Beside my love of fitness, I love to read and I love to travel. Therefore, in preparation for a recent trip to NY, I vowed to finish reading a few of my favorite magazines.

To my fitness delight, I found some great health articles to share with readers. My hope is that this information will help you stay motivated on your fitness journey. After all, there aren’t many things better than information that is free and useful.

Essence Magazine (July 2009); Sexy Shape Up – is a workout guide with an interesting spin. The magazine surveyed top celebrity trainers for their advice to obtain a toned body. From shaping the butt to sculpting arms, the information is nicely put together. An added bonus is you can log onto and watch videos with celebrity trainer Kacy Duke. Not familiar with the name? If you’ve ever watched MTV’s popular reality show “Run’s House,” you’ve probably seen Duke, who trained matriarch Justine Simmons. Duke has also worked with celebs Mary J. Blige and Denzel Washington. I’m sure that, with her star powered clientele list, sessions don’t come cheap. Click here to read the article.

Redbook Magazine (June 2009); Train Like A Star – offers a ballet-based workout from Lacey Schwimmer of TV’s “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” The workout is easy to maneuver and user friendly. For example, Schwimmer’s toe-raise move is simple and works calves, thighs and glutes. Another move mentioned is the plank. Be warned; this move is challenging. However, as a long-time fan of the plank, I can tell you this one keeps my abs toned and flat. Visit to read the full article.

Glamour Magazine (July 2009); The Do’s and Don’ts of Snacking. Unsure which snacks are best? Writer/dietician Marissa Lippert does an excellent job of deciphering common foods (chips, cookies, popcorn) and offering less fatty alternatives. Instead of one cup of Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Heath bar ice cream (580 calories/16 grams of fat), opt for one cup of Bryers Vanilla ice cream with a tbsp. of hot fudge. This small change yields 340 calories/16 grams of fat and a trimmer waistline when incorporated with regular cardio and sensible eating. Click here to read the full article.

I’m glad I read the magazines prior to my NY trip. When I returned to Charlotte I was exhausted. I’m sure it was due to a full weekend of dancing and fellowship while attending my high school reunion. However, in the midst of the fun, the dancing helped me stay on my fitness journey by burning calories!

Be healthy. Be well.

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an adjunct
professor of health and wellness at a community college and is certified to
teach group fitness and Zumba. Email:

Sondra E. Z. Hines is an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. A former adjunct professor, she has 15-plus years as a fitness instructor...

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