While a detox shouldn’t negatively affect your energy levels when carried out properly, if you’re a naturally very active person you may need to put some extra planning into your detox in order to make sure you’re working out at a safe level and getting the fuel you need to maintain an active lifestyle.
Exercising excessively during a detox can actually be dangerous for you, so read on for some tips on how to adjust your diet and activity levels to ensure you get the best of both worlds during your detox program. The great news is that exercise in itself kick starts the natural detox process, so a gentle workout coupled with your detox diet plan is a winning combination.
How it works
Exercise flushes out the lungs and encourages food to pass through the gut quicker, but it also opens up the pores and cleanses the skin as we work up a lovely detoxifying sweat. That increased blood flow promotes better circulation and helps pump white blood cells through the body to help the organs cleanse themselves effectively. Add water and exercise will even help revitalise kidney function, and you’ll sweat more too – which is actually a good thing if detoxing is on the agenda.
Essentially, the toxins hanging around the body are expelled though exhalation, urine and sweat, and working out speeds up all three processes. With this in mind, if you’re an active person already then you can afford to take the exercise down a notch when you’re detoxing and know that you’re still doing great things for your body.
Take it a little easier
So following on from the above advice, don’t overdo it physically if you’re detoxing – there’s no need and the effects could be counter-productive. If you run a lot, for example, think about switching your morning outing for a brisk 20-30 minute walk while you’re on your detox. Especially if yours is an intense detox fast.
Avoid all-out sprints, intense intervals and long training sessions during your detox, too – though you may naturally feel disinclined to this sort of activity during this period. All that impact and metabolic stress can be difficult for the digestive system to cope with during this transitional time and can leave you feeling faint.
But do keep moving
Exercises that work the core are great for detoxing because this is where your vital cleansing organs lie – the colon, kidneys and liver. Stomach crunches and abdominal twists helps encourage waste to pass through the large and small intestines quicker, so work some reps into your routine instead of your usual weights session.
You could try something new during your detox, too. Some activities complement the natural detox process better than others, and hot yoga is one of them. It won’t put cardiovascular stress on the body but it will accelerate your detox by generating a sweat. Yoga poses are known for their detoxifying powers, helping along the removal of toxins in the muscle tissue as you compress and stretch the limbs. Yoga is also a great mental detox, as most classes involve some sort of meditation element to help unclutter the mind to focus on what’s important: you and your wellbeing.
Up your energy intake
Whether you’re doing a three day soup and juice fast or a month-long vegan detox diet, if you’re exercising a lot you should consider making small adjustments to your plan – or changing tack altogether.
Quinoa is one particular grain worth incorporating into your detox diet as it’s rich in fibre but low GI, giving your body a nice steady supply of energy throughout the day. It’s also high in protein, which may be of benefit if you’re cutting out meat from your diet. Look up a quinoa granola recipe or make your own fruity quinoa muesli to get that energy fix first thing.
Bananas are another great energy food for detoxing – they’re rich in potassium which is excellent for combating tiredness and helping repair nerve and muscle function when you exercise. Other plant-based proteins from nut sources are a great idea if you’re detoxing and exercising, as they feed the muscles and provide sustained energy rather than the quick bursts you get from eating things like chocolate. So chop some brazil nuts into your morning smoothie or snack on walnuts when you feel your energy levels dipping.
Beans and legumes play a similar role in energy levels as well as being very tasty and filling, so try a mixed bean salad for lunch or spicy bean burgers for supper. Finally, leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard are all mineral-rich and packed full of essential nutrients for keeping energy levels high. Make a green juice part of your new detox habit, and get plenty of spinach into your salads.
By combining the right sort of detox with appropriate exercise you can get the best of both worlds. There is no need to go over-the-top on either the detox or the exercise – a good balance will get you the best results.
About the Author:
Ilona Wesle is a nutritionist and co-founder of MyDetoxDiet.co.uk, a leading expert in detoxing, cleansing and alkalising. With a shop and detox centre in Greenwich and a nationwide delivery service offering fresh, vegan, detox diets direct to your door, MyDetoxDiet.co.uk offers everything you need to detox your body and boost your energy. And if you are specifically looking for weight loss – then MyDetoxDiet.co.uk can design a nutrition plan to suit you. http://www.mydetoxdiet.co.uk