How to Keep Your Bowels Healthy in 2020

How to Keep Your Bowels Healthy in 2020

To maintain or achieve a healthy bowel, it is important to eat meals regularly to boost metabolism, ideally three times a day. Food choices are important in the maintenance of a healthy bowel.
A healthy metabolism will promote a healthy weight, overall health and wellbeing. Eating breakfast everyday will boost your metabolism and aid overall health of your digestive system.
The bowel needs fibre to assist with production of a healthy stool and to stimulate a bowel movement.
Fibre rich foods include:
• Wholegrains including breakfast cereals, whole wheat pasta and rice, wholegrain bread and oats
• Fruit such as berries, pears, melon and oranges
• Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and corn
• Peas, beans and pulses such as lentils, kidney beans and butter beans
• Nuts and seeds – including almonds, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds
• Potatoes with skin on – boiled or baked

To increase your fibre intake you could:
• Choose a high fibre breakfast cereal e.g. wholegrain cereal like whole wheat biscuit cereal, bran flakes or porridge. Try adding some fresh fruit, dried fruit, seeds and/or nuts
• Go for wholemeal or seeded wholegrain breads
• Choose wholegrains like whole wheat pasta, bulgur wheat or brown rice
• Eat potatoes with skins on baked potato, wedges or boiled new potatoes
• For snacks try vegetable sticks, rye crackers, oatcakes, unsalted nuts or seeds
• Include plenty of vegetables with meals especially green leafy vegetables such as Kale and Spinach
• Add pulses like beans, lentils or chickpeas to stews, curries and salads


I’m 68 years old and I have incontinence. I’ve suffered a lot of setbacks over the years. I lost a finger in the army. I suffer from high blood pressure. And I have an old football injury that flares up regularly. But I have never suffered as much shame and humiliation as I have since I started experiencing incontinence.
It started innocently enough – a leak here and there. My doctor said it was due to prostate problems and gave me some medication to help. It did for a while, but then the leaks flared up again and I was forced to admit that this problem was not going away.
My first trip to the grocery store to purchase incontinence pads was a doozy. Standing there, looking at the wall of options was so intimidating. What do I choose? What size? How do I know it will fit? What if it doesn’t – can I return the bag? I had so many questions and no one to ask – after all, it’s not like men just talk about peeing their pants with each other all the time. Not to mention I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure that no one I knew saw me standing there. It would be so embarrassing to be “caught” in this situation.
When I finally got home, I started trying out the various absorbent products that I had purchased. I had bought 3 different types and gave each one a fair shot for a full day before making the call. Unfortunately, none of them worked so I was back to the drawing board.
Fortunately, my wife found a company online that sold different products so I gave it a shot. I don’t know why I didn’t start with this option in the first place. They offered a free consultation so I gave them a call. The rep was so helpful and it was great having a guide to walk me through the different options, and also learn more about me, my condition and my lifestyle to help find something that would work best for me.
These days, I only use online services to order absorbent products. And, I’ve found great products that help me keep my leaks controlled, and my condition under wraps so no one is the wiser.
I still don’t love having incontinence, but it’s become such a normal part of life now that it doesn’t have the same hold on me as it once did. I didn’t envision this happening to me, but am happy to know that there are resources out there to help and products available that can make it more manageable. I feel free to live my life without fear of leaks and that is something to be really proud of.
Larry B., Seattle, WA


According to the Mayo Clinic, you should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week (or some combination of the two). It’s suggested that you spread this out over the course of a week so that might look like about 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.
It’s also recommended that you do strength training for all your major muscle groups at least two times a week. You should be able to do one set of a single exercise with about 12-15 reps using your body weight or some other type of weight to create resistance so that your muscles tire out during that time.
Of course, the more exercise you do, the greater the benefit, but even a little exercise is better than none and can be helpful. And, small amounts can add up. If you think you don’t have time for 30 minutes a day, check out these tips below to learn ways to sneak in those 30 minutes without even really noticing!

Working in more exercise throughout your day doesn’t have to be time consuming. Breaking up your workout sessions into chunks is just as effective as doing one 30-minute routine. Here are a few ways to sneak workout in at home, at work, or anywhere!

1. Wake up 10 minutes earlier and you’ll find that you can do a lot. A quick walk around the block, a morning yoga session, or even walking up and down the stairs several times can help you get moving. Plus, you’ll start your day knowing you’ve already clocked in 10 minutes of exercise – Win!
2. Workout while watching TV. Turn your down time into workout time by adding in some easy moves. Doing squats, push-ups, running on a treadmill, or riding a stationary bike all seem easier when you’re watching your favourite show. Or, if you’re watching live TV, resolve to workout during the commercials!
3. Take advantage of idle time. You likely have a lot of time when you’re just standing around. Whether it’s doing lunges or sit-ups while the microwave is going, or doing calf raises while brushing your teeth, you’ll find that it’s pretty easy to sneak in about 10 extra minutes a day of workout moves just by utilizing the time you normally spend waiting on something else to happen.

1. Park further away, or take a longer route. We know – it’s so tempting to grab that parking spot that’s closest to the door. But parking a bit further away, or taking the scenic route to walk to your destination can add up over time if you’re consistent. It’s a great way to get in those extra steps!
2. Replace a bad habit with exercise. Do you tend to reach for a glass of wine or a beer when you get home from work? Or do you have the after-dinner munchies on the regular? Try working in some exercise to get the added health benefit and break that bad habit. Go for a walk each evening before or after dinner to fight the cravings you might have if you’re just hanging around at home.
3. Meet up with friends for a social workout. It’s hard to fit everything into our busy lives these days, but you can kill two birds with one stone by working exercise into your social life. Do you normally meet a friend for coffee? Try grabbing your coffee to go and walking around while you catch up instead of sitting at the coffee shop. Or enlist a buddy to try a new workout class with you. You don’t even have to call it a “workout” – just catching up on the go to encourage other people to join you! You’re more likely to stick with an exercise routine if you have someone else holding you accountable. Plus, working out with someone else makes it more fun!


The start of a new year is the perfect time to make a refreshing change in your life. Not sure where to start, we suggest 3 goal ideas.

1. Connect with people in my community
Loneliness can really bring people down and if you think you need to connect with more people, making a goal to meet new people is a good idea. You can do this by checking out what groups your local council has, or join community groups. You could find a games group because you love playing games. Or maybe you want to find a reading group because you love reading books. It can be scary to get out and meet people for the first time, but chances are that if you’re going to a group on something you’re interested in, you’ll always have something to connect on. Also have a look on which positive Facebook groups are out there, that’s a fun and easy way to connect with people online.

2. I would like to increase my fitness
Maybe your goal can be to get fit and no matter what type of body you have everyone can learn to get fitter, stronger and healthier. You can go to the gym with some friends who will motivate you, you could do wheelchair yoga or ask your occupational therapist (if you have one) for some new exercise ideas. Or maybe you want to walk more around your community by either taking your dog or take a friend or even take part in a walking group. Also, always be mindful with what food you’re putting into your belly as good healthy food will make you feel good too!

3. I would like to feel happier
We all want to feel happy right? Well, one of the easiest ways to do this is simply by changing the way you think. There is always a positive in everything, you just have to dig deeper to find it.

Motivational poster on disability. Hand drawn lettering.