The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics cites African-Americans as one of the least active groups in terms of overall physical activity. Among African-Americans, it says, 46 percent of men and 57.1 percent of women are sedentary, with no leisure time physical activity. Further study shows that 68.3 percent of African-American women are overweight and 38.2 percent are obese. Among African-American men, 58.4 percent are overweight and 21.3 percent are obese.
TNJ asked international fitness expert and celebrity personal trainer Donna Richardson to give our readers her top fitness tips. Here’s her list:
1. Get regular checkups.
2. Set a fitness goal and develop a plan to help you achieve your goal. Take small steps toward your fitness goal each day because they will make a big difference in the long term.
3. Sign a contract with yourself (such as the one found on the McDonald’s Go Active! Web site at www.goactive.com ) and keep it where you can renew your commitment to yourself every day.
4. Make physical activity a group activity that you can enjoy with family and friends. Take family walks, form a neighborhood walking club and play with the kids.
5. When planning meals, the key is moderation and variety. Do not eliminate your favorite foods because eliminating foods is rarely successful long term.
In April, McDonald’s Corp. announced an exclusive partnership with Richardson to help improve the nation’s overall physical well being. As part of its balanced-lifestyles platform, McDonald’s will work with Richardson and other leading health, nutrition and education experts to develop and execute programs to help all Americans lead balanced lives. The goal, McDonald’s says, is to educate, assist and engage consumers in ways that change individual behavior, resulting in a better food-energy balance, or calories in-calories out, in their lives. Richardson will bring her expertise about this balance to specifically address this initiative from African-Americans’ perspectives regarding food choice, physical activity and education. She will participate in the “McDonald’s Go Active! American Challenge with Bob Greene,” a national campaign launched in April, in which Bob Greene (Oprah Winfrey’s personal trainer) will walk and bike across America for 36 consecutive days, challenging people to take steps toward more active lives.
A television producer and host of the Donna Richardson Show, workout video creator, and author, Richardson has been a National Aerobic Champion Silver Medalist and was once selected by The Oprah Winfrey Show as one of the “Top 5 Fitness Video Instructors.” She was also named one of Fitness Magazine’s “Top 10 Movers and Shakers” and one of the “Top 25 Fittest People.” Richardson also founded Girlfriends Coffee Talk Foundation, which promotes literacy and wellness by helping women and girls establish reading and walking clubs.
Richardson on Video
• Old School Dance Party Featuring the Sugarhill Gang
• The Brazilian Workout
• Total Body Conditioning I & II (Nike video series)
• Platinum Buns of Steel
• Sweating in the Spirit
Richardson on TV
• Donna Richardson Show
• Tom Joyner Morning Show
• Sweating in the Spirit (World TV Network)