Aim to exercise for 30 minutes most days. Exercise stimulates
movement of the bowel, and even gentle exercise like walking helps, and
Do your pelvic floor muscle exercises regularly. Obesity, pregnancy,
childbirth, regular heavy lifting and a chronic cough can weaken the pelvic floor, but you can strengthen these muscles with specific exercises.
Lead a positive lifestyle
Maintain an ideal body weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25
or less. Excess body fat strains the pelvic floor and can lead to bladder and bowel control problems. Speak to your doctor or qualified dietitian for more information about safe ways to lose weight, and
Stop smoking. Chronic (long-term) coughing associated with
smoking can weaken the muscles of your pelvic floor and lead to bladder and bowel control problems.
Practice good toilet habits
Go to the toilet when you get the urge to open your bowels, as this
is the most effective time to completely empty your bowels. Most people get the urge first thing in the morning or following a meal when eating has stimulated the bowel.
Get into the correct sitting position on the toilet. Sit on the toilet,
elbows on knees, lean forward and support feet with a footstool. This helps to fully relax your pelvic floor and sphincter muscles. Bulge out your tummy, relax your back passage and let go (don’t hold your breath or strain). When you have finished firmly draw up your back passage.
Avoid constipation as this affects bladder and bowel function. If you
often strain to move your bowels, the pelvic floor stretches and weakens over time.
Don't get into the habit of going to the toilet 'just in case' - only go
when you need to.
Visit your doctor as soon as you suspect a urinary tract infection.