Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Exercise Machines belong in Hospitals NOT the Gym

 Free Flow Academy does not use exercise machines.  At Free Flow Academy you can expect to use your own body weight as well as minimalist free weights (kettlebells, dumbbells, and sandbags).  The truth is, most of America has been brainwashed into believing that a "Gym" should have exercise machines, when in fact, you don't need a machine at all to exercise.  Your body is the machine.

Why do this???
When you could be doing THIS!!

Contrary to the title of this blog post, this is actually an article in the spirit of #Thanksgiving.  Our bodies are incredible machines that do everything for us.  They come in all shapes, sizes, forms, and have the ability to perform an endless array of functions.  The fact that I have the ability to type this post, is pretty amazing.  The fact that your eyes and brain can recognize different sizes, characters, textures, and patterns, let alone read, is amazing. A lot of these basic functions are often overlooked. Instead, weirdly, there is this hyper focus on body image, and forcing that image to be molded into a Disney cartoon character.  It's weird that the fitness and health industry relentlessly names their "health" regimes to be "Fat Shredder" and "Fat Burner" and "Fat Melter".  What's wrong with fat anyway?  Well, according to Science, excessive fat and obesity is correlated with Type 2 Diabetes. Fair enough, no one wants diabetes.  But it's not that simple.  Fat has consistently gotten a bad rep, so I'm one fitness professional that is here to tell you that Fat isn't that bad at all.  Actually, it's pretty good.  Hate those love handles?  Why?  Love handles are like having a little extra food storage in your pantry.  Would you reprimand your friends and family members for stocking their pantry with a some extra cans of beans, rice, flour, and basic essentials for survival?  Of course not!  You would commend them for being so prepared, organized, and self reliant.

A little extra flub, is actually just that.  Your body is super smart, and knows that it's good and safe, to tuck away some extra food for later, because it just may come in handy.  But it's also not smart to stuff your pantry with food storage, that you never use.  You are supposed to rotate it out, eat up those cans of food, and don't leave them for years on end.  Just like your pantry, you need to do that with your body.  You don't want to keep adding to your food storage, because at some point, you are going to be busting at the seams, literally, and that's not good either.  There are a variety of different exercise machines designed to target our "problem" areas.  But the fact is, you don't get to control where your body stores fat.  It does that all on its own, because your body is designed to survive and adapt.

I'm a defender of visceral fat.  In moderation.  Roman gladiators were known to consume high carb, high plant based protein diets (yes they were vegetarians) so that that they could be ready for competition.  These athletes weren't "shredded".  Rather, they had a some extra flub, around their core, to protect their vital organs from blunt force and trauma.

Now there is nothing wrong with looking shredded.  Humans have every right to create and accept beauty in a variety of forms.  But I want to remind people, that health and beauty really DOES come in a VARIETY of forms.  You don't have to be "shredded" in order to be beautiful or healthy.  

Okay, so let's talk about Exercise Machines.  Here's the thing, I believe your body is meant to be enjoyed.  Exercise machines are quite limiting if you consider the fact that spending all that time and energy running statically, could be simply done outside, while enjoying the sunshine (and getting your daily dose of Vitamin D).  You would receive more overall health benefits from taking a leisure stroll outside, than you would indoors on a treadmill.  Perhaps it's raining, and you want to get your sweat on, plus you live in a dangerous neighborhood.  Fair enough, I'm not saying a treadmill is useless.  But I hope you get what I'm saying.  If not, I'll go further.

Alright, so what about all that manpower you are putting into a machine?  It seems completely inefficient to consume calories, with the intent of burning all those calories running, stair stepping, or biking statically.  When you move, (even when you are on a machine) you get the endorphin rush.  But when you do something like #Parkour, Martial Arts, or Aerial Dance you get to move AND connect with people/friends, plus learn valuable skills that improve your quality of life.  I think that is a much better use of all those calories you worked so hard to purchase and consume.  Why not put your hard earned calories into something fun and enjoyable, and invest in a discipline, rather than a machine that will NOT hold you accountable, nor be your friend.

Discipline and Trust are a few things you gain when you step away from the machine, and choose to BECOME the machine, while joining others on their journey. #Aerialsilks

Team #NeoFlow cheering on their fellow #Traceur comrades during a demo
I consider exercise machines to be utilities that belong in a hospital, to rehabilitate human bodies that are extremely sick or injured, and need a hyper controlled setting in order to orchestrate movement. If you can stand, sit, walk, run, jump on your own, then it's very likely, an exercise machine is just holding you back, and preventing you from living up to your gladdest potential.

This summer I turned 34 years old.  In the passing years I have felt a renewed reverence for my body, and ultimately this sacred vessel that carries me through life.  My hope is that Free Flow Academy is a place where people can feel a great sense of appreciation for their amazing body.  It's important to me that boys and girls, men and women, see and experience great joy, health, and abundance through movement, mindfulness, and connection with others.  

7/30/16 Instagram Post - Tomorrow I will be 34. That number represents the amount of years I have sustained my human self, on this planet Earth. My body is young, vibrant, fertile. My body has created life. My body is desired. My body is magnificent. My body carries my soul. This vehicle... this incredible machine that lives; that has its own intelligence, is something to be revered. To be respected. To be loved. To be cared for. With each passing year, my body is to be given more attention, more love, than before - because my body deserves that kind of gratitude. It has functioned continually, without fail. Not without struggles, not without imperfections. My body has fought many battles. My body has been there for me, even when I despised it, even when I destroyed parts of it. Even when I didn't protect it. My body is resilient. Forgiving. Powerful. Divine. #lovethyself

Miss Elle coaches #Kungfu on Monday's @ 4:30pm at Free Flow Academy

Miss Elle at Mono Lake.  Check out this link to read about her Mono Lake adventure.  #quicksand 
Miss Elle with two of her boys #paddleboarding #folsomlake