WORK IT: Getting Fit For Caribana And Beyond

My birthday is like another (more important) New Year's celebration for me, so I always make my own set of intentions and goals starting every May 10th. One of my goals for this year is to be much more conscientious about living a healthy life. A big part of this goal requires creating a consistent exercise schedule - something I shamefully haven't done since 2011 ended. Unfortunately, my surgery last month sidelined my workout plans, but after my post-op follow up last week (which confirmed successful removal of 100% of the precancerous cells!!!), I got the all-clear to resume physical activity. So, how did I get back in the saddle? With Socacize and spinning! Last Thursday, I hit the 1st session of the Caribana Toronto Carnival (yeah, let's just say Caribana) Socacize Bootcamp! Extended from 6 to 8 weeks long, this bootcamp is a guaranteed way to get fit and practice your winin' technique for di road! I used to do Socacize pretty regularly, but fell off the map when my school schedule got in the way. Socacize is really an innovative workout program. Using reggae and soca tunes, Ayanna Lee-Rivears has created a program that burns calories, increases your cardio capacity, and tones muscles, and in Bootcamp, you only use your own body weight - no weights needed!

Source: MSN Lifestyle

Thursday's class found me jumping, kicking, lunging, wining, booty poppin' and more for 2 solid hours. Soca and calypso tunes got us warmed up and took things up a notch for the cardio section. Then, we got into the Wine & Tone portion, which was done to some hot dancehall music. Ayanna had us holding squats for an eternity, doing crazy ab work, and toning muscles that we didn't even know could be was AMAZING. We cooled down, and by the time class was over, we couldn't believe 2 hours had passed already. I'm planning on attending Socacize Bootcamp for all 8 weeks - ending just in time for me to have the endurance and muscle tone for the parade!

On Saturday, I decided to try something brand new - a spin class!

On the dope blog Coco and Cowe, I spotted a recent post about a brand new initiative: the C&C Fit Club! Every month, a new group workout would be planned - if you register for the Fit Club, you can join in to work out, get deals, and meet cool new folk! The first activity for the C&C Fit Club was a spinning class at Quad East, DJ'd by the awesome Stylus Award-winning DJ Lissa Monet. Oh - and did I mention that it was a Beyonce vs. Jay-Z day?  Yeah, I was pretty much ready to be in workout heaven.

Source: Coco and Cowe

Once we got on the bikes, Micheline (the instructor and owner) made sure to come around and adjust each of us to make sure we were safe and would get the most out of the workout. My girlfriend Mariah and I were both newbies to the spinning game, but we were ready to go! DJ Lissa Monet started spinning the tunes, and Micheline had us spinning the wheels, and we were off on a 45-minute workout that was one of the most intense I've ever had. Micheline's energy was incredibly positive, motivating, and fun! She had us envision that we were on an actual trail, going up hills and down, and using a variety of positions (seated, leaned forward, standing), speeds and tension levels to work us out from head to toe. Let me tell you - when we left Quad East, I was soaked from head to toe! An awesome work out at a cool venue with amazingly nice staff? I was sold, and both Mariah and I vowed to return to Quad East (one of Micheline's 3 locations) ASAP!

So, there you have it. Bee is back in the workout game, in a major way! While my mas costume is an immediate reminder of the goals I have, I'm determined to make this a year-round and life-long practice. The stress relief and feeling of accomplishment that I got after each of my workouts was addictive. It's great to feel good and to look good, so I'm planning to stick to the program of regular exercise this summer and beyond!

How's your health? Do you regularly work out, or do you need to get back in the groove? Are any of y'all getting in shape for Caribana (or some other upcoming event)? If so, holla! Let's keep each other accountable!

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