Have you ever wondered how Cleanse Days fit into your workout routine or if it’s OK to exercise at all when you are fasting?
Whether you are a competitive athlete or are just getting started with a new fitness plan, it’s important to include regular days for rest and recovery as part of your workout routine. Finding the right balance between rest and exercise helps you achieve better gains from your workouts, reduce your risks of injury, and improve your performance (1). Using your Cleanse Days as rest days can be a highly effective part of your fitness plan.
Different Ways to Rest
For some, Cleanse Days are all about taking it easy. Others feel their best when they move their body every day, even on days when they are fasting. To be clear, strenuous exercise is not recommended on Cleanse Days since you aren’t fueling your body for intense physical activity. However, light exercise can be a great addition to a Cleanse Day if it feels good to you.
Research suggests that light exercise can be about the same or even better for recovery than total rest (1). For example, light exercise on rest days can reduce stiffness and muscle soreness for people who do heavy workouts on other days (2).
Whether you choose to take the day off or plan a lower-intensity workout, both are good options and serve an important purpose in your fitness routine. If adding some movement to your Cleanse Days feels right to you, these five gentle exercises can help you get started.
Low-Intensity Exercise for Cleanse Days
Yoga – Yoga, as an exercise that’s grounded in a philosophy of flexibility, discipline, and acceptance, goes hand in hand with performing Cleanse Days. With so many different types of yoga and yoga classes, be sure to look for a beginner-level class or one with a restorative focus to get the best benefit on a Cleanse Day.
Walk – Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise you can do on a Cleanse Day. It requires no gym membership and offers a low-impact workout. If you don’t have much time, know that even a short, brisk walk is a great way to get some exercise – and could even help curb cravings on Cleanse Days.
Bike – Go outside for a leisurely bike ride. You can easily manage the intensity of your workout making it great for a Cleanse Day. Biking is also a fun way to exercise that doesn’t have to feel like a workout.
Swim – A relaxing swim can be another great option for light activity on a Cleanse Day. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints and muscles and can feel especially restorative on a Cleanse Day.
Stretch – Many of us neglect stretching. If you are looking for a low-intensity way to move your body, try designating Cleanse Days for stretching. Since you aren’t doing your usual workout, you can spend a good amount of time working on your flexibility.
Cleanse Day workouts can be a great way to relax, take your mind off cravings, and add low-intensity exercise for active recovery to your fitness routine. However, always remember to listen to your body. Sometimes, it’s better to rest.
- Kellmann M, Bertollo M, Bosquet L, et al. Recovery and Performance in Sport: Consensus Statement. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2018;13(2):240-245. doi:10.1123/ijspp.2017-0759
- Cheung K, Hume P, Maxwell L. Delayed onset muscle soreness : treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports Med. 2003;33(2):145-164. doi:10.2165/00007256-200333020-00005