Detoxing or removing taxing toxins from your body can help make amends for a self-indulgent winter and promote optimal health. There are plenty of detox methods to choose from, some as simple as finding ways to improve blood circulation and starting a healthier diet. Reducing stress is also important. Detoxing does not have to be dramatic, and a few simple steps can help you feel better.
For Grace Kladstrup of Mountain Float Spa in New Paltz, water has the power to soothe and satisfy. Kladstrup, a yoga teacher, uses flotation therapy to help clients relieve stress, recover from injuries, and eliminate pain. When a person does flotation therapy, he/she feels completely weightless. It’s quiet and dark with no distractions. “From floating in over 800 pounds of Epsom salt-filled water, I am able to dive deeper into a state of relaxation, as well as enjoy the physical benefits of detoxing,” Kladstrup proclaims.
"One of the simplest ways to detox is also to drink lots of water.
One of the simplest ways to detox is also to drink lots of water. “Sounds so simple, but I really believe in the power of water,” she says. “By staying hydrated, we are able to keep things moving and allow our body to do what it does best: heal. Water allows us to flush out toxins and keep our organs healthy, including our largest organ—our skin.”
WORK UP A SWEAT
exercise improves blood circulation
Anthony Covello, owner of The Ridge Gym in Stone Ridge and 28 West Gym in Woodstock, says that any type of movement that makes you sweat is mandatory for a good detox. “I recommend long slow bouts of cardio,” states Covello, “like a 45-minute uphill walk. Use a treadmill to avoid the elements. If you are detoxing for weight loss, then doing your cardio in the morning on an empty stomach
will accelerate stored fat loss. Some weight-bearing compound exercises of moderate intensity will build lean muscle, which also helps burn fat.” He cautions people to avoid
expensive detox products and instead focus on removing toxins from their lives, such as alcohol and nicotine.
Some people think that the only way to detox is to fast or drink only liquids. That’s too drastic, says Roufia Payman, the supervisor of outpatient nutrition at Northern Duchess Hospital in Rhinebeck. Paymen cautions that people should not attempt a drastic elimination or detox diet unless they are under a doctor’s supervision. It’s better to make healthy dietary changes and slowly detox. One such change could be to start your day with warm
water and a splash of lemon. “My grandmother and mother-in-law did that,” said Payman. “One should do it every single day.” She also suggests avoiding over-the-counter detox products and focus on diet: “We, unfortunately, have a highly toxic environment, and to fight that, we need to eat better every day,” says Payman. “On a daily basis, a person’s diet should include cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, as well as garlic, ginger and turmeric.”
SPRING IS THE RIGHT TIME
When the first warm days of spring arrive, people are naturally ready for a change. Glenn Finley and Ileana Tecchio of New Leaf Holistic Health Center agree that spring is the right time for detoxing and engaging in healthier habits. “Spring is ideal for three main reasons,” said Tecchio. “In Chinese medicine, spring is the official season of the liver organ system. During this time, the liver chi is more active. Also, the abundance of fruit and vegetables in the spring makes it conducive to light but nutritious meals. And in the spring, days are longer, which make it easier for people to fit in an exercise routine.” The center offers a two-week spring whole-body cleanse that starts and ends with an anti-inflammatory diet. The diet eliminates dairy, gluten, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, nightshades, soy, and peanuts. In some cases, Finley and Tecchio also recommend yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massage, or exercise. But simply following an anti-inflammatory diet can be a good first step. “For newcomers, we suggest just the anti-inflammatory diet for the two-week period to get their feet wet with the cleansing process,” says Finley.
TAKE SOOTHING BABY STEPS
Abrupt solutions can put you at risk for side effects. Wendy Lupinski of Honors Haven Resort and Spa in Ellenville also does not recommend short-term solutions for detoxing. “Detoxification is a process that puts your organs to work flushing toxins,” she explains. “The more prepared your body is for any detox regimen, the more pleasant that detox will be. Some individuals may suffer an array of uncomfortable side effects during detox, such as headaches, fatigue, dizziness and skin breakouts.” Easy does it, she believes. “My first step toward any successful detox plan would probably be to try to eliminate any unnecessary stress. Establishing a good sleep pattern, finding balance, and creating quiet both internally and externally are great starters. Massages are a fantastic way to reconnect with your body and unwind. Your mind and body benefit greatly from a soothing touch and increased circulation.”
EAT HEALTHY FOODS
A light detox does help to remove unhealthy toxins, but you also must eat nutritious foods to help cleanse your body. Make a pact with yourself to avoid processed foods, and be sure to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables—at least two cups of each a day. According to Edward
from Wellness Rx in High Falls, “The main reasons light detoxes are so important are that they help remove toxins from the body and to strengthen the immune system. Something very few people know is that seventy percent of the immune system works from the gut
or intestinal tract. To keep healthy, it’s so important to have a healthy system, and detoxing can help to balance the body.” So, while detoxing, continue to eat fruits and veggies filled with vitamins and minerals and fiber to allow your body to function at its best.