February, like me, is short, but oh so sweet. It is the month where we celebrate love in so many ways. We celebrate the love of love and each other with Valentine’s Day; the love of purpose and people with Black history; and the love of health with Heart Disease Awareness. As an African American woman, a person who is very much in love, a health and fitness advocate, and a member of the American Heart Association Board, this month is vital to me.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), each year approximately 600,000 people die of heart disease. Furthermore, over 935,000 people suffer from heart attacks each year, with the leading causes being physical inactivity, poor diet, and obesity. Most interestingly, more women die of heart disease than breast cancer. Statistically, those who are suffering from heart disease who work out more than three times a week lower their risks of death by 20-25%. Knowing these facts inspires me as a woman to be an advocate for fitness and healthy lifestyles. Eating right and working out is important. On January 31st, my husband and I released the second volume of our Phine Body by Phaedra and Apollo workout series, a complete body sculpting DVD, with the hope of promoting better health and fitness. While I certainly have a penchant for donkey booties and curves, my ultimate passion is living my best life, being in the best shape, and encouraging others to do the same.
During Black History month, I always like to reflect on the accomplishments of not only my forefathers who paved the way for me, but also my contemporaries. After all, tomorrow’s history is made today. So I am very happy to celebrate the success of my fellow history makers as I pay homage to those who paved the way. I celebrate the passion Cynthia poured into the Renaissance Pageant, which was wildly successful. As Kandi and the legendary gospel singer Marvin Sapp made musical magic in the studio singing Kandi’s testimonial anthem I Stay Prayed Up, I celebrate all that this song will mean to so many people. When I look at Kandi’s musical accomplishments from being a multi-platinum selling artist and Grammy recipient to being the first Black woman in 2000 to be awarded ASCAP’s songwriter of the year, I am inspired. On the show my good friend and culinary genius Chef Roble visited my home and prepared a scrumptious dinner for me, Kandi, Todd, and Apollo. Chef Roble simply followed his dreams and childhood passion when he decided to pursue culinary arts. When we first met, I asked him if he ever saw his passion affording him the opportunity to cook for entertainment icons and politicians such as the late Michael Jackson, President Obama, Spike Lee, and Jack Nicholson. He replied, “No, I am just doing what I love to do.” I then shared with him one of my favorite sayings: “When preparation meets opportunity, success is unavoidable.” This has proven true, as Chef Roble is now a household name and shares his culinary skills with many, including the President. During our lifetime we all have the opportunity to either repeat history or set a precedent, which will give wings to the future; thereby making history. It is my hope to be a history maker, and I encourage you to do the same.
For more information on our workout series, please visit http://www.nidafitness.com/. For more information on heart health visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/.
Twitter: @PhaedraParks and @NidaFitness