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As a mother of four, caretaker of an elderly parent and full-time professional, staying fit has been a challenge for myself and my family. And did I mention turning 46 doesn’t make it any easier? Luckily not all has been lost! In my family, we set an intention to keep our health a priority and focal point—no matter how busy life gets.
So, how do you balance a hectic schedule and your health goals? By creating a plan. It sounds cliché, but the saying is true, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Here are five (very realistic) tips my family and I use to stay happy and healthy:
Meal Planning - Confession: I hated the idea of planning weekly meals and cooking for the week. The thought of sitting at my computer or picking meals on my phone was not a task I looked forward to. When I took the time to plan meals for the week, not only does it help our routine flow better as a family, it makes grocery shopping easier, and we save a ton of money not eating out as much. Stuck on where to find fresh recipes? I get my inspiration from Pinterest and use the app Plan To Eat to ensure healthy, tasty meals are always at our disposal.
Managing Snacking - Eating unhealthy snacks can decimate any healthy food plan and sabotage your efforts to stay fit. Adding dried fruits, nuts, and other vegetables into my family’s food routine helps to manage cravings and can appease my hungry kids’ appetite until the next meal. Having my whole family decide on healthy snacks ensures junk food won’t creep into the refrigerator or pantry—and it’s a fun activity that gets everyone involved!
Prioritizing Exercise - The benefits of getting fit go far beyond just staying in shape. Not only can exercise be done anywhere and with the entire family, but it also gives you a chance to reconnect. My kids and I take walks when they come home from school, and we discuss their day while getting a workout. A little extra afternoon cardio always brightens our moods, even after a long day.
Being Accountable - The definition of accountability is “the obligation of an individual or organization to account for his or her activities and accept responsibility for them.” Having a family workout regimen or eating plan creates a built-in accountability system for myself and all members of my household to adhere to. We become responsible for and support each other’s wellness. Having someone to keep you on track when you fall off your fitness path is always beneficial.
Getting Enough Sleep - Getting necessary shuteye is probably one of the most overlooked keys to staying fit and healthy. In this digital age of computers, tablets, mobile devices, etc., sometimes we find ourselves getting much less sleep than we need for our bodies to properly function. Lack of sleep leads to overeating and tiredness which can destroy your goal of maintaining health. For my family, I make time to “disconnect” before bed. Whether it’s reading or talking, detaching from screens helps to strengthen our bond as a family—making us healthier and happier.
No matter how busy life can be, it’s important to remember that what you make a priority will help you succeed, especially when it comes to your (and your family’s) well-being.
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!