All Articles Tagged "fitness"

Serena Williams’s New Nike Sneakers Are An Iridescent Dream Come True

August 24th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Serena Williams U.S. Open

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Last summer, Nike announced that they would launch the “Greatness Collection” to honor the career of Serena Williams. The collection was a mix of footwear and apparel, with three shoes going on sale in Nike Safari and marble prints: the NikeCourt Flare, NikeCourt Air Max 1 Ultra and the NikeCourt Roshe LD-1000. Williams wore the Flares on the court during the U.S. Open last year. In May, the same shoes were reissued in a unique rose design.

Well, the collection is still going strong, and Nike has included two new designs to the roster. The popular Air Max and Roshe styles are being released on August 25 (sold by select Nike Sportswear retailers and on the Nike SNKRS app) in a pretty chic iridescent finish, shining on a black base. Also featured on the leather shoes is a crinkled material that gives the kicks quite a bit of personality — just like twerk queen Serena. To make the shoes even more personalized, Williams’s logo is included, as well as a message in the sockliner that says “You are strong, powerful, and beautiful.”

Check out a few more images of the new NikeCourt Air Max and Roshe shoes below, customized to fit Williams’s sense of style:

 

Nike

Nike 2

Nike 3

Nike 4

Nike 5Nike 6

And if shoes aren’t enough, you can get your amateur tennis star on in customized NikeCourt dresses, tanks, jackets, capris and more influenced by Williams’s fashion sense and moves on the court.

 

A Vegan, Alcohol-Free Princess Love Norwood Got Wedding-Day Fresh By Losing 40 Pounds In 7 Months

August 18th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Princess Love Norwood

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We told you the other day that Bishop Eddie Long dropped a large amount of weight in a short time, even if it wasn’t his intention, by dropping a “slave menu” diet of fast foods in favor of a vegan-inspired diet. Well, he’s not the only person who has done it as of late and seen major results. Princess Love Norwood (yes, Ray J’s longtime girlfriend and new wife) has gone vegan, for real for real according to her, and as a result, she claims that she’s lost 40 pounds in seven months:

The “Love and Hip Hop Hollywood” star is referring to those who say she looked better before the weight loss, or have said that she didn’t need to lose anything at all. Quite a few people have taken to her Instagram to even tell her she needs to gain a few pounds. Despite what people may say or think, she’s living a healthier lifestyle and happy with herself, and that’s never a bad thing.

Check out a few more images of a slimmer Princess and let us know what you think.

Top: @Jhalae Skirt: @Jhalae Shoes: Giorgio Armani Purse: Chanel

A photo posted by Princess Love Norwood (@princesslove) on

Mrs. Norwood #81216

A photo posted by Princess Love Norwood (@princesslove) on

Also, would you ever consider going vegan? Why or why not?

Enclothed Cognition: How Important Is It To Look Cute When You Go To The Gym?

August 17th, 2016 - By Niki McGloster
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Shutterstock

Ask any high school student you know, and they will tell you that the first day back to school is exciting for one reason (aside from seeing all of their friends again): The fresh outfit they get to wear for the hallways’ silent fashion wars. Ironed to perfection and splayed neatly across their bed the night before, those clothes program kids to willfully anticipate each class, if only for that first day. Whether they’re a straight-A student or dying to skip third period, at the very least, they show up to show off and tackle what needs to be done. Personally, I can recall those days, in my youth, where the right T-shirt and jeans combo could make me feel, in some ways, more studious and prepared than when I rolled out of bed and put on whatever just to be on time.

Granted, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably advanced beyond the days of starting a new grade. But in adulthood, the same “enclothed cognition” can apply to our approach to fitness.

According to a 2012 study, clothes we wear directly influence our behavior. In this instance, a lab coat, which is specifically associated with attentiveness, was found to increase performance of attention-related tasks when worn by regular people. So, could wearing gym clothes, especially attractive ones, help us perform better and be more motivated in the gym? My educated guess? Hell yes.

First off, I get it. The least of your worries during a 90-minute boxing class is looking like Kendall Jenner. A good workout usually consists of sweating in places you never knew existed and achieving the physical gains you’ve been gunning for all summer ‘16. But I’m not suggesting women start contouring their mugs and sporting the shortest compression shorts for a 30-minute elliptical workout. Save all the fancy makeup tricks for a night out with bae and Instagram. I am, however, implying that wearing an athletic ‘fit you feel attractive in even when you have to make a quick grocery store run after a sweaty yoga session is a game changer.

Let’s be honest here: Clearing the mental hurdle of hitting the gym when you’d much rather binge-watch The Get Down on Netflix takes much more than throwing on a ratty Hanes T-shirt and gray sweats. Sometimes it takes a new box full of Ethika sports bras to work out. From experience, regardless if I was just determined to put my new gear to the test or to be seen in cute workout clothes, I’d haul ass to go exercise, motivated by how I knew I would feel in them. My outlook simply adjusted from couch potato mode to Massy Arias. And seriously, just peeling yourself out of bed and arriving at the gym is half of the battle. Once you’re there, you will do something, and afterwards, you will feel accomplished.

The bottom line is that what you wear directly affects how you feel about a task and how you perform. You wouldn’t wear a tattered dress to the club, because you would feel unattractive and, in turn, become the wallflower of the event. So, why wear your college sweatshirt with holes in it to barre?

Overall, my closet has shifted to an assortment of Lululemon leggings, Nike sneakers and other types of clothes in an array of prints and colors that inspire activeness. On a daily basis, I’m consciously and subconsciously more inclined to be in constant motion. And trust me, it’s not about the brand I’m wearing. What matters is styling yourself accordingly for an extra oomph in motivation.

Fitness, aside from building stamina and strength, is about mental toughness. Pair that with the strong psychological influence that wearing a cute workout outfit can have on you, and you’ve got yourself a satisfying sweat session. And, hey, if you barely do a mile on the treadmill, at the very least, you’ll be cute enough to feel good about what you could do (and catch someone’s eye in the process).

Fitness Goals: BFFs Launch Philly Girls Jump For Black Women To Bond And Get Fit

August 17th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Facebook

Double dutch has served as a rite of passage and form of bonding between women in the Black community for years, and best friends Tanisha Rinehardt and Della Burns of Philadelphia recently decided to reconnect themselves and their adult friends with the now-recognized sport for fitness reasons, organizing an event for women to play double dutch in their city’s Awbury Park, according to Good HouseKeeping.

Much to their surprise, the morning after announcing the event they received an overwhelming amount of support,  instead of the 5-10 participants they had hoped for. “We’re up to 300 people,” Della told Tanisha over the phone as she observed their Facebook event page. As the number of RSVPs grew, Tanisha and Della realized they would need an event permit and didn’t have enough jump ropes for people to use. And on the actual day of their event, Della and Tanisha were greeted by 2,400 people — luckily many of them brought their own jump rope to play double dutch with them. Although they were still shocked by the large turnout, Della, Tanisha and their participants made the event inclusive by singing songs for the jumpers to keep pace and making friends.

After receiving positive feedback from their first event, Della and Tanisha decided to launch Philly Girls Jump. The group now holds weekly meet-ups and they’ve routinely been joined by “spontaneous jumpers,” i.e. women going on dates and high schoolers on their way to prom. One jumper even said the meetups have become therapeutic for her, helping her temporarily forget about the things that cause her stress. Others shared that they’ve found best friends through the program.

As Philly Girls Jump continues to expand, Della and Tanisha hope to create other branches in New Jersey, New York and even the nation’s capital Washington, D.C.

We can’t wait!

Men Of The Cloth Fitness Goals: Bishop Eddie Long Sheds A Ton Of Weight While Bishop T.D. Jakes Packs On Muscle

August 16th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Instagram

Unless you’re a follower of Bishop Eddie Long and Bishop T.D. Jakes, you may not have noticed that they look a bit different these days.

For instance, Bishop Long went from looking like this:

To looking like this:

 

Long didn’t immediately address his sudden change in appearance, so those in his congregation and who follow his sermons questioned whether or not he was dealing with some sort of illness. The transformation, if we’re being honest, is a great one. Well, the pastor finally decided to answer the questions about his health, sharing that he is actually healthier than he’s ever been. This all thanks to giving up his beloved Popeyes and other fast foods to try a raw vegetable diet. In a Facebook video, he said ridding himself of “a slave menu” has given him more energy and is the reason he lost so much weight so quickly.

“You say, ‘Bishop! What happened to all of you?’ Well, part of me has melted away. And so, I just want to say because I’ve received a lot of calls, people calling, ‘Bishop, what’s going on? What’s going on?’ Well, I said to my congregation, I’m going to live to be 100 years old. Maybe add a few more years. But you know what? I wasn’t going to get there stopping by Popeyes. That was my weakness. The biscuits with the honey. The chicken wings, spicy and all of that. You know, basically, many of us are still eating from a slave menu. We need to check that out.”

Long continued by saying that he’s even been able to stop using the blood pressure medicine he had been taking for so many years.

“I have gone total raw vegetable and so, I’m somewhat of a vegan. For all you vegans out there, never thought I’d do this, but I am. It’s really, really giving me a lot of energy. Yes, I lost weight. I don’t have the arms like I used to, but they’re coming back. But I don’t want all that weight. I want health. I want you to know, I’m on zero medications. My blood pressure is 120 over 80. I used to take blood pressure medicine, pills, for years. No medications. I’m on the medication that God gave to feed your immune system and build you up. Because you know what? If you really want to move through this world and have influence, you’ve got to be spiritual, you’ve got to walk by his commandments, and you have to be healthy. You know what the Bible says: Though I want you to be in health, it started with “in health” and prosper and all of that. I want to be in good health because I know God has given me something for me, for the church, for the kingdom, and he’s given you something. We all have influence.”

If you’ve ever done a fast or restricted your diet greatly, you know that you can drop a large amount of weight in a short time. So with a diet inspired by a vegan meal plan combined with working out consistently (which Long was doing in the Facebook video), it makes sense that he looks teeny, tiny these days.

Well, keep up the great work!

Someone else working hard in the gym but gaining muscle is Bishop T.D. Jakes. He’s been doing a little bit of flexing on the ‘gram lately, and his thousands of followers have definitely noticed that he’s looking a little smaller in the stomach, but bulkier everywhere else. He’s gone from this:

Thought I’d throw back to my bearded days!

A photo posted by TD Jakes (@bishopjakes) on

To this:

A photo posted by TD Jakes (@bishopjakes) on

Jakes has been a major proponent for healthy living in the past, writing a book called Lay Aside the Weight that offered a weight-loss plan, and he’s dropped 100 pounds before. So who knows? Maybe he’s decided to take charge of his health once again. Whatever he’s doing, he looks great!

Are You Comfortable And Confident Enough To Work Out In Your Sports Bra?

August 15th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Let me start by apologizing to my fellow womenfolk. Yesterday, I was guilty of casting the darkness of my own self-consciousness onto other people, attempting to shame others as they did what I couldn’t.

Here’s how it went down.

It was yet another stifling day thanks to a heatwave that has been going on since last week in NYC. And yet, I didn’t mind breaking a sweat in the gym yesterday. I had eaten myself out of house and home to celebrate my birthday and I decided that I needed to exercise.

As I walked into my gym, it felt comfortable enough. In comparison to the church service I’d just come from inside of an oven, it was pretty cold in the facility. Still, I looked up upon entrance and noticed that one young woman had chosen to run on the treadmill in her sports bra and shorts. “Interesting,” I thought to myself before proceeding to a treadmill. During my workout, I would notice another woman in her sports bra. And then another. By the time I finished doing strength training, another had come in the group classroom to stretch and check out her body in the mirror. On the way out, one more was doing leg presses in her bralette.

It was like the 1999 World Cup all over again.

But because I missed the memo that women in my co-ed gym were going to be forgoing shirts, I couldn’t get on board. I started shaking my head, rolling my eyes, and assuming that they were just trying to be seen by the many men working out in the section of the facility roped off for weight training. Or worse, they were trying to be those people who go out of their way to show off their perfect bodies while everybody else, fully clothed, is still working on their own.

When I went home and talked to my fiancé about it, his response was “Maybe they were hot? It is like 94 degrees.” However, I didn’t believe it, saying instead “The air was on … They were just doing too much.”

But earlier today, while looking at the Instagram profile of Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks and admiring images of her confidently showing off her stomach and representing for “#thickgirls” in this heat, I ran across a recent picture of her in the gym and had a change of heart:

When speaking on why she decided to start working out sans shirt, Brooks said last year that it was to show herself some love:

Hey 💜rs, Today I decided to do something I’ve never done before: Go to the gym with my SHIRT OFF!! 🙊 I thought I’d share why this is significant for me. I’ve always wanted to do this but have felt shameful and have told myself “until my body is perfect I’m forbidden.” Today my inner being told me to turn up the notch on my self-love. I should not be ashamed of my body. I’m not a walking imperfection! I’m a Goddess. Secondly, I’m a confident woman! That doesn’t stop once I take off my spanx. Lol Sometimes it’s a struggle. Sometimes I don’t like what I see, but I have the power to change the way in which I relate to my body both physically and mentally. Today I woke up feeling beautiful and motivated to love myself and take care of the ONE body that I’ve been given. I’m not saying World take your shirt off, twist it round your head, spin it like a helicopter🎶, (lol) I’m saying everyone live in your confidence. One Life. One Body. Take Care of It. With 💜, DanieB #voiceofthecurves #yesmythighstouch #lovethyself #beautyinandout #goddess #imabadshutyomouth #ivebeeneatingmygreens #thickathanasnika

A photo posted by Danielle Brooks (@daniebb3) on

And just like that, I realized I was being the biggest hater. I was so pressed about why other people were comfortably walking around free and happy with no shirt on because I know I’m not 100 percent comfortable enough to do it. I had tried it once, taking off my shirt during that intense STRONG Zumba class I told you about a few weeks ago. Still, I only decided to shed my top because the air wasn’t blowing hard enough, other women had started doing it, and there was only one guy in the class. But to confidently press on in a sports bra in front of a gaggle of men? I’m just not there. I’d rather be in my head.

And if that’s not enough, I’ve also battled with being comfortable in something as simple as a crop top in the gym. Whether I’m worried about a pudge forming when I dip down into a squat, or concerned someone is taking my boost in self-confidence as an attempt to make them feel bad about how far they may need to go in the gym, I’m never fully comfortable.

What I had to understand was that I had inadvertently become one of those people watching others, individuals clearly not worried about the opinions of strangers, and projecting my issues onto them. Despite losing weight and making progress on the outside, I still have a ways to go, that I didn’t initially realize, to feel fully secure on the inside, in my own skin. Until I can, the last thing I need to do is come for people and the decisions they choose to make in their own dermis.

There’s Now A Zika-Proof Fitness Apparel Line

August 13th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Many individuals are currently suffering from travel trials due to the current outbreak of the Zika: “Should I risk it or not?”

Well, there’s now a clothing that will ease your woes. According to Forbes, former Shark Tank contestant Ben Wood  has created NOBITECH, a Zika-proof fitness apparel line for both men and women.  So, how does it protect you? There’s a non-harmful chemical addictive added to the clothing that actually repels mosquitos potentially carrying the Zika virus. Pretty cool, right?

The Zika-proof fitness line is using the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janerio to its advantage as a testing ground with many athletes (and tourists) susceptible to being infected with the virus that still cannot be prevented with vaccines or treated with medications. “This business went from ideation to execution in less than four months,” says Wood of the four-month old start up . “Timing was everything with the Olympics and Zika.”

Instead of fear, Wood’s whole notion behind the Zika-repellant technology is to create a safe and fun solution. So far, we’ve seen the line rocked by the U.S. Olympic Polo, Swimming, and Triathlete teams in Rio.

From the options currently available on their site for women, the prices are quite modest, starting at $19.95 for a v-neck t-shirt to $55.75 for full length active pants to $65.55 for a full zip, water resistant jacket.

While the line is still in its infancy and making sure it stands up against the likes of other UV-protective clothing lines, Wood already has his eyes set on expanding NOBITECH beyond just fitness and moving into the ranks of the fashion world world, considering a leisure/resort wear line.

So, ladies, what do you think? Will you get in formation with NOBITECH’s defense against Zika?

Want To Try Expensive Studio Fitness Classes For Free? Try The Meatpacking District’s “Sweat Sessions”

August 11th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Credit: Ethan Covey

Credit: Ethan Covey

One of the few complaints I have about most boutique fitness studios is that while they offer great classes with unique workouts, they don’t do so at a price that the average person can afford to pay consistently. The standard cost of one class can range from between $20 to $35, and to get a membership? Forget about it. I went to an event recently where to take just two to three classes a week (again, not unlimited) would cost you nearly $200 a month. With that in mind, it can feel like today’s health and fitness movement is pretty elitist.

But that’s why the Meatpacking District’s summer-long series of “fitness, mindfulness and healthy living” classes here in NYC called The Sweat Sessions is so important. They partnered with Wellthily (a “healthy hospitality firm” in the city) to offer three free classes, 45 minutes each, every Tuesday night at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. The classes are all those fancy boutique sessions many people wouldn’t likely be able to access regularly, brought to you by the likes of Lululemon, Model Fit, Elite City Fitness, Bari Studio, Dance Body and more. I’m talking about as little as 50 people and as many as 200 people happily breaking a hefty sweat on the grass in Hudson River Park’s 14th Street Park (between 14th and 15th street on 10th Ave.).

I was invited to a class on Tuesday, specifically the Lululemon + BFX class. I didn’t know what to expect. I guess you could say I assumed that because I was going to be taking part in a class with people of all different fitness levels, the instructor was going to go somewhat easy on us. Not at all.

Soon after I arrived (and was equipped with a Samsung Gear Fit 2 to test out during my workout), I was already being asked to hold planks in the grass for one minute. From there we were doing burpees, push-ups, squats, fast feet, bicycles and a long list of intense moves for as long as a minute each. The instructor wouldn’t even let us slack, walking around the crowd of at least 75 people, telling them to drop their legs lower for a better ab burn and clap their hands above their heads during burpees. I had only known him for a short time, but I hated him (for pushing me past my limits, of course).

Despite the class only lasting 45 minutes, I was covered in sweat, feeling as though I had been put through a boot camp for more than an hour. I was a little itchy from having grass on my back, but happy that I was able to get in a workout outdoors on a beautiful days.

I can’t promise you will have the same experience, but that’s a good thing. It’s always nice to have options and spontaneity, and The Sweat Sessions offer both (including options not on the grass). From yoga to cardio to just full-on dance, you get the premium boutique class experience for the doing-a-yoga-video-in-the-house price. I don’t know about you, but with the cost of all this kale, Greek yogurt and other expensive fancy-schmancy healthy food, getting a good workout in for free with the Hudson River as my backdrop is pretty awesome.

If you’re interested in taking classes, there are three days left to join in the following weeks (August 16, 23 and 30). You can sign up for a free class and view the upcoming schedule here.

 

Couples Who Work Out Together, Stay Together: Niecy Nash’s Husband Surprises Her With A Workout Date

August 9th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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I don’t think there is anything more encouraging for a person hoping to meet a certain fitness goal than to have their partner by their side cheering them on as they make it happen. Case in point: Niecy Nash and her husband Jay Tucker.

The 46-year-old Scream Queens star has been trying to “get in shape” for the Emmys next month, and to help her do it, Tucker swapped their usual date night for a workout day date. She thought they were having their usual fun, but instead, Tucker took her to a studio. He called on trainer Michael Blanks along with a bevy of the couple’s closest friends to come together for some fun and fitness. Nash was surprised as each person showed up to work up a sweat:

During the packed session, the always comical Nash even found time to turn things into a twerk session with her hubby, and he had no problem dropping it like it was hot for his lady:

In the end, Nash and her friends (including actresses Emayatzy Corinealdi, AJ Johnson and Aisha Hinds) were left pretty exhausted from their workout:

And also very ready to eat:

But more than anything, Nash was feeling grateful that she has a husband who is so thoughtful and supportive. Nash lost more than 50 pounds a few years ago and openly attributed that success to the encouragement of Tucker and her three kids (from her previous marriage).

Tucker knows that there is truth to the idea that the couple who works out together, stays together. Hence the reason the pair, married for five years, is clearly so happy together. Love it!

Can You Guess How Many Pounds The Average American Has Gained In The Last 20 Years?

August 9th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Shutterstock

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (otherwise known as the CDC), the average American is more than 15 pounds heavier than we were 20 years ago.

What the hell have we been eating?

But seriously, after sampling more than 19,000 people between the years of 2011 and 2014 who were interviewed and underwent medical examinations in their homes, and comparing the results to samplings done between the years of 1988 and 1994, American women went from an average weight of 152 pounds to 169, so 17 pounds heavier. The weight of men also increased, going from 181 to 196 pounds over the years, making them 15 pounds heavier. Also increasing includes the size of our waists and the weight of our children, which I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about all over the news (i.e., the childhood obesity epidemic, the Let’s Move!). According to Women’s Health, via the CDC report, girls are seven pounds heavier than they were 20 years ago while remaining around the same height, and boys are actually 13.5 pounds heavier these days while gaining an inch in height. And while the weight of adults has really shot up, the average height has remained the same: around 5’4″ for women and about 5’9″ for men.

According to CBS News, via the CDC report, Black Americans have increased the most on average with women gaining 22 pounds over the last two decades while staying around the same average height. As for Black men, they have added about 18 pounds.

Despite how shocking multiple publications say these results are, I think we all knew that we were getting bigger. And we definitely know that a balanced diet and exercise can make a big difference in curbing the increase in pounds that has been happening. But we may not fully realize just how big of an impact our lack of activity and healthy eating habits have on our long-term health. The American Heart Association just recently noted that a high BMI can greatly increase your chances of diabetes more than anything else, while being overweight, in general, can also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. So while this information is good to have, it doesn’t make a difference if people don’t take heed and actually make changes so there won’t be another 15-20 pound increase 20 years from now.