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Health & Fitness

Find Your Fire

The first thing that hits you is the heat. Step in and let it slide around your body and envelope you. Relax into it. You can feel it in your chest when you breathe. Your eyes will adjust to the dark. The bright fluorescent lights of other gyms put the focus on the mirrors and [...]
Jeni Ruisch



The first thing that hits you is the heat.

Step in and let it slide around your body and envelope you. Relax into it. You can feel it in your chest when you breathe. Your eyes will adjust to the dark. The bright fluorescent lights of other gyms put the focus on the mirrors and meters and your fancy workout clothes, for better or for worse.

Here at Melt Fitness, the lights are off, the heat and music are up, and the focus is on you. In the dark, you look inward, and that’s exactly how the bosses like it.

Kelly Sodergren wants to melt your face off. Figuratively speaking.

The founder of Melt Hot Fitness is evangelical about her intense exercise methods, and the lifestyle she wants to support. Earning her first certification at age 19, Sodergren has had a lifelong relationship with intense physical fitness.

“Fitness has always been my first love. I knew I wanted to make it a full time job. It only took me fifteen years to get there. Fifteen years in banking. I ran the studio by myself for a year and a half while I held a full time job. Looking back… I don’t know how I did it.”

Steeling herself through tough emotional situations, and living with severe ADHD, she discovered that running helped center her like nothing else could. Heat, she found, accelerated that process. This inspired her to turn up the temperature on her classes— to 90 percent humidity, and 105 steamy degrees.

“We keep it hot—we keep it humid. The layers start to come off. The physical layers that we see literally in their clothing, and the emotional layers that we can’t see, but they can feel… It is so important to what we deliver here and our experience that we are able to just purge all of that stress away. We do that physically with (the help of) our building.”

The mechanics of this sizzling system are much more complex than just cranking up a thermostat. To maintain the proper heat and humidity to teach the hot classes, Sodergren has taken each step of the energy process into consideration.

At her Westerville location, the building’s walls are double insulated and wrapped. A special HVAC system was installed that controls and equalizes heat, along with a state of the art system that pulls humidity into rooms. The new 8,000-square-foot space in Dublin Village Center has all this, plus infrared radiant heat panels to dial up the thermogenic effect.

A studio and method designed with intention from the ground up, that’s what Sodergren wants for her customers. Leading a team of 30 “bosses,” she oversees a split schedule of various scorching sessions. From barre to lifting, hot yoga to method, stride and beyond, Sodergren and her team want to whip not just your body, but your mind and soul into shape.

“We aren’t with them just in the fitness part of it. We’re really trying to be their lifeline to be the best version of themselves. We’re really like their partner on this journey. This community is amazing, and the work here is legit. It changes bodies, and it has changed a bunch of lives.”

Sodergren sweats with her team in the heat and the dark to get to an intimate physical and mental space that takes people out of their day to day. Changing of old habits sometimes requires a shove. One needs to heave oneself out of a rut. The push and pull of steamy 105-degree yoga, or the thumping music and 90 degrees of the hot stride class, or lifting weights in the dark and the heat might be what you need to shed a few extra pounds, or the psychic strain of the pattern and grind of your day to day.

“We really want people to dig in and go ‘I remember when I was excited about something,’ or, ‘I remember when I was fired up about life.’ People lose that. For whatever reason, they get beat down. Job, family, relationships… Life beats people down. They come back in here and they start to find their fire again and it’s pretty awesome.”

Melt Hot Fitness

106 E College Ave., Westerville

6659 Dublin Center Dr., Dublin

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Do lemons help with digestion?

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC



Lemons have been used for years in cooking to add acidity to foods, but is there actually a health benefit to using lemons in your food regularly? According to this social media post below, yes. The post alleges that lemons are a key to improving digestion due to their pH.

But, let’s stop there and explore whether or not there's any truth to this claim.

First of all, yes, lemons are acidic and have a low pH, and our gastric fluids or stomach acid is also acidic with a normal pH range being 1.5-3.5. So, lemons and our gastric juices do have similar pHs, and the acidity of stomach acid is vital for correct digestion processes. Thus, one might think lemons would be great to eat every day to keep our stomach acidic and digestion flowing,

However, it’s not common for stomach acid to get out of normal range. Our bodies have a strong capability to maintain homeostasis, meaning if things get outside “normal” levels, our bodies will try to correct it from within. If your stomach acid is not in the normal range, that could be indicative of other health conditions that lemons may not be able to cure.

Take-Away: Continue to use lemons in your foods for acidity, flavor, and color, or if you really enjoy eating them—they do count as a serving of fruit! But, there is no need to force yourself to add more lemons to your diet for digestive purposes. Our bodies work hard to keep us stable, and if your gastric juices are out of range, visiting your doctor is the only thing that will help.

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Pregnancy Fit Tea

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC



We don’t have to be a woman to know that pregnancy can be difficult time, so a tea that helps with the nausea and discomfort seems like a great idea, right?


While many herbal teas are safe for the general public and pregnant women, there are some concerns.

First, some of the "beneficial" ingredients in the Flat Tummy tea above are not supported by any real evidence, let alone by information stating that they are safe to consume while pregnant. One of those ingredients is Rooibos (asparlathus linearis), which is touted as a "digestive aid" for pregnant women. However, this claim is not corroborated by a single study on The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubMed database.

Ginger is yet another ingredient present in the tea that has not been proven undeniably healthy for pregnant woman.

"Although several studies have found no evidence of harm from taking ginger during pregnancy, it’s uncertain whether ginger is always safe for pregnant women," according to the National Institutes of Health.

Not only is ginger a questionable ingredient for a child-bearing woman to consume, the Flat Tummy tea fails to specify exactly how much ginger was used to make it.

Take Away: Please do not fall for the schemes of these “Fit Teas.” If you are pregnant, please be cautious of all ingredients you put in your body and discuss with your healthcare provider before starting any supplementations.

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Health & Fitness

Medical marijuana arrives in Columbus next week

Mike Thomas



Got your card? Terrasana - central Ohio's first dispensary for medical marijuana - will open to patients in Ohio's medical marijuana program this Tuesday, March 26th.

The dispensary which also has plans for locations in Cleveland, Fremont, and Springfield Ohio will open at 656 Grandview Avenue.

According to the company's website, Terrasana's goal is to connect high quality cannabis to patients in need with a doctor-driven approach focused on education.

Prices for the dispensary's products start at 40 dollars per unit, though it's unclear what that equates to in quantity or dose at this time.

Will you line up to be a day-one patient in Columbus' growing MMJ scene? Let us know your thoughts in the comments

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