Detoxing whilst training

Many people like to take on some sort of cleanse during the month of January and so I thought I would share my thoughts on exercising during a detox. 

Why Detox?

In the 21st century, more than at any other time in history, you are bombarded with toxins. In addition to environmental pollution, there are many toxins in the food you eat, including pesticides and even hormones in intensively farmed meats. Your body is dealing with substances for which it wasn’t designed. Add to that the toxic waste your body also generates through normal processes like digesting food and creating energy. 

During the festive season, it is common that we have overworked our body with excess alcohol, caffeine and over-eating of potentially inflammatory foods.  

Although detox is a normal process your body does day in, day out, your system can quickly become overburdened. The detoxification machinery is not always able to keep up with demand. Anything that cannot be eliminated and excreted is locked up safely in the fat stores. 

Should you exercise while Detoxing?

We have five major organs of detoxification:

  • Skin
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Gut
  • Lungs

Toxins leave our body via your breath (lungs), your sweat (skin), your urine (liver and kidneys) and your stools (liver and gut).  

Exercise can support the removal of toxins via all five of these systems by:

  • Increasing your breathing rate.  Exercise, and particularly aerobic exercise, will increase your breathing rate.  Deep and heavy breathing will help with toxin removal.  
  • Improving your blood circulation.  When we exercise, our heart rate is raised which aids in blood circulation.  This helps to send oxygen and nutrition in our blood all around our body nourishing our cells.  Once our cells receive these vital resources, waste products and toxins exit the cell and are taken out via our detoxification organs.  Increasing blood circulation aids in the liver and lymphatic system to work effectively.      
  • Sweating – our skin is our biggest organ in the body.  By working up a sweat it can help in the removal of toxins.
  • Increasing water consumption – exercise tends to lead to an increased intake of fluids and hopefully this includes water!  Water is particularly useful for helping to flush out the kidneys to remove unwanted toxins and waste
  • Simulates your lungs, kidneys and bowels to function effectively – our bodies are designed to move!  When we move, it kickstarts our systems.  It will help our digestion function more effectively and ultimately aid in getting more nutrition to our body.
  • Exercise will boost your metabolic rate which in turn helps your organs detox more efficiently.  

What exercise is best for detoxification?

There are many different options for exercise and the CBA will support you in all areas!  Always listen to your body and work within your own limitations and goals.  

  • Cardio exercise at a slow and steady pace are helpful during a detox.  It will raise your heart rate and improve digestive function.  However, if you are restricting sugars and carbohydrates then be mindful that high intensity exercise may make you feel faint or dizzy.  Listen to your body and the be aware of the macronutrients you are taking in.
  • Choose low impact options during a detox.  When your body is detoxifying, lean towards lower impact exercise to prevent fatigue.  
  • Stretch it out!  Yoga or flexibility training is a fantastic option for supporting detoxification.  It will improve digestive function and tension that can be stored in the hips.  

What foods are particularly supportive of detoxification?

  • Water is so important for optimal kidney function.  Ensure you are drinking at least 2L of filtered water daily and this should be increased with exercise.  Herbal teas that are particularly supportive of kidney elimination include nettle, dandelion or parsley.
  • Beetroot is a natural detoxifier and great for supporting liver health in general.  It contains betaine which helps prevent excess fatty deposits in the liver and breaks down toxins.
  • Broccoli is a sulphur containing vegetable and sulphur supports one of the main detoxification pathways.  
  • Bone broth is a rich source of glycine which is involved in liver detoxification. 
  • Turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its unique compounds called curcuminoids, the most important one of which is curcumin. Scientists now agree that low-level inflammation is lurking behind most modern chronic diseases, and that turmeric might even be so powerful that it can match the effects of some anti-inflammatory drugs – and without the side effects. 
  • Ginger is a root, and it’s one of the healthiest spices known to man. It’s been used for millennia medicinally, and claims of its benefits are now backed by modern science. The magic ingredient is gingerol, which is responsible for ginger’s medicinal properties. 
  • The humble apple can protect the level of antioxidant enzymes in the liver and reduce DNA damage after toxin exposure.
  • Protein is vital to ensure the liver has all the necessary amino acids for detoxification.  Good sources include grass fed meats, eggs, beans, legumes and fermented tofu or tempeh.  
  • A rainbow of fruits and vegetables high in phytonutrients that ensure optimal antioxidant status when dealing with the removal of toxins. 

 For a supportive detox that can be done alongside normal life, including exercise, CBA members can join Melanie’s (our in-house nutritionist) Detox and Thrive Course.  It is a 14-day course starting on the 16th January with an introductory zoom on Friday 13th January (that will be recorded).

Details on my Detox and Thrive Course: https://www.melaniefloodnutrition.com/detox-thrive


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Remember if anyone is interested in working with Melanie on a more 1-2-1 basis you can book a free discovery 30-minute discovery call by clicking here: https://p.bttr.to/3rdrPYg


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