It’s everyone’s goal at the beginning of the new year, even more so in the summer during bathing suit season–exercising more. Exercising is one of the best things anyone can do for their body. It helps build muscle, reduce fat and improve mood, just to name a few of its benefits. But exercising also helps to detox the body, something that is crucial to maintaining good health.
Detoxing is simply the body’s way of removing toxins and excess waste. There are many methods to do so, some more common than others, but they all get the job done. Detoxing can leave you feeling less sluggish and more energized, and it can help clear up skin and add shine to hair.
How Exercising and Detoxification Work
Increased movement when we exercise stimulates our bodies. It flushes out our lungs and helps food pass through our gut quicker while also opening up the sweat glands and cleansing the skin through perspiration. Exercising promotes circulation of blood and lymph, a clear fluid containing white blood cells that flows through our bodies, therefore allowing organs such as the lymph nodes and liver to cleanse those bodily fluids. Exercise even kickstarts the kidneys’ job when you hydrate with water. Drinking plenty of water before, during and after an exercise routine will help the body detox more efficiently because the liquid will allow the kidneys to filter toxins easily. Plus you’ll sweat more.
Digestion is also improved with exercise. And with a healthy digestive system, the body experiences less indigestion, constipation and gas, which in turn allows for better waste removal. Yoga poses especially are thought to help promote blood flow to the bowels and strengthen the intestines. It all goes hand-in-hand.
The hardest part about committing to this kind of cleanse is actually getting the motivation to exercise. Work, school, family and other responsibilities can often lead to little free time for relaxing, let along squeezing in a trip to the gym. But exercising doesn’t have to be a chore! It’s all about finding the kind of activity that you enjoy and can easily fit into your lifestyle.
Almost any form of aerobic exercise–the kind that gets your heart pumping and your breathing going–will help your body cleanse itself. At least 30 minutes of the following activities a few times a week is ideal, so don’t overdo it! It’s important to allow your body at least one or two days worth of rest.
- Running, jump roping, walking, dancing, swimming, bicycling and jumping on a trampoline.
- Martial arts and kickboxing.
- Yoga and pilates.
Doing exercises that target your body’s core are especially beneficial for detoxing because that’s where the vital eliminating organs such as the colon, kidneys and liver are located. Doing crunches and abdominal twists, for example, will stimulate those organs and help waste past through the large and small intestines quicker.
Of course, simply exercising won’t cleanse your body entirely. It’s important to follow a healthful, balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains to experience the full benefits that exercising and detoxification have to offer.
A hard workout, as beneficial as it is, could take a toll on your body. Fueling yourself with the right food before and after you exercise are key if you want to detox this way, as are prepping and recovering properly. Check out some of these helpful articles from our Green Monsters to ensure that you’re taking extra-good care of yourself during your cleanse.
- Blueberries Boost Recovery After Exercise
- Healthy Foods to Fuel Your Workout
- Ultra Running Recovery–Vegan Style
- 5 Homemade Natural Energy Drinks to Fuel Your Workout
- Eat Like an Athlete: 8 Amazing Plant-Powered Foods
- Why is Coconut Water Better than Sports Drinks?
Image source: Tom Mooring/Flickr