Do you feel the urge to poop right after a workout? Here’s why it happens
By NCVC Staff | Published on Sep 20, 2023
Have you ever experienced the sudden urge to poop during or right after a workout? It’s a common occurrence that many people can relate to. When this happens, it’s natural to wonder if something is wrong and imagine the worst-case scenarios. But here’s the truth: exercising or working out can have an impact on your poop habits.
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Why Does It Happen?
The urge to use the restroom immediately during or after a workout is quite common. For some, it happens mid-workout, while for others, it occurs post-workout because the body is still feeling the effects of the exercise. But why does it happen?
When you exercise, your body moves, and so do your intestines. This movement affects digestion by helping to move food contents, gas, and stool along the digestive tract. As a result, you may feel the need to go to the restroom. Additionally, consuming sugary foods or drinks before a workout can also increase bowel movements.
Is It a Problem?
According to the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, the normal frequency for bowel movements is between three times per day and three times per week. So, if you fall within this range, there’s no need to worry.
In fact, stopping exercising because of increased bowel movements is unnecessary. Lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle can actually slow down the digestive system, leading to digestive issues. If you’re dealing with constipation, your doctor might recommend regular exercise to help get things going.
If you’re already regular, you may notice an increase in bowel movements as you amp up your exercise routine and your digestive system responds. The bowels respond even more when you establish a consistent exercise routine and exercise at the same time each day, according to the University of Michigan Health System.
How Does a Workout Affect Your Digestive System?
“Working out is the best way to keep all your systems going optimally,” says Dr. Abhinav Mishra, Senior Occupational Therapist at AquaCentric Therapy Pvt Ltd. We can’t help but agree with him. Exercise not only helps you look better and feel better but also makes your body function better. Regular exercise may even help maintain your overall health.
Regular exercise is essential for regular bowel movements. “Our digestive system, medically called the gastrointestinal system, benefits from exercise. Mild to moderate levels of exercise are well tolerated and can benefit patients with a very common problem known as inflammatory bowel disease,” says Dr. Mishra.
Studies have shown that regular physical activity and workouts can improve stomach and intestine emptying and reduce the risk of colon cancer. However, it’s worth noting that too much intense exercise can have the opposite effect.
Over time, regular exercise strengthens the digestive system. So, we can confidently say that exercise not only benefits your physical health but also has a holistic effect on your entire body.
Remember, it’s never too late to start. So, why not make regular exercise a part of your routine?