This past weekend I went to Las Vegas to “celebrate life” with my best friends. After two full days of ongoing alcohol consumption, very little sleep and no exercise (dancing excluded) our bodies were wrecked. Our raspy voices, under eye bags and off kilter digestive systems proved it. Today I am feeling a little inspired by our distressed physical state and would like to share how I rid my body of toxins after vacation or in our case a bender…a juice cleanse is not the answer.
Lately cleanses and detoxes are everywhere: “Drink this sugary green juice for three plus days and detoxify your body”. Everyone who knows me has heard me rant about how pointless and counterproductive juice cleanses can be. I have advised clients and friends against them. But all the skinny celebrities do it and they look good, so I am ignored. This leads them to go through with the cleanse; depriving themselves for a three to fourteen day period followed by a fat and carbohydrate binge. In the end you are just putting more stress on your body and creating more toxins.
The thing is, your body is naturally designed to detoxify. It is in a constant state of detoxification (or ridding of waste).
- Ever heard of poop? pee? I don’t mean to be vulgar, but your colon and kidneys do a pretty good job if you let them.
- Our lungs serve as a filter. Debris and toxins are removed before delivering oxygen throughout the body.
- The lymph system picks up any unwanted substances to filter through your lymph nodes.
- Our skin rids our body of toxins through perspiration.
Did you know your body detoxes 8 times faster when in motion versus when sedentary? So why does exercise aid in detox?
- You get your blood flowing, which prompts your organs to do work (liver, lymph nodes, digestive system).
- You breath deeply and circulate oxygen to through the body, giving off carbon dioxide (a waste product).
- You sweat, washing out waste and toxins in your perspiration.
- You move and fire up lymph to circulate through the body. The lymph system has no pump like the circulatory system, so to activate, you must be in motion.
- You reduce stress, which has a toxic effect on the body.
In order to be successful in detoxifying you must be drinking plenty of water to help flush out waste products. So before you start your exercise, make sure your pee is clear. When you are looking to rid the body of toxins engage in aerobic exercise at a low to medium intensity. This allows you to breath evenly, delivering oxygen to the body. By getting your heart rate up, blood begins pumping through out the body, activating your detoxifying organs. You don’t want to be gasping for air, instead you should try the talk test. If you are able to talk comfortably while exercising, you are at the right intensity for detoxification. Low Intensity Steady State (also known as LISS) exercise can be performed through briskly walking, running, cycling, swimming and yoga.
Do you exercise with a hang over? It’s sort of my M.O. I usually roll and of bed, chug water until my pee is clear and get out the door on my run before the worst of it even hits. It’s usually pretty miserable, but by the time I finish and rehydrate I am ready for my day.
So next time you wake up after a night of drinking or over eating, skip the fad cleanse. Run long and slow, or engage in a Vinyasa flow. Drink tons of water before and after to flush toxins.
Below is 30 minute detox flow yoga video. It will help to heat up the body and wring out toxins with twists. The instructor Clara Roberts-Oss is one of my favorites. I hope enjoy!
For more information on exercise as detox click here.