Six Tips to Staying Motivated

Staying Motivated

Keeping up the day to day of working out can be tough. Motivation is key, but keeping up that motivation, particularly if you don’t like working out, can be just as difficult as saying no to that extra piece of cake. So here are six tips to keep you motivated and staying with your workout:

1. Vary your routine every so often to prevent boredom and provide enhanced benefits by working different muscle fibers within the same broad muscle groups. Try different exercises; try doing more reps and lighter weights one day; more weight and less reps another day, etc.

2. A little bit is much better than nothing and in fact goes a long way. While an hour or so 3 to 4 times a week is great, exercising for 15 to 20 minutes once or twice a week is much better than no exercise.

3. Work with a trainer when bored or discouraged– even if it is just for a few sessions – to get you back on the right track, learn some new things and rejuvenate your workout.

4. View work-out time as “your time” to escape from the demands placed on you from others and take care of yourself. Get in a “zone” by focusing on the music you’re listening to, the results you will achieve or how good you will feel after your workout.

5. Write down your goals – You are more likely to remain committed to them. Also, keep a diary of your workouts and your progress – what gets recorded and measured gets improved.

6. Workout with a friend – you will push each other and time will go by faster..

What do you think?

Do any of these tips resonate with you?

What would you add to the list?

5 Tips To Get Rid Of Back Fat ASAP

back fat 101

So once in grad school when I realized I had back fat, I got rid of the back fat in two weeks and managed to whittle a couple of inches off of my waist in the process. The plan itself was actually pretty easy. The dedication to the plan is what yielded the results:

Back Fat Workout Plan

1. Run everyday. It can be a combination run/walk, but you must run everyday no questions asked rain, shine, sleet or snow.

2. Eat 4 to 6 meals/snacks a day. This actually becomes very simple once you’re running everyday because you’re hungry all the damn time.

3. Eat breakfast but make it light. Try some yogurt or toast. A salmon croquettes and a boiled egg. Something simple and not too heavy.

4. Drink nothing but water and with every meal. You may have a glass of juice with breakfast, but that’s it. Water, water and more water. And make sure you drink water with every meal/snack.

5. Star lunch and dinner with a soup. I read somewhere that if you start off your meal with a soup you ultimately consume less calories at each meal then if you don’t.

There you have it. That was my “Get Rid of the Back Fat ASAP” plan and it worked like a charm. 14 days after I begin the back was gone, my back was toned and my waist was tiny. If anyone reading the blog tries it, let me know if it works for you too.

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The Build Your Booty Workout


You know us black women love our butts. For those who may not have been as blessed as some others in this area, there are some thing you can do about it. Like any other body part, you can’t spot reduce to get the firmer, rounder butt you want, but with the right combination of diet, cardio and the right lower body exercises and you will have the firm, round butt you want in no time at all.

Running Running is an easily accessible exercise that aids in weight loss, reduces stress and builds muscle in the legs, thighs and especially the butt. To increase the butt building potential of running, add hills to an outdoor run or if you’re running on a treadmill add an incline. Also, doing a sprinting-running combo will also increase the intensity of your workout giving you a rounder, firmer butt.

Squats If you were to only do one exercise to get a firmer, rounder butt – squats would be that exercise. Squats are a total lower body workout that builds the thighs, hips and butt. Begin squats by standing shoulder width a part, placing dumbbells at shoulder height. Bend your knees, making sure they are behind your toes; lower yourself into a sitting position, pushing your butt slightly out behind you. Tighten your abs and keep your upper body straight. Return to the starting position. Complete 10-12 reps for 2-4 sets.

Lunges Lunges will give you a round, firm butt while also slimming and toning the legs and thighs. Begin lunges by placing your hands on your hips and stand with your legs together. Next, step forward with your left leg and as you land lower your body toward the ground making sure to keep your front knee behind your toes and your back knee close to, but not touching the floor. Finally rise up and, supporting your weight on your front leg, lunge forward with your back leg repeating the previous move. Complete 10-15 reps on each leg for 2-4 sets.

Step Ups Step ups are one of the easiest butt building exercises. Step ups will give you a nice round butt as well as working your hips, thighs and legs. Begin by standing in front of the step and placing your left foot on the step heel first. Next step up with your right foot. Finally step back down with your left foot first, then right. Repeat. Complete 15-20 reps on each leg for 2-4 sets.


Working Out on a Budget: Don’t Let the Recession Make You Fat

Recession Make You Fat

Lacking the money to reach your fitness goals? The recession has been hard on everyone, especially black women. Fitness equipment manufacturers, fitness clubs and the rest of the fitness industry hasn’t been immune to the downturn either. Because of the recession fitness equipment sales are down as are fitness club memberships are down for the first time in 20 years. Americans just aren’t willing to spend the money on keeping fit like they once were:

Economic hard times have Americans downsizing their workout equipment, trimming their workout budgets, and shifting their workout venues, according to a sporting goods industry survey.

“The fitness industry was not immune from the effects of a tough economy,” said Tom Cove, president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), a global organization which conducted the poll.

SGMA represents over 1,000 sports manufacturers, retailers and marketers around the world. They have published their study, Tracking the Fitness Movement, for 10 years.

The 2009 edition puts U.S. wholesale sales of fitness gear and equipment sold for use in home, clubs and institutions, at $4.2 billion in 2008, down from $4.7 billion the year before.

So how do you manage to keep your workout going when your pockets are lighter? Very easily actually. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be burning the fat and saving money:

1. Join the YMCA – YMCA memberships are based on your income and are significantly lower than traditional gym memberships. Their facilities are right on par with for profit fitness clubs and the YMCA also has many free and low cost fitness/nutritional and sports activities. It’s also great if you have a family as there are many activities for kids and the whole family to enjoy.

2. Hit the Park – I live in the city with the largest park system in the country and I’ve been making full use of them. Walking, running, even strength training in local parks is a great way t get you workout on without spending any money. It’s also nice to be out in the elements enjoying the fresh hair. Fall is upon us so make sure you have the proper gear to keep warm as your’re exercising outside.

3. Invest in Dumbells, an Exercise Ball and Exercise Mat – If you have dumbells, an exercise ball and a workout mat you have all you need to get in a good workout for little money. Whatever weight machine you used in the gym, you can mimic with the aforementioned fitness equipment.

4. Break Out the Workout DVD’s – It’s time to dust off those old Jane Fonda or Donna Richardson workout dvd’s. It may seem a little corner to go bouncing around your living room with spnadexed, leg warmered, head band wearing fitness gurus of the 80’s and 90’s, but hey – burning calories is burning calories. If you currently don’t own any workout dvd’s you can get them for cheap on Amazon.

While the recession is has been difficult for many black women, we shouldn’t allow it to derail out fitness goals. If you’re serious about getting fit their is a way to make it happen without a fitness club membership, home fitness equipment or without breaking the bank in the general.

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Top 3 Tips for Using Weights to Get Fit

I have a serious pet peeve when I see black women in the gym using three pound weights to complete a weak workout. Many times I’ve seen trainers tell women they should use light weights and high reps to sculpt their bodies. This is a joke. Or women who forgo weights altogether for fear of looking like a man. Also a joke.

Weight training should be an intergal part of black women’s health and fitness regime. BUT proper weight training is key. Throw out the light weights and start lifting heavy. Here are a few tips on how to properly use weights to sculpt your body:

1. Perform dumbbell exercises that recruit as many big muscle groups as possible.

Dumbbell lifts like squats, deadlifts, rows, presses and cleans, snatches and jerks require a lot of big muscle groups to complete the movement. Plus, using big muscle groups allows you to use heavier weights. Using more muscle with heavier weights means more muscle!

2. Perform dumbbell exercises that require a great deal of energy.

Heavy grinding exercises, explosive exercises and combo matrixes require a lot of energy for completion. Expending more energy means less fat!

3. Perform dumbbell workouts in such a manner as to simultaneously build muscle, improve cardio-respiratory endurance and burn fat.

Doing workouts like super sets, timed circuits and peripheral heart action training, you can make your dumbbell workouts SUPER efficient. You’ll get the most out of your training time by attacking your body on many fronts!

Since black women gain muscle faster then other groups of women, with proper training and using these techniques, you can have the sexy physique you’ve been dreaming of in record time.

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Mel B. Esxercise Tips: I Have Sex Five Times a Day


Well looks like those six pack abs Mel B is rocking is from all that sexercise she is getting:

“I’m honestly not body-obsessed – I can’t be with three kids and a husband. My husband likes my muscles, but then he’s seen me every which way over the past eight years – including when I put on 42lbs after my last pregnancy and he always loves my body. In fact, on top of all my exercise, I have sex with him five times a day – maybe that has something to do with it. I have to admit, I’m a nymphomaniac with him. It’s sexercise! ”

I remember when i used to get it like that. Hell, these days I’d settle for once a day – hell once a week – goodness knows I could use a tune up. While I don’t think all that sex has given her that amazing body, I’m still trying to figure out what this Stephen Belafonte has that has Mel B going wild. I mean it can’t be the flabby belly and saggy breasts pecs he’s sporting. I’m just going to chalk it up to one extra long and wide penis topped off with a super serious head game.

But hey…as long as she’s happy.

And on a side note: If the sex is burning all those calories, is there a reason he’s not losing any weight?

4 Things You Need to Know About Exercise Balls

1. Don’t Burst Your Bubble

When choosing an exercise ball it is important to get one that is burst resistant. If you’re doing certain exercises that don’t require you to put your weight on the ball then any exercise ball will work. However, if you’re using the ball as a weight bench, doing most ab workouts or you’re overweight or obese, a burst resistance ball is necessary or you could incur serious injuries.

2. Work Harder on a Ball

Exercise balls work by making the body unstable. Lying on an exercise ball automatically causes your abs and your legs to contract. Add an exercise to that, crunches or chest press, and instantly the movement is more intense. The extra intensity forces your body to work harder and makes your workout more effective. Many ball exercises also work more than one muscle group at a time, making your workout more efficient as well.

3. Get Fitted by Height

Exercise balls aren’t one size fit all. They actually are sized according to your height. It’s important to have the right size ball for your workouts. Using the wrong ball prevents you from getting the most benefits of using an exercise ball in your workouts and can result in an injury. You can properly size an exercise ball by using some specific guidelines. For shorter individuals, a 55 cm ball is good for those between 4’11” and 5’4″ tall. Medium height people should choose a 65 cm ball, which covers people 5’5″ to 5’11”. Then, taller exercisers, 6’0 to 6’7″ inches tall, should choose a 75 cm ball.

4. Makes a Great Chair

Instead of spending money on an ergonomically correct chair, use an exercise ball as your office or desk chair. Exercise balls make great chairs because they help you correct your posture by forcing you to properly align your spine as well as helping to improve your balance. Using your exercise ball as a chair also helps with your circulation throughout the day. Since the ball isn’t static, it requires regular adjustments to keep your balance. Best of all using an exercise ball as a chair acts a low intensity ab workout. Your abdominal muscles have to contract to keep your spine aligned and your body centered and balanced. It will get you closer to having six pack abs and will help you shed a few pounds to boot.

Are You In Need Of Exercise Motivation?

Exercise Motivation

Here’s Your Exercise Motivation

It’s been a struggle lately to find the motivation to move my body. Cookouts, happy hour cocktails, and general hot fun in the summertime have easily diverted my attention away from the elliptical.

Apparently, I’m not alone.

So when an e-mail showed up in my inbox titled, “11 Great Ways To Get Movitvated,” it seemed like divine intervention.

11 Great Ways To Get Motivated

You know you’ve got to get moving. You resolve to park the car a few blocks from work, take the stairs and hit the gym after work. But a few weeks pass and before you know it parking spots start opening up right in front of the building, the elevator is already in the lobby, and you’ve worked late every night that week. It’s not that you don’t know how to get fit, you just can’t seem to stay motivated. We all know people who are religious with their workouts. So, what’s their secret?

We asked fitness experts and regular Joes alike how they stick with their routine. These methods keep them moving; maybe one will work for you.

1. Embarrass Yourself
Make a mark on your calendar every time you make it to the gym or park. Seeing your motivation, (or lack thereof) in black and white helps keep you going. Suzanne Schlosberg and Liz Neporent, authors of Fitness for Dummies, Second Edition (IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 2000) suggest “whether you write your goals on the side of your shoe or in your training diary, glancing at them on a daily basis will help keep you focused and motivated. Some people tape their goals to their bathroom mirror or refrigerators.” Do whatever works to make you remember what you promised yourself.

2. Join a Plan That Wouldn’t Have You for a Member
So you’re not Steffi Graf. That doesn’t mean you can’t join a tennis team. Richard Cotton, chief exercise physiologist for, says “joining a club, team, or finding an exercise partner…provides a support system and someone to simply share the experience with. Often times just knowing someone will be asking you ‘How’s it going?’ can be the difference between exercise success and failure.”

3. Love Thy Neighbor and Love Thyself
You can’t leave a neighbor standing on the corner checking her watch. She knows where you live. Miriam Nelson, Director of the Center for Physical Fitness at Tufts University, and the author of Strong Women Stay Young and Strong Women Stay Slim (Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1999) says, “When I make a date with a neighbor to go for a run I keep it, and we have a great time.” She also plans a regular appointment with her neighbors. “Saturday mornings several of my neighbors come over and we lift weights together; it’s a great way to start the weekend,” she says.

Read the other 8 here.

Let me know in the comments how you stay motivated when the going gets rough.

Vivrant Thang writes about life, love and the pursuit of good music over at Songs In The Key Of Life.


What’s Your Motivation To Get Fit?

Motivation To Get Fit

Find Your Motivation To Get Fit

“Get Motivated, Get Active, Get Fit!”

That was the title of my daily meditation e-mail this morning. Talk about right on time, as I had been planning this post for today.

As I shared in my last post, my motivation for getting fit wasn’t simply so I could fit into a smaller dress size. Hypertension, borderline diabetes, sleep apnea, and asthma necessitated that I drop a massive amount of weight. I had tried everything – any and every popular and fad diet known to man. I exercised – making sure to do the things that I actually enjoyed. However, I never succeeded in losing and keeping off the kind of weight that I desperately needed to lose.

When my supervisor casually asked me if I had ever considered gastric bypass surgery, I almost blurted out “Hell no!” She and another co-worker had both undergone the procedure and lost well over 100lbs each. However impressive that was, I was not subjecting myself to what I thought would be a lifetime of one tablespoon of food.

The months went on and my joints ached more. I continued to eat uncontrollably and pack on more weight. I don’t quite remember the final straw and what led me to start doing my own research. However, after an emotional and arduous journey, on July 8, 2005, I climbed on that operating table and risked my life to save my life.

Here I sit, well over 140lbs and seven dress lighter, and it still remains the best decision I will probably ever make in my entire life.

I won’t tell you that my experience has been a walk in the park and gastric bypass is not for everybody. I know some people who were not successful at it and regained a lot of the weight or had a lot of medical problems afterwards and wish they had never done it. A lot of people have died. It was the best decision for me. I was blessed to be swimming laps across an Olympic size pool one week after surgery. Nothing but God could have made that happen. He has things he wants me to do and the weight was holding me back. It had to go and that’s how I had to make it happen.

Over the past 2 1/2 years, I’ve often wrestled with whether I should ever tell anyone who didn’t know me before. I’ve gotten quite adept at explaining to people why I only eat a quarter of my meal. Anyone that didn’t know me would never be able to tell by looking at me.

I’m shaped like my mother, who has never been bigger than a size 14. At 61, she’s a size 10/12. This is the way I’m supposed to look.

Although I am a virtual success story, I am far from perfect. I can eat pretty much anything I want – and I do – sometimes more than I should. This surgery does not automatically erase the issues that caused you to become morbidly obese. If anything, it exacerbates them! I can no longer turn to binge eating to deal with my emotions – not without dire consequences. I have been in therapy off and on (now on) and I plan to start attending an eating disorder support group in the next few weeks. Frankly, I would rather die before I let myself get back to that “before” picture. What happens from here on out is entirely up to me.

This is my motivation to get fit. Share yours in the comments.

5 Step Guide to Getting 90 Minutes of Exercise a Day

90 Minutes Exercise

Tips to Getting 90 Minutes of Exercise A Day

This was posted at the bottom of the previous blog but I thought it was important enough to warrant its own post. While it seems like a lot, getting in 90 minutes a day of exercise isn’t as hard as it may seem. Also, take into consideration you don’t have to do the 90 minutes all at one time, you can break it up throughout the day and still achieve the same results.

1. Take the stairs

Stairs burn lots of calories. Instead of taking the elevator, hop on the stairs. Yes, even if you’re on the sixth floor. The higher the better.

2. Park far away

You’ll be amazed at how much walking you do when you don’t park near the building you’re trying to enter. Also, it’s a good way to add up your 90 minutes throughout the day.

Bonus tip: time the walking you do when you’re out and about running errands. You want to keep track so you know for sure when you’ve hit your 90 minutes for the day.

3. Try That Lunch Workout

Take a page from Tracy’s book and work out on your lunch hour (or half hour). A brisk walk or weight workout will contribute to the 90 minutes you need to make each day.

4. Get It In Early

Get up early and walk, run or go to the gym. If you just don’t have the time during the day to work out, get up early and make it happen. Yes, I recognize that could mean 4 or 5 in the morning for some of you, but hey if you treat exercise like you do work then it shouldn’t be a problem.

5. After Dinner Burn

Go for a walk after dinner. It’s simple yet effective and prevents your after dinner meal from settling on your hips, which, is an added bonus.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are many ways you can get the recommended 90 minutes of exercise you need a day to not just lose weight and keep it off. With having a solid goal to work towards it’s much easier to measure your progress, and it takes the guesswork out of the process.