Physical activity supports your child’s well-being in countless ways, from improving mental focus and mood to lowering the risk of many health issues.1 Regular physical activity helps all parts of your child’s body function properly, including the digestive system.1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Learn more about how kids’ yoga and exercise may help relieve your child’s constipation as well as several fun ways to get started.

How Yoga and Exercise Help Constipation

Being sedentary can increase the risk of constipation in children, so kids’ yoga and exercise can be powerful tools to manage it.5 While exercise in general can help the digestive system function properly, yoga is especially beneficial because it pinpoints specific areas of the body, incorporates deep breathing and provides stress relief.4,6,7 Yoga can also increase happiness hormones while decreasing stress hormones, which can help kids find constipation relief, too!7

Kids' Yoga Poses for Constipation

There are so many yoga poses you can do with your little one. These three poses may be beneficial for their digestive systems.4,6 Encourage your child to take deep, body-relaxing breaths as they try these poses in playful ways:

Upside Down Child’s Pose

For this pose, your child lies on their back with their knees bent over their abdomen. While taking deep breaths, they gently squeeze their legs into their abdomen with a big hug and release. If it feels good, they can rock side by side. To make it playful, you might pretend your little one is a baby in a crib or a boulder you’re trying to lift off the ground. They might roll away from you or pretend to cry (which is bound to lead to giggles).

Cobra Pose

Have your preschooler start this pose by lying face down on a yoga mat or rug. While pressing their palms into the ground beside their chest, they can raise the upper part of their torso off the ground as they look up and create a soft arc across their neck, shoulders, and back. You might do this together, each making hissing sounds as you look at your yoga spot through cobra’s eyes.

Supine Spinal Twist

Your preschooler starts this one lying on the ground with arms stretched out to the side and legs flat. They then bend their knees up so their calves are parallel to the ground. As they let their bent legs gently fall to one side, they should turn their heads to the opposite side, achieving a full spinal twist. After a few breaths in this pose, switch the legs and head to the other side. For fun, family members and friends might do this together. You could try a game of telephone across a circle of people doing spinal twists or each time you turn toward each other, you might make a silly face.

More Ways to Move

Making exercise fun and/or purposeful can be a great way to increase your preschooler’s daily movement.1,3 Here are a few exercises to help young children with constipation and fun ways to approach them:

Squat Walk

For this exercise, your child should walk in the squatting position for 5-15 minutes a week, as is comfortable.5 You might do this silly walk with your child while acting as characters on a grand adventure!5 In one small study, this exercise was shown to improve some symptoms of constipation in 90% of the children involved, so have fun with it and give it a try!5

Walk Up, Down and All Around

Walking can make a big difference in both healthy digestion and overall well-being.1,2,5 Look for ways to increase the amount of walking in your child’s daily life. Can they take the stairs instead of the elevator? Can you park farther from your destination to add in walking time or skip using the car altogether? Can you take a daily walk together around your neighborhood? You might even let your child take the lead by asking them to pick the location for a weekly adventure walk.

Do More with Chores

For young children, transform household tasks into opportunities for active, body-moving family time.1 You can turn bringing groceries in from the car into an extended relay race where you each bring in one item as quickly as you can. Or you might turn snow shoveling into a snow castle building activity, all while moving your bodies and getting fresh air. Try stretching to the ceiling with each piece of laundry and forward bending with each fold. These are a few fun ways to take care of tasks around the house while also helping your little one move, move, move.

Hydration Helps

In some cases, children experience more constipation when they exercise because exercise can dehydrate them.2,5 Help your child maintain digestive regularity and ease by encouraging them to drink water.2,5 Avoiding dehydration is one more way to limit their experience of constipation.1,5

With kids’ yoga and exercise for constipation, you can help your child’s digestion keep moving at a comfortable pace. For other ways to support your child’s healthy, happy growth and development, see our parent resources and check out Enfagrow A+ Toddler and Child Nutritional Drink.