Body Image

30 Day Fitness Challenge

30daychallengeYou always hear you must exercise and eat healthier, but rarely do we even do it. We sign up for the gym, get a personal trainer, purchase DVD tapes, buy fabulous workout attire, and after day 5 of the routine we are ready to quit.  Whelp, basically I just described to you my life. Lol. I’m not ashamed. I know I have work to do. For starters, I learned I work better in groups. Choosing a gym that offers exercise classes work best for me. Secondly, I need a schedule and a routine. I hate going to the gym wandering aimlessly around the equipment without a plan is useless for me.

Knowing yourself is just half of the battle, once you recognized what works for you; next step is creating a schedule and routine.  Figure out your fitness goals and what areas of your body you wish to target.  Once you know what you want to do, finding the information to do it will come easier.  After that you are all set to go.

Now, like most people, we make excuses or as some people say, reasons. Either way, you aren’t getting it done.  I, like most people, always claim work is in the way and I do not have time. After realizing I was making this excuse I decided to do some web research to find a fitness routine that can accommodate my fitness goals and desires as well as my busy schedule. And, that’s when I found the 30 Day Fitness Challenge website. Read more

Losing that Muffin Top

belly fatCan you still zip those jeans? Is that shirt a little snug? Can’t quite fit that “fitted” jacket anymore? Well, welcome to what I call the Holiday Tummy Blues. November and December have to the best/ worst two months of the year when it comes to that tummy chub. Between Thanksgiving, holiday parties, Christmas dinner, and New Years Eve drinks, that belly chub is just protruding by the hour.  Don’t feel bad, we all have been there; heck some of us are still there. BUT the key is to NOT stay there, especially if it’s at an unhealthy stage.

Belly chub is always the hardest to lose as women, whether you had a child or not belly chub is the hardest to conquer, specifically as you get older. According to Dr. Oz, t number one reason it’s so hard to lose belly fat: hormones. With menopause comes a drop in estrogen; this decrease alters where the body stores fat, making women more prone to gaining visceral belly fat. Other hormonal imbalances during this time can leave the body feeling hungry, even after eating. Sleep disturbances, common in perimenopause and menopause, are associated with decreased levels of leptin (an appetite suppressant) and increased levels of ghrelin (an appetite stimulant). Additionally, the stresses of life – kids, college tuitions or the mortgage – can lead to an increase in cortisol, the “stress hormone,” which also triggers your body to store fat around the middle.[1]

While stress may be one of the causes of your chub, one cause is definitely not backing away from the table. Let’s face it, we have to take control of the situation and stop placing blame.

Here are 5 moves to conquer that belly chub: Read more

Fit & Fab: Do You Zumba? By Guest Blogger

zumba buttTrying to get fit in your 30's and beyond is a totally different feat than it was in your teens and 20's. You have to actively work at scheduling time to devote to your fitness regimen. Grown and sexy often comes with bills, responsibilities and a never ending to do list. Unfortunately, me time tends to get put on the back burner. That means in order to be fit and fabulous, you also have to find a routine that provides maximum impact and is enough fun that you won't use your to do list as a reason not to go.

For me that something fun was the Zumba class that my sister found at the local YMCA. It has since changed locations but the smiles, like the beads of sweat have never subsided. Zumba is an aerobic fitness program that features movements inspired by dance. Some salsa, un poquito de bachata, some soca (get something and wave!), a little hip hop, translation: never a dull moment!

A February 2011 article by the Mayo Clinic, "Aerobic Exercise: Top 10 Reasons to Get Physical" states that among other things aerobic exercise:

1. helps you breathe faster and more deeply

2. increases your stamina

3. reduces a variety of health risks

4. wards off minor viral illnesses like colds and the flu

5. and keeps your arteries clear.

Spending an hour dancing, punching & jumping the pounds away in a zumba class can earn you losses of anywhere from 800-1200 calories! Yes, that's more than enough to burn off the juicy turkey cheeseburger deluxe you savored on your lunch break or the oooey gooey chocolate chip cookies you just couldn't pass up. Read more

Top 3 Reasons to Get a Facial

facialIf you get your eyes brows waxed or in my case threaded every two weeks, hair “did” every two weeks, nails and toes “did” every two weeks, and if you’re really risky you get your Brazilian wax every four weeks, but what about your facials? How many times a year do you get a professional facial? Please note I am not talking about the new mask you made in your kitchen or brought from the beauty store. I am talking about having a licensed esthetician work some magic over your facial pores.

I’ve had several professional facials in my lifetime, but after reading an article I found online I think I will have to incorporate this into my monthly beauty routine.  Your skin, especially your face gets the grunt of all traumas from all the elements outdoors and indoors.  For example, in the winter you may notice that your skin is a lot drier and may appear rough. (That’s not cute) Or in the summer, when the air is hot you may find your skin to appear oily which can lead to more frequent breakouts. (That’s not cute) Professional facials along with your daily facial hygiene routines may aid in keeping your skin clean and preventing many other ailments.  Plus if you wear makeup daily, having regular facial treatments helps keeps your skin hydrated and enhances that natural glow.

Here are my top 3 reasons for getting professional facials: Read more

Top 5 Reasons to Try HOT Yoga: By Guest Blogger

hot yoaA friend of mine suggested we try Hot Yoga. I’d been researching it for a while, and wanted to try it; but never followed through with it. It has now been 2 months and I now have a love/hate relationship with hot yoga (formally called Bikram Yoga).

What is Bikram Hot Yoga?:

  • 90 minute workout
  • 105 – 110 degree temperature
  • Humidity of 40-50%
  • Consist of breathing exercises + 26 postures
  • Works every muscle, ligament and joint in your body

When I tell people that I do Hot Yoga, they look at me like I’m crazy. The first thing they ask is “Since when do black girls do Hot Yoga?” or “What about your hair?” I just laugh; although my hair was a MAJOR concern of mine initially. My first day of class was after work. My hair was braided and I wore long black yoga pants, and matching black racer-back fitted top. By the end of class, my braids were sweating and my clothes were soaked; as if I’d just finished swimming in a pool fully clothed. After class, I could barely speak, I felt like I was dying a slow death. After gathering myself and driving back home, I didn’t even want to enter into my house with my clothes on; nor did I want to put them in my hamper. All I wanted was a shower and then my bed.

The next morning, I felt like I had the combined strength of the Power Rangers. I felt so relaxed and my body felt good. It was the best feeling EVER!    

Here is my Top 5 Reasons You Should Try HOT YOGA: Read more