When you start a detox program, you want it to go as smoothly as possible. However, because detoxing is commonly associated with weight loss, some people might want to enhance its positive effects by combining the program with vigorous exercise. After all, it’s common knowledge that exercise and proper nutrition help you lose weight, right?
Well, not exactly.
While a detox itself is healthy, it doesn’t provide many calories. Its main purpose is cleansing, which is achieved by allowing the liver and other organs to expel waste without the onslaught of substances it usually contends with. Basically, you’re boosting your body’s natural detox abilities while giving your organs a break and allowing them to “catch up”.
This is also the reason why a detox is often followed by weight loss, either small or significant. Because of the low calorie intake, your body starts burning fat tissue, stored carbs, and blood sugar. This can be quite positive, but not when you overdo it with physical activity. Remember, calories are a measure of energy.
When you train heavily, you tear muscle tissue. This happens often, and is actually good as long as you consume enough carbs and protein—two things that help the muscles recover and grow. Unfortunately, a detox does not supply enough of these nutrients to ensure healthy muscle recovery.
By nature, a detox is similar to fasting; during this period, your calorie intake is reduced and so are your energy needs. Many people who fast for religious reasons avoid strenuous activity during this time because it results in fatigue, injuries, or poor recovery.
You can still do some strength training, assuming you add some vegetable protein to your detox. You can also modify your workouts, picking lighter exercises than usual. Or you could refrain from strength training completely during the detox.
While avoiding heavy exercise will definitely benefit your detox, we still recommend that you engage in some light activity during the period. In fact, light exercises could kickstart the weight loss process and maximise the results of the detox. Exercise pumps fresh blood and oxygen throughout the body, which is rejuvenating in its own right.
Moreover, when you breathe deeply and sweat during exercise, you allow toxins to be released through your skin more easily. This also helps expel toxins from your lungs, colon, and lymphatic system.
But, of course, you need to choose the right exercises to achieve this balance.
Generally, aerobic exercises are the best for that. These cause your body to be flooded with oxygen, detoxifying the skin and increasing heart rate. Some of the best aerobic exercises during a detox are cycling, jumping, walking, swimming, and jogging.
After you pick a preferred type of aerobic exercise, you need to ensure that you’re doing it right. Don’t strain yourself too much. Pay attention to your breathing; it should be fast, but steady enough that you remain in control of it. If you can talk while doing an exercise, that’s great. If not, try to slow down a bit.
If possible, monitor your heart rate as well. While it should speed up, it shouldn’t exceed the recommended fat-burning range of beats per minute.
Without a doubt, exercise is good for your health. However, it’s very important to be reasonable and careful with your exercise routine during the detox. Remember that detoxing is enough of a challenge for your body (especially if you’re doing it for the first time). If you do plan on exercising, keep an eye on how it makes you feel. If for some reason you start feeling worse during the process, try reducing the severity of your routine.
We hope this will help you pick the right exercises to boost the efficacy of your detox, without losing all your energy. Take care of yourself!