When I first started eating raw, I noticed a huge improvement in my fitness. Not only was I attaining a stable weight, but my ability to power through a workout increased ten-fold! I dance, and this type of cardio-pumping method of pure joy requires a lot of energy. When I ate vegan, but not raw, I indefinitely had much more energy than when I ate animal products, however I still noticed a dramatic improvement when switching to raw.
Exercise works to improve our circulation and helps waste be removed from the body. Perspiration during a good workout also helps promote the release of acidic and toxic waste near the skin surface, keeping the pores open for elimination. Consuming raw, organic whole foods can help reduce the amount of toxins you are putting into your body, and so there will be less toxins to expel during a workout, and thus results in better recovery.
There are four main benefits of eating raw and how it can improve your fitness levels (at least, in my own experience, this is what I have found).
1. Better Stamina & Strength
When you consume raw foods you reduce the amount of mucus coating the lungs and gastrointestinal system. Clearer lungs means better breathing, and better breathing means greater lung capacity to power through a workout.
The amount of inflammation in the body also reduces, meaning that any aches or pains that might have prevented you from performing a certain type of exercise will essentially disappear (in my case, I had a very bad neck and back from getting severe whip-lash after falling off a jet-ski in my teen years. I went to a chiropractor for years, and after switching to raw foods, I realized my back and neck pain completely disappeared (this was about 1 year into eating raw foods when the effect started to kick in, and inflammation had completely reduced)).
The brain is better adept to focus, balance, and coordination when switching to raw foods because with less energy going toward digestion of highly processed, and/or cooked foods, this "free energy" can go toward other things like improving brain function.
Not only that, but eating a lower fat, raw vegan diet will help tone up your body. Going raw made me much leaner, and stronger than I ever was before - in fact, I find it easier to build and maintain muscle eating raw, than it was just eating vegan, vegetarian, or when I used to consume animal products.
2. Faster Recovery
Recovery after working out is something many individuals are concerned about. What benefits do raw foods have at improving recovery?
With raw foods, you are consuming the food in its purest form. That is to say, you are not destroying any of the enzymes, minerals, or vitamins in the food, as you do when you cook a food, or consume food that has already been processed and put into a package. Consuming whole foods that are not manipulated, and instead consumed in the way nature intended will recover your body in a similar respect.
When your body has an abundance of enzymes, vitamins and minerals from raw foods, then it will have an abundant reserve of these substances to help recover the body in a more efficient manner. Any type of short-term tissue break-down during the workout will be more quickly rejuvenated with raw foods, than with foods that have been processed in some manner, and which are foreign and un-useable by our bodies.
In addition, raw foods keep an alkaline, and thus non-inflammatory state in the body, which means less pain and more gain!
3. Weight Loss & Maintenance
If you want to lose excess weight or maintain a weight that your body is naturally suited to, then a raw food diet will provide just that! As you start to lose weight, and rebuild your body using real, whole foods, you will not only find that you want to move more, but that your sense of determination and focus dramatically improves!
Consuming plenty of fresh, organic, ripe fruit and lots of organic greens and other vegetables will help remove toxins from your fat cells and help flush out excess and unwanted fat from all areas of the body. You might even find that you need fewer calories because your brain becomes completely satiated off a smaller, more nutrient-dense raw food meal than a larger, nutrient-deficient processed meal.
Shedding excess weight and being able to maintain a solid weight that is designed for your body type will improve your fitness level and make your workout routine feel effortless!
4. Feel Amazing!
If you really want to feel amazing, live the raw food lifestyle! It has taught me so much about myself, my body, and has allowed me to tune into who I truly am at heart. Regular day-to-day errands, not to mention getting in my daily dance routine are now performed pain-free and has allowed me to step into a whole new world of fitness and healthy living.
Many individuals have found that raw foods have relieved them of their joint pain too, allowing them to walk unlimited distances everyday, whether flat, downhill or uphill. Before going raw I had a horrible pain in my right knee which eventually prevented me from running. I can now confidently say that this pain no longer exists, and the shin splints I used to get during dance have got to the point where I no longer notice them (I used to get them very frequently).
Stretching feels better, and I find that my stretching distances and flexibility in my joints is improving, day by day. I thought that eating raw foods would make me feel weak, tired, and only able to do simple exercises like walking or some light yoga. I was so, so, so wrong! Not only does your energy double due to freed up energy from improved digestion, but you literally feel lighter, stronger and completely free! The feeling is something only you can experience by trying it out yourself - so go ahead and take the next step into health by experimenting with beautiful, vibrant, living, whole, raw foods!
Photo: Model Chelsey is wearing our Pink Python leggings and white tank, available in SHOP.