some things (prunes) that I would have never otherwise considered just to avoid constipation.

Funny as that may seem, did you know that prunes have naturally found insouluable fiber, as well as the natural laxatives sorbitol and dihydropheylisatin in them. Children and Seniors alike can use prunes or prune juice to help move their digestive tract. They are safe for long term consumption too.

Long term constipation issues and consumption of over the counter laxatives can weaken the signal your body naturally has according to the National Institutes of Health. The best advice I have found is… when nature calls… answer. Don’t make excuses for holding it. Whenever it is possible get to a bathroom.

If shyness or concern for others is an issue plan ahead. Having a routine time each day to move your bowels can be smart. After a meal time or while you are home can be an effective strategy. If all else fails carry a bottle of fresh scented spray to cover you when at a friends home.

You may ask what is normal? According to WebMD, Most adults have bowel movements between three and 21 times per week. Less than half of people say they have a bowel movement each day, but this is the most common routine. Most people are irregular and do not have bowel movements every day or the same number of bowel movements each day.

It’s possible that you are one of thousands who take medications for pain, depression, high blood pressure, or Parkinson’s disease which can cause constipation. In fact, if you take calcium or iron supplements in large quantities constipation can be an unwanted side effect. Plan on using a prescribed stool softener or fiber supplement when it is necessary to keep your doctors advice with these medications.

The most important thing you can do for your digestive health is to drink plenty of water. Fluids in any form can help as well. Dehydration can cause your movements to be hard and more difficult to pass. Be creative and find ways to swallow additional fluids. Consider ice cream or matching a beverage with your favorite snack.

Relaxing your abdomen or massaging your abdominal muscles can encourage good blood flow and bowel activity. Give it a try if you haven’t before. Realize that posture and constriction from clothing can cause problems too. It’s a good decision to wear clothes that will allow you to move.

Last, take your time when eating. Slowing down in this department may actually speed things up for you in the bowel department. Chew your food well and choose foods that will keep you on track. Enjoy every bite.