It’s not true that to be considered regular, you have to produce a bowel movement at least once daily, the American Academy of Family Physicians says.
The “normal” range varies widely — between three times a day and three times a week, the academy says.
Here are its recommendations to help prevent constipation:
* When you need to have a bowel movement, try not to ignore it.
* Make time to have a regular bowel movement, such as after a meal.
* Get plenty of fiber in your diet, drink plenty of fluids every day, and get regular exercise.
* Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat.
* Don’t take laxatives too frequently. Overuse can actually damage your bowels and aggravate constipation.