Movement and rest, these practices are like two sides of a coin, you can’t have one without the other. They remain two of the most fundamental practices for living clean during and after you’ve completed the Clean Program and can help us make serious gains in our health if we give them proper attention.
This is easy in theory, but it can seem complex when we add in the aspect of cleansing. Should you continue to exercise on the cleanse?
Exercising While Cleansing
This is a time when you are taking in a low amount of calories and sugar by having two cleansing and detoxifying shakes per day. Most likely, this is less than your body is used to, so it only makes sense that you would do less movement during this time than your body is used to, as well.
Our energy during the cleanse is focused on healing - with less digestion to handle, your body sends that energy to various points throughout to do repairs. When we eat or exercise, we detract those workers from the job they are on and they are sent to do muscle repair or food to digest. Those aren't bad things, but if we do them enough, it can slow down progress on the cleanse.
This doesn't mean we can't exercise! For some people, this means just reducing workout activity by half, and they find this a manageable activity level during the 21 days. For others, they might want to focus primarily on rest, and the mental and emotional aspect of cleansing, and that's fine too - however, we recommend continuing to move your body in some way, so at least taking long walks and planning for some healthy restorative yoga.
The major challenge with exercise on the cleanse is that we often try to take on too much at once. Unrealistic goals, such as losing twenty pounds or completely transforming our bodies in a week, set us up for failure. And with failure comes guilt and shame, hardly good motivators and these emotions can make you feel physically ill as well.
What if you are already a very active person and don't want to (or can't) give that up? Think of moving and resting as food, part of your daily nourishment, free for the taking whenever you want them.
Working Out Feels Good (Most of the Time)
When we exercise, we burn excess fat, create endorphins which make us feel great and improve our mood, and build strength and endurance. When we get enough sleep and unplug, we give ourselves time to recharge and reflect. Both moving and resting help us reduce the amount of stress in our lives and make us better at handling stress when it does occur.
We just want to make sure we are amply fueling our bodies correctly. If you are concerned, you can contact one of our Wellness Coaches to adjust your routine and calorie intake. It's very personal and we recommend above all listening to your body. If you are attempting to keep up your regular routine - make sure to add in an additional shake or protein-filled snacks appropriately for the energy expended.
Each time you practice a small habit (e.g. meditation, walk, or exercise routine), congratulate yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back to celebrate, and remember, the more you take pleasure in a habit, the more it will stick with you.
Whatever method of exercise or stress reduction you choose, know that it is not only an integral part of living clean for life but also an integral part of who you are. Remember to listen to your body, as you are the expert in your own experience.
Written by the Clean Team