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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

From The Archives: Your Body Is A Temple. It Needs Loving Too…

((  Written By: Suzanne Brumme  ))  We live in times when we no longer need to exercise, and food is worse than it has ever been.  Ironically, you could also argue that we live in times with the best forms of exercise, and the most nutritious food.  Years ago, people had to walk or ride everywhere, and so it was necessary to be in good physical form.  Men fought wars, kids played, and people generally entertained themselves by engaging in physical activity.  Food was plain and simple, not over-processed and packaged.  On the other hand, medical facilities were unavailable, and a lot of diseases were unknown or unnamed.  Today, we have the best medical facilities and readily available medical knowledge of all time, and the most wonderful technology that money can buy.  We drive everywhere, and so any physical activity is forced.  Kids play computer games all day, and running around is a thing of the past. As for food, I have no words.

But then, you ask, why should you care?  If you read statistics on the preventable health conditions we face in our time, it is staggering.  We have increased the obesity rate phenomenally, and in turn, made ourselves more prone to all sorts of diseases.  Some of these diseases are heart diseases, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  I am fairly certain that we all know someone suffering from something on that list.

What can we do then?  Engage in physical activity, and make a conscious decision about everything that goes into our bodies.  It sounds simple, right?  It’s actually fairly difficult.  Because most of us spend all of our days engaged in white collar jobs, we could argue that we don’t have time to exercise.
I am an African woman so I know another major concern is the choice between our bodies and our hair because it is difficult to piece together sweat and African hair.  And when the couch is calling our names, it’s pretty difficult to say no and run to the gym.  But there are a few things we can do to push ourselves when it comes to exercise: partner up with someone with the same goals as you, make an exercise plan every day, fit little bits of exercise into your day.  Where food is concerned, planning also works wonders. Plan your meals for the day, try to buy more fresh food, and manage our portions.

I would really implore you to be the individual that puts health first in the African community.  Be the infection into your society so people can start thinking about fitness again.  And we are concerned with fitness as a whole—body image and health. After all, you’re stuck with one body for life, so why not treat it well so you can be proud to be in it for years to come?
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A little about me:  I am a writer from Nigeria, who writes a weekly fitness blog called Eights and Weights.  I am inspired by every beautiful woman who has a goal, takes the bull by the horns, and goes for it.  God and my family are the two most important things to me in this world.  To me being an African woman means showing that beauty is not independent from strength.  If you ever need a cheerleader or anyone to help bounce back fitness ideas, I am always available on Twitter or visit my blog above and leave me a comment.  I am always excited to push people on!

((  Originally Published in MIMI's Summer 2010 Issue, Sweet Somethings ))
((  Photo Credits:  Fuse | Punchstock  ))