Why Detox? 3 Reasons It's Important and Simple Ways to Start

Your body has it’s own natural detoxing system. Although detox diets are extremely popular, Intense juice detoxing or cleanses aren’t required to get the benefits of detoxing. To feel cleansed, energized and renewed, you can simply follow daily tips to enhance and support your body’s natural system to rid the body of toxins.

izzy-gerosa-RgplfXbxLFs-unsplash.jpg

Here are 3 reasons Detoxing is important:

  1. Toxic Buildup Happens Steadily Overtime. Even if you’re diligent about not smoking, limiting alcohol and eating reasonably well, toxins are everywhere in the world we live in. The impact of toxic buildup in our bodies can happen gradually overtime through accumulating small amounts of chemicals in our body on our daily encounters or by our daily habits. Your shower routine is a great example of this. If your self-care products have chemicals and you spend 10 minutes a day in the shower, your skin is soaking in those chemicals daily and overtime the effect on the body increases.

  2. Less Time To Detox Naturally. Although our body naturally detoxes, we live in a society where we don’t give our bodies the time and space it needs to properly rid the body. For example, if you eat a late meal and maybe dessert and then wake up the next day to drink your coffee with sugar and milk, your body had less than 8 hours to detox. That’s just simply not enough to do the work it needs to do. (see below about intermittent fasting)

  3. Notice Beginning Symptoms of Inflammation Or Allergic Reactions. In addition to common toxins, all of our bodies are made differently and some of us may experience more intense allergic reactions or inflammatory responses to certain things we encounter. Tuning in and being aware of what your body feels like when everything is clean and working well is a great way to know when you may be exhibiting symptoms of something greater.

Get started with these two beneficial ways to assist your body with its natural detoxification system.

INTERMITTENT FASTING

This is an approach to detoxing that involves not what you eat but when. By quitting your consumption time earlier and eating later the next day, you’re giving your body extended time to detox. If you eat dinner by 7 p.m. and do not eat again until 11 a.m. the next day, you’re providing 16 hours of time for your body to cleanse what has been consumed and detox. If you eat sooner, then your body redirects its focus to digestion and doesn’t have the time or energy for the detox. It has been shown to affect your body on a cellular level and have huge benefits for your overall health, such as lower insulin levels, improved brain and heart health and more.

See more great tips on intermittent fasting at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323605.php

REDUCE SUGAR

Sugar is one of the most toxic substances you can eat. It’s in everything. By simply focusing on consuming less of it, you’re giving your body a huge break. Sugar has been shown to cause heart disease, diabetes, obesity, inflammation, and so much more. A big way I started to reduce my sugar intake was by completely removing sodas and sweets, but also making switches in my daily coffee. I began to use raw honey instead of sugar or sweetener. My body processed this so much better and I felt better. Start by looking at small changes and work your way up to removing it all together.

See great tips on reducing sugar at https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2018/04/20/five-smart-and-doable-ways-to-eat-less-sugar/#480afef87327

4 Classic Barre Moves To Tone Your Lower Body

Sometimes you don’t need to recreate the wheel. These 4 classics from Barre are regulars for a reason. They work to strengthen your thighs, glutes and calves and through a series of large range of motion movements progressing all the way to small pulses and isometric holds you will also generate heat in the body to turn this into a total-body exercise.

Calf Raises

This is a simple exercise to start firming up the quads and calves and warm up the body. For balance, you can use a barre if you have it, chair or sturdy countertop.

Begin just lifting your heels up, engaging your calves and then lowering the heels down again. Start with a tall, neutral spine and tune into your breath.

I’ve included a pilates ball high between the inner thighs for extra work, but it is not required. Feet can be placed together or hip-distance apart.

Portraits-37.jpg

Chair Pose

Begin chair pose by lifting your heels and lowering your seat down as if sitting in a chair. Try to maintain your posture by keeping a tall spine and open chest and shoulders. Move your seat back and try to track knees over ankles to protect the knees.

Begin with 10-20 reps lowering all the way down to where your legs are in a 90 degree angle and raise up to the calf raise we did earlier.

Next, lower down completely into chair and begin small pulses, still balancing on the balls of your feet. If you have any feet issues, it’s perfectly fine to begin with heels down. As you pulse, remember to breathe and maintain neutral posture. Shakes are good.

Lastly, finish with an isometric hold and see if you can challenge yourself by lowering your seat a bit more to fully engage your quads.

Portraits-38 (1).jpg

Plie

I do these in every class I teach, even yoga. They’re incredible to stretch your inner thighs, open your hips and strengthen your lower body.

Begin with heels down and start lowering down and raising up to straight legs. As you lower down, try to reach the point where your thighs are parallel with the floor.

After your first set of large range of motion plies, option to raise your heels for more of a challenge, lower your seat and pulse. Keep your heels down if it feels better for your feet.

Lastly raise your hands off the barre or chair if you can balance safely and hold the pose briefly. Feel your entire body join in to balance you and strengthen you.

Portraits-40.jpg
Portraits-42.jpg

Leg Lift

These were a gamechanger for my lower body. I was blessed with curvy, strong thighs, and these really helped me tone and tighten my lower body while keeping me strong and flexible.

Start with hips in line and lift your leg back squeezing your glutes. If you lower your chest forward, you’ll be able to provide space in your lower back to protect against any tension.

Lower your extended leg down to tap your toe on the floor and back up for 10-25 reps in a controlled, intentional way.

Keeping your leg long behind you, engage your glutes, and pulse.

Option to keep a slight micro-bend in the standing leg.

For more of a challenge, release your hands from the barre or chair and use your entire body to balance you.

How I Started to Overcome Fatigue and Brain Fog

1-55.jpg

Flow Space’s mission is to elevate your daily life. We believe a necessary component to improving the quality of your days is movement. That is why we offer fitness classes! It is truly our passion. However, there seems to be a trend on going harder and faster no matter your situation or no matter the cost to your body. I’ve learned firsthand that you must tune into your body to see the desired results of increased energy, reduced inflammation, weight loss, stress relief, increased strength and more.

Why is that?

The body needs rest and recovery too. There are times in your life when you are very stressed, physically and/or mentally. Maybe it wasn’t the worst stress of your life, but there is a cumulative effect of multiple stressors that happen over time. When this happens, your body is being flooded with stress hormones, and it may be stuck in a constant state of “fight or flight” mode. This can lead to depression, anxiety, increased inflammation, and a compromised immune system that leads to sickness.

I’ve experienced this many times in my life, but the one time I can recall the most clearly was when I was going on month 12 of sleep deprivation from having my second child. The child is beautiful and happy and joyful, but wasn’t a fan of sleeping for the first 18 months of her life.

I felt exhaustion like I’ve never felt before. Even when I started getting more sleep, it was like my body was stuck in a state of depression or fatigue. I was going hard, working, caring for my girls, exercising, trying my best to be healthy and didn’t think about my body needing a reset from all those months of sleep deprivation. Not to mention the hormonal changes I was going through.

Since I started talking to moms, mostly newer moms like me, I realized there is a common question…how do I feel better? They tell me they’re exhausted, but what’s more scary is that they feel like they can’t think straight. It’s a feeling I know very well.

What I learned was this:

It’s helpful to educate yourself about Adrenal Fatigue: Check out this very on point and informative article on what this is. https://www.drnorthrup.com/adrenal-exhaustion/

  • I was never clinically diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, so if you feel you need a doctor’s opinion because of other health issues you have, please get one. The things you can do to address adrenal fatigue are all great treatments and practices generally, so it doesn’t hurt to try the below suggestions even if you’re not sure that you have this exact situation. I did my own research on this, but to start, my symptoms were brain fog, lightheadedness, inability to focus, depressed mood, fatigue even after a full night’s rest, and just general achiness. I came to the conclusion my body was stuck. It was depressed and tired and I had to make significant adjustments to get out of this state.

    1. To feel better I began to do several things:

      • Slower, Gentler Exercise: I still would do my toning barre exercises and yoga, but I’d probably take a child’s pose when I started feeling my limit in yoga class or focus more on posture and core and lengthening. Moving slower, stretching more and breathing. I dialed back my cardio and high-intensity. I took breaks during runs or just walked. This is needed to avoid placing more stress on your body and allow it to reset. If you go to a barre class or yoga class, know that it is perfectly acceptable to pause when your teacher is asking for 10 more reps. The body ebbs and flows and honoring that is half the battle.

      • Herbal Supplement: I took an Adrenal support supplement that contained Ashwagandha. It is an adaptogen used in Ayurvedic or Traditional Chinese Medicine proven to help the body regulate stress. I took my vitamin religiously and felt no side effects. I was trying to give my body as much support as possible, and this was part of the plan. How much it helped? I’m not sure, but I still turn to it when I’m feeling extra-fatigued and it seems to help.

      • Recognize that Stress created a physical response and make changes to counteract it. I began to accept that I felt like crap because I was stressed. I did go to the doctor for blood tests on my thyroid about 1 year after having my daughter, right around the time these symptoms could not be avoided any longer, and she said, “Everything looks great! You’re healthy.” I was happy to hear that, but it didn’t explain how I felt. I wanted to fix this so badly, but a pill wasn’t the answer. After this realization, I consciously took on less. Less obligations meant letting myself sit down instead of requiring myself to maintain the cleanest house, taking a nap, focusing on my breath, not rushing, and being ok with life not being perfect. I did things that women often don’t do because they’re trying to keep everything in peak condition. Let it fall to the wayside, fill your cup, and you’ll be back at it in no time. But if you keep on the path of “doing it all”, it will wear you down.

      • Relaxation Mode: I learned in yoga recently about how your body’s stress response and relaxation response are like the gas and brakes on a car. You can’t experience both at the same time. Our bodies react to real or perceived stress just as it did thousands of years ago- because our bodies needed to run from a lion or tiger. Hence, the flood of cortisol (stress hormone) or adrenaline needed to motivate us to act and protect ourselves. However, our bodies can also be told that everything is ok and we can engage a relaxation response. This response would induce a calm, relaxed feeling from the flood of endorphins or feel good hormones. If you voluntarily breathe in a relaxing, slow way, by breathing fully into your belly, your body reads this as a signal that “everything is ok.” This can be achieved by 3 Part Belly Breathing. It is very simple and goes like this. You sit in a comfortable position. You start by inhaling and breathe in fully to fill up your belly, your ribcage and your chest. You then exhale slowly by exhaling and lowering your chest, ribcage and belly. It is helpful to place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly to feel the rise and release.

Let Go of the Ways You Thought Life Would Unfold

marco-de-waal-151139-unsplash.jpg

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold;

the holding of plans or dreams or expectations- Let it all go. Save your strength to swim with the tide. The choice to fight what is here before you now will only result in struggle, fear and desperate attempts to flee from the very energy you long for.

Let go.

Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes through your days whether you receive it gently or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders. Take this on faith: the mind may never find the explanations that it seeks,

but you will move forward nonetheless.

Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of rest and peace, and certain transformation.

-Source Unknown


Someone I loved needed to hear the sentiment in this poem this week. It was perfect for them as they felt frustrated by a lack of certainty, of knowing what step to take, or how it’ll all turn out. I struggle with this a lot too. I’ve decided the only certainty I’ve learned is that there is no change or transformation without pain, struggle and then ultimately surrender. It’s quite possible that no door opens until you allow another to close completely and lock without possessing the key. So, what do you do? You let go and have faith. You don’t become worthless and useless while you let go….you lean in every day into a more authentic version of yourself but you simply stay open and release the need to know why. It’s hard as shit believe me. But the good stuff always seems to come when you surrender to faith.

In health,

Erica

6 Week Series- Yoga + Meditation | Learn How to Develop a Daily Practice for Stress Relief

train smarter.png

Science has now proven the incredible effects of yoga and meditation on the brain and body. However, how do you begin incorporating it into your life on a consistent basis? This series will show you how. This series is for anyone seeking to find more peace, contentment, or stillness in their life. Yoga and Meditation are tools you can use for a lifetime to counteract the body’s stress response and manage anxiety or even the general busy-ness of life.

The series begins on June 26th and will continue for 6 weeks every Wednesday from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. For non-members the series s $125.00 and for members the series is $95.00.

Sign up online. Message us on social media or email erica@flowspacefitness.com for more questions.

4 Simple Ways to Be Healthier When You Don't Know Where to Start

scott-warman-525481-unsplash.jpg

“Just start” can sometimes be discouraging or confusing advice. Often you may feel like screaming, but HOW? Do I cut carbs? Do I just exercise? Where do I begin? Yes, we know getting healthier and making changes to our daily routine is often very hard, especially for people who have been doing things the same way for decades. It’s not easy. It has a lot to do with the difficulty of habit change but also the overwhelming amount of information we are exposed to. This post is about simplifying and starting with the basics to start, just to start.

Let’s begin with nutrition. There are countless contradictions from incredibly informed and educated health professionals about what “diet” is the best one. Do I avoid carbs? Do I avoid sugars, even fruit? Do I eat meat? Do I count calories or points?

Then how should I move? There are just as many conflicting “how-to’s” on how to move for prevention of disease, weight loss or to support your health as you age.

However, there is a place that most, if not all health professionals, should agree. There’s a consensus on what causes disease, and that is inflammation. Inflammation “is a natural response of the body to protect itself from potentially destructive agents such as infection.” Chronic inflammation causes damaged cells which is directly linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

What some people do not realize is that inflammation is also linked to weight gain. A lot of the struggle with batting obesity is linked to the body’s inflammatory response and being “stuck” in it.

So a good place to begin if you feel sick, depressed, or overweight is to tune in…..“listen to your body.” What symptoms are your body or mind exhibiting? Irritability can be a symptom. Joint pain or fatigue or maybe poor digestion.

As you may guess, there is no black/white answer immediately to this question. Oftentimes, it takes a period of trial and error with different types of foods, supplements and movements to determine when symptoms of inflammation are reduced.

Inflammation can also be increased by stress. Beginning a strict, rigorous and hard core diet that depletes your body of what it needs is not going to reduce inflammation. Releasing judgment of yourself, taking yourself off the strict diet, and getting real and honest about how you feel is often a million times more effective.

Ok, then where do we start?

Take Inventory. Before you begin making any changes, take inventory and write it down. Take note of your body- any pain, tension or injuries. How is your digestion? How is your skin? Are you fatigued, anxious or have brain fog? It is very helpful to write down how you feel after you eat a certain meal. Try new things, don’t put yourself on a strict diet, but try one meal eating mostly greens. Take note of how you feel compared to when you eat processed food. As you start to make small incremental changes, take inventory again. At the very minimum check in once a week and write it down.

Start moving. Any type of movement will work. I mean that. Don’t worry about people that say you have to have a certain amount of a certain type of exercise. Just move. If you’re drawn to or curious about yoga, go to yoga or roll out your mat at home. Just try to move every day or every other day. If you want to dance, youtube “dance cardio” and get moving. If you feel good after weight-lifting, go for that. Start somewhere and don’t worry about it being perfect or complete. 10 minutes every other day is a start.

Add in Greens. Once a day, eat a salad before your meal, or add the spinach to your omelette or smoothie. Add greens into one meal once a day. It can start with one cup of spinach once a day. Notice I didn’t say “take away.” We are just adding in something nutritious, detoxing and fibrous to get our system some energy.

Drink 16 oz. more of water. Stop and be sure you’re drinking two large glasses more of water than you usually do. Many of the symptoms you may feel that lead you to fatigue or exhaustion or brain fog could be due to dehydration. Give your body a chance to be replenished and it will reward you with energy to move, eat better and feel more optimistic about change.

This type of process is truly the key to habit change that works and becomes a lifestyle change.

Small changes over time with an intention to feel better.

It also respects that each person’s body may need something a little different. Working on simple changes, and raising awareness in your body of how it makes you feel will lead you down a path of health inevitably because most people, if not all, want to feel better.

Resources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/transcripts/8976_fighting-inflammation-with-food-how-to-follow-an-anti-inflammatory-diet

https://drhyman.com/blog/2012/01/27/inflammation-how-to-cool-the-fire-inside-you-thats-making-you-fat-and-diseased/

FEEL GOOD FOR SUMMER-21 DAY CHALLENGE

feel good (3).png

ENTER our 21 DAY CHALLENGE for only $21.00

Expect Unlimited Fitness Classes, including Kettlebell, Barre Fusion, Yoga, and HIIT to maintain variety and bust through plateaus

Weekly Accountability Check-in

Weekly Nutritional Goals for all participants to Eat Clean and Release Weight for Sustained Weight Loss

Try out our new studio for an incredible DISCOUNT

Winner goes to the one who completes the most classes in 21 days

(Prize = FREE Unlimited Monthly Membership)

Teacher Appreciation Special

SCHOOL IS ALMOST OUT FOR SUMMER and we LOVE our Teachers!

element5-digital-352043-unsplash.jpg

We invite you to the studio for unlimited classes all summer long at a HUGE discount.

For our teachers we are offering our Teacher Appreciation Special.

60 days of unlimited classes for $60.00.

We know our teachers work hard all year long, but this summer, we wanted to treat you to some self care. Click on the button below to register!

The Benefits of Backbends

Backbends are important and sometimes a bit scary for a reason. They’re opening and expanding the front part of our bodies and chests, which, if we sit at a desk all day, can be very tight and restricted parts of our body.

The truth is our spines are made to backbend and we can all expect huge benefits not only physically but emotionally.

1-141.jpg

Here are 3 BIG benefits of Backbends:

  • Release Tension. We hold a lot of tension in our shoulders, chest, and hip flexors. You see this a lot with hunched over shoulders or bad posture. Backbending opens up all of those areas, breathing life into your muscles and joints on your front side of your body. This will benefit your entire spine and total body as it will allow you to physically release that tension.

    Anti-Aging. By maintaining the integrity of the natural movement of the spine, we are protecting it against damage and repetitive patterns as we age. Again, we sit with our spines in flexion a lot. Backbends not only counteract that constant position but they also strengthen the muscles of the back, supporting your spine. Moving the spine in all directions, especially extension, aids against misalignment of the spine that could lead to muscle strain or more serious conditions.

    Open Your Heart. Literally, backbends open your heart space and may trigger emotional reactions. If you notice, some people that are closed off emotionally often look closed off physically. An open chest and an open heart is a vulnerable place to be and one we don’t do lightly. By incorporating backbends into your routine, you are allowing energy to flow in a way it probably doesn’t usually. It’s ok, that’s part of the work. Take it slow and feel the feelings and keep finding ways to open.

    Try these tips to safely start incorporating this amazing posture into your daily routine.

  • Strive to Keep Length in the Lower Spine (lumbar spine) and Bend from the Upper to Middle Back (thoracic spine). To do this, begin by drawing the navel in, finding space through your spine, then focus on bending from the upper part of your back, opening at your chest.

  • Start Slow. There is nothing wrong with starting slow. Start with Bridge, practice it with patience and focusing on your breath. Wheel (full backbend) will come over time if you want it, but Bridge will still give you all the benefits.

    For Bridge, lay on your back on your mat and bring your heels close to your seat. Feet are parallel and placed about hip distance apart. Place your arms by your side, palms facing down. Begin lifting your hips, back and chest off the flow, bringing your chest towards your chin. Focus on your knees being over your ankles and your thighs parallel to each other. If you can, try to open your shoulders by rolling each shoulder under your back slightly. For more chest opening, interlace your fingers under your back and press into the floor.

  • Warm-up. It is always best to warm up with hip and chest openers before jumping into backbends. Low lunge, lengthening the fronts of the thighs and hip flexors, is a good place to start. Raise your hands to the sky and find a slight bend in your back opening up the chest.

3 Beginner Kettlebell Exercises to Work Your Core

Kettlebell is a total-body workout that has huge benefits for your core. Using the weight in controlled movements around the body, every muscle in the core is working together to balance you as you move. Here are three beginner kettlebell exercises to work the core and gain strength.

When choosing the weight of the kettlebell as a beginner, always err on the side of caution and begin with a lower weight. Practice the movement with the lower weight until you feel confident in your control of the weight during the movement. Once your confidence builds, you can always increase the weight.

Goblet Squat:

In a standing position, engage your core and hold the kettlebell in the two-handed “racked” position. The racked position is where the kettlebell is held at chest-height with your elbows tucked by your side. Continue to hold the kettlebell high just under the chin, keep your elbows tucked tight to the side body. Lower down into a squat and raise up to standing keeping the kettlebell in the same position. As you squat and stabilize the weight, focus on slow, controlled movement and staying rooted through your heels. This engages the entire frontal plain and core. Through the squat, the core provides balance and connection between the lower body and loaded upper body. Advanced Move: Take it the next level with a front press or overhead press at the bottom of the squat.

IMG_2564.JPG
IMG_2565.JPG

Suitcase Deadlift

The deadlift is a foundational kettlebell movement. Place the kettlebell to the side of one foot on the ground. Stand with feet hips-width apart. Root into your heels as you lower your seat back into a hinge position with a bend in the knees and a neutral back. Lift the weight and rise to standing by engaging your glutes and core. By placing the weight on one side of the body, it forces the core to engage and stabilize the body. The one-handed variety requires linkage through the obliques and latissimus dorsi. Advanced Move: Take this movement to the next level with the one-legged deadlift.

IMG_2555.JPG
IMG_2561.JPG

Halo

Stand with feet hips-distance apart and hold the kettlebell with two hands in the racked position with the bottom of the kettlebell up. Lift the kettlebell over one shoulder, to the side of the head, move the weight around to the back of the head with a rolling motion to make a “halo” or a circle around the head, and end back in racked position at your chest. Next rep will alternate the movement on the opposite side. The core engages as the weight is lifted over shoulder height and stabilizes the body as the weight moves from one side of the body to the other. Advanced Move: When confident, try a back lunge/halo combo.

IMG_2571.JPG
IMG_2576.JPG
IMG_2575.JPG