Every exercise helps tone UR body but a few positions have extraordinary benefits. Squatting Indian toilet style is one such exercise! Sitting in this position not only helps tone UR thighs, legs and glutes but also enhances UR gut health and eases bowel movements.
The squatting position improves your flexibility and is also a good weight-bearing exercise that helps keep bones strong, says Dr. K J Reddy, Senior Orthopaedic Consultant and Joint Replacement Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals.
According to him, most daily activities only use a maximum of 90 degree flexion at the knee. However, the knee joint is capable of flexion of up to 180 degrees and the joint is not used to its maximum potential frequently.
All the joints in the body have synovial fluid which provide nutrition to the cartilage in the joints. The cartilage depends entirely on this fluid, as it has no blood supply of its own. The fluid acts as a blood substitute for the cartilage. To produce the fluid two factors are required: movement and compression.
If the joint is not going through its full range of movement, nutrition will be compromised due to decreased synovial fluid production. This is what happens with the knee and hip joints – due to the lack of nutrition they start to degenerate at an earlier stage. This proves the importance of keeping active and moving joints to reduce degeneration.
Squatting involves the full range of movement which helps to get rid of stiffness in joints. The squatting posture also enhances balance. It’s good to practice sitting in the Indian toilet position to make UR back strong. This in turn will help you walk, stand and sit better.
Dr. Reddy recommends squatting for five-ten minutes each day (for those who don’t suffer from any previous knee or back problems). Ensure you don’t take up squatting suddenly, as it can damage the muscles and cartilages around UR knees. If you are fit, then UR knee joint will be able to handle it without any excessive damage. When you squat down, you bend UR knees and stretch UR legs. Every muscle in the legs is used while sitting in this posture. It makes UR leg muscles, hips and calves strong and enhances flexibility.
The squatting position improves UR flexibility and is also a good weight-bearing exercise that helps keep UR bones strong.
When you squat UR colon is naturally compressed as the weight of UR torso is pushed against UR thighs, says Dr. K.S. Somasekhar Rao, Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist, Apollo Hospitals. Squatting also helps in coordination and strengthening of various pelvic floor muscles and requires you to strain less during defecation.
This may be a taboo subject to discuss, but apparently sitting in the toilet and not squatting, can take a toll on our health. Squatting for defecation may be considered uncivilized but sitting on the toilet not only causes health hazards but also delays the elimination process.
In the past, the royal families of Britain and the incapacitated used pedestal toilets. This practice soon filtered down to the common people and to the people in the third world countries. Many industrialized countries of the world also adopted the chair-like toilet.
Postures adopted for defecation vary according to culture but worldwide, sitting or squatting is most common. Traditional Indian toilets require the squatting position but people in urban India prefer western toilets which require a sitting position. Squatting is a more beneficial posture as it leads to relaxation of the muscles concerned with fecal continence and defecation (puborectalis muscle), thus it widens the recto-anal angle, protects the pelvic nerves from damage due to less straining and offers better and complete elimination.