Structural integration and alignment specialist Lauren Roxburgh—author of Taller, Slimmer, Younger—consistently comes up with new (blessedly simple) foam-rolling routines that keep her clients long and lean. In a month notorious for fad diets and Hail Mary exercise attempts (read more about why neither are great for you, or effective against weight loss resistance, here), Roxburgh reminds us that we don’t have to push ourselves to the brink of exhaustion, or even commit to countless hours at the gym to look and feel our best. Here, she shares her essential routine for boosting the body’s natural detox system: A series of body-toning foam-rolling routines, plus, low-impact, fat-burning rebounding moves—both of which get the lymphatic system going for inner and outer health benefits. Not to mention, you can get all it done in 20-30 minutes. (For more from Lauren, see here.)
The R & R Detoxifying and Fat Flushing Workout
Many of my clients feel the need to kick-start the New Year with a detox and potentially lose extra pounds from fun holiday overindulging. Here’s the thing: Neither a New-Year detox nor a weight-loss program means you have to starve yourself or go mad on calorie-burning spin classes or circuit workouts. In the sixteen years I’ve spent years working with clients, I’ve learned that looking and feeling your best, losing weight, and more importantly keeping the weight off, is all about sustainability and enjoyment. This is true, though, regardless of whether weight loss, or feeling good at your current weight, is your goal: You want to find a way of living, eating, and exercising that works for you and your lifestyle—and one that you can stick to and actually enjoy. Crash diets or fasts just don’t work for most of us in the long-term—we might lose some weight, but it pretty quickly goes back on. Likewise, embarking on an intense workout regime can be great for a while, but pretty soon we’re over it—or, worse, we end up injured.
There is a better way, and I call it the R & R detoxifying and fat-flushing workout—a less stressful, yet highly effective routine that combines (foam) rolling and rebounding (on a mini trampoline). It’s all about quality movement; quick, fun, and easy. You’ll find it jumpstarts your metabolism, strengthens your core, and detoxifies your system to help the body flush fat.
Why foam rolling? The humble roller is capable of far more than just massaging sore muscles—in fact the roller is a total-body workout tool that can actually mimic many of the moves on the Pilates Reformer. Used correctly, the foam roller can help hydrate and smooth out your fascia (the thin layer of connective tissue that lies under the skin and wraps the entire body, as well as each individual muscle and organ), literally rolling away excess bulk, thickness, and density in the body. Also when used correctly, the roller boosts circulation and lubricates your fascia, which makes your skin look and feel more supple, toned, and youthful. Rolling stimulates the lymphatic system, too, which helps flush toxins, gets rid of bloating, and even reduces cellulite. I recommend a medium-density foam roller—I developed one that suits nearly everyone (and is not painful to use), with raised bumps that further boost circulation and get the lymphatic system going.
When you combine rolling with another one of my go-to’s—the rebounder—you’ve got a one-two punch for detoxing, de-stressing, and improving total body strength and tone. The rebounder is basically a small trampoline that you simply bounce on, but it’s a remarkable tool for detoxifying your system—both body (it supports lymphatic drainage to flush toxins) and mind (bouncing can help you feel less anxious)—and also for weight loss when done consistently. Some research suggests that the rebounder is more effective for cardiovascular health and fat-burning than running—and it’s low impact, so it’s far easier on joints and muscles. Rebounding builds a stronger bladder and helps regenerate the pelvic floor—the muscles that effectively form a hammock across the base of your pelvis—especially after childbirth, and can relieve bloating. What else? It lifts and tones the deep core and tush, improves digestion, boosts circulation, and helps build bone density. (If you’re in the market for a rebounder, my favorite is the Bellicon. It has bungees instead of springs so it’s quieter, smoother, and sturdier, and the legs fold easily so you can store it under a bed/in a closet when you’re not using it.)
For me, the biggest advantage of the R & R detoxifying and fat flushing workout is that it’s enjoyable, doesn’t take up a lot of time, and you can do it at home—all of which increases the chances that you’ll stick to it. Just 20-30 minutes on your roller and rebounder, and your workout is done. You’ll not only look and move better, you’ll actually feel better. Researchers believe foam rolling may trigger a release of the pain-relieving hormone oxytocin (also known as the love hormone because of how it makes us feel); and both rolling and rebounding activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is crucial to healing, recovery, decreasing stress, and feeling happy.
As with any exercise, listen to your body when you’re rolling/rebounding. To enhance your results: hydrate, eat healthy, clean whole foods, and get plenty of good-quality rest to help your body do its detox work. A few bonus detox boosters I recommend: yin yoga, stretching, cooking with bone broth, using an infrared sauna, dry brushing, adding a few chlorophyll drops to your water (helps purify your blood), and drinking fennel tea (reduces bloating and water retention, regulates appetite, and helps to flush your system of toxins). For a homemade version of the tea: I crush up fennel seeds a bit to release the oils, then put the crushed seeds into a strainer or tea ball, and pour boiling water over them. Let steep for 10 minutes and enjoy.