The COVID pandemic hit us hard and fast. Forced to slow down and stop in our tracks; we sat home eating more and moving much less. We underestimated movement that came with getting to work, shopping, and basic social life. If you were hitting the gym, your slow down came with an extra punch. During a time of loss, uncertainty and fear, food became a comfort. So many, including myself, put on that quarantine 15. But if you’re like me, you won’t take this sitting down. Here’s some personal resources to get ya’ movin:
- Drop the heavy eating. Move away from consuming those hearty stews, chili, breads and pasta. Start eating more heat tossed kale, chard, bok choy, string beans, okra, cabbage, etc – love up dem greens. Packed with dense nutrients, you know they are good for you. Choose lean proteins including beans. Drink water, with 1/2 your body weight in ounces the goal. Add chlorophyll to your water. Enjoy healthier snacks. My favs:
- crisp apple slices w/ chunky almond butter
- sliced cucumbers w/humus
- avocado, kimchi, hummus and more in Nori Sheets
- Edamame tossed in olive oil
- all seasonal fruit; thank goodness mango, berry and watermelon season is here!
- Find an online class that speaks to you. This was difficult for me at first, but grateful to have found these great classes:
- ASA Fitness is close to my heart because I know and respect these women. They kept classes up during the height of the pandemic and proved to be great guides to getting a full workout. This low impact high intensity style workout gets the job done. After class I always felt my core engaged, inner thighs/buttocks talking and spirit lifted during a heavily emotional time. Sweating definitely got those endorphins going. $12-15; class passes give u the discount. Black Female Owned Business (BFOB)
- Esther’s African Dance Class was like coming home to community. In the 90’s, I used to hike up to 116th in Harlem to take her FREE (funded by the city) bomb ass dance class in a huge auditorium packed with other women. So when I found out she started something online I was there. This zoom class was engaging and donation based. I was seen – and corrected- along with others. Esther created a wonderful space right from her living room to ours. As of May 2021, she has moved the class outdoors to Marcus Garvey Park. BFOB
- Ymca360.org is packed with slow to fast, long to short classes for everyone at any stage. I have come to love the Circuit 1 (60 min) class, and the Fierce classes 1, 2 and 3 (45 min Tabata). When funds got tight, I moved to this FREE resource.
- Cumbe – Teachers from all styles of dance (+yoga) cascading from the African Diaspora hold zoom classes thru this organization. They started by offering free to donation classes and now offer classes as low as $7. I’ve enjoyed Darian Parkers’ Sunday class and the Saturday Jam Down class with Jenny Jam. Summer 20′ I joined Body Ra’s class in Ft Greene park, which brings me to my next get moving tip.
- Hit the parks. Summer 2020 was alllll about classes in the parks. If you were at the monument in Ft Greene park you witnessed Zumba, African, Caribbean and Yoga classes, along with people jumping rope and doing dips. This trend is continuing this summer and I am happy to have found:
- Body Ra Movement wave ya flag, wave ya flag! This carribean infused class is $12. Started in Ft Greene park, this sistah and is now having classes at different parks throughout the city. You will sweat, laugh and have a good ole time shedding the pounds. BFOB
- Urban Asana brings the community out honey; a community of yogi’s in all sizes, shapes and backgrounds. This hour of Power Yoga, held in Brower Park off Kingston Ave, will have you sweating, praying and stretching all at the same time. As owner Jyll says ” Heart Forward Ass Back” come on now! Bring your heart, mat, water and cash (preferred); Sundays 12:30 by donation. BFOB
- Stacked Yoga another outdoor Sunday yoga class in Bed-Sty on Tompkins. Hosted by TAMA (Tompkins Ave Merchant Association) along with other activities every Sunday 12-4pm. This community keeps brining it! I have not gotten myself here yet, but plan to very soon. BFOB
- Bed-Sty Black Lives Matter mural was home to many events this past summer, including Tamar Jone’s African Dance class (BFOB). I’m sure events will continue at this location.
- Explore the parks in your neighborhood. Hopefully something is happening for you to enjoy. If not, reach out to a yoga studio or dance co and see if they will come out. You win by having a local activity for your community and they get to advertise – a win win.
I hope you find ways to keep moving in health. Go for more walks, safely ride a bike, pull on some skates, get double dutching and don’t forget to bring a friend. We are all in this together.