Sunday, March 29, 2009

Styling Options

Its been known that we black women are suurious (yes, suurious!) about our hair. Often times, we choose not to workout to maintain different styles. (Ok, so I’m the ONLY who’s slept in a chair to “save” a hairstyle?!?!) However, as we strive to become healthier women we must find creative ways to maintain our look without sacrificing our health. We all know that we are the backbone of our communities so if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t possibly take care of others. Speaking with friends of mine who regularly exercise, often recommend these styles.

1. Natural. This style is great for those of us who don’t want to worry about our hair “reverting” back if we have a relaxer. An afro or twists always keeps this style looking great.

2. Relaxed (Medium Long Lengths). A roller set is a great way to maintain a relaxer style. Roll or pin curl your hair at night to keep the curls. During exercise, you can wrap your hair and secure with booby pins or loosely put your hair up in a jaw clip. Headbands can also be worn to tie the edges down and fly away hairs that were too short to be kept in the jaw clip.

3. Relaxed (Short Lengths). Short cuts are fabulous but take work to maintain especially if you’re a heavy sweater. To stretch your relaxer, tying it down after a workout and curling it tight will be key in maintaining your look. Also, please use a heat protector when curling hair. We don’t want anyone with damaged hair!

4. Extensions. Can really be a great alternative to maintaining a certain look. Not to mention, it’s a great way to transition into a natural style. I personally wear extensions and the maintenance is the same as working with my “real” hair however, the after a workout…its pretty much a shake and go. Since my hair is transitioning, I wear closure pieces to avoid blending issues. Sometime I wear a full sew-in. Lately, I’ve been using waterproof adhesives to create a more realistic look on my lace closures. Since I workout at least 6 days a week, sometimes 2X a day I can usually get about 2-3 day hold from my adhesives.

The Workout Room

The Workout Room

Its winter, so many of us are opting to workout indoors. Here are some workouts I personally enjoy and rotate throughout my regime.

Leslie Sansone, Walk Away the Pounds. This is a great low-impact workout that stills give you a good calorie burn. She has MANY DVDs that range from 1 mile to 5 miles. Leslie’s workouts are great if you’re in a small space or want to combine this cardio workout with some weigh training. I have the 4 Fast Miles DVD that gives the options to choose what mile you want to walk. This is great for the days I’m low on time and cannot do the entire 4 miles.

You can find Leslie’s DVD at her website or Amazon.

The Gym

The trusty TREADMILL. For many of us, upon entering the gym we start out walking on the treadmill using the “manual” settings. However, recently, I began using the preset workouts, specifically the 5k loop. A 5k is approximately 3.14 miles. Even though I’m not in a seasoned runner, the presets allowed me increase and decrease the intensity to complete the workout without cutting it short.

The ELLIPTICAL. For beginners, the elliptical can be quite a challenge because it works the entire body. When I first started, getting through 10 minutes was a challenge. My arms, core, and legs used to BURN!!! Not focusing on the speed but gaining endurance to increase the amount the of time became my goal. Now, I’m up to 40 minutes with medium resistance. I highly recommend this machine for all fitness level. Also, similar to the treadmill preset workouts are available.

I’m sure everyone has heard of it. P90X is a in-home fitness program designed to kick your butt! Lol…just kidding, not really. P90X is a series of workouts that create muscle confusion. Unlike other fitness programs, you never reach a fitness plateau because your body is always working something different.

I started this program on December 1, 2008. After 30 days (the program is 90 days), into my SECOND round of P90X I can not only see weight loss and toning but an increase in my strength. Ladies, if you’re concerned about getting bulky on this program, don’t be. There is a lean version that focuses on toning and cardio which is ideal for most women. Throughout this P90X journey, I’ve gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about my body and pushing it to its limits. This program is marketed to “fitness freaks” and athletes, however, at 200lbs+ I am able to do this workout will little alterations to the program. EVERY exercise program warns people to consult your physician but with the intensity of P90X, it’s definitely a must. P90X also comes with a nutrition guide that stresses EATING! Because of the intensity of this workout, you cannot eat nuts and berries alone and expect to see results. The diet is balance with protein and good carbs. Every day of the program is outlined. It’s really a no brainer if you’re dedicated.

Workout Gear For Plus Sizes

Plus Sizes ladies. Here is something from Always For I personally love their stuff! Get your swimsuits ready for summer, their swim dresses are adorable!

All of these outfits are cute enough to make a few stops after exercising and still look somewhat put together.

Workout Gear

Fit & Fabulous!

Here is some “recession friendly” workout gear I found while in Wal-Mart recently. It comes in a variety of colors. Each piece is only $9.00 (in stores and online)! $18 for a complete outfit, you can’t beat it! I own 2 of these sets.

Here’s something a little pricier for those of you who don’t mind a little splurge from!

Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes

Health: You don’t have to be a size 6 but you do have to be healthy!

Black Women and Diabetes. Recently in the Washington Post an article was written about exercise protecting black women from type 2 diabetes.

Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Less TV and more exercise may help reduce incidence of type 2 diabetes, especially among black women, a new report shows.
Researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center made that conclusion based on a survey of black women, a high-risk group for the disease. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The research linked vigorous activity with a reduced risk of diabetes. Those who walked briskly for at least five hours a week had less chance of developing diabetes than those who didn't walk.

"Our results confirm that vigorous activity is protective against type 2 diabetes in African-American women," study author Julie Palmer, a professor of epidemiology at Boston University's School of Public Health and senior epidemiologist at the Slone Center, said in a university news release. "A key public health finding is that brisk walking reduced risk. That is important, because many women don't have the time or place to engage in 'vigorous' physical activity, but most women can find time to walk.”

Watching an appreciable amount of television, regardless of the women's level of physical activity, was linked to a greater risk of diabetes, the study found.