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Your liver, bowel, lungs, kidneys, skin and lymphatic system are the main parts involved in keeping our bodies clean every day. Movement is absolutely critical to keeping these channels flowing – as it results in deeper breathing, more regular digestion, improved oxygenation & lymphatic circulation. So movement is a very important part of keeping ourselves ‘clean’ on a daily basis, & it’s also crucial to keep moving during a detox – we just need to ensure that the movement is supportive, & not excessively draining.
Most detox plans involve eating a lot less food than you’re used to & feeling somewhat depleted, meaning that your regular exercise schedule can be a bit tough to stick to, & adjustment is needed. Detox time is definitely NOT the time to be smashing yourself in the gym, entering sporting competitions or running marathons. BUT, staying active & moving gently is absolutely imperative to successful detox as it ensures your respiratory, circulatory, digestive & lymphatic systems are all powering along.
So – what to do?
# 1: YOGA
This would have to be number one best detox exercise. Not only will you be ‘squeezing all the rubbish out of yourself’ with the stretching / holding of positions – you will also be detoxing your mind with the meditation & relaxation benefits (most classes will include a brief meditation / relaxation component). Choose a gentle yoga if you aren’t a regular yogi, & if you are – just ensure you peg it back a notch & go easy on yourself. Imagine yourself as a dirty old sponge, getting a good old wring out! (Make sure you are really well hydrated before, during & after class to assist the wringing process – ever tried wringing out a dry sponge?!) No yoga classes near you? Check out some online instructors, or even just lay out a folded up thick blanket & do some of your own ‘ intuitive stretching’ – just feel which parts of your body feel really stiff, stagnant or achy & find ways to stretch / move them so it feels good.
# 2: OCEAN SWIMMING
My number 2. Not in cold weather, but definitely in the hotter months (which I much prefer for detoxing anyway due to all the ‘cold’ nature food / drink etc). Just ‘swim’ really gently, more bathing than actual swimming – you can soak up a dose of healing, energising vitamin D while you’re there – DO NOT BURN. The back & forwards from cool ocean to warm sand = awesome stimulation for your circulation & the sea minerals & fresh air are great too. Don’t miss the chance to give yourself a sandy whole-body exfoliation scrub too. If you don’t live close to the beach, find a natural rock pool / dam / lake / river & make it a mud pack!
# 3: TRAMPOLINING
Awesome fun & the BEST way to get your lymphatic system (the garbage disposal system) really moving. Probably not much fun if suffering from a caffeine withdrawal headache, but go for it after that passes! You can use one of those small rebounders, or hijack the kids / neighbours big one. Remember be hydrated & don’t attempt the crazy tricks you did as a child – just the standard up & down jumping is plenty for lymphatic support!
# 4: BUSHWALKING
No long treks or uphill hiking adventures – just a cruisey walk through your favourite park / forest in the fresh air. Just do 10-30 mins once or twice daily, depending on your energy levels / food intake & baseline fitness, do some deep breathing & stretches along the way, & be sure to take your water / juice / herb tea in a bottle with you.
# 5: MASSAGE
Not really exercise, but the perfect way to get things moving, especially if you’re feeling really tired or you have an illness / injury preventing even gentle exercise. Also perfect as it can switch your nervous system into the restorative ‘parasympathetic’ mode (most of us spend our days racing around in sympathetic (fight or flight / stress mode, which doesn’t support detoxification & repair). Choose any type of massage, a relaxing swedish or lymphatic drainage, stimulating reflexology or Thai, kahuna, hot stone…
…hmmm I think I need to start a detox!