Tag Archives: exercise

Exercise and Healthy Hair


Sawah_exerciseby Sawah of Discovering Natural

If you are not big on exercising, but strive to have healthy hair, you are in for a big surprise. There is a clear link between healthy hair growth and exercising. The growth of hair has to do a lot with how well blood circulates in order to nourish your hair follicles. This nourishment is what generates good hair health and growth. This is one reason why scalp massages are very beneficial.

We all know how bad stress can be for our hair. Stress can also lead to hair loss. Regular exercise can help reduce stress.

So, how do you start exercising if you don’t do it on a regular basis? Here are 10 tips that can help you start:

  1. Start small.
  2. Take a walk a couple of times a week.
  3. Pick up the pace, distance and frequency after a couple of weeks.
  4. Add some strength training in the mix.
  5. Instead of taking the elevator, opt for the stairs.
  6. While watching TV, during commercials, do sit-ups, chair presses, push-ups and/or jumping jacks.
  7. Park your car at the farthest distance from the entrance of the store.
  8. Turn up the music, and dance!
  9. Do it with a friend. Be accountable to each other.
  10. Have fun! Make it fun!
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How do you incorporate exercise into your regular weekly routine?


4 Minute Metabolism Boosting Workout


A friend posted this video on Facebook today and given that I’m trying to get back on my fitness grind, thought I’d share it! It’s not enough to meet my 20 minute a day quota, but would be a great way to get going in the morning and can be applied towards the daily goal! Plus, a four minute routine that boosts the metabolism for 36 hours thereafter? That’s a win/win!

via DietHealth

Project Scale Down: Days 24, 25 & 26 & Cardio Kickboxing


Unfortunately, I’m posting today to admit that I didn’t make it.

Day 24: Fail

Day 25: Fail

I was just soooo mentally and physically exhausted on Thursday and Friday … again, big project at work that … YEA! I did get done on Friday!! All eyes were on me on this one and I was very anxious about getting it completed as there were a lot of moving parts that needed to align. Add to that, really super late nights working on the blog all week meant that I didn’t get to bed before midnight even one night all week. These are all really excuses though, because I could have done 10-20 minutes immediately upon arriving home. But, I sat down in front of the computer instead. So, it’s ultimately all about choices and I made the wrong one and am accountable for my decisions.

But, on a good note, just finished Day 26 at about 11:30 pm! Wait, can I call it Day 26 or is it Day 1 again? Whatever! I’m going with 26 and then, I think I’m going to try to keep going for as long as I can again with at least 20 minutes every day!! But, I’ll group my postings over several days or weekly so as not to bore you ladies.

As to my workout today, I tried to pseudo make-up for two my two missed days. I ordered the Kathy Smith Cardio Knockout DVD on Amazon for $6.99 a couple of weeks ago (it’ up to $10.89 right now! I guess I got super lucky!). Back in the day, like 2002 or so, a friend of mine dubbed the Kickboxing routine with Keith Cook for me on VHS. I had surgery to remove fibroids and had put on a lot of weight due to inactivity and eating everything and anything under the sun! (Sadly, immediately prior to finding out I needed surgery, I was in amazing condition.) So, I was in “Project Scale Down” mode back then too, I just didn’t call it that ;).

Anywho, I really liked this routine and have used it many times over the year. But, the VCR is upstairs and I have the DVD player in my little “faux gym” in the basement. So, I needed it on DVD and, fortunately, found it with two other workouts to boot! I haven’t tried them yet, but I did the Keith Cook Kickboxing tonight and was feeling good baby!

A few things  of note. First, Kathy Smith doesn’t have great form, but Keith does. So, it’s all good. Two, as with most exercise DVDs that I’ve used, the music is pretty booty. So, what I do is play my own CD/music over it once I know the routine well enough to not to need to hear the instructor anymore:)! Three, the DVD box indicates that this workout is 120 minutes. I have no idea from where they got that number. It’s 55 minutes.

Day 26:

  • 55 minutes Kathy Smith/Keith Cook Kickboxing (10 min. warm-up; 30 min. kickboxing routine; 5 min. buns & thighs kicking drills; 5 min. cool down; 5 min abs & back strengthening)

Workout … Yeah … Right.


by W e u s i

My theory was this …

If I didn’t get a healthy portion of exercise from my everyday movements, then I just wasn’t gonna do it.

The idea of taking time away from the work of everyday life, and from working to implement my own dreams, to exercise/work out seemed crazy to me. I always told myself that working out is for people that were vain and were only worried about being attractive to others. But, I soon noticed that many of the people around me were hella cool people … and they worked out. And then IT happened …

I met a sister who enjoyed working out. (Ok … for real, I fell in love with this sister!). It allowed me to see how she loved the process and the outcomes from it. I learned to respect and appreciate it. BUT … I was still like … WORKOUT … YEAH, RIGHT! Nah … not ya boy!

Then she told me that she wanted me to work out because she wanted me to be healthy. In my mind = “Oh, wow … the woman I love wants me to be here.” That’s when IT clicked … I wanted to be here for the woman I love.

So … this is just a quick note to say … continue with those health and fitness goals that you have set! You will feel spiritually and emotionally better for being able to bring joy to those that you love … and those that love you will appreciate the work that you’re doing to show your love for them!


Five Reasons You Gotta Hit Those Weights Ladies!!


by JKoi of The Koi Experience

Ok, I have my first confession to make. I have an addiction. Ok, I have a few, but the one I will talk about today is weight training. I have a sick infatuation with it. No, for real. I love the feeling of picking up a semi heavy weight and slinging that iron all over the gym. The looks of men when I walk over to the rack and grab something heavier than 10 lbs, like “She knows that’s too heavy for her,” then when I put that thing to work, the consensus is, “DAAAAAMMMNNNNN!” Then, when I’m done, my heart rate is crazy, my arms, legs, back, abs are shaking and I’m seeing these curves start forming everywhere—no it’s not fat rolls, it’s pure unadulterated muscle. I feel like I could punch a hole in a brick wall and it feels great! I think muscles on women are one of the sexiest attributes we have—it shows that not only do we have inner strength, but we are capable of outer strength as well.

“Well, of course you would think that, you’re a freakin’ MARINE. It’s your job to be all strong and stuff.”

No people. Yes, we are required to be physically fit … but there’s no requirement for women to weight train. In fact, I am usually one of the very few women hitting the weights in the gym, yes even the ones on base. So I have to deal with the awkwardness of being alone on the heavy side of the weight room, while my female counterparts are hitting up those pretty colored ones making sure that they don’t sweat their makeup off — or there are the diehard Cardio Queens who wouldn’t touch a weight unless the Commanding General ordered them to.

“Ok. Well, I’m still not convinced. I’m not giving up on cardio and I don’t want to look like a man or lift anything heavier than my purse!”

Ah so! Still not convinced? Well, not only will I give you reasons, but also a gift at the end!

  • You Will Be Physically Stronger. Chores will be easier, lifting kids, groceries and laundry will no longer push you to the max. Not to mention, you will increase joint stability and reduce your chance of injuries. It’s good for your bones. So yeah, weight lifting keeps you from breaking a hip and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Soon you will be able to hang with the guys, because women develop strength as fast as men do.
  • You Will Lose Body Fat. The more you weight train, the more muscles you develop. The more muscle, the more fat you will burn off. It’s not that big ol’ bulky muscle that men have, it’s lean and defined muscle, which can put your metabolism into overdrive – it burns fat so all that squish will go away and some nice toned arms will be revealed.
  • You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk. Women develop muscle tone and definition. This is a bonus. It is impossible for women to get super big, because we don’t develop enough testosterone to do so. Now for those ladies that are big … well trust me, it’s not natural. One of my closest friends is a natural bodybuilder and she is absolutely ripped, but she is definitely not huge.
  • You Will Improve Your Athletic Performance. So you love your cardio? Zumba is your thing, maybe yoga? How about sports? Whatever the activity, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury. So yes … strength training can make you better at cardio related activities, who would have thought!
  • You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression. My favorite reason of them all. Hitting the weights has truly become my therapy. Not feeling good? Then train. Not happy? Then train. Need an instant mental and mood boost? Then train! The science is simple! If you suffer from feeling down at times or serious depression, then you can find solace in weight training! When you train, you receive instant release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. You enjoy a feeling of accomplishment after you finish your workout. You know if you can achieve getting through your grueling hard core weight training workout, you can achieve anything!

“Ok, ok I got it, I have SEEN THE LIGHT!! Now where’s my gift?”

Since you are excited about giving weight training a chance, you may not know where to start. So I will give you the guidelines that I used when I began to take weight training seriously: The Female Training Bible made by the wonderful people at BodyBuilding.com.

It gave me everything I needed to know about how to start a weight training program and how to incorporate cardio into it as well, so I can have full benefits of each.

In the future I will start posting up nice little routines that you can follow as well just to change it up, because remember, your body can get used to the same thing over and over again, so you have to keep your muscles guessing.

So you tell me, what has prevented you from weight training? If you are a beginner and would like to write about your first experience weight training, contact me and you will be spotlighted in an upcoming series of The Koi Experience!

Shine on …

Exercise and Natural Hair


If you read My HairStory, you know that the primary deciding factor in my journey to natural was related to my exercise regimen. I was wearing my relaxed hair curly (with the aid of Frizz Ease Hair Serum and L’Oreal Pumping Curls) because it was far easier to maintain than straight hair with a 6 day a week exercise schedule.

I began exercising between my sophomore and junior years of college. Prior to that, I was very inactive, about 15-20 lbs. overweight and the heaviest of my sisters, who were always athletic, petite and thin. However, something clicked that year when an aunt told me to”make sure you can fit down the aisle” as I was going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. I think I just decided I was sick of being the “fat one” and constantly being chastised about my weight by the older members of my family. It was a challenge and I had something to prove. So, the summer of  1992, I began working out, lost 15-20 lbs. and have been exercising ever since (with some hiatuses-see below;). I even competed in five all-natural bodybuilding competitions for 2 years in my late 20s, placing in all of them.

However, from 2009 through the end of 2010, I pretty much fell off of the wagon with only a few brief stints of working out and eating right. I was under a lot of stress, started eating badly and gradually began putting on the pounds until I was 25 lbs. over my ideal weight by the end of December 2010. So, a month before the Grow Out Challenge (GOC) began, I knew it was time to get myself back together in regard to my diet, exercise regimen and nutrition. Then, the GOC came along and helped to further motivate and focus my health goals. As of present, I have lost 24 pounds with 1 more to go to be at my ideal weight of 120 lbs (I’m 5’1″) by the end of the GOC, which is over at the end of July.

To get here, I’ve been exercising 5-6 days a week, as previously indicated (see My Regimen under “About Me,” if you are interested in my diet and exercise routine). Although natural hair is far easier for me to handle, that is not to say that it is without its own unique set of challenges with a regular, very sweaty exercise routine. However, it is doable. As I often see questions on the hair sites/blogs/pages about what styles to wear and how to preserve styles when one works out regularly, wanted to provide some suggestions based upon my own experiences.

  • Wear protective styles like cornrows, flat twists, braids and/or two-strand twists. If your braids or twists are hanging, pull them up into a bun or high ponytail so that they are off of your neck. Tie a satin/silk scarf around your hairline and then a wear a cotton bandana or a sweatband over the satin/silk scarf. The silk/satin scarf with keep the hair smooth and keep your hair protected from the moisture robbing cotton of a bandana or sweatband. But, the bandana/sweatband will absorb the sweat, unlike the scarf.
  • When wearing a TnC, BnC (Braid and Curl), WnG or Twist/Braid-Out, put the hair in a high, loose pineapple with a satin scrunchie. If your hair hangs a lot like mine, fold the ponytail over towards your face and place another satin scrunchie (no wrapping) around the base, leaving the ends out to preserve the curls. Then, tie a satin/silk scarf around your hairline and put a bandana or sweatband over it.
  • When wearing a bun, again tie a satin/silk scarf around the hairline and then don a bandana or sweatband.
With any of these options, once you finish your exercise routine, remove the bandana or sweatband, but leave the satin/silk scarf until hair dries. You may decide to replace the sweaty scarf with a dry satin/silk scarf until your hair dries so that it dries more quickly. Two more option that you can use instead of the scarf/sweatband combo are the Dri Sweat Edge Women’s Headband or the Dri Sweat Active Wear Protector Cap  (if you wear a low ponytail/bun).
You can pick both of these up at Sally’s for $3.99 each. I purchased the cap a few months ago, but rarely wear a low ponytail. So, I wasn’t able to use it that often. However, I picked up a couple of the headbands this past week after being reminded about them by fellow GOC blogger JadeKoi. They work pretty well and I really needed something very absorbent, but less bulky and hot, for hot yoga.

Hope this is helpful. However, as you all know, what works for one curly may not work for another. I don’t and have never really experienced a flaky, dry or itchy scalp. So, I only wash once a week with no rewetting or co-washing between wash sessions. When I wore WnGs the majority of the time, I did co-wash during the week to refresh/re-style, but not due to scalp problems. So, if you do experience a flaky, dry or itchy scalp or dry hair, you may not be able to go a week without washing or co-washing. However, if you wear a style that exposes your scalp, an option may be to swab your scalp with an astringent mix and then oil during the week. You’ll have to decide what works best for you.