Why do you spend so much time on the toilet?

Why do you spend so much time on the toilet?

According to a new survey from UKActive, a British organization devoted to improving the health of citizens, the average British adult spends three hours and nine minutes on the toilet every week, compared to one hour and 30 minutes exercising.

Could not working out lead to more toilet time?

According to Dr. Andrew Albert, a gastroenterologist and medical director for digestive health at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, the answer is yes.

“Exercise is critical to keeping your bowel movements regular,” says Dr. Albert. “If you suffer from constipation, exercise, with proper hydration, can help to move things along.”

How much should you exercise? The National Health Service (NHS) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and two or more days of strength and conditioning a week.

But exercise alone is not enough to get your digestive tract on track.

“Proper nutrition is also essential for digestive health,” says Dr. Albert. “The majority of us in the U.S. are over-fed but under-nourished, meaning we eat the wrong types of calories, and way too many of them, instead of fueling our bodies with essential nutrients to keep it running effectively.”

“Lots and lots of leafy greens, vegetables of all colors, fruit, gelatinous plant foods, like aloe and chia seeds and healthy fats in moderation, like avocados and olive oil, should be part of every person’s daily digestive-healthy diet. Packaged and processed foods should be limited or avoided all together, as they are full of preservatives and unhealthy ingredients that hinder a healthy digestive system.”

The bottom line, says Dr. Albert, is to take care of your body with proper nutrition, hydration and exercise, so your digestive system can function optimally. Plus, this same heavily plant-based diet has been shown to be healthy for the brain and heart, as well.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates

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One Comment

  1. Didn’t understand the relationship between exercise time and potty time and why it is important. The article does not indicate if potty time of 183 minutes a week is too much or too little. Many people read newspapers and run other routines that leads to more sitting time. Its not all emptying the colon…

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About the Author

Kate Eller
Kate Eller

Kate Eller, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs for Advocate Health Care’s South Region. She came to Chicago and Advocate in 2014 after living in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Texas. She enjoys road trips, exploring little towns and urban hiking with her shaggy dog around the city of Chicago. Even in the winter - there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

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