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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Exercise Should I Undertake While Cleansing/ Detoxing?

As you can imagine, during a detox it is not a good idea to put your body under too much strain or stress through exercise.  However, this does not mean that all exercise is forbidden during a detox (you don't get out of it that easily!).
The detox process aims to give your body an opportunity to cleanse itself, flushing any toxins from your system and therefore there are several types of exercise that can help with this process and that are recommended while detoxing.  These types of exercise typically focus upon aerobic exercise in that the exercise aims to increase your heart-rate into your 'fat burning zone' (intensity of around 6-7 out of 10) and encourage deep, diaphragmatic breath that helps flush your lymphatic system.
While anaerobic (resistance) training is very highly recommended when not detoxing, this type of exercise (along with high intensity aerobic training (HIT) can be quite stressful on the body during a detox and can therefore inhibit the body's ability to repair itself effectively. 


As mentioned, the intensity level of exercise during a cleanse/detox should remain within the 'fat burning zone'.  By this it is understood that your heart-rate should not exceed a certain level.  This is particularly for those who chose running as their form of exercise as it is very easy to exceed your maximum heart rate. 
The 'fat-burning zone' is different for everybody.  To calculate this zone, we recommend the Stu Mittleman method.  Stu is an ultra marathon champion and set the world record for running the 1,000 mile run (he completed it in 11 days) and also holds the US record for the Six Day Run: 578 miles (96 miles/3.7 marathons per day!).  Stu also ran across America in 55 days, at a rate of 52 miles per day in 2000.  We can consider him to be somewhat of an authority on aerobic training and running!
Calculating your Heart Rate Zones
The method for calculating your heart-rate zones according to Stu is to subtract your age from 180.  This defines your uppermost limit before you start burning sugar instead of fat.  Have you ever finished a run and felt dizzy and queasy?  This is because you were burning sugar instead of fat!  When exercising at this level, the exercise actually becomes anaerobic instead of aerobic and serves more to increase muscle strength/capacity. Indeed, while training above this zone has many benefits and uses as part of a wider training regime - it is far too intense while detoxing. 
The fat burning zones are broken down into three stages, at the lowest level of intensity is the warm-up zone, followed by the mostly aerobic pace (MAP) and then the most efficient pace (MEP).  MAP is the zone where the most fat burning takes place and it is within this zone that you should concentrate your efforts whilst detoxing in order to give yourself a work-out and to help flush your lymphatic system.
Using myself as an example:

180 - my age (25) = 155

MEP Upper Limit = 155
- 10 = 145
MEP Lower Limit = 145
MAP Upper Limit = 145
- 10 = 135
MAP Lower Limit = 135

-10 = 125
Warm-up Zone = 125-135

Unless you run frequently, it will probably be fairly difficult to keep within the warm-up and MAP zones whilst running and therefore you may need to intersperse your running with walking, perhaps for 200 meters every kilometer in order to keep your heart-rate down. 
Knowing your Heart Rate
Obviously, the best way to know your heart-rate is to wear a heart-rate monitor.  However, if you do not own one of these, you can still roughly estimate which zone you are in using the following guidelines:

Signs of being in MAP or MEP:

- you can still talk normally without being short of breath
- your vision is clear and you have heightened senses of smell and sight
- you are in a steady, comfortable rhythm
- you would rate your level of intensity somewhere between 4 and 7 (at the very most)
Signs of being out of the fat-burning/aerobic zone:

- you are short of breath, especially when talking
- you may feel dizzy or nausea
- you do not feel comfortable
- you are looking forward to finishing!
- you would rate your level of intensity as above 7


As quoted by NASA, exercise on a rebounder is “the most efficient and effective exercise yet devised by man”. It is an excellent, non-impact, aerobic exercise gained by bouncing on a mini-trampoline.
The benefits of exercising on a rebounder / mini trampoline are astonishing and have been promoted significantly within the last decade. It is a unique exercise in which a weightless state is achieved at the top of each jump and then land with twice the force of gravity on each bounce. This shift in gravity benefits every muscle and cell of the body and provides huge benefits to the lymph system.
On studying the benefits of rebounding, NASA found that a 150-pound individual spending one-hour on a rebounder will burn more calories than the same person jogging for an hour!
Rebounding is great for a cleanse/detox as it:
- strengthens the glandular system
- helps to increase circulation and oxygen flow.
- conditions and strengthens the heart which allows the resting heart to beat less often.
- It provides an extremely effective 'no impact' exercise
- it increases metabolism which assists the body in burning more calories.
- increases the performance of both the heart and the circulatory system
- stimulates the flow of lymph fluid through the lymphatic system
- enhances digestion, relaxation, sleep patterns, nerve impulses and muscle fiber


Swimming and cycling are both great when cleansing/detoxing as they are both renowned for being extremely efficient, low-impact, aerobic forms of exercise.  Swimming is particularly good for a detox as it very relaxing and therapeutic as well as being a great muscle conditioner. 
Both forms of exercise are also detox-friendly as they allow a fairly high level of control over your heart-rate and therefore allow you to ensure that you do not exercise with too great an intensity.  They both also encourage deep diaphragmatic breathing which is especially important when cleansing/detoxing.


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