The African Yoga Project

As you should all know by now I'm a huge advocate of exercise and healthy living as an avenue of preventive medicine. Even more so in areas of the world where medical care is limited or very expensive. We can do so much to elevate the need for or expenses by taking little every day measures to take care of our health. 

Exercise is one of the free-est forms of preventive medicine out there. 

This is why I love what the Africa Yoga project is doing in Nairobi, Kenya  They are educating communities around Kenya about yoga, offering classes, training teachers and doing many other community service projects . I'm excited to see this project grow and eventually develop branches in other African countries  not just in the east but the north, south and west.

Here are some pictures I got from their Facebook page showcasing what they've been doing so far in Kenya. 

 You can find out more about this organisation from their webpage:

So what's you're <~~~~~ excuses?
Go put on your shoes and go for a walk/run
Remember, a stitch in time saves 9

EverLast Wrist Weights (1.5 lbs each) Review

I would not call myself a product junky that will buy any exercise related product as soon as it hits the counters. In an effort to "spice up" my running/speed walking routine, I decided to invest in some wrist/ankle free weights.

Free weights to wrap around your wrist or ankle is a good way to increase the intensity or difficulty of a running/speed walking routine. It helps build muscle. By carrying extra weight, your body has to do more work. Over time you should notice an increase in your speed + agility + stamina when you perform the same activities without the extra weight. You should feel "lighter".

I ended up not being able to use this as an exercise gadget. It just didn't work for me.

 Because it is stitched around, the fit isn't adjustable unlike some other brands which have a "buckle-like" adjustable belt. Which means if you have bigger ankle, it would not fit or be too tight. I wanted it more for my ankles than my wrists because am always aiming to tone my thunder legs + thighs. It fit well around my wrist but the fit was weird around my ankle

On the other hand, if you have really tiny feet + ankle :), it may hang loose and "funny" too. 

I should mention that the material is tough and a little bit stretchable.

Which means...I guess it could fit a larger ankle BUT, i wouldn't advice anyone to wear anything that will be too tight to the point of cutting off blood circulation which your working muscles need in order to successfully exercise

So will I recommend this product?

No, because you have the option of getting the ones with straps that will allow you to adjust the tightness....say when you exercise in the summer versus my boston winter in which i may be required to layer up with socks, making my ankle thicker....

For the moment, am trying to find an alternate use for it....paper holder? stationary holder? fancy/funky table decor? je ne sais pas. I am also currently keeping an eye out to purchase another wrist/ankle weight. This time, one with straps. Here is an example below.

Double Up for Results: Women's Health South Africa

I like the idea of working out with a friend. Not only does it serve as a friendship bonding moment but you also help motivate each other towards your individual fitness goals.....and i my case, i get to catch up on the lastest gossip in town....don't judge me..

For those who say ...i don't have any friends who like working will never know until you ask...Maybe you're friend has recently made a new healthy living resolution without your knowledge  and by inviting them out for a workout session, you are helping them stay on track. On the other hand, just bringing up the topic may be the motivation someone who has been thinking about it, needed to actually get going.

So stop with the excuses, grab a friend and tryout these routines by Women's health SA

1. Medicine Ball Slam Pass
Stand facing each other three to five metres apart, with partner 1 holding a medicine ball overhead, arms straight. Partner 1 braces her core, keeping her arms straight and extended overhead, bends her knees and slams the ball onto the ground at an angle so it reaches partner 2 after one bounce. Partner 2 catches the ball and repeats the move. Continue passing the ball back and forth as fast as possible for one to two minutes

2. High Five Up Down
 Begin in a push-up position, with your heads facing each other, about 30cm apart (A). At the same time, lower onto one forearm, then the other, so you are both in the plank position (B). Reverse to return to start, then clap each other’s right hand (C). That’s one rep. Switch your clapping hand with each rep.

3. Single Leg dead lift with medicine ball
Stand facing each other three to five metres apart, balancing on one foot with the other leg bent, foot behind you; partner 1 holds a medicine ball. At the same time, slowly squat down as far as you can, keeping your chests up. Partner 1 rolls the ball to partner 2, then both stand; partner 2 is now holding the ball. Repeat the move to return the ball to partner 1. That’s one rep. Repeat half the reps on one leg, then perform the remaining reps on the other leg for a complete set.

4. Partner Plank and Single Leg Hip raise
While partner 1 holds a push-up position, partner 2 lies face-up and perpendicular on the floor, placing her right calf on partner 1’s back, left knee bent towards her chest (A). Partner 2 raises her hips off the ground, pauses, then lowers for one rep. Do all reps, then switch legs. Switch positions after each set. If either partner can’t safely maintain a push-up to support her partner, then start in a tabletop position (on hands and knees)

5. Partner Press and Row
Hold the handles of two resistance bands at chest height (partner 1’s hands on either side of her chest, partner 2’s arms straight) and stand facing the same direction, partner 1 in front of partner 2. Move apart until the bands are taut. In one motion, partner 1 steps one leg forward and pushes the handles out, rotating her palms towardsthe floor, while partner 2 rows the handles towards her chest. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Switch positions each set.

6. Partner Squat and Resistance Band
Hold the handles of two resistance bands at chest height (partner 1’s hands on either side of her chest, partner 2’s arms straight) and stand facing the same direction, partner 1 in front of partner 2. Move apart until the bands are taut. In one motion, partner 1 steps one leg forward and pushes the handles out, rotating her palms towardsthe floor, while partner 2 rows the handles towards her chest. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Switch positions each set.

7. Team Burpees
Decide on a number of total reps (aim for 100 to 200). Partner 1 stands with her feet hip-width apart, arms at her sides. She bends her knees and places her hands on the floor in front of her, then kicks her legs backward so she’s in a push-up position. She quickly reverses the movement to return to start. Partner 1 does as many reps as she can. When she can’t do another rep with proper form, partner 2 does the exercise. Continue alternating until you’ve both reached your target number.

Spartathlon 2012

Spartathlon = 153 MILES race hosted by Greece since 1983

Goal is to complete the course in 36hrs!

Runners run from Athens to Sparta....insane!!!

Not just any jack & jill runner can sign up for this race...they only have 350 spots

According the official website, the qualifications to register for the race are

a. Having concluded an at least 100kl race in less than 10.30 hours time.

b. Having participated in “SPARTATHLON” before and having passed NESTANI (172kl) in time less than 24.30 hours.

c. Having finished the “SPARTATHON” race

d. Having participated and finished, regardless of time, in an over 200kl race non stop. 

e. Have finished in time the race NEMEA-OLYMPIA within 28 hours.

The above conditions are valid, if what is required has taken place within the three (3) last years, including the year of the “SPARTATHLON” race in which the athlete wishes to participate.

There are many things on my bucket list that have to do with fitness challenges but this isnt one of them. I'm not even going to THINK about it.

You can see the list of the 2012 Spartathlon Finishers here

The name that stood out to me?

Elizabeth Hawk = 3rd place.....RESPECT!

She finished the race in 27hrs   06mins  17seconds 

What challenges do runners have to face?

"...rough tracks and muddy paths (often it rains during the race), crosses vineyards and olive groves, climbs steep hillsides and, most challenging of all, takes the runners on the 1,200 meter ascent and descent of Mount Parthenio in the dead of night. This is the mountain, covered with rocks and bushes, on which it is said Pheidippides met the god Pan.....The ascent is marked out by a trail of battery-driven colored flashing lights and its challenge is a trial for human stamina and mental strength. Over the mountain the last sections are no less energy sapping and exhausting for the runners as they follow a road that winds up and down hills before descending into Sparta. Even the finest athletes start hallucinating as they cover these final stages. Having lost all sense of time and reality, they are "on automatic" as they push their weary bodies on towards the finishing line at the statue of Leonidas. At most, only about a third of the runners who leave Athens end the course in Sparta...."

What crazy things are on your bucket list? 
Are any of them related to fitness? Perhaps climbing the summit of a well known mountain? Running a marathon? Swimming/sailing across an ocean?

Rock Body Fit Club

I decided to model a t-shirt (I Rock My body) for my friend's fitness club's face book page.

Keep in mind I am not a professional photographer nor have i ever claimed to be a model.
This is amateur work at its worst :)

Rock Body Fit Club (RBFC) is a premier health and fitness club for ALL determined to build 

self image through healthy eating, fitness and friendship.

 RBFC strives on the concept of teamwork by developing strong unique friendships and 

sister-hood ties within the club members. 

The bond creates a foundation and support system that guid
es, directs, motivates, 

 builds, and encourages the members in their journey towards achieving a healthy

 lifestyle and fitness goals; thus improving self-image. 

Namaste ^_^

Did you workout today? Don't let the rainy fall or chill weather stop you. Stock up on wind breakers and waterproof gears

ACSM Action Alert: Funding Cuts Threaten Research

As you all know, I am an exercise physiologist and a registered member of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Therefor sometimes I do talk about ACSM related business ^_^..and this is one of such posts.

I'm going to be doing my part by calling, ARE YOU?


ACSM Member/Advocate:

Included as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, sequestration would require automatic cuts on federal spending starting on January 2, 2013.  According to a recent report from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), overall funding for non-exempt, non-defense discretionary programs would be cut by 8.2%. 
This means that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be cut by $2.53 billion and the National Science Foundation would be cut by $570 million.

We must work now to ensure that Congress acts before January 2, 2013 to prevent these draconian cuts from taking place in programs that provide such a tremendous benefit to society.  Please take a moment and contact your elected officials and urge them to support federal funding of research programs and to eliminate sequestration.  Click on TAKE ACTION for a sample message you may use to contact your member of Congress.  Please feel free to edit the message to include information as to how sequestration would affect you personally.

Thank you for taking a moment to tell your elected leaders about this urgent funding priority. 

Monte Ward
Vice President, Government Relations
American College of Sports Medicine

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