The Alps in Slovenia. You won’t see this on any bus tour. Get your butt moving!

There is nothing like hitting the road. Whether you hop on a plane or put the pedal to the metal, the excitement of seeing new places and the feeling of total freedom are unbeatable. But travels can leave our poor colons screaming, so desperate you would even consider taking a hit of Ex Lax to hit the loo (don’t do it). Exercise deficit, diet changes, dehydration mixed with time zone changes definitely can take their toll down there. This summer I had it all. I was the travelling ass. I drove to the East Coast of Canada, travelled to the States and then flew to Slovenia. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? But there is always a price to be paid. You’d think I would know better than to deviate from the tried and true. After all, I am the pooping princess. Travelling Ass? No, I was the travelling dumbass. I threw caution to the wind. Bring on the strudel, bring on those yummy Euro cheeses and charcuterie plates I gleefully yelled. Vegetables? What are they? I asked. I am on holiday. Big mistake.

Prevent a travelling ass pooping war with your butt. I am going to sound like a broken record here, but at all costs, try to get some exercise and eat those veggies and drink tons of water. Road trip? Pack a cooler with veggie snacks and avoid the timbits (like I am one to talk on that one… but still, you get my point.) Carrots, celery, cucumber, whole wheat crackers, prunes (they work like a charm to keep you going) are good options. Pack a few baggies of those butt-friendly snacks if you are flying (without dips or liquids as they won’t let you bring those onboard). Heading overseas? There are usually fruit and veggie stands everywhere. Hit them first before the patisseries or the cheese tray. And drink lots of water. Dehydration can be cruel to your butt.

And above all, keep that ass moving. Embrace the opportunity to get out there and enjoy your scenery, wherever you are. Use a tour guide book and your feet to explore a new place instead of a tour guide bus. Or grab a bike and cycle. Not only will your butt thank you, you’ll find nooks and secret places no bus will take you. Or try kayaking or canoeing if you are near a lake and soak up the last bit of summer. Most places have kayak or canoe rental businesses, including Europe. I did it in Slovenia. Swim. It is easy on your body, is refreshing and uses most of your muscle groups. Find a hotel with a pool or scope out a lake or a river (if you do head to Slovenia, check out River Kolpa.) As for me, I usually run to keep things moving. And when I finally did lace up, you know what happened? I saw amazing places (including the Alps in Slovenia— the whole country is paradise. and had a good visit with the porcelain god. And life just seemed so much better.

Jennifer Hartley is a features writer and copy editor for Ottawa Life Magazine and writer for Ottawa Outdoors Magazine. Previously she was theatre editor for Ottawa Xpress and now defunct Metro newspaper and has written articles for a variety of magazines across the country and abroad in the United Kingdom.