Can Curvy be Fit and Healthy, Too? Yes!

CurveyFit1by Dr. Traci F. Gardner

Fit bodies come in various shapes and sizes – even among elite athletes, who range from tiny gymnasts to gut-busting weightlifters and football linemen. Even among the rest of us, skinny is often wrongfully associated with being in great shape, when starving yourself to get there isn’t healthy at all. Conversely, we tend to label every person with a “little meat on their bones” as being a gym-a-phobe and heart attack waiting to happen.

Women, however, are beginning to embrace their curves. Check out these dynamic, curvy models from Essence. Even Madison Ave is recognizing that the women they want to buy their products probably don’t look like the “model ideals” typically cast in their ads. It’s a great trend, particularly since body-image is so important to our self-esteem.

And there is  good news when it comes to curves and fitness. I believe it is very possible to be curvy and healthy.  Everyone was not meant to be a size 2 – and frankly everyone doesn’t want to be. But let’s get real, ladies: Too many of us are using curves as a way to embrace excess weight, even obesity.

Too much body fat and is not healthy because it  can lead to multiple health conditions, like diabetes and heart disease.

So as always the first  key to a healthy lifestyle is a healthy diet. The other  key ingredient is exercise. The proper combination  can turn a body with excess fat into one that is curvy and healthy.

Your exercise program should include both cardio and strength training. Use heavy weights (not at the beginning, though; work up to it) and few reps (6-10) to build muscle mass. One particular exercise, squats, is excellent for your lower body, especially the gluts.

Cardio exercises (walking at a brisk pace, elliptical, biking, treadmill) burn calories and help shed some excess pounds.

Sit-ups and other abdominal  exercises will flatten that mid-section, allowing curvier areas (say, your hips) to appear more accentuated.

Always couple your exercise regiment with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, increased  proteins, lots of water and fewer products containing sugar.

I embrace the idea of being healthy as opposed to focusing on an actual weight. This allows people the opportunity to love themselves at any size while they  strive for a healthier, curvier body!


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