September 27, 2017

Need a boost? Try a detox retreat

Sometimes I get to the point where I am completely strung out and it really impacts my running. Life is busy and we now do so much multi tasking that often parts of our lives suffer as a result. Recently I have had a lot going on and my running has taken a bit of a hit. So I needed to stop and take a break to recalibrate. For me the perfect answer to this was to go on a detox retreat; I’ve done this before and the results within me are fantastic.

Detox at the Golden Rock Retreat, Bali

Views from the retreat

I headed to Bali to the Golden Rock Retreat on the East of the Island for that break and here’s how I got on; you can then make your own mind up whether it might be beneficial to you.

So firstly, why did I choose this particular retreat? I have never been to Bali and fancied a change from my usual Thailand retreat. Golden Rock only has 5 villas so it has on average 5 or 6 guests at any one time; I love small retreats because you get more attention plus your own space which I certainly need. Finally the programme looked comprehensive and I thought I’d get a great experience. At Golden Rock you can detox/ fast for anything from 4 to 10 days and they are really flexible. I chose a 12 day retreat so I had two days to break the fast at the end.

The retreat is situated in an idyllic fishing village and is stunning. I was bowled over when I saw the views and the retreat itself; great villas and right on the ocean. You go to sleep and wake up listening to the waves….and quite a few fishermen hauling their catch too. Note, there is no phone coverage, which is great but be prepared and let whoever needs to know that you’ll be out of contact for a while, all part of the detox process!

Detox drinks including psyllium husk and bentonite clay

Some of the drinks on the retreat

The aim of the detox is to cleanse your body of all the toxins and stresses that we subject it to so we try to re-establish the balance of the body. This is done via a combination of fasting, treatments, yoga and relaxation.

Each day you drink a lot of different things including coconut water, juice, clear soup, magnesium oxide, psyllium husk and bentonite clay, vitamin C and the list goes on. Some of these are pretty horrid, others actually nice such as the papaya juice – yum! Surely the bad stuff must be doing us some good though! The staff are excellent and make sure we always know what to drink when. They seek you out to give you your next drink, shame it isn’t a mai tai!

In combination with fasting there are daily Chi Gung and Yoga sessions along with some trampoline work and the infra red sauna – awesome! You also get a massage daily which could be a healing, nerve or scrub massage and a session of reflexology, all excellent and the reflexology was incredibly relaxing. One thing I did miss though was a morning walk. In the detox retreat in Thailand we would go out for a walk every morning for an hour and a half and that was fantastic to get you going for the day.

Trampoline and infra red sauna

Exercising looking at the ocean - not bad!

The first few days I was getting used to the programme and working out what I needed to put where when. One thing I did discover painfully on day 1 is that all my running, and poor stretching, has resulted in my flexibility being shot. Gone is the day when I used to be able to do backflips, admittedly that was 20 years ago! So yoga was quite tough but by day 5 I was getting far more flexible.

I was a bit lethargic in the first few days and my blood pressure and resting heart rate kept dropping. Combining this with heat made climbing stairs (or anything) a bit tricky. By day 5 I did feel as though monotony was kicking in a bit; you do the same thing each day and my point of excitement was finding out what massage I had planned for that day. What you tend to find on these things is that your emotions can go up and down a bit; I was finding by day 5 that I was getting a bit anti social, especially with the newbies arriving. I was a bit waned by all their enthusiasm – they’ll learn! I was also suffering from cabin fever and was keen for something different or just to get out. I wasn’t missing food much in terms of hunger but I miss the tastes and smells associated with it.

So far so good though, next week I’ll share how the second half of the detox went and the results.  Tune in next week!

5 simple post run stretches

Stretching is one of those subjects that people have different views on. Some people advocate stretching and others get away with never stretching. I guarantee the latter can’t touch their toes anymore though!

Stretching is important for a few reasons:

  • Increases range of motion and flexibility
  • Lengthens muscles after they are shortened during exercise
  • Decreases muscle soreness and reduces risk of iinjury
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Improves circulation

When you are running you are predominantly using your glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and calf muscles; however you are also using your core, biceps and upper body to a lesser extent so you need to stretch these muscles out too.

5 simple stretches to do post run are below. These are designed to be easy to remember and stretch mostly the legs, glutes and back.

 

Calf stretch against wall

This exercise stretches the calf muscle (gastrocnemius to be exact) and also the Achilles.

  • Stand arms length from the wall
  • Front foot should be slightly bent and back leg straight
  • Press hips forward until stretch is felt in the back leg
  • Hold for 30 secs and repeat
Calf stretch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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