So maybe you threw back a few ((several)) cocktails, over-indulged on burgers and chips, cut back on workouts and hopefully enjoyed time with friends and family to celebrate a final weekend of summer…GOOD. You should have! If you really want to see some gains not only fitness, but in your overall heath and outlook, then enjoying these simple pleasures of life are essential and vital to creating a happier, healthier you.
After a holiday ((or summer)) splurge comes the desire to get back on track, start over, really commit to a new plan, to bounce back, as it were. Rather than viewing that mini vacation from your routine as a set-back from which you need to recover, view it instead as part of the process to progress – don’t necessarily bounce back, bounce forward. Be better than before. Your body and your mind appreciate the break, but make it one step back and 2 steps forward.
A common misconception is to go overboard on juicing, fasting, refusing food or returning pretty hard into your workouts. Not necessary. Instead, make a few little changes to set yourself back on a path of success.
Here are 5 easy ways to Detox the weekend ((and summer)) and begin to freshen up for Fall….no extreme dieting, juicing, or killing yourself in the gym required.
1. WATER. Drink hot water with lemon upon rising, lemon helps cleanse and detoxify the body, and hot water helps to get things moving. Drink a lot of good quality H20 throughout the day (aiming for 2-3 liters or roughly half your body weight in ounces). It’s best to drink water before and between meals, avoid drinking it with and shortly after meals since this can cause a slow down of digestion, creating a back-up. And spice it up! Adding ginger and cayenne pepper to hot water helps detoxify and eliminate any bloat you may be experiencing after a weekend binge.
2. MOVE. Sweating is the best way to release toxins in the body. You don’t need to spend hours on the workouts though, just get moving, now. Aim for 30-45 minutes of intense work four to five days a week, and utilize major and multiple muscle groups in your workouts, along with HIIT (high intensity interval training) to efficiently burn more fat. Check here for a total body workout to do! However, it’s important to move through out the day in addition to your workout. An hour workout is great, but if you sit for the majority of the day, you’re not only doing your health harm. but that chair/car/couch could be the reason you’re not losing stubborn weight. Do YOGA- for a number of different reasons- specific asanas aid in detoxification, pranayama techniques help purify the body, and yoga, overall, can ‘de-clutter’ your mind. Move when you wake up and before you hit the hay. Start your day with a 20 minute jog or brisk walk before breakfast, or some sun salutations. This can help burn extra fat. End your day with a 20 minute post dinner walk, and stretch before bed.
3. REDUCE. There’s no need for starvation dieting, fasting or juicing, but reducing your intake of certain foods is important. Avoid foods that cause inflammation, increase cravings, and those that your body stores as fat. Examples of these are:caffeine (which raises cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body, stubborn weight maintainer), alcohol (your body has to metabolize this first, meaning everything else consumed is stored as fat), dairy (can cause inflammation and mucous in the body), SUGAR (sugar is a nasty little drug that does quite a bit of harm on the body. Even reduce your fruit intake to 1-2 pieces, and keep it to the lower GI fruits during this time), gluten and grains, processed meats and packaged foods. No you don’t always have to get rid of these things, yet if you want to see changes and reap the health benefits of a detoxification, then as much as possible, these foods need to be reduced or eliminated from your diet while you freshen up.
4. EAT. The worst thing you can do is to go into starvation mode after a weekend holiday binge. All this will do is wreak havoc on your metabolism, and cause for a grumpy, more hungover-feeling. If you’re going to fast, do it between dinner and breakfast. Aim for a full 12 hours without eating between these meals. Your body needs this time for maintainence. Don’t eat within 3 hours of going to bed. Feed your body, and fuel it up with the good stuff it needs to thrive throughout the day. This means increasing your veggie and fiber intake, incorporating lean, high quality proteins with each meal, and include cucumbers and leafy greens – they will help balance pH levels (which can be really acidic after a weekend of booze, meat and chips).
5. REST & RELAXATION. It’s September, and other than January, it tends to be the month where everyone is ready to get back on track. Take a little bit of time writing down your goals and setting yourself up with a rhythm that you’re looking forward to starting, and one that’s attainable and maintainable. Set small goals for yourself, check in on them frequently to measure your progress. In a month where school and work come back in full swing, managing stress levels is crucial to help your body recover and ‘detoxify.’ When cortisol levels are high, your body has a natural tendency to hold onto fat, particularly around your midsection (a self-preservation technique that dates back to your ancestors). Incorporate yoga or moving meditation into your day, practice breathing techniques and get out in nature…everyday. And most importantly, sleep. Sleep is the time your body repairs and rebuilds. Get your 8 hours of sleep and be a happy camper.
AJ Govoni is an accomplished fitness professional, yoga teacher, and beach-bum traveler, with a love for using nature as her gym. She leads outdoor fitness programs and specializes in training and yoga for athletes and women. Through rockin’ playlists, happy vibes and sweaty flows, AJ’s classes will leave both your body and mind feeling good. Her sense of adventure has brought her backpacking to different regions of the world where she became fascinated by the activities, healing techniques, diets and lifestyles of other cultures. She fuses these discoveries into her work to bring a fresh perspective on active living, health and happiness. Follow AJ’s journey on Facebook , Instagram and her workouts and writings on her blog. Catch the ride with her! www.ajgovoni.com