Most people know that moderate exercise has significant emotional and physical benefits. The activity releases feel-good endorphins that create a sense of well-being while strengthening muscles. That’s especially good news for people with back issues like mild sciatica that are potentially scared off by exercise. In these cases, a brace specifically designed for sciatica in the back increases the benefits of physical fitness even further.
But many people do not know that physical exercise also detoxifies the body from ingested and environmental chemicals.
Running and Detox
This kind of exercise accelerates the body’s natural detoxification. Running produces sweat and cleanses the skin, which is the body’s largest organ as well as the place where many environmental toxins enter the body. Running also strengthens the lungs, liver, heart, and other internal organs that naturally flush toxins out of the body.
Speaking of flushing, the elevated hydration associated with running also helps detoxify the body. So, running has both a direct and indirect detoxification effect.
Yoga and Detox
Many yoga masters claim that twisting poses stimulate blood flow to key detoxifying organs like the spleen, gallbladder, and liver. Therefore, toxic-laden blood goes out of the body and the heart pumps clean blood to replace it. While there is very little scientific evidence that supports this conclusion, there is really nothing that refutes it either, so the yoga twist-detoxifying effect may simply be a mystery that science has yet to uncover.
Inversion may have some detoxifying effects as well. Lymph is the body’s primary cleansing substance, and mostly because of gravity, this fluid tends to collect in the legs. Elevating the legs in poses like Sarvangasana or Sirsasana redistributes this substance through the rest of the body, thus hastening the natural detoxification process.
Finally, there is solid evidence that yoga’s deep breathing detoxifies the body. This process purges carbon dioxide, one of the most potent environmental poisons, from the body. Furthermore, there is a multiplying effect, so the more deep breathing you do, the better.
Related reading: How Detox Yoga Can Enhance Your Detox Diet Plan
Tai Chi and Detox
This ancient Chinese martial art has both physical and mental detoxification benefits.
For centuries, Chinese physicians have maintained that stagnant or blocked Qi (chee) causes almost all physical illnesses. Qigong, which is very similar to Tai Chi, cleanses the lymphatic system and also metabolizes oxygen. In fact, some clinics use Qigong to help recovering heroin addicts. The deep breathing associated with Tai Chi and Qigong hastens the detox process even further.
Furthermore, much like yoga and other forms of exercise, Tai Chi stimulates blood flow. But the effect may be even greater because yoga is great but involves little movement and running is a rather one-dimensional way to get blood moving.
Detox is more than just a physical process because in addition to unwanted chemicals, many people have unwanted emotions in their bodies, like stress and anxiety. Feelings like these often have physical manifestations, making their removal even more imperative. Tai Chi’s meditation encourages practitioners to focus on the here and now, taking their minds off their problems. Typically, once such refocusing occurs, it may be several hours before the mind returns to these unpleasant thoughts.
That light feeling that comes after a good exercise session is your body detoxifying itself, so get moving today.
Author bio: Jessica Hegg is the content manager at ViveHealth.com. Interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle she works to share valuable information aimed at overcoming obstacles and improving the quality of life for others.