Last updated May 3, 2021
As the days grow longer and Spring blossoms emerge around us, it’s time to do for ourselves as Mother Nature does for the earth: add water.
As vital as H20 is for the growth and stability of our environment, it’s an integral component for the best version of ourselves: with 60 percent of our bodies made up of water, increasing water is the best place to start when you want to begin a detox.
Encouraging the body to absorb more nutrients and dispose of toxins by consuming more water is an essential first step to improve health.
Drinking more water first helps the brain. Did you know three-quarters of this essential organ is made up of water?
It may only be three pounds, but it’s the headquarters for operating all your body’s systems and when dehydrated, the body responds first with reducing attention span and affecting memory functions, but it can also result in fatigue, headache, stress and insomnia.
Take the first step with committing to an intention for yourself and your well-being. Whether it’s carrying a water bottle with you as a constant reminder, emptying a water container over the day or setting reminders via your phone or a fitness tracker throughout the day to imbibe, it’s an easy way to begin a detox.
Kirkland Shave, program director and lead guide for Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa, has welcomed hundreds of people to their British Columbia and North Carolina locations, ready to help and advise after they’ve made the first step for their health.
“Although I feel detox is overused in conversation, it encompasses a huge spectrum of activities,” said Shave. “Women make the decision more often than men to commit to a detox. They’re much more in tune with their bodies, hormones and overall health.”
As Shave explained, Mountain Trek participants are making an investment in their health after reaching a tipping point. It could be menopause, grief, uncertainty, loss – most of the time Shave explained, it’s not weight loss that people are seeking (although that can be a bonus), it’s a desire to reset and feel balanced.
When we’re not feeling 100%, and overwhelmed by busy schedules, relying on over-the-counter treatments and quick fixes can easily become a repetitive cycle. There are short-term benefits, but the problems persist. Many of us ignore our gut feelings but eventually, there’s a realization to break the pattern and embrace the new.
Water is also important in the body’s eliminations – sweat, urine and feces. Water aids digestion prevents constipation, and flushing out the bacteria is a key way to tune up your system, increasing metabolism and energy.
Consider a Detox
For those who choose a detox program like Mountain Trek, the preparation begins two weeks before arrival. “We send participants a letter with recommended first steps: increase water, reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol, increase movement and increase the amount of vegetables consumed each day,” explained Shave.
It’s an outline to change the mind as much as changing the body. Keeping hydrated, increasing the efficiency of systems and increased movement combine to be a powerful catalyst for detox, with many welcome effects on body physiology.
These include increasing key nutrients and oxygen to the cell, helping to regulate blood pressure and heartbeat as well as body temperature and maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance, which helps reduce headaches and weariness.
During the Mountain Trek program, the daily schedule focuses on both mind and body. Participants lead repetitive days but ones all about purpose each day–plant-based meals, no caffeine or alcohol, hiking, yoga, meditation, hot springs, massage, lectures and forming a new circle of like-minded supporters.
The Mountain Trek team includes a wide range of experts including a kinesiologist, naturopathic doctor, chef, fitness instructors, life coach, yoga teacher–all focused on each individual’s journey to becoming the best version of themselves. The goal: to learn good habits and learn how to make them a priority.
The pristine location of Mountain Trek’s home is in the Canadian Rockies also helps in focusing participants on their detox. Located outside of the small town of Nelson, British Columbia, Mountain Trek is far from big-city sounds, pollution and stresses, allowing those who arrive from urban areas a peaceful and calming surrounding to start their wellness journey, while also being among a small group committed to similar goals.
Everyone is told in advance the need to disconnect from the outside world and limit interactions from the world wide web to focus on themselves during the week-long program.
“Breaking fast within 30 minutes of waking increases metabolism by 15 percent,” explained Shave, “… less than 40 percent of us eat breakfast, which results in our bodies storing the next meal’s calories instead of burning it.”
Get Expert Support
Mountain Trek has compiled the best practices and latest information on nutrition and health to offer the building blocks of how to affect change on mind and body.
“Within a few days, I start to hear how participants have slept more,” said Shave, “but there are also noticeable differences. They’re lighter in their step, eyes are brighter and everyone is smiling more. They look like they’ve lost 10 years in a week.”
Their successes led Mountain Trek to be honored with a Travel & Leisure World’s Best Award in 2019.
The global pandemic may have prevented Mountain Trek from welcoming guests to their well-being haven, but they’ve created new options to help past and potential clients learn more about their methods.
The Mountain Trek Supper Club is an online cooking class to inform and instruct on how to incorporate more plant-based meals and Mountain Trek is now hosting Basecamp Virtual Weekends, a 48-hour online retreat, for a welcome dose of meditation, nutrition and movement.
“Nobody ever teaches you about balance,” said Shave. By taking the first step with increasing the amount of water consumed each day, making better choices for yourself and your health, detox can be a tool to a healthier mind and body.