by Lisa Rice, Co-Owner and Executive Vice President of DanzaTone Fitness, LLC
Making sure your body can easily eliminate waste is all a part of keeping yourself healthy and fit.
Let’s face it, waste elimination is not an easy subject to talk about but how your body rids itself of unwanted products is an extremely important issue. If your body does not effectively discard the things it does not need bad things can and will happen. Removing waste from your body contributes to weight loss, healthier skin, increased energy levels, and helps prevent the onset of many illnesses. It might not be a tidy subject but if you are going to meet your health goals, we are going to have to get a little messy.
Your body is an incredible, amazing instrument. It is designed to stay healthy and optimize its functioning. Your body works hard to process the good things that it absorbs from your environment, like nutrients from the sun. It also works hard to effectively use the nutrition that it receives from what you eat or drink. When your body absorbs any substance, such as food, liquids, drugs or toxins, it analyzes each substance to see what it should keep and what it should remove.
There are seven paths your body uses to eliminate waste – blood, lymphatic system, lungs, skin, liver, kidneys, and intestines. If any of these paths become disrupted, it could be fatal. That is why it is important to maintain a healthy body that can effectively rid your system of toxic products that your body cannot use.
Blood – Blood functions as the body’s delivery system. It carries nutrients to all parts of your body and then transports waste materials to elimination sites like the kidneys, lungs, liver and lymphatic system. If you want to keep your blood healthy, get plenty of exercise, drink water, get a sufficient amount of vitamins and iron, eat green vegetables and make legumes a major part of your diet.
Lymphatic System – The lymphatic system helps to remove impurities from your body. It is made up of lymph organs (including the spleen and tonsils), lymph fluid (which contains water, salts, white blood cells, protein and lipids), lymph vessels and lymph nodes. Did you know that your body has over 400 lymph nodes that help to get rid of unwanted by products and waste? The lymphatic system acts as a filtration and drainage mechanism. Since water is such an important ingredient in lymph, which is the liquid that helps to carry impurities out of your body, it is important that you drink a sufficient amount of water each day and take in daily exercise to keep the liquids flowing through your body.
Lungs - The lungs eliminate gaseous products such as carbon dioxide. Your lungs need at least 20 minutes of moderate to high level exercise every day to keep them at their optimal functioning level. And it goes without saying that pollutants such as smoke can cause irreparable damage to your lungs. If you do smoke, begin a program immediately to help you stop your smoking habit. Each cigarette that you smoke knocks off 5 – 20 minutes off your life.
Skin - Your skin is your body’s largest organ. The skin eliminates waste products such as toxins, salt, water, minerals, urea, sugars and ammonia through sweat that is excreted by sweat glands. In order for your skin to function properly, you need to drink plenty of water and limit the intake of toxins, like alcohol and processed foods. Also taking in cleansing drinks can help keep your system and skin clear.
Liver – The liver may be relatively small but it is one of the hardest working organs in your body. The liver processes every substance you bring into your body and either prepares it for your body to use, store or eliminate. Since obesity is related to fatty-liver disease, it is important to eat a healthy diet and limit your fat intake. Eat plenty of legumes, beans, fish, vegetables and fruits to maintain a well-functioning liver.
Kidneys - Kidneys are the primary organs in your body’s urinary tract system and they extract waste materials from the blood and combine them with water to produce urine. Certain medications and drugs can cause kidney disease so it is important to take care of your kidneys by getting plenty of exercise, drinking water, maintaining the proper weight, lessening sugar and salt intake and eating healthy foods.
Intestines - When we think of waste elimination, it is probably the intestines and colon that come to mind first. But the intestines are really just one part of a very complex process our bodies use to remove unneeded materials. Fried foods, excessive sugars, drugs and processed foods can clog the intestines and disrupt their ability to function properly. Eating healthy foods and intaking water during and after each meal will help keep the intestines flushed. You should be eliminating waste through your colon (excrement) at least once per day and many experts say that each time you eat solid foods you should be eliminating solid waste. Regular exercise will help ensure that your body is effectively removing waste through your intestinal system.
The body, like any other organism, can only do so much. If you overtax your body by taking in unhealthy substances, your body will not be able to do its job of keeping you healthy and processing the things that it receives. Sometimes a disease might be a sign that your body is not effectively eliminating waste. Weight gain may also be a telltale sign that your body is being overburdened and is not able to remove all of the unwanted substances it has received. Make sure you are doing the following things to make sure your body is functioning right: