Planet Fitness Black Card Membership: Is it Worth the Upgrade?

ImageFor just $10 and without signing a contract, you can join Planet Fitness and get your workout on. Truly, not a bad deal when I once was paying $49.99 a month a few years ago at an athletic club that forced me to sign a twelve-month contact. That may not sound like a lot but in this economy it’s almost the $70-$80 bucks that is now missing out of our paychecks these days. But as I was saying, $10 bucks can get you started and on your way to accomplishing your New Year’s resolution of dropping a few pounds and getting in better physical shape. Planet Fitness also offers what they’re calling their “Black Card” membership for $19.99 a month with a twelve-year contract—still not bad. You can workout at any location across the country, bring a guest every single time your workout and best of all…enjoy the benefits of their HydroMassage machine! I’m unsure if every location has one but most of the newer locations more than likely do.

Now, if you’ve been lucky enough to have a deep-tissue-whole-body massage at the hands of a professional masseuse then nothing—not even the Hydromassage—can compare. It would be like comparing the euphoric-dopamine filled feeling you feel after an hour-and-a-half workout versus that of a forty-five minute workout. Yet and still, working out is better than not working out, which is how I feel about the Hydromassage machine at Planet Fitness. You may not feel GREAT after the five minute massage, but you do feed good…at least while the jet system travels up and down the length of your body. It also has customizable pressure ranges and gives you the option to target any part of your body.

If you don’t have a personal masseuse at home (some of us haven’t come upon such luck yet) or a professional masseuse on speed dial (still…no such luck) or can afford to hit the spa every month (damn luck) then, yes, upgrading to the Black Card membership at Planet Fitness is DEFINITELY worth it…even if just for five-minutes of pleasure after a grueling workout! 

 

Black Women: Don’t let your hair hinder your health in 2013!

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Nicole Ari Parker

 

Dear Black Women:

Let’s declare 2013 The Year of No Excuses! Specifically, as it pertains to our health and getting fit in the New Year. Year after year, month after month, day after day…we’ve used our hair as an excuse preventing us from getting in our best physical shape. And, we all know, it’s no secret in the African American community that we black women have a dysfunctional relationship with our hair. Each year we spend billions of dollars on straightening, blow-drying, flat-ironing, curling our hair and the list goes on. Not only that, we sit idly—wasting valuable time—in salons and beauty shops for hours upon hours before we even “get in the chair” to get our manes tamed…only to turn around and do the same routine all over again within two or so weeks. Even if you’re rockin’ a natural these days, in which I’ve been told by friends, the routine is still as time-consuming (natural hair salons are popping up like corner liquor stores and laundromats), costly (natural hair products can be expensive) and not so maintenance-free as people think (one of my friends literally spends hours washing, twisting and turning her hair into knots at least three times a week before she goes to bed in preparation for the next day). 

We don’t work out because we don’t want to sweat out our fresh do(s). Why? Because we’ve spent money and time to look fabulous from the neck up. I pose the question: What’s the use in looking great from face up when we’re not our best from the collarbone down? Really, it’s not even about our outward appearance (Although who doesn’t want to look their best?). It’s about maintaining good health and preventing future illnesses such as obesity (yes, obesity is an illness), high blood pressure and diabetes—illnesses that can be prevented by living a healthier, fit lifestyle.

With all of the above, I wouldn’t leave you hanging without providing a possible solution, which brings me to the-next-big-thing to hit the scene…Nicole Ari Parker’s Save Your Do™ GymWrap (she’s the wife of the most-handsome Boris Kodjoe just in case you were wondering). I have not tried this product; however, according to the website it’s “a stylish headband developed with a patent-pending revolutionary “Edge Control Technology” that minimizes sweat absorption through a unique blend of materials that allows heat to escape while letting cool air in. The moisture ‘wicking’ process occurs at the molecular level within the fabric resulting in drier flat hair!” And, it comes in a variety of colors and is available in three styles: full triangle, wide band and narrow band. It’s also ideal for all hair lengths, types and textures.

The Save Your Do™ GymWrap may turn out not to be our saving grace when it comes to our hair. And, if not, you’ll still have a very important decision to make—to decide to put your health first and not your hair!

Photo: blogs.centrictv.com

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Brown Belle Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat HOT…Burn FAT: How spicing up your meals can help you slim down!

A little bit of Louisiana Hot Sauce can not only add flavor to your meals but according to a Penn State University report, hot sauce can also help boost your metabolism and burn fat! Flavoring your meals with hot sauce … Continue reading

Oh So Sweet! Small changes, Big payoff!

I stepped on the scale and then I stepped back off. I picked up the scale and examined it—to make sure it wasn’t broken or anything of that nature. I turned if off and then I turned it back on again (it was one of those new digital ones…fancy). Then, I stepped back on and back off again. This scale sucks!  Yep, that’s exactly what I thought as it sunk in that I was at my heaviest weight ever–approximately 48 lbs overweight for my height (5’2”). However, I haven’t been 120lbs. since the 3rd grade. Nor am I seeking to lose 48lbs. I’ve never been skinny and have always been considered “thick” in my culture, which…funny enough, is a good thing. But, the extra weight has me feeling a little sluggish and unfit.

So, since stepping on the scale (exactly two weeks ago), I decided to commence on this fitness journey…to “live the fit life” or at least try to by attempting to exercise and eat right. My goal is to lose 23lbs and tone up. I’ve been taking a boxing class and I joined the gym. I have been working out (30 minutes on the treadmill…walk first 5 minutes at 3.2…jog next 15 minutes at 4.8/5.0…set incline to 7 and speed to 3.8 for 5 minutes…incline back to 0 and walk 3.8 the remaining 5 minutes) and 15 minutes on the Elliptical.

Diet wise, I’ve made small changes by substituting healthier food choices over those I regularly eat and crave:

1)      Frozen Yogurt (low fat, no sugar) in lieu of Ice Cream

2)      Whole Grain/Wheat bread in lieu of White Bread

3)      Fish in lieu of Ground Beef/Pork

4)      Diet Soda in lieu Regular Soda

And possibly the hardest substitute I’ve made…

5)      Spilt Tea (sweet & unsweet) in lieu of 100% Sweet Tea

I was raised in the South, Kentucky to be more specific, and the one staple in a “Southern” refrigerator is a large pitcher of sweet tea (spring, summer, winter, fall)…right next to the Zip-Lock bag of deer meat. And it’s not “good” sweet tea if it doesn’t taste like syrup! I really, really did try to drink a cup of unsweet tea and couldn’t bear it. It’s spilt tea for now!

Also, just to mention, from what I’ve read nutritionists and fitness gurus all agree that cutting added/refined sugar out of your diet can result in weight loss and prevent weight gain. Here’s an article you can check out for a little bit of inspiration. http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/how-cutting-out-refined-sugar-changed-one-womans-life

With all of the above…drum roll please…exercising regularly over the last two weeks in addition to the small changes I made in my diet….I’ve lost 4lbs!

Let’s hope I don’t gain it all back tomorrow…Thanksgiving Day! I know…I know…terrible time to all of a sudden decide to make such a huge lifestyle change. Guess we’ll see how I do…next weigh-in is in two weeks, but I’ll be blogging in between time.

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Brown Belle Fitness