All Articles Tagged "running"
She’s a knockout! Second-time mom Laila Ali revealed her slim and trim bikini body for PEOPLE, and the best part? She’s sharing her secrets! She tells the magazine how she got back into fighting shape after giving birth to her daughter, Sydney in 2011.
Laila stepped out of her comfort zone for her first-ever bikini photo shoot: “I’m kind of shy, I’m not one of those people whose comfortable walking around with my butt out. But I had a baby, I got my weight down and I’m always talking about fitness and health. It’s time to show people what I’m working with.”
After giving birth to her son, CJ, the athlete learned that a healthy approach was key. This time around, she kept it balanced and consistent to reach her goal: “I’m naturally a big girl. I have to work to be fit. I love running. I run three times a week and I do strength training and weights. And sometimes I throw a little spinning in there.”
Read more at StyleBlazer.com
This week, MadamenNoire is introducing a new fitness column — A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss — written by the creator of the popular site by the same name, Erika Nicole Kendall. In her column, Erika will share tips on how to mimic her weight loss success through personal narratives. But, if you happen to have topics or specific questions you’d like her to address, feel free to email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently, I received an e-mail from a reader asking me for advice on how she should try to lose weight even though she’s a single parent with limited resources.
It only brought me back to my roots because there was a point in time where I had to be an at-home exerciser, too.
Early in my weight loss journey, I was a single parent of a 2-year old who was definitely focused on getting the weight off. I didn’t want to spend the money on equipment or technology because, like so many others, I didn’t want to invest money in something to which I wouldn’t commit. I didn’t want to have to live with the embarrassment of having spent a wad of cash on something that wouldn’t work.
If I was going to do this thing – whatever “this thing” was – then it was going to be the barest of bones. It was going to be the most neanderthal, caveman fitness plan ever, because I wasn’t about to spend a single pink penny, let alone a copper one.
It makes sense, though. As single parents, you never feel like you’ll make as much money as you would if you had the second income, so it always feels like you never have the money, even when you clearly have the money. It feels like you have to hoard cash. Not only that, but in the beginning of a weight loss journey, it feels easy to rationalize why you shouldn’t be spending money on yourself… especially when you’re not convinced that it will actually bear any fruit.
That being said, I do have a few tips for helping single parents drop that weight. Actual tips, not “do sit ups and drink water all day!” tips, either.
- Don’t underestimate the value of a nice, long walk. You not only burn calories during a long walk, but you also relieve stress. Take your little – or big – ones along for the walk! You’ll eventually develop the ability – and desire – to run, at which point you’ll want to embrace a program that can train you for running an extended period of time, like from Couch to 5K. Running is easily one of the least expensive and most productive means of burning fat, and short of a can of mace and a good pair of running shoes, you don’t need much. If you’ve got little ones, they make jogging strollers for that.
- Never buy anything especially marketed for weight loss, healthy living, or even stress relief. Trust me: if you’re buying something that’s telling you how good it is… it’s probably nowhere near as good as the natural, holistic alternative. You don’t need specially crafted cereal; you need its infinitely cheaper alternative: oatmeal. You don’t need a “healthy microwaveable pasta dish;” you need its – again – infinitely cheaper alternative: fresh vegetables (frozen even works here), lean protein, and quality pasta. Sticking as close to the source – the source being Mother Nature, here – will get you exactly where you need to be.
- Don’t be afraid to incorporate your children in your workouts! One of the most invaluable parts of adopting a healthy living routine for the first time, as a parent, is being able to teach your children that working out is a natural, everyday part of living. Spending a little time each day devoted to your wellness, in sight of your children, provides them with a reason to think about being healthy as kids and as teens, and gives them a base foundation for how to operate as adults. It teaches them dedication, determination, and commitment. Take your son running! Let your daughter try to do push-ups with you! I used my little one as a weight, and did bicep curls with her, and this was how I taught her how to count. Get creative, make it fun, and your kids will benefit, too.
- Don’t believe the hype: you don’t need weights to strength train. For a beginner, calisthenics – using mostly your body weight in an effort to challenge your strength – is just as good, if not better, than using full weights. If you’ve never lifted a weight regularly before, going from zero to 15lbs isn’t ideal. In fact, it’s injury waiting to happen. Exercises that use body weight – think tricep dips, push ups, squats, lunges – also often work out more of your body in one exercise and, combined with changes in speed (can you go faster? slower?), can help you get your heart rate going and your muscles growing to give you the tone you want and the fat burn you may need.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of a clean eating lifestyle, free of unhealthy processed food engineered to make you lose control, excess calories and all-around garbage chemicals. You clean up your daily eating habits and, barring any hormonal concerns, you’ll likely also drop the weight, too.
As I always say, your body (and your babies) will thank you for it!
Erika Nicole Kendall is the writer behind the award winning blog, A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss, where she blogs everything from fitness to food, weight loss to wellness, body image and more. A trainer certified in women’s fitness, fitness nutrition and weight loss coaching, she can be found taking over your Internet on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
When I decided I wanted to start running, I couldn’t run for two minutes without feeling like I was about to pass out. This summer, I ran 100 miles in one month.
Before I started running regularly, I was working out off and on. I’d be super gungho on a Sunday night promising myself I’d start my workout plan that week. I’d go to the gym on Monday, then again on Tuesday and by Wednesday I was “taking a break” and I’d end up not going anymore for weeks or months.
At the end of last year, I decided to get serious about getting in shape. I put some workout songs on my iPod, got some cheap fitness clothes from TJ Maxx, and committed to going to the gym for 21 days straight. They say it takes eighteen days to form a habit and six weeks of diet & exercise to see a substantial change in your body, so my 21 day goal fell somewhere in there. I figured, if I could go to the gym every day for three weeks, why not six, or 18 weeks?
Those three weeks turned into months.
I started off saying I would go every single day because I noticed that if I told myself that I would go three times a week then I could always push it to “tomorrow”. If I said I was going to go every single day, then I didn’t have a “tomorrow” to push it to. Granted, I did skip some days because I accidentally slept in, or I had just gotten my hair straightened, or I really needed a rest. In the end, making an effort to go every day resulted in me going roughly four to five times per week.
I had been running on the treadmill for about a month when I decided to try running outside. If you’re used to running on the treadmill then running outdoors can be tough and vice versa. Even though I could run a mile on a treadmill at this point, I would get seriously winded outside after running for, like, thirty seconds. I kept going though and soon I could make it through a (short) song on my iPod. Eventually, I built up to being able to run a mile without stopping.
Once I was able to run a mile, that became my workout plan. I would push through it, stretch, do some crunches or pushups and then go home. However, one day I noticed that after running a mile, I was dying but by the time I walked to my car, I was fine. In fact, I actually felt like I could run some more. I decided to try it. I would run a mile, take a break to stretch a little bit and then run some more. The results were amazing. Once I got that first mile out of the way, I could run another and maybe even another until I was running three miles total in one morning. I used to think it didn’t count if I stopped, but it does. If I run two miles without stopping or run two miles total but stop five times, I’ve still run two miles. Running is running.
This works well too because running a mile is hard. No matter how much I stretch, warm-up, whatever, that first mile is a killer. I’ve run 13 miles once and I swear the first mile was harder than the last one. So, I get the mile out of the way, stop, stretch, catch my breath, and then run some more. I kept doing that throughout my run and eventually built up to running five miles total on a consistent basis.
The great thing about running is that it gives a sense of accomplishment and control when other things in life seem out of control. It’s also great time to be alone to think, pray and simply zone out.
For those looking to get in shape, I highly recommend running. All you need is a good sports bra, a pair of running shoes and a moisture wicking shirt (for heavy perspiration). You can do it on your own time and at your own pace, with friends or by yourself, indoors or outdoors. The activity is said to help prevent all sorts of diseases from breast cancer to osteoporosis. It also helps promote weight loss, eliminates stress, and boosts confidence. Personally, I think running is a “magic pill”. It’s given me more energy throughout the day and an increased sex drive.
The CDC recommends we get thirty minutes of exercise a day. Though a beginner certainly can’t run thirty full minutes, even running for just two minutes is better than zero. It’s not about speed or distance, but about taking care of our bodies. They say running burns more calories than virtually every other exercise. You don’t need any fancy workout videos, memberships, equipment or even a ton of time. So, if you’ve been thinking about getting out there and running, consider this a sign!
Start small with just a quarter mile or less. Running takes time to build up — weeks, months and years!– but keep at it. Eventually, you’ll be running more than you ever thought you could and may end up in the best shape of your life.
What do you think about running?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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By Yoli Ouiya
Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks were certainly not prepared for the spark they were about to ignite. In 2009, the innovative duo started Black Girls Run! as a means of documenting and creating support for their own running experiences. Little did they know, this personal journey would erupt into a national movement comprised of black women inspired to run. Carey, an entrepreneur and public relations specialist, and Hicks, a marketing professional, power an all-runners-everything site, which features product reviews, running group meet-up locations, and runner spotlights. With over 30,000 “likes” on Facebook, more than 9,000 followers on Twitter, and 67 BGR running groups across the country, black girls are revolutionizing their fitness regimens at a time when the obesity epidemic is threatening communities of color at a significantly higher rate than their white counterparts.
Nearly four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese, according to the Office of Minority Health. Black Girls Run! was created to lower that rate, and subsequently decrease the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the BGR founders at the 5th annual Blogging While Brown conference, held June 1-2 in Philadelphia, PA, to discuss their over 25,000 women movement.
How did Black Girls Run! get started?
Hicks: It was just something that kind of came together through a couple of conversations that we were having about our experiences running. We were just like, ‘Hey, this is something, we should blog about it.’ And that was it.
Carey: One of the things that sparked this whole conversation was when I first started running, I called my mom and said, ‘Hey, I want to start running. I got these shoes, they are dope,’ and she says, ‘Black girls don’t run.’ Just like that. ‘It’s something white people do.’ ‘Really, mom? That’s racist,’ was my response. She would say things like ‘your uterus is going to fall out,’ which is a myth, and that was why women couldn’t run marathons until the ‘60s. That all led to the creation of Black Girls Run!
Get the rest of their story at BlackEnterprise.com.
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There’s a huge misconception that black women don’t run. It was just over a year ago that Toni Marshall decided she was going to take care of her health and start running as a workout regimen. When she called her mother to share the exciting news, she said what many of our own moms might say: “black girls don’t run.” And Marshall did exactly what many of you Madames might have done: she called her girl. In this case, it was Ashley Hicks, her college friend and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sister, and they set out to squash that myth by starting Black Girls RUN!