It’s that time of year again. Summer has come and gone, and it’s time to put away the crop tops, bathing suits and wedges and pull out the scarves, cardigans, and knee length boots from the back of the closet.
For some, Labor Day signifies not only an end to the summer, but an end to watching what we eat and working out because we no longer have to worry about being in those short shorts and that itty bitty bikini. We can eat what we want whenever we want and cover our indulgences with a cute oversized sweater – right? Wrong! That is the exactly what we shouldn’t be thinking or doing. Instead, we should continue to live a balanced lifestyle in the fall and winter months so that we can be healthy and stay on our summertime fine all year round. In order to maintain that balance, we shouldn’t only focus on watching what we eat, but we should also strive to live an active lifestyle.
This article will be divided into two parts; the first part focuses on working out and the second part will focus on nutrition. So let’s get started ladies!
Get it Right, Get it Tight
One aspect of living a healthy lifestyle is being active. Whether it’s walking around your neighborhood, running after your toddler, taking the stairs instead of the elevators or going to the gym – it’s important to be active. Yes – even if that means sweating out your hair[i]. Studies show that “one woman dies every minute from heart disease.” Black women in particular, “suffer rates of heart disease that are twice as high as those among white women.[ii]” Research also indicates that some of the factors that contribute to heart disease in Black women include having elevated cholesterol and blood pressure levels and being overweight. I don’t know about you, but for me, these statistics are alarming. Ladies, we’ve got to start taking better care of ourselves.
One of the things I love most about the summer is that it’s still light outside after 7pm. Feeling the warm sun on my body always puts a smile on my face and a spring in my step – even if I’m just driving to the gym. So the fact that it gets darker earlier during the fall months doesn’t make me too excited leave my house to workout. So while going to the gym may be the preferred workout method for some, it’s not the only way to promote an active lifestyle. If you can’t get to the gym, here are some exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home. All you will need is space and a yoga mat or an old sheet/towel.
- Reverse crunch
- Bicycle crunch
- Plank with Donkey kicks
- Russian/Mason twists
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain climbers
- High Knees
- Hip bridges
If you’re a beginner, select 3 of the workouts and perform three sets of each exercise for 30 seconds each. If you’re more advanced, you can select at least four of the above workouts and perform four sets of each exercise for 45 seconds to a minute.
Try to do this routine about three times a week. For example, if you wanted to focus on your ass-ets, you could try this combo:
- Plank with Donkey Kicks (45 secs)
- Squats (45 secs)
- Hip Bridges(45 secs)
- Lunges (45 secs)
To increase the intensity, try incorporating a medicine ball, dumbbell or kettle ball.
If the above exercises are just not your thing, try something outside of the box and do something different. Take a kickboxing or rowing class. Or even a pole dancing class. It’s not just for strippers ladies. Pole dancing is actually a great upper body and core workout.
If that’s still not your thing, go for a walk. Fall is one of the best times of year to take walks because it’s not too hot or cold. The weather is just right, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the changing leaves as you walk. Grab your favorite scarf and a light jacket, put your headphones in and listen to a book on tape or your favorite album as you do your body good. IF you have kids, grab them too. Take a family trip to the local park. Whatever it is, just be sure to get up and get active.
For more information and tutorials of some of the exercises visit the following websites:
I Want to Hear From You:
- How do you stay motivated to stay in shape once the summer is over?
- What’s your exercise routine?
- What’s the most difficult part of trying to live an active lifestyle?
- Have you tried something new in your fitness routine?