what to do about hard stools

Eat More Fiber
Men should get 38 grams of fiber a day and women 25 grams, according to the Institute of Medicine. However, the average adult gets only about half that, so adding more to your diet is often a good solution.

There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber soaks up the moisture in food and slows digestion. This can help keep you regular if you make it part of your daily routine. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and relieves constipation faster, and has the added benefit of getting toxins out of your body quicker.

Good sources of soluble fiber are: oranges, apples, carrots, oatmeal, and flax seed.

Good sources of insoluble fiber are: nuts, seeds, fruit skins, and dark leafy vegetables.

Drink More Water
Stool becomes hard, clumpy, and possibly painful when it doesn’t have enough water content as it enters the colon. This can occur for numerous reasons, including stress, travel, and as a side effect of medications. Besides hard stool, dehydration makes a person feel more stressed, which can further complicate digestive problems.

Go for a Walk
Just like fiber, the average American doesn’t get enough exercise, and a full third are obese. Exercise helps stimulate digestion because as you move, your body also moves stool through the gut.

Besides momentary relief, exercise can help you lose weight, which has shown to decrease gastrointestinal problems such as constipation. Talking a 30 minute walk after a meal can help your body digest food better and promote regular digestion.