Here’s Why Biometric Screening Is So Crucial To Your Life…

So I’ve been fiending to get a biometric screening for a while. It’s been about 5 years since I’ve gotten one and I wanted to know how I was doing now that some time has passed. Luckily for me, Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem hosted a free  Health and Wellness Town Hall Meeting in conjunction with 100 Black Men, Inc. The screenings offered were blood pressure, body mass index, glucose, hemogloben, cholesterol, triglyceride levels, HIV, hepatitus C and I got a 1-on-1 on site sit down with a physician who, might I add, said I scored way better than him in all categories.

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A+ readings!

Some of you may be wondering “What is a biometric screening?”. Simply put, they’re a series of tests that provide information on present or future medical problems. In other words, these screenings tell you if you need to get your act together before something becomes un-fixable in your body!

Understanding You Screening Results (click to enlarge)

Biometric_Screening_junkfit1 CaptureMy interests were mostly staked in my blood glucose and cholesterol levels which I had good reason to believe might’ve been compromised because of my eating habits prior to becoming health conscious. To my surprise, both my blood glucose and cholesterol levels were in a very good range. For those of you who don’t know how these screenings impact us, Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. The cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that occurs in all parts of our bodies naturally. However, when there is an excess of it via unhealthy fats, it can cause heart disease.  These screenings allow us to know when we’re on the brink of severe damage while there’s still time to reverse it.

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*Systolic: heart pumping out *Diastolic: heart filling up

Just like having too much sodium or cholesterol can lead to hypertension or heart disease, having too much glucose (sugar) in your blood can lead to diabetes, which is the 7th deadliest disease in the US. I often snack on sugary foods and I have since I was a kid.  It wasn’t until my early twenties when my sister began having diabetic complications that I began to scale the sugar back. It has been an uphill climb as I believe I suffered from sugar addiction (a real thing). That lifestyle change is probably the reason I am not pre-diabetic. Whew!

There are so many small steps you can take that will lead you away from chronic disease destruction:

  1. Engage in 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
  2. Limit your intake of trans and saturated fats.
  3. Watch your sugar intake.
  4. Reduce the amount of salt you cook with.
  5. Sanitize machinery before and after use in the gym.
  6. Make vegetables half of every meal you eat.
  7. Use protection during sex.

There’s soooo many ways! They say the real primary care is SELF CARE. YOU are your FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE against disease, NOT your doctor or your bae. Take responsibility for your health starting today.

The amazing panelists included Dr. Bert M. Peterson, JR. MD, FACS, the leading breast cancer surgeon in America, Kevin Shippy, Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association of Greater NY and Georgina Osorio, MD, Attending Physician for the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mount Sinai, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt hospitals just to name a few because I’m too lazy to type the entire pamphlet. Lol.

I encourage you all to seek out biometric screening if you haven’t already. In lots of cases, these screenings are the difference between life and death. Drag your family with you. They will thank you for it.

xo,

Jazz

The “F” Is For Fun: Enjoying Your Workouts

There’s a certain level of preparedness that must go into a successful lifestyle change. Meaning, you gotta first wrap your mind around it. Transitioning from bad habits to good ones takes times and careful investigation. I know for me, it was all about classes and learning opportunities. I guess without even knowing it, I was trying to find physical activities that I actually enjoyed. Ironically enough, this is a real thing! The contemplation/preparation period is the mental work that goes into beginning an exercise habit. Anyway, I found my way into several free mau thai classes throughout New York City. I was pivot kicking and elbowing like a pro by my 5th class. I LOVED it! It took me back to the days when my father used to plant me in front of a mirror and coach me on how to throw a punch, tucking my thumbs and keeping my fists covering my face. I fake thought I was a G. But let me not digress. I enjoyed knocking the air out of the bag and kicking the pad. It was exhilarating. That’s when I got my first real dose of endorphins. ‘What’s the big deal about endorphins’, you ask?

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In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.

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Chile, boo. If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what is. You owe it to yourself to find physical activities that you love! I’ve done some of the work for you and brainstormed a list of some cool specialty activities that may get your juices flowing:
Aquatic Classes (swimming) – I know, I tried it. Lol.
Pilates – all my mocha lattes
Dodgeball /Kickball– for your kid within
Stepping – seriously, join a team and watch the sweat drip
Pole Dancing – get your life for your man!
Pick Up Sports – think college intramurals
Karate – chop, chop
Mau Thai – the art of eight limbs
Thai Kwon Do – so much chopping here
Zumba – afro latin fusion
African Dance – learn the original twerk
Hip Hop Dance – learn the new twerk
Walking Clubs – a lil walk n’ talk never hurt nobody
Running Clubs – get your “runner’s high”
Hot Yoga – Mrs. Incredible
Or if you want one on one attention, I offer affordable packages. Ladies, there are so many ways to get into this whole exercise thing. Start today and set a goal of finding at least two activities that work for you.  😉
Xo,
Jazz

JUNKFIT’s Seven Day Challenge: Day Two

Day three is here already and we’re continuing our steady progress. Days one and two I can admit were a little struggle for me because it’s been so long since I did burpees consistently. I HATE burpees because..like, who made them up? Who thought to themselves, lets do a big leap in the air, jump into a frog pose and then do a push-up? They are however, getting easier to do. I like to think I already have a strong core and everything I’m doing with you guys will help reinforce my stability. Here’s your day 3:

JasminesFlowers

What You Need To Know About Your Core!

1. First things first, your core includes far more than just your abs. By definition your core is a complex series of muscles including everything besides your arms and legs. This includes your hips, upper glutes and your anterior, posterior and lateral regions (front, back and side). Don’t you just love when you learn a new fitness term?!

2. Secondly, it is incorporated in almost EVERY movement of the human body. It acts as a stabilizer in pretty much every exercise. You can test this theory for yourself. Try to see if you can do any exercise with a relaxed core OR feel your core during exercises and you’ll see that it’s always at work.

3. Third, you can mindfully engage your core without even working out! Sit up straight at work, squeeze your butt cheeks while walking, pull in your pelvis (aka stop sticking your booty out, lol). Keep a small pillow behind your back while at your desk to stop you from slouching. All these small adjustments will help you strengthen your core!

Now can you see why building a stronger core should be at the base of your exercise journey? This challenge might seem hard for some of you but TRUST me when I say, you are on the right path. Once you’ve strengthened your core, you’ll notice your workouts getting easier and you’ll start to have more fun with it!

Questions? I’m here to help. Drop em below!

xo,

Jazz

JUNKFIT’s Seven Day Challenge: Day One

7DayChallengeDay1

My six pack is coming along.

Day-1 flick is looking good!

Today was the first day of the 7 Day Challenge. You’re probably used to seeing 30 day challenges but I’m a firm believer in easing into exercise. If you’re transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle, going full throttle is the last thing you want to do. Lots of people try this as many do with diets as well and feel defeated when they falter after a few days.  Its important to start small and progress gradually.  Here are some beginners tips:

1. STRETCH: This will seem pointless to some because you don’t associate it with reaching your goals but it is key to seeing an exercise program through. Without stretching, the soreness will surely put you on your ass.  Do yourself the favor and stretch your entire body and holding each stretch for at least :30.

2. BREATHE: OMG, I can’t tell you how many times I catch myself not breathing. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your form and counting reps but you must remember to breathe. This works especially when you’re feeling the burn. You can take a few breaths and instantly feel the burn dissipate. Keep breathing so you can keep going!

3. SPREAD YOUR LEGS: Get your mind outta the gutter! This phrase simply means widening your base during exercises like planks and walkouts. This will help you distribute the weight throughout your entire body, alleviating the pressure on your core. As you progress though modifications, move your feet closer together, adding difficulty.

For Tomorrow…

7daychallngeTuesday

Randomly Whipped Up Citrus & Strawberry Salad

So, I’m teaching my students how to hydrate without water and I stumbled upon a cute little salad idea. What was intended to be a completely citrus salad turned into a ‘whatever we have in the fridge’ salad. Y’all know how that goes. Surprisingly it came out really good and I made the salad again while a friend was visiting. We finished this entire bowl in under an hour. Here’s how I made it:

Ingredients:

1 Grapefruit-peeled and separated

5 Strawberries-sliced

2 Apples-diced

2 Handfuls of spinach

1 Teaspoon of sea salt

Mint Leaves-sliced

Ginger-minced

1 Lemon

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

1 Tablespoon of honey

Mix all ingredients in a giant bowl and enjoy and very refreshing salad. Might I add that the mint leaves and ginger gave my breath a very inviting scent…too bad I’m single. Blah. Feel free to share your results with me.

JUNKFITCitrusStrawberrySalad1

Join JUNKFIT’s Seven Day Challenge!

Whew! So yesterday was absolutely lovely here in NYC.  I grabbed drinks with a friend and strolled through Central Park on some very chill ish. It was just lovely. I couldn’t help but reflect on the newness of nature in the Spring. All the flowers and trees were just-a-blooming and there I was drawing the correlation between JUNKFIT and nature! Lol. Now is the time to take that new outlook and apply it to our health.  With that being said, I think it would be pretty dope to work with you guys on the basics of fitness. When you have a strong core, you can do pretty much anything. Without core strength, you’ll find yourself struggling through thee most simple of things. Take bench press for example.  You might have the upper body strength to push the bar up, but you’ll need a strong core to stabilize you.  Without that strength, the bar will go out of balance.  There are certain things called synergist muscle groups.  They assist a muscle in completing a task when the primary muscle isn’t strong enough.  Core muscles act as synergists in countless workouts. Long story short, a strong core is super essential.

That brings us to the JUNKFIT 7 Day Challenge! Get your core together, ladies. Let’s do it together!

Burpees 3 x 10

Walk Outs 3 x 10

Hanging Crunches 3 x 10

Mountain Climbers 3 x :30

Bicycle Kicks 3 x :30

Planks 3 x :30

Post your pics to Instagram using the #JUNKFIT hashtag to share your workout flicks. Summer bawdies are made in the Spring, too!

-Junkfit Jazz

CentralParkJazz

My go to pose when the camera is flicking. Lol!