Let’s get physical: An Introduction

I was a very active child..to the extent that my parents kept me on one of those “human leashes” to keep me from running off when we went to public places. As I add more candles to my birthday cake, I realize the importance of staying physical. I look at our bodies like a vehicle; a housing that carries us through life and protects what is inside. If you were to purchase a car and let it just sit in a garage or use it when every once in a while without proper maintenance, it’s going to start to get rusty and dusty. If you decide to improperly fuel it, your engine will become clogged and the entire vehicle will begin to have issues or stop running. If you knew you could only use one vehicle for your entire lifetime, I’d hope that you would treat it like a queen. We only have one body, and ain’t nobody got time to get rusty or dusty.

The World Health Organization recommends 150 Minutes of moderate-intensity activity/week OR 75 minutes of high-intensity/week. Everyone can squeeze in 22 minutes to improve their lives..BET.

Paripurna Navasana (boat pose) Shot by @Faschiony in the Mojave Desert

One of the biggest misconceptions about staying in shape is that you have to do ‘the most’ to see and feel results. The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity/week, 75 minutes of high-intensity activity/week, or a combination of the two for adults aged 18-64 regardless of gender. Y’all. That is 22 minutes or 11 a day to improve the way you feel and function. Staying physically active is not just about staying in shape. It will help lengthen your life and make you less-susceptible to chronic disease. So before I get heavy into facts or statistics, I will leave it at this: by working out for a little over 2 hours a week or going ham for just over an hour, you are increasing your lifespan, taking care of the only body you get, improving your both mental and physical health, and decreasing your chances of getting sick. I could go as far to as that working out saves you money. Basic over-the-counter meds in NYC will take at least $10 from my wallet. I don’t know about you, but I am trying to avoid as much negative energy and cash flow as feasible.

So many techniques, so little time!

After 5 years of competing in high-level intercollegiate athletics, I had a beastly body type. When I decided that i wanted to get into the fashion industry, it was very apparent that I would need to change my workout regimen if I wanted to break in, let alone get signed. It took me almost a year to transform my body from that of a D1 sprinter to a body type comparable to the one had after tri-weekly 6am strength and conditioning sessions, daily sprint workouts, and weekend competition. During this period of time, I embraced and began to experiment with isometrics, low impact cardio (like speed-walking for distance), and practices that toned and strengthened underlying muscle groups (used for stability, posture, and flexibility) such as yoga and Pilates. Train for the body YOU want.

If you want to have a more dancer-like body, take some dance classes and don’t skimp on cardio, and if want to look more like a body builder, you’re going to need to hit some weights. Different kinds of athletes have specific body types because their training requires them to utilize certain muscles groups more heavily than others. Our bodies are predisposed to different kinds of morphological traits, yet has the ability to adapt in order to survive according to changes in environment and activity. For example, long distance runners develop more Type I muscle (slo-twitch) in order to steadily produce energy for a longer period of time, while sprinter develop more Type II muscle (fast-twitch) in order to generate an explosive amount of energy.

One of my favorite things about living in a big city is the amount of fitness options that are available. I love trying out new classes and techniques and then mixing them into some of the things that I already do. It is an incredible gift to be alive during the time that we exist. We have the capability to explore different techniques and practices online, and then save for later or stream just about anywhere that has internet service.

I am still, and hopefully will always be, an avid runner. I do A LOT of walking and encourage it for anyone trying to get back into an active routine; It is easier on your joints and given the proper duration, can be just as beneficial as a long run. I have continued to practice yoga and Pilates, and am beginning to dabble in more specialized genres (Bikram, Ashtanga, Pilates reformer, etc). This past summer I stated to really dive in and explore the variety of options that New York fitness studios have to offer. I have taken boxing, Muy Thai, cardio Pilates, all kinds of high-intensity training (HIT) classes, and been introduced to different forms of exercise from those that I regular practice.

Aiming for the “head” @hithouse , a Mu Thai studio in Soho, NYC

A big thing that I’ve taken away from visiting different studios and trying different classes, is that your results will be directly related to how much you put into a class. There are sooo many ways to get active, so one of the best things that you can do or yourself is to try a few different methods/workouts, pick the ones you enjoy the most and then be consistent with them. By having a few options to choose from, you won’t get bored from doing the same things over and over and will keep your body guessing.

A large part of this section of my blog will be dedicated to fitness and different kinds of methods and workouts that I enjoy. With hundreds of gyms, studios, and methods in this city, and even more that are available online, visit while traveling, or extrapolate and tryout from observation, it’s safe to say that this will be an active area in my blog. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the things that I discover, and would love to hear about some of your favorite ways to stay fit!

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