Why You Should Squat, Part 2 | Kirkland and Bellevue Personal Training

Did you know that squats are good for your digestion and elimination?  In many cultures people squat to work in their gardens, visit with others and socialize, and to eliminate fecal matter  (in lieu of using a toilet). When this type of squat is performed the torso is pushing down on and supported by the thighs.  This act is what pushes the feces uphill and through the colon, producing proper elimination.

As a nation, the U.S., and many other countries are at a distinct disadvantage, as we are a culture of ‘sitters’, and non-squatters.  Hence many have problems with constipation and need laxatives to fully eliminate and clean out the colon.  The modern toilet, by its very design, doesn’t require a full squat, thus the contents of the colon don’t fully evacuate. This causes chronic constipation (if you don’t perform squats), and the contents of the colon and intestines are backed up to the stomach, causing heartburn, acid reflux and poor digestion.

An amusing aside is that turn of the century naturopaths actually prescribed a special stool to use while sitting on the toilet.  About 3-4’ high, one would use the feet and push against the stool while having a bowel movement, placing the body in proper alignment. 

Doing a full squat helps digestion and elimination by the very act of the abdominal wall pressing on the thighs; a pressure wave is built up facilitating full elimination.

A simple breathing squat, done slowly while lowering into a squat position, stimulates the Parasympathetic Nervous System (rest, recovery, lowers stress), and helps with the digestion of sugar, processed foods and caffeinated products.  All the aforementioned products, coupled with stress, activate the Sympathetic Nervous System (fight or flight), which causes poor digestion, poor elimination, poor recovery from exercise, and sets the 
stage for disease.  The simple squat: a very powerful exercise indeed!

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