Exercises

Snapback and make your health your number one priority, start now

Snapback and make your health your number one priority, start now

I’ve missed you.

Took a break from blogging because I’m planting seeds of love in my life.

There’s a lot of negativity, pain, suffering, and unhappiness in the world.

And,

I’ve been asking myself what’s the best way to help?

Praying to the Orishas, Ancestors, and the Universe to guide me.

To move my steps in the direction of love, deep love.

Because, I’ve learned that to help others, I have to process those emotions in my own life.

Process my own pain, insecurities, suffering, unhappiness, and all the unhealthy behaviors I’ve mastered. That’s the only way to have real empathy, and begin to understand what others deal with.

Because, love.

Being a source of pure love goes against everything we’ve been taught, everything we believe, and questions a lot about our identity.

I’ve come to terms with some facts about me:

  • I have a huge ego.
  • I’m always thinking about myself.
  • I like to help, but I like being thanked more.
  • I like to feel needed, even when I’m not.
  • I listen to reply more than I listen to understand.

And a few more that I rather keep in my journal for now.

The best part of this realization is that if I have learned to be this way, I can unlearn it.

And that’s where I am.

Ready to unlearn.

At the very least, I’m ready to try.

I want you to know that I see you, I see your suffering and I want to understand.

So where do we begin?

THE SNAPBACK PROJECT

Inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, The snapback project is a holistic approach to making yourself your number one priority.

It’s the result of developing unhealthy eating habits, ditching regular workouts, gaining 15 pounds (at-least for me) and other manifestations of poor self-care.

This is not a weight loss challenge, because weight gain is only a symptom of the real problem.

This Snapback is about you, about making your health your priority.

The Snapback Project looks beyond the surface and focuses on how you feel emotionally, it promotes healthy mental health, and considers how your body can benefit from journaling, spending time in silence and making smarter decisions around food, & exercise.

Truthfully,

This project my way of taking control back, of loving myself enough to say,

Enough is Enough.

Should you join in?

That’s up to you.

Here’s what you should know before deciding.

If you come on this journey with me,

You’ll instantaneously gain a community of sisters.

Because, Accountability.

At times, taking control of your health can feel lonely, depressing, tiresome and draining.

That’s why having a Tribe to encourage you, motivate you, and hold you accountable is the difference between pushing through and giving up.

You’ll learn what self-love looks like to you.

You’ve heard the “experts”, you have to practice self-love!

But no one tells you what that means, or more importantly what that means to you.

Forget about what it looks like and how to do it.

The Snapback Project will help you uncover that,

Because, You.

You deserve to practice self-love in the way that makes sense to you and meets your needs.

You’ll walk away with strategies to help you find what makes you happy.

Isn’t that what we all want?

Happiness.

This project, is not all about happiness, because I’ve learned that more often than not, happiness is a choice.

However,

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what makes you truly happy? What brings you joy? What fills your spirit?

The Snapback project will get you closer to those answers.

Ready for the details?

First, Join the Tribe!

To get all the benefits of the Snapback project make sure you join the Tribe.

The project will kick off May 14th, 2018 and run for eight weeks.

You can sign up below!

The Snapback Project is closed for sign up. Join our mailing list to learn about future projects.

Did you sign up?

Do not keep reading until you do!

Second, you’ll need to think of your commandments.

In her book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen made a list of 10 commandments to guide her happiness project.

You will do the same.

You can see my ten commandments in the photo above.

These are things that are important to me, things I need to work on, and things that bring me peace.

You can change these later if you want to, but not after the project starts because you’ll use them as guides during the project.

Third, purchase a journal.

Journaling has healing properties.

I can personally attest to this. Journaling has kept me sane as I navigate this country as a woman of color.

You can jot down your thoughts, ideas, fears, and dreams.

You’ll learn more about how to maximize your journal once the project starts.

Fourth, Download the Calm App.

One of the critical elements of this project is spending time in silence and solitude. The Calm App is a great way to get you started.

It will walk you through meditation techniques to help you slow down and spend time in silence.

The app also includes music, night sequences if you struggle to sleep, and a whole list of other awesome features. They even have a meditation section for kids!

That’s all for now.

You’ll get more information closer to our May 14th, kickoff day!

The Snapback Project is closed for sign up. Join our mailing list to learn about future projects.

Do not forget to sign up and share The Snapback project with the women in your life. The more the merrier!

Awaken Your Self-Awareness & Thrive

Manifest your dream life, get to know yourself, join a community of supportive professional women and start thriving.

Fitness Friday: What Really Is The Best Way To Get A Twerking Booty?


Welcome to another edition of #fitnessfridays! Today we will focus on squats.

Ready to tone your booty? Squats will do exactly just that for you. Learn how to use proper form to maximize your results. We are focusing on basic, pulsating and jump squats to get you started.
Squats are great because they help build leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves) and they also promote body-wide muscle building.

Ladies, if you are looking to get booty firm, squats are a great way to do that. We will review three squat variations; basic, pulsating and jump squats. Ready?? Let’s get to it!

Basic Squat

  • Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
  • Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers.
  • Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
  • Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
  • Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.

Pulsating Squat

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Start by doing a basic squat.
  • Once you are sitting tighten your entire body, and pulsate your booty for 5 – 10 counts. Push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
  • Pulsating-squats

Jump Squat

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Start by doing a basic squat, then tighten your core and jump up.
  • When you land, make sure your legs are soft. Lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible, which requires control.

Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, the key is to move at your pace. You can focus one variation and then move to the next, or you can combine them throughout the week.

I recommend start with your squats for 20 seconds and rest for 20 seconds. Then move on to squat for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds. If that is not challenging enough, squat for 1 minute and rest for 20 seconds.

Is my form ok? Lets find out.

 

Comment below and tell us what you think? Are you a squats fanatic? Do you hate them? What is your favorite variation? Do not forget to follow us on social media!

7 Reasons That Will Make You Try Pole for the First Time


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In January 2015 I was browsing Groupon for a manicure and pedicure deal when I stumbled on a pole fitness studio around my apartment in DC. I always wanted to try pole classes but for some reason I never got around it.

Ever thought about taking a pole class? Today Yenory is breaking down why you absolutely should! Learn how pole helped boost her confidence, help other and become healthier.

So my excitement took over and after completely forgetting about my manicure and pedicure I purchased an unlimited month pass for The P Spot.

The location was fairly easy to get to from the metro and it was walking distance from my place. The studio is very clean and the staff is great. I remember arriving at the studio with zero expectations, but ready to give it a try.

I was offered the option of renting or buying the shoes because you cannot bring your own (safety reasons). I opted for buying my shoes because I knew I would give it a solid try of at least one month. I recommend the gripping solution because it makes a world of a difference. I’ve tried some of the classes without the shoes and it is not the same.

The main instructor (at the time), Michaela is so amazing! Her energy is the best, she makes you feel like you can do well in the class. Michaela and I hit it off! It was absolutely love at first sight!

Coming in with no pole dancing experience I began attending classes at least three times per week and staying for the entire series of classes, so about 2 hours. After taking every single class they offer, Pole Fitness became my favorite. In my first month attending the studio, my body changed a lot!!

I had very little upper body strength so doing pull ups was daunting. But I am happy to say that my determination and commitment lead to major progress! I love Michaela because she breaks down every move and walks you through them. You will not be disappointed if you are looking for a workout.

via GIPHY

By June I decided that I wanted to become an instructor. I was doing really well and I felt that as an instructor I brought a unique perspective as a former student. So when I saw an instructor training, I jumped at the opportunity! Under Michaela’s guidance I completed my Exoterobics Training in June.

As part of my certification I was also required to become a Certified Exercise Group Instructor, which I achieved via the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) in July. After waiting for 4 weeks for my AFAA results, I received my passing scores in August and demo my first class on September 9th. It was amazing!

Pole Routine from Yenory Garcia on Vimeo.

I love teaching, I love connecting with women who are determine to build a relationship with their bodies. My students are absolutely amazing! They are diverse and come in all shapes and sizes. They are mothers, grandmothers, daughters, college students, professionals, and many more.

Every class I learned something new from every single one of them. They always seem to thank me after class, but I am the one who is grateful. I was humbled by the relationship I built with every single one of them.

When I started pole, I never imagined how much I would love it, how much it would help me cope with stress. Now, I can’t imagine my life without it! In doing something new, I found a new passion and source of motivation!

UPDATED:

Although I no longer teach at The P Spot it will always have a very special place in my heart. I know practice at home, courtesy of my amazing husband! I’ve had my pole for over a year and I couldn’t be happier.

I encourage to keep an open mind and open spirit. Do not judge a book by its cover and try new things. It can be a new workout, a new recipe, a new meditation technique, whatever it is, give yourself permission to learn something new about yourself. Who knows, you might end up falling in love!

5 Songs You Need in Your Playlist to Nail Your Workout


5-Songs-You-Need-in-Your-Playlist-to-Nail-Your-Workout

Am I the only one with a warrior song? That song that magically transports from our brain to our headphones; As if your brain sent an S.O.S right as you seem to be on perils of giving up! Then magically as if a personal trainer has given you that last kick, you push hard just enough to cross the finish line!

Looking for the perfect workout playlist?

We got you covered. Find out the top 5 songs you need to nail your healthy exercise and learn how music streaming can help you maximize your performance, push tempo and pace, create focus, and even elevate your mood.

My song is Work B**tch by Britney Spears. Listen to it on your next workout and watch your life change! So it got me thinking, what a perfect time to share Five Songs You Need in Your Playlist to Nail Your Workout!

This is What You Came For – Calvin Harris & Rihanna

Seriously, enough said! These heavy hitters collided in one of the most epic songs of the season. This song is confidence on a stick, and Ri and Calvin are great partners to have during your workout. If this doesn’t pump up your blood, please see a doctor!

This One’s For You – David Guetta feat Zara Larsson

This song is the official song of Euro Cup 2016. It not only uplifting and inspiring, but Guetta also delivers a beat that sends shockwaves through bones.

In Common – Alicia Keyes

The songstress has no doubt landed the coveted spot as having the song of the season. Its collection of beats will have you dancing in the middle of your workout! What a better way to burn extra calories.

Beautiful Life

Lost Frequencies. I stumbled on this beauty by accident thanks to the shuffle button. This song’s catchy tempo, great message, and just all around feel good vibe is the perfect running song!

All the Way up – Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Jay – Z, French Montana

I am a New Yorker, so maybe not everyone will appreciate this. But this song’s Swag screams New York – Brooklyn and Bronx together, and who doesn’t want to be All the way up during a workout!

We all want to subscribe to good music during a workout. The science has been out on this for a while, music, and health go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly. Add music to any workout, and you can maximize your performance, push tempo and pace, create focus, and even elevate your mood.

Streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal have created targeted playlists for different workouts. They are using cutting edge science to identify songs that are stimulating brain behavior and helping you keep moving during psychical activity.

Spotify has done a pretty great job at careful curation of a workout playlist created by star Dee-Jays all ready to match your tempo and pace.

Also, the app boasts a pretty impressive runner’s feature designed to match you steps per minute with songs selected randomly based on your speed. So next time you are outside getting your workout don’t forget to put some work into that playlist!

When is the Best Time to Train for a Ironman Race?


When-is-the-Best-Time-to-Train-for-a-Ironman-Race-

I’m finally headed to Kona to get this thing done. Before the big day I’d like to share a few moments from the journey.

Ever thought about doing a Iron Man race? Today Ben is giving you the inside scoop on how to properly train for your next iron man. He is breaking down the sacrifices, the commitment and why he loved it.

Why did I sign up?

One word, GROWTH. I am a firm believer that on the other side of a challenge there is a new direction for growth.

Ben crossing the Iron Man finish line in Hawaii.

What challenged you the most?

Social life

My days of grabbing late night dinners and hanging out with friends and family were numbered. Not enough hours in a day to get it all in. This is a SACRIFICE I made for a season of my life to experience something new.

Finding a place to train

I was hesitant to sign up at first, due to my work and travel schedule. Some cities I could bike and swim, but a majority of the time I just ran.

Nutrition

Having a clean diet is the best diet. I will talk more about this later.

Who inspired you?

Two people

The first person I met on a flight back to PDX. His name is Bruce Jerde and he was 65 at the time. He attended his first iron man to support a friend and was inspired by all the competitors. After witnessing the event he had no choice but to sign up. Not knowing how to swim was the only thing holding him back.

So a couple days before we met, he signed up for swim lessons. Then Bruce proudly said he would dedicate the next year of his life to completing a full iron man. He suggested that I look into it. That’s when I took my first step towards the ledge.

The moment that allowed me to jump was the interview I read with Chris Pratt (Actor). He discussed his training regimen before he started to film the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. The training ended up being preparation to complete a half iron man. Within the article he shared his training program and I thought,

That doesn’t look to hard. If he can do it; why can’t I?”

Shortly after that, I signed up for the Half IM and swimming lessons. I was ready to commit to completing a new goal.

What was your training regiment?

First, I want to say thank you to James Williams for being such a big help. He provided me with a training template and guidance for the past 6 to 8 months. We met once or twice a week at the beginning for 30 minutes.

We discussed my swimming technique and other key components to the race. After a month or so we jumped into the training and started to build up my endurance in all three areas.

On my off days I found it helpful to mix in hot yoga or yoga, strength training, massage therapy and a visit to my local chiropractor. I knew my strengths and weaknesses going into this competition, so I searched for help in my weaker areas and stayed patient with the process.

How important is nutrition, rest and recovery?

Nutrition is everything.

It was one of the tougher areas for me; from gastrointestinal issues, to craving foods that slowed down the recovery process. Like I said earlier, eating as clean as possible will only aid the rest and recovery process. A bad diet will produce slower training times and unnecessary stomach aches.

Try to keep healthy snacks around, cook if possible and if you are on the road ask for the cleanest version of the entree.

I continue to tell my self. Once I’m done with this event, I’ll be able to eat all the wings I want. So for this SEASON of my life I need to stay locked in.

Rest is important

Some days you will train up to four or five hours, so sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours is a must. If you don’t, you will see a significant drop off in your training.

Recovery is a must.

Create a routine and commit to it. Try to complete a stretch/foam roll session post work out and before bed. It will help in the long run (no pun intended).

What are your three biggest takeaways?

  • The COURAGE to CONQUER all fears head on.
  • LONGEVITY and ENDURANCE builds CHARACTER.
  • COMFORTABLY sit in discomfort, it’s only temporary.

Final thoughts?

This has been one of the best experiences of my life. Being able to raise money for Phame Academy (A non-profit organization that helps adults with autism create art and inspire connection) is one of the most SATISFYING things I’ve ever done. Hopefully I’ve INSPIRED others to take that LEAP and join me next year.

Lastly, I’m excited to EXPERIENCE the good, bad and ugly because I know GROWTH is right around the corner.

Stay blessed y’all and Be the example!

BK

Nike LunarEpic FlyKnit Review


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A couple of weeks ago I got the Nike LunarEpic Flyknit iD running shoes as a gift. It was an amazing gift too. From when I first saw Sanya Richards-Ross debut them on her Instagram account I was intrigued by the running shoe.

Mainly because it didn’t look any other running shoe I’d ever seen before. It looked more like a basketball shoe than a running shoe. Needless to say, I was excited about getting my feet into them and hitting the pavement.

Earlier this month I took them out on the road last week and I was super impressed. My shoes came with an extra insole which I didn’t wear because I liked the way they felt without them. The first thing I noticed when I put the shoe on was the snug fit around the toe box and the heel counter.

The next thing I noticed was the support around the ankle was actually an elastic piece stitched to the shoe. The support around the ankle seemed sufficient for running. I didn’t feel comfortable in its support if I were to step off a curb wrong. Also, I normally run in mid length socks so the ankle sleeve wasn’t an issue. If you run in ankle or no show socks sweat around your ankle may get uncomfortable.

When I actually started running I noticed how light the shoe was which surprised me because they felt heavier. Compared to my Nike Zoom Pegasus 32 (9.7oz) these are only (8.75oz). The traction on the LunarEpic has a lasered outsole that grips like grips pavement really well. I had no issues with slippage.

When I started my run it was sunny and about halfway through my run it started raining (wouldn’t be Portland otherwise). The contact with the pavement remained true throughout my run.

Turning corners while running through downtown was my only critique of this shoe. I felt some slippage in the upper as I bent tight corners. This isn’t the worst thing ever but I noticed that I had to slow down a little bit on really tight 90 degree turns.

Other than that the only other drawback to the shoe is the cost. The LunarEpic Flyknits retail for $175. I might have waited longer to buy them if they weren’t given to me because I try not to spend more than $125 for running shoes.

Have you tried this shoe? What are your thoughts? Let’s keep the conversation going on twitter or instagram!

Fitness Fridays: 3 Compound Exercises You Need to Try


Fitness-Fridays--3-Compound-Exercises-You-Need-to-Try

Hi, Friday!

Am I the only one who felt that this week was super long? In any case, Friday finally decided to bless us with its presence, and I couldn’t be happier!

Today is all about compound exercises. I am truly blessed to have a job with access to a gym. During my lunch hour, you will find me in the gym taking a much-needed break from work to reset and release any stress. Since my time is limited, I focus on compound exercises.

Compound exercises involve more than one muscle group. I love them because they are dynamic and challenging. Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried many of them, but these three are my favorite, and you should give them a try!

I recommend that you start with exercising for 20 seconds and resting for 20 seconds for 2 – 3 rounds. If you need more of a challenge, exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 20 seconds for 2 – 3 rounds. Rest for 2 minutes in between rounds.

Cobra Push Ups and Planks

  • To do this exercise, first assume a standard push-up position, then walk your feet and your hips into a pike position, you are looking for a upside down v position.
  • Keeping your hips elevated, lower your body until your chin reaches the floor.
  • Lower your hips until they almost touch the floor and at the same time press up and raise your head and shoulders towards the ceiling. Reverse the movement back to the starting point position and repeat.

Bonus Move: Side Plank Twist (Watch Video)

Plank with Hip Twist

  • Start on a standard push-up position and place your elbows directly under your shoulder
  • Keep your hands in line with your elbows, and your body completely straight – don’t let your hips sag, or stick them too high in the air.
  • Twist your hips to the right and gently touch the ground. Return to the starting position and twist your hips to the left and gently touch the ground and repeat!

Single-Leg Push-Ups

  • Start by assuming a standard push-up position
  • Lift one leg of the floor so that you have three points connecting you to the ground
  • Maintaining your leg elevated, finish the push-up and repeat.

We encourage you to stay active and tag us on Instagram, twitter or facebook with your compound exercises! Let us know if there is a particular area of focus you would like to see! Let’s embrace healthy living together!

IAHF Running Club Update


IAHF-Running-Club-Update

With a lot of rain in late April and early May, it’s been difficult for the running club to get together consistently. We’ve been able to run consistently on Thursday evenings (even in the rain at times).

Tunde (our IAHFRuns Lead for Portland) is happy with the growth of the core runners who have joined this year. There are all levels of runners who not only encourage one another; they also have friendly competitions together.

Meet the iAmHealthyFit Portland Running Club!

As the weather dries up the group will move from two runs a week to three runs a week. We are also looking to diversify our group activities. Next Thursday our group is going to bring out our bikes out and ride along with bikers (75-100) gather on Southwest waterfront. If you’re in Portland you should check it out, Ride Yr Bike Thursday Night Ride.

This summer the running club will also be doing hikes along many of Portland’s area trails and mountains. This will give Tunde a chance to share many more photos and experiences with iAHF’s followers in his DiscoveringOregon series. So stay tuned!

One of our members is training for a triathlon this summer. We look forward to his posts sharing his experiences while training, he even learned how to swim so he could compete. DEDICATION.

He has convinced Tunde to do a triathlon in June 2017 in Vancouver, BC, so Tunde has to learn how to swim before then. He will be chronicling his tribulations with learning. More details will be shared on the site as the summer goes on.

Have you been running? Do you have any races coming up? What type of healthy exercises are you doing? We want to hear from you!!!