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Dr. Richard Palmquist Headshot

Toxins and Exercise

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As I shook off sleep and rode off into the darkness at 5:00 this morning, I was struck with the same set of observations that I make each morning. My 53-year-old legs stretched, objected for a couple of moments and then began to sing with each turning of my bike's pedals. My nose filled with the scent of damp earth, plant breath and winter flowers. The motion increased and my emotions shifted as circulation brought oxygen to my tissues and pushed lymph fluids away from them, carrying a host of waste products back to my blood where my liver, kidney, spleen and lungs worked to transform those toxins and excrete them from my body. A smile crossed my face as a prayer of gratitude spiraled upwards. I love the exercise, but I did not always feel this way.

Just a few years ago I hated to ride bikes. It was fun when I was young but not anymore. If you asked me why, I would list how the seat hurt my rear end and how I hated sweating in the sun. I had a lot of reasons why I did not exercise. They were quite intimate and very logical to me even though I knew the research about how important motion and exercise were to a healthy lifestyle.

I said, "Look, I am different. I move in my work all day so exercise is not something so important to me." But when my blood pressure started to creep up, I found that only regularly daily exercise would lower it. Research shows the importance of diet and exercise in managing hypertension.

At first I could not find any exercise I "wanted" to do, but wanting and liking were not really an option. If I was going to avoid the negative health consequences of hypertension, I needed to get up and move. As I began to do the detoxification program prescribed by my doctor things began to change. I began to feel better and actually began to look forward to my ride.

It was natural. And I definitely felt better once I got on that bike. By the year's end I had covered over 2,000 miles and was healthier than I had been in years.

More doctors and veterinarians now recognize that many illnesses begin as people and pets accumulate toxic materials. As toxins build up they block normal regulatory systems and can lead to the body's loss of ability to regulate and function. Eventually disease patterns emerge and we get sick, but before we get clinical illness often other signs appear that should serve as a warning that we need to change our ways and get healthier. If a person is sufficiently toxic or unhealthy, then they actually feel bad from exercise, which releases toxins and taxes already stressed organ systems. Such a person may need detoxification assistance.

Pets and people all accumulate these toxic substances in the normal process of living in today's world. Some signs of accumulating toxins and lowered health include:

  • Discharges from the eyes, nose or ears.
  • Appearance of pigmentation or inflammatory lesions such as skin rashes, pustules, acne, or gum disease.
  • Loss of energy, weakness or distaste for exercise. Exercise uses the body as a whole. If a tissue is weak, then exercise can cause some discomfort as minor damage occurs and is repaired for future exercise. This is conditioning and is normal. Beginning gently and gradually increasing the work expended brings about improvement. Exercise can also release toxins that are stored in fatty and other connective tissues. Once released these toxic compounds can cause signs and symptoms of disease as they negatively affect their target tissues. Exercise or movement that is too aggressive in toxic people can lead to serious issues. Toxic laden patients often dislike exercise as their body is instructing them not to move so they will keep these toxins hidden in their tissues. Such people should discuss their condition with their medical professionals.
  • Weight gain. Eating a calorie-restricted diet improves many health factors and may even extend life. Obesity aggravates many health issues. Did you know that fat is the body's reaction to a toxic situation? Excessive glucose made from ingesting too many calories would be damaging to the body, and while we need sugar for our cells to operate properly, excessive amounts are harmful. The body will store fat-soluble toxins like pesticides in fatty deposits. When we exercise those toxins can be released and make us feel poorly. It is interesting how many people and pets lose weight easily once their undergo detoxification therapy.
  • Aches and pains or muscle wasting can signal the accumulation of toxins. When we exercise the tissues release toxic materials and if these accumulate then we feel poorly. Conditioning and eating properly helps improve the health of our lymphatic and blood vessels and this makes us more efficient at removing toxins.
  • Poor digestion. Toxins negatively affect the normal structures of our digestive organs, and this can lead to stomach and bowel upsets, diarrhea, constipation and gas. If digestion is incomplete then residual materials accumulate and provide food and shelter for undesirable bacteria, fungi and yeasts. These can trigger inflammatory reactions locally and globally. Fresh veggies aid health in many ways.
  • Difficulty sleeping can be related to toxin accumulation and organ dysfunction.

By now many people have failed their New Year's resolutions to exercise more. Some fail because they are toxic and need detoxification therapy. If we notice these issues, then we can recognize that our bodies are giving us important messages and we can make important changes in our activities. The earlier we learn these lessons the better off we all will be.

For more by Dr. Richard Palmquist, click here.

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Around the Web

Skin Deep - Flush Those Toxins! Eh, Not So Fast - NYTimes.com

10 Worst Toxins in your Home

Toxins: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Toxins | An Open Access Journal from MDPI

Everyday Toxins: mercury, fluoride, MSG, Aspartame, Margarine

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