Workout motivation with Shani

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June 18, 2020

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It’s hard to stay healthy without the right motivation. And from Zumba to yoga and kickboxing too, when it comes to exercise, the options are endless and it can be hard to choose.

 Today, we’ll share exercise wisdom and laughter from former teacher-turned-Zumba-instructor, Shani McGraham-Shirley, one of the trainers behind Jamaica Moves Get Moving: Home Workout Series.

1. What is your go-to exercise recommendation for someone just starting out?
Take it slow, but do something you enjoy. If someone HATES running, I would not recommend that, nor spinning, cross-fit, dancing, etc. I find exercise is more efficient and effective if the person actually enjoys what they are doing. There is no right or wrong way to start, but don’t set yourself up for failure and be overambitious. Choose something that motivates you and not defeats you or turns you off. If you’re enjoying something, you’ll have a better chance at sticking to it. Do anything … just get moving … and start moderately.

2. What got you interested in physical activity/fitness?
My own need to lose weight. Ten years ago, I was 170lb after I lost the ‘baby weight’ of my third child (passed 200lb with each pregnancy). I fell in love with Zumba as a client in a class. The instructor was going back to the States, and we were left with no one to teach Zumba. The entire class said … “I was the only one who could dance. So if I taught it, they would keep coming.” The owner of the gym offered me a job. I walked away from my profession (I was a teacher), and took a leap of faith and started teaching Zumba before even getting certified. The certification came one month later.

3. What is the best part about working out?
I truly enjoy what I do. Not many persons have been afforded the opportunity to turn their passion into their job. The best part about being a part of the ‘Home Workout series’ was being able to have a wider reach. I believe fitness should be fun, and that is the message I want to share. Despite teaching every day, this programme allowed me to reach ALL of Jamaica, something I would not have been able to do on my own.

4.  What’s the best advice you’ve ever got about fitness and exercise?
You don’t need an entire hour of exercise, all you really need is 30-45minutes. We’ve lived most of our lives thinking if you didn’t do 1-2 hours of exercise for the day, you weren’t really working out. It’s all about effective, efficient exercise.
“Ain’t no one got time for 2 hours of exercise every day (lol)”.

5. How many times a day should Jamaicans eat?
Same amount as the rest of the world (lol). I kid. Six times a day: Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. It’s all about the portions and eating in moderation.

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