All Articles Tagged "fitness"

So Yoga Doesn’t Really Count Toward The Recommended 30 Minutes Of Daily Exercise…

September 26th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

For some people, yoga isn’t just a discipline, it’s a way of life. For the Centers for Disease Control, however, yoga is not an adequate form of physical activity. At least, it’s not an adequate form in terms of the moderate-intensity level aerobic exercise encouraged for 30 minutes a day to improve your health.

Clearly people haven’t tried hot yoga…

According to a recent study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the intensity of holding most Hatha yoga poses in classes does not meet the criteria for moderate-intensity physical activity. Research was done into past investigations of how many calories are burned in yoga and the metabolic intensity of poses and breathing exercises, including the sun salutations sequence.

Researchers found that most of the poses, and yoga in general, fit the classification of light-intensity activity. The sun salutations sequence, however, does meet moderate intensity. If those moves (including planks, lunges, upward and downward dog) are done throughout the day, it can help you meet the recommended daily activity requirements from the CDC’s Physical Activity Guideline for Americans. But if you do the normal range of Hatha poses, you’re not really getting the burn you could get from, say, 30 minutes of brisk walking, which can help you meet the level encouraged to boost your health.

However, the study also noted that even if it isn’t very intense at times, the benefits of doing Hatha yoga are still great. You can build some serious strength (and muscle-strengthening activities are part of the guidelines), especially in your core. Moves can also have quite the impact on your balance and flexibility. And, of course, one of the greatest benefits of Hatha yoga is that it helps you combat stress and calms you. In this hectic world, such practices can go a very long way in preserving your mental health. And if we’re talking about improving health, per the CDC’s guidelines, it’s also important to look out for more than just the physical.

How I Fell In love With Exercising Again

September 26th, 2016 - By Tanay Hudson
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When I first started working out in college it was exciting. I weighed 246 pounds when I began my journey to healthy living, and during my weekly weigh-in what I saw on the scale never disappointed me. Every week I lost anywhere from three to six pounds. My clothes were becoming looser and when I looked at pictures of myself I saw a new, slimmer me. But after losing 50 pounds, I got bored. My mix of gym and at-home beginner workouts became blase, so I started working out strictly at home and let Shaun T and Jillian Michaels supply me with heart-pumping sweat sessions. But after a few months, that got dull too. Then my weight loss slowed down, which really made me loathe exercising at one point. Why work out if I wasn’t losing pounds? Plus, I became sick of eating the same veggie-based meals. I had slowly lost my desire to sweat it out and I hit a plateau, but by stepping out of my comfort zone I was able to overcome it and find the fun in being fit again.

I was always scared to run on the treadmill or outside. (I tried to run once on the treadmill and got a painful cramp so I didn’t try anymore.) I’m also clumsy so when I thought about hitting the pavement I’d envision myself stumbling to the ground. A few years later, I tried for the second time. By shocking my body and changing up my workout I knew I would start to shed pounds again, so I gave it a try. I paced myself and ran and walked in intervals and before I knew it I was running at least 4 times a week. After my run, I  noticed a boost in my mood thanks to what’s known as a “runner’s high.” Research has shown that running, and exercise in general, leads to your brain producing endorphins, a chemical that reduces pain perception and promotes a more positive mood. With some guidance from a trainer and a running app, I then ran my first 5K race. The feeling of accomplishing something I thought I would never do was invigorating.

Another thing that helped me get out of my rut was changing my diet. I became weary of the same ole chicken, seafood and veggies combo. When the grocery store in my neighborhood closed shop, grocery shopping became difficult, especially when I wanted to try new things. So I decided to give HerbaLife a try and it turned out to be a great fit. I have long work days as a therapist, so eating three meals a day isn’t easy. With my HerbaLife program, I have a shake for breakfast and dinner and I eat a meal for lunch. I have my shake before I leave for work and while I am sitting in my last session of the day I sip on my shake for dinner and then head off to the gym.  Plus, the shakes come in flavors like Dulce de Leche, Cookies and Cream and Dutch Chocolate, which have all left my taste buds satisfied.

Meeting with a trainer also helped put me back on the right track. I used the same machines repeatedly, so to help me use the gym more effectively, I consulted with a trainer for guidance. She educated me on the right moves to target my problem areas and showed me exercises that help me capitalize on my workouts and burn more fat. I was familiar with certain moves thanks to Insanity and Jillian Michaels DVDs, but there was so much more to learn. Having a trainer advise me and show me new things made me motivated to lace up my Pumas and train harder.

I’m usually solo dolo during my daily fit fest, but having a workout buddy is pretty helpful. Not only does the workout go faster, but I pick up on some of my partner’s different workouts and give them a try. When I am with him I am more likely to pick up the weights and do some strength training, which I neglect at times due to my love for everything cardio.

Being in a funk when you’re trying to be fit can be a major setback. Finding ways to revamp your workout and spice up your diet can be just what you need to get back to going hard in the gridiron.


New Study Says Fitness Trackers Can Actually Sabotage Weight Loss Goals

September 23rd, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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fitness tracker


Fitness trackers serve quite a few purposes: from helping you see how many calories you burn, to how many steps you take, and how many more you can take when your family and friends are on your tail in a challenge. But according to a new study, if you were looking for trackers to help you lose weight, you may lose more without the help of such gadgets. It depends on what motivates you.

According to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers followed the weight loss of 471 participants (ages 18-35) between 2010 and 2012. Those tracked were put on a low-calorie diet, given recommendations for more physical activity, and went through group counseling sessions. They all saw progress in their weight loss.

Six months in, a random number of the participants were given fitness tracking devices (older models worn higher up on the arm, not today’s complex FitBits and Jawbones) to count their steps and calories burned. Other participants were told to self-monitor their diet and log their exercise habits into a website. Eighteen months down the line, those who just logged their exercise without the help of a tracker lost, on average, five more pounds than those who used the activity tracking. As it turns out, those who used the trackers ended up moving less. The study’s lead author, Jack Jakicic, told The New York Times that he thinks people were discouraged by not reaching certain daily goals they set for their steps and calories, goals they could monitor very closely via the tracker. Because of that, they gave up on certain days, burning less calories and losing less weight overall. Jakicic also said, “People may have focused on the technology and forgotten to focus on their behaviors.”

So it seems that for some people, fitness trackers left them feeling a bit discouraged at times, while those who were just instructed to focus on exercise patterns did much better. It’s very interesting and speaks to individual discipline and drive. I believe that trackers can definitely motivate you by encouraging you to meet step goals, which, in turn, help you burn quite a few calories. However, I also know the disappointment of not getting far with a step goal during the day and deciding that I might as well just stay in the house during the evening because I wouldn’t reach it. When I didn’t focus on any of that, pre-tracker, and instead, just focused on working out by myself or with a trainer, I was super motivated to keep going because I was seeing results. Too much tracking sometimes left me feeling overwhelmed. Therefore, I can see how this study could turn out this way. Again, it pretty much just depends on the person and what really pushes you — and what deters you.

Things That Make Exercising Much Easier

September 21st, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

We all know at least one person who loves to work out. They invite you to their CrossFit classes, look forward to mud runs, and often make you wonder, “How do they do it?”

But for a lot of other people, sticking to an exercise plan can mean boarding the motivation struggle bus. If your goal is to have a long-term relationship with physical fitness, it might pay to think about it in a different way. When exercise is a chore, nobody looks forward to it. But there are a few ways to make exercise a lot more fun. And even more ways to fake it ’til you make your way to motivation.

Fitness experts say the key is to make your workout routine easy. When getting in a few workouts a week sounds like fun, they are easier to fit into your schedule.

Fit, Fab & Flawless Fridays: Shirley B, InstaFit Women Inspiring Healthy Lives

September 16th, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Being fit and fine is the new black. Daily, Instagram is a testament to strong, vulnerable and triumphant women who have made the decision to share their fitness journeys with the world for the sole intention to inspire, encourage and uplift their followers and women who have had the same struggles.

Sometimes motivation in the form of talking isn’t enough. Pictures are everything and these women are being courageous and baring all in attempt to help just one not give up on their journey. Forget that one person,  these ladies are encouraging thousands and should be commended not just for their personal triumphs but for setting a standard and acting as unofficial trainers and cheerleaders for others. These women should not go unnoted for their contribution in the health movement that is moving black women to being fit and fine and healthy.

This week we are highlighting Shirley B. This Navy vet is a wife and mommy. She is also a self proclaimed gym rat in training. She is about the fit life and making positive lifestyle changes.


Fit, Fab & Flawless Fridays: InstaFit Women Inspiring Healthy Lives

9 Things To Keep In Mind Before You Choose A Workout Partner

September 14th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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According to studies, those who work out with a partner end up enjoying exercise a lot more, and therefore, get their physical fitness on more often. That isn’t a shock. When you do just about anything with people you get along well with, you have a better time. And yet, many of us try to go it alone when it comes to our fitness goals. We buy expensive gym memberships and then we rarely take advantage of them while facilities continue to collect our hard-earned money. It’s time for a change.

Need that extra push? Get yourself a workout partner to hold you accountable. But don’t just ask anybody to spot you, run with you or check out the newest Zumba class. There are a few things you need to keep in mind in order for your workouts with a partner to be effective.

Well, Damn: Kevin Hart’s Men’s Fitness Spread Proves He’s Not So Little Anymore

September 12th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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As long as Kevin Hart has been on the scene, I’ve always thought of him as just the little, funny guy. So when women I know would comment on how cute they thought he was, I would reply with “Really?” as though someone was talking about my nerdy next door neighbor. But after seeing him on the cover of the October issue of Men’s Fitness, I must admit that I had to clutch my Forever 21 pearls. The comedian definitely isn’t so little anymore…

Hart has been on a fitness journey for some time now, and recently told People about his diet and exercise regimen. He noted that he mixes it up: running outside, on the treadmill, doing beach workouts and pumping iron in the gym. No matter what his schedule looks like, Hart doesn’t miss out on a training day: “No excuses. No days off.”

And he’s even coordinated 5K runs with Nike. Plus, he just took part in the Hood to Coast relay where he ran 18 miles:

As for his diet, Hart keeps it pretty clean while also making sure to fit in a cheat day here and there for his beloved fried chicken.

“I’m a healthy eater – brown rice, baked chicken, vegetables, salads,” Hart said. “I’m not a foodie, so it’s not hard for me to stay in the healthy diet area. I’m a structure guy, so as long as it fits the structure, then I’m happy.”

As he told the Los Angeles Times earlier this year, his healthy lifestyle is something he doesn’t play about.

“When I started working out 4 1/2 years ago, I realized that the more exercise you do, the more rewards you get. After all, what type of person do you want to be?” he asked. “Do you want to see results? I do, so I put in six or seven days of exercise a week. I have a trainer who works out with me every day at 5 a.m., for 30 to 90 minutes, and it’s his job to push me to the limit and try new things: CrossFit, high-intensity training, strength and conditioning, endurance. Every workout we compete against each other.”

Clearly, all his hard work is paying off. Check out more images of Hart’s Men’s Fitness spread and be careful that you don’t find yourself lusting a little too much. He’s a married man now!

#HustleHart #Motivation #Focused shot by @jefflipsky #mensfitness #HustleHartsOnMyFeet

A photo posted by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

#DopePic #MensFitness #HustleHart #HustleHartsOnMyFeet

A photo posted by Kevin Hart (@kevinhart4real) on

#RelationshipGoals: Meagan Good, DeVon Franklin Remind Us Couples Who Work Out Together Stay Together

September 12th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Source: Corbis Images

Source: Corbis Images

Studies have found that couples who work out together, stay together. Why? Because they’re happier, healthier and more in love.

A study in 2000 found that after doing a physical challenge or activity as a couple, pairs felt happier with their relationships and more in love with their significant other.

And not to mention, having someone hold you accountable helps you reach your fitness goals. Plus, exercise, in general, can help you live longer to stay around longer for your spouse.

But how many of us are really hitting the track, the gym, the court and more with our partners? Meagan Good and husband DeVon Franklin are making it happen, going hard in the gym as a couple. The pair recently shared video of themselves running with resistance bands strapped to them, doing bench jumps, mountain climbers, sledgehammer workouts, pushing weighted sleds and more. Oh, and fitting in a kiss here and there:


They also find time to be active together by riding bikes around L.A., which is super cute:


A photo posted by DeVon Franklin (@devonfranklin) on

But they’re not the only couple who like to get active. In fact, Ne-Yo and his wife, Crystal Renay, actually work out with the same coach as Good and Franklin, celebrity trainer Mike T. They also look like quite the fit pair:

Love a fit and fab couple! If you and your partner can make the time, exercise together. Not only can you get in shape together, but teaming up can help make the workout struggle a little less real. Talk about a win-win.

A Teyana Taylor Fitness Video Is Coming And Our Abs Can’t Wait!

September 8th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Serving bawdy issue all summa 6teen #JuniesMom

A photo posted by Jimmy Neutch (@teyanataylor) on

While most of us have been fans of Teyana Taylor since her “Google Me Baby” days, there are many who are just now being introduced to the multifaceted beauty. And since everyone and their mother is still on a high from Teyana’s exemplary choreography — and body — in Kanye West’s “FADE” music video, The Fader decided to have a quick chat with the superstar on how her life has changed since her engagement to NBA basketball player Iman Shumpert and giving birth to their scrumptious daughter, Iman Tayla Shumpert, who’s affectionately known by her parents and social media as Junie. Teyana also explains how the “FADE” video has altered the trajectory of her career since it premiered at the VMAs.

Here are highlights from the insightful interview, below.

The Fader: There are so many images that tell women how our bodies can, or have to, be. This video has had an overwhelmingly positive response from many women, some of whom seem genuinely motivated to get serious about looking after their bodies. What do you think brought out that response?

Teyana Taylor: I feel like it would have gotten a different response if I didn’t have a child. That what’s inspiring. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, she pulled this offand she has a child.” It made mothers feel like, “Anything is possible.” It’ doesn’t make people feel discouraged. You have women that are like, “I don’t want to have kids because I don’t want to mess up my body.” I’m a living example that your body only does what you allow it to do. Your body can do what you make it do. If you stay on top of what you need to stay on top of and get focused — whether that’s working out or dancing, or whatever way you want to make it work — it can work. I’ve been moving and in action since I was about four months pregnant. I was always moving around, always dancing, and always active. This video was to inspire women and to let them know that we are super women, each and every one of us. We hold these kids for nine months but we still have to work to provide for our families.

The Fader: As a black woman, what was the power of you, Iman, and the baby appearing together in the video’s final scene?

Teyana Taylor: It was love. A lioness protecting her family. That’s exactly what it was and what it represented. People think deeply into it and you should take it to mean whatever you think it means. It’s a powerful message and a power video.
The Fader: How has being a mother impacted the sense of agency that you have over your body?

Teyana Taylor: Even when I posted my picture to say, “My snap back in 6 days, I want to thank Junie” — that was a genuine moment. I’m a first time mom and I’m trying to understand why Junie was born six days ago and I got a whole 12 pack. That’s my experience. But it’s not for anyone to take that and feel, “Oh, I have to snap back in two days or six days.” We are all beautiful and I’m so happy that we’re at a point where women feel beautiful and feel powerful. It’s super dope to me because I never thought that I would’ve been that person. I tend to stay to myself and mind my business. So to check my DM’s and see women like, “You made me feel so beautiful!” That’s dope.

The Fader: You’ll be starring in a VH1 series, The Breaks, at the top of next year. Are you planning to release new music as well?

Teyana Taylor: Right now, I’m working on an album and working on The Breaks. I’m trying to do it all. I don’t want to be seen for just singing and dancing. I want to take roles that have nothing to do with me or music. I have my fitness video coming out. I’m super excited. I’ve already shot the scenes for it.

And we can’t wait to serve body realness like her because of it! Read Teyana’s entire interview with The Fader, here.

Is It Wrong To Want A Physically Fit Man If I’m Not A Physically Fit Woman?

September 7th, 2016 - By Theresa Ukpo
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Dating in the big city is hard enough as is without certain odds being stacked against you. I’m a young, Black, dark-skinned woman with puffy natural hair, unconventional style, a big butt, and a bright smile (don’t listen to Bell Biv Devoe, you can trust me).

I think I’m pretty cute in the looks department. And like most people, I happen to have a type I’m attracted to, and it falls somewhere between Joe Manganiello and Cam Newton. Yet, I feel that I am constantly having to lower my dating expectations because, in reality, the kind of men I’m physically attracted to, aren’t really checking for full-figured girls like me.

I’ve had my dating adventures here and there, and while some have been fun, the consensus when it comes to the men I’m into is general disinterest. On Tinder, every time I would swipe right on a guy I was interested in physically, it would never be reciprocated (as in, he wouldn’t swipe right on me). And while online dating sites may bring out the fickle, I’ve also had this happen in real life as well.

I was at a barbecue with some friends, and my girlfriend’s husband was taking me around to introduce me to his mates. After doing the rounds, I spotted someone I thought was quite handsome and inquired further. As we were all mingling, I was standing close by and within earshot of the guy. I heard my friend’s hubby ask him if he was interested in me, as he tried to play matchmaker, and the resounding “nah” that followed crushed my spirit quite a bit. Shortly thereafter, Mr. “Nah” was all over the Skinny Minnie who’d arrived a bit after me.

They say don’t burn your incense for someone who doesn’t like the smell. I hear that, but I love fit men. Does that mean that I now have to temper, nay, lower my expectations because I myself am not particularly fit? Does it mean that because I do not bring a slew of muscles or a svelte physique to the table, I shouldn’t want that in a partner?

Let’s be honest, fit men aren’t really looking for thick girls like me, and I resent the idea that I would have to somewhat alter my appearance physically in order to be a blip on the radar of a guy I liked. I’m pretty confident in myself on most days. But in a society that doesn’t tout girls like me on movie posters and magazine covers as a beauty ideal, where bigger girls even getting sex scenes makes the news (like Gabourey Sidibe’s scene on Empire), it does have an impact on my self-esteem and what I feel is a reachable reality as far as my dating preferences. I don’t want to settle for the guy who’s really nice to me, but I’m really not physically attracted to. Trust me. I’ve tried. It never ends well. Ever.

At the end of the day, I will always go where I’m celebrated. Armed with the confidence that I am worthy, I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine. It’s just a little unsettling to think of having to reevaluate my wants based on what I bring to the table physically.

Have any of you ladies experienced this? Guys, do you have any similar struggles?