Published on February 9th, 2017 | by Aasha Francis0
Recap: Fit for Life Session
About 20 students from Wright College Humboldt Park sat in the “Fit for Life” session as a part of Black History Month’s health and fitness themed week. For those in the crowd who were people of color, the topic hit very close to home. The Diabetes Association reported that compared to the general population, African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes: 13.2% of all African Americans aged 20 years or older have diagnosed diabetes. In fact, the prevalence of high blood pressure in African-Americans is the highest in the world, and research suggests African Americans may carry a gene that makes them more salt sensitive according to the American Heart Association. Even though this news is alarming to black communities, there is hope by creating awareness and prevention methods. Julius Hearn, a personal trainer and nutritionist, hosted the event and educated the group on how to combat these diseases through regular exercise and healthy eating. “What led me down the fitness road, was losing my father and grandfather from illness and disease and knowing the black community is at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke and the knowledge needs to be there for us,” Hearn said.
Hearn graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas-Pan American with his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and sports administration. He obtained a master’s degree in business administration and became a certified nutritionist and licensed massage therapist. Hearn is the Founder and co-owner of 360 Active Recovery in the Wicker Park area, where people are taught how to live healthier lifestyles. He is currently studying to become a doctor of Chinese medicine. Hearn shared some helpful tips, including making better meat choices, such as chicken, turkey and fish; instead of red meat and pork, and keeping a staple of foods in the pantry, like avocado, sweet potatoes and healthy greens. For his own breakfast routine, Hearn admitted, his food choices might raise some eyebrows, “Breakfast for me is just a meal, I eat things like salmon, brown rice and spinach, because most American breakfast meals consists of sugar and unhealthy carbs,” Hearn explained to the group.
Valerie Thigpen, a student at the Humboldt Park campus attended the event and won a free month of boot camp at 360 Active Recovery. “I learned from Julius, that you need to change up your work out routine often and constantly challenge your body so it won’t get used to the same routine,” Thigpen said.
Hearn gave several demonstrations to the group from loosening muscles through massage to stretching techniques for women to ease tension in the chest, caused by carrying heavy purses. He also stressed the importance of young and old to lift weights to put stress on our muscles to build our bones and keep them strong. In the bigger scheme of things, Hearn feels he is making black history through impacting people from all ethnic backgrounds and cultures by teaching us to pay attention to our bodies.
For more information on health and fitness visit www.iam360active.com