Welcome to Detox month at Livfit Studio! March is a great time to detoxify and get your spring cleaning going in the body and mind! There are so many different ways to detoxify and so much information out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. We have included our top detoxification tips below in fitness, nutrition, and mindset. We have several workshops this month, a studio accountability board, and a Detox Contest! Keep reading for all things detox 😉
We want to know how you Detox this month! For the first two weeks of March we want to know what ways you detox, whether it’s a meditation, stretching, mindful eating, break from technology, or enjoying a walk through nature! Post a picture of you detoxing to our Livfit community on Facebook OR tag us in your instagram/ facebook post with the #MyDetoxToLivfit and be entered to win a set of Victoria Royals tickets for March 17th!
How did the last time you worked out leave you feeling? Did you notice your body felt stiff after? Or you were so sore you couldn’t move your arms? What about muscle cramps? These are all common things that happen after exercise, but if exercise is so good for us, why does it leave us feeling so stiff and sore the days following? This stiffness we feel after a workout is called DOMS – Delayed onset muscle soreness. DOMS is a common feeling that occurs after more intense bouts of exercise and is actually caused up by buildup of toxins products in your muscles.
This month with our focus on body detoxification I want to shed some light on ways we can help “detox” our body before and after exercise and why these toxins can be both good and bad for us! Before we start any exercise we should always warm up. Whether that includes an aerobic warm-up like jogging or cycling or a release type approach. In our livfit classes we encourage warming up to help stimulate blood flow to our muscles, this way when we do start exercising intensely, our body is ready to deal with the toxins produced by our body.
As part of a good warm up, our personal trainers also include Myofascial release. Myofascial release is a hands on technique that targets the facia, or fibrous lining around a muscle, with a constant pressure to help improve blood flow and release tension in the area. Some of the techniques we use most frequently are foam rolling, hand rolling, or using a lacrosse (or other firm ball) to help release tension in our muscles. Foam rollers help target larger muscle groups such as our glutes, quads, hamstrings, or lats. The small lacrosse ball is good for pinpointing tights spots in our traps/ shoulder, glutes, and the bottom of our feet. All of these methods work in allowing the connective tissue to warm up and relax, allowing better blood flow into the area. More blood flow means more nutrients to help repair damaged tissue, and more blood to help remove and flush out toxins built up in our muscle tissues.
With all of this discussion about waste products or toxins accumulating in our muscles you might wonder what these really are, or why we have them if they are bad for us and get removed by our bodies. Most toxins in our bodies during exercise are actually produced by are bodies. Lactic acid may be something you have heard about before as being a “bad” waste product that builds up and stops us from doing exercise. Allow me to explain a little bit about what Lactic acid really is and what its role looks like in our bodies!
Lactate is actually a byproduct produced when our bodies break down glucose (our primary fuel source). When the body demands energy, we have three systems available to help us create it! Our body determines what system is best to use by the amount of OXYGEN present in our muscles. The Lactic Acid system also known as Anaerobic glycolysis ( Glyco = glucose, Olysis = breakdown), works by breaking down stored glucose in our muscles without the need for oxygen to be present. Without oxygen present, our body takes glucose and sends it through a series of chemical reactions to form ATP (our fuel) and Lactate (waste). What’s special about this waste though is it is actually produced in an attempt to create MORE ATP! Our body uses lactate in a second energy system (the Aerobic system), in the presence of oxygen, to break it down and create ATP!
So now you must be thinking well if we use Lactate as an energy source why do we here about it as being a Toxin and waste product? Well this is because our bodies can only be so efficient. Picture yourself going on a bike ride. You start off going down your street and everything seems pretty easy, all of a sudden you decide to sprint hard for ten seconds to make the traffic light. During that sprint your legs feel full of energy and you aren’t breathing that hard because you just started your bike ride but you notice a small burning in your quads after the sprint. The energy you had for your sprint was a result of the Lactate System! It took your stored glucose and made energy (ATP), and that small burning sensation is the small amount of lactate that has started to accumulate – because our bodies are only so efficient! So now you’ve been biking for 30 minutes, your breathing is heavy and your legs are really burning now, but you’re only 10 minutes from home! So where does all this energy to get you home come from? Well this energy comes from our next energy system – the Aerobic system! Our heavy breathing promotes the presence of Oxygen in our muscles, this in turn helps us to break down glucose from all over our body and make energy. This oxygen also helps us break down our lactate build up and turn it into energy! Say you are home now, you are sitting on your couch and your legs feel very stiff and heavy – THIS is a result of the EXTRA lactate we had build up in our muscles that we couldn’t use for energy. This Extra lactate has now become a waste product that our body tries to remove in order to help our muscles recover, when this waste cannot be removed by our body it leaves us feeling very stiff and painful. This feeling of stiffness is actually the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS) I discussed earlier!
So it begins all over again. The Cycle of exercise helps shed some light on the “waste products” in our body and how even though we do call them toxins and waste they can prove to be highly beneficial for energy production. However they are also the culprits for the stiffness in our muscles after exercise! Warming up before exercise and doing proper cool downs after exercise are just a few strategies to help alleviate the symptoms of DOMS caused by the build up of these toxins in our muscles. Myofascial release, Stretching, even epsom salt baths are good ways to relax our bodies and repair our muscles for the next activity!
Robyn Spilsbury (Kin.)
The Daily Detox Matcha Latte with Sarah Heavenor
Feeling lethargic, heavy, and unmotivated? In our society the body is exposed to an increasingly high amount of toxins on daily basis. When the body accumulates more toxins than it can eliminate it begins to store them in fat, nerve, brain and organ tissues. This, as a result, can cause unwanted symptoms like skin flare ups, weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, bloating and brain fog. If left long term these symptoms can further develop into chronic debilitating diseases. Over the past year I have gradually been transitioning away from drinking coffee every day. Not only does in spike our long term stress hormone known as cortisol, but it can also interfere with our body’s ability to detoxify regularly. A great alternative I have really been enjoying lately is having a homemade unsweetened matcha latte in the morning instead.
Matcha green tea is an antioxidant rich powerhouse. It provides the body with clean, clear and focused energy. Rich in an amino acid known as L-theanine; matcha provides the body with a calm sense of alertness without any of the negative side effects like jitters and anxiety. Matcha is also rich in chlorophyll which gives it such a beautiful rich green colour. Chlorophyll helps to stimulate detoxification by assisting the body in removing toxins and clearing out stagnation.
Good quality collagen peptides are typically sourced from grass-fed, pastured-raised bovine hides. They have amazing benefits for the body like improving hair, skin, nails, joints, ligaments, tendons, and even gut health! I love adding collagen to my lattes because not only is it rich in protein, it also makes my drinks extra creamy without needing to use any dairy.
I always add a tone of healthy fat to my morning latte because it helps me stay fueled and focused for hours. Coconut butter is known as a “whole food” fat source, made solely of pure dried coconut flesh. When trying to make your latte without dairy, coconut butter is a really great plant-based alternative. I also love adding coconut butter to my matcha because it adds a natural sweetness to drink without needing any sugar.
Cinnamon is an amazing all natural sweetener and blood sugar balancing herb. Did you know that there are different types of cinnamon. It’s important to source good quality cinnamon (ceylon cinnamon is the best form) as most cinnamon brands you find at the grocery store can actually be carcinogenic. I typically opt for organic cinnamon to ensure I’m getting a quality product.
The Daily Detox Matcha Latte
1 tbsp matcha powder
2 tbsp coconut butter (or coconut oil)
1-2 tbsp collagen peptides
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 cups hot water
Add ingredients into a high speed blender
Blend for 2-3 mins. Drink immediately
1 tsp raw unpasteurized honey
Sarah’s Favourite Brands:
Coconut Buter: Nutiva Coconut Manna
Collagen Peptides: Vital Proteins, Organika Health
Matcha: Harmonic Arts Superfood Matcha Blend – “Macuna Matcha-ta”
Want to learn more about the food you are eating and how to use it as fuel and help aide in detoxification? Join me for a night of Spring Reset! Click here to register for my upcoming workshop!
With the idea of Detox in mind this month, its important to remember that the mind and body work together to help bring us our overall feeling of wellness. Toxins are poisonous substances that we are exposed to on a daily basis, from sources like pollution, processed foods, or pesticides. Toxins can be absorbed without us even realizing it through the things we touch or inhale. The more we hold onto these toxins, the more we will likely feel them throughout the day. Here are some ideas on detoxing our mind to help us move through this month feeling clean.
- Morning or evening meditation! Take a moment to yourself every day in a quiet room and find yourself focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind to begin your day on a high note, or end your day with thoughtful self reflection.
- Technology detox! We have the tendency to get hung up keeping track of our busy lives while trying to stay connected with work, friends, and family. Next time you are sitting down for a meal leave your phone, tv, and computer behind! Use this time to take a break from the screens and appreciate the food that is in front of you. Actually looking at your food when you are eating can aide in digestion and helps in the digestion process by preparing our bodies for food!
- Try a relaxing detox bath using ingredients such as epsom salts, green tea, bentonite clay, or essential oils. Baths can help release toxins and absorb beneficial minerals, leaving you calm cleansed and rejuvenated. You can even try floatation therapy baths! Flotation therapy involves laying in a pod with both water and air warmed to the temperature of your skin giving you a sensation of weightlessness. Epsom salts are added to make your body buoyant and provide benefits such as muscle relaxation and soft skin. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Reduced recovery time from sports injury
- Improve circulation
- Relieve joint and muscle pain
- Enhance sleep
- Soaking in epsom salts can help:
- Stimulate lymph drainage
- Promote absorption of magnesium and sulfates
Your Mindfit tips: Robyn Spilsbury (Kin)