Financial Literacy Month

Are YOU Financially Fit?

April is National Financial Literacy Month! So that made me ask myself the question, “Are YOU Financially Fit?” God desires that we prosper and be in good health even as our soul prospers.  The Fit Faith Life is about so much more than just our physical fitness. It is also about the rest of our life lining up with God so that we are spiritually, emotionally and yes, even financially fit!  Let’s be real.  When our money is not right, it affects so many other areas of our lives. It makes it hard to pray, it makes it hard to give, it make it hard to exercise and ultimately can lead to stress that can affect our physical health.  This month I am partnering with my friend Shehara Smallwood of Your Story Financial to share financially literacy tips. We hope that by the end of this month you will be well on your way to living your financial dreams.

Financial Literacy Month
Are YOU Financially Fit?

So, what exactly is “financial literacy”? Financial literacy is “the ability to understand how money works in the world, how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he or she invests it and how that person donates it to help others.” More specifically it refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed decisions with all of their financial resources.  I would like to add that financial literacy is also how you steward all that God has provided you with including your financial resources.  Here are three tips to help you as you look at your financial fitness.

  1. God Wants You to Be a Good Steward: Our goal is to live free. The bible says to owe no man anything but to love them. (Romans 13:8) It also says that we are to be lenders and not borrowers. (Deuteronomy 28) God has given us this freedom. However, it is up to us to make wise decisions that will keep us from being entangled and trapped in debt. It is up to us to manage what God has given us and allow Him to increase it.
  2.  Your Story is Not My Story:  It is so easy in our social media driven world to get caught up in what someone else is doing.  First and foremost, you have to understand that what you see could just be a shadow. It could be that that person is living a debt driven life.  Keeping up with the Joneses is not a viable plan for living the life of your dreams. You have to write your own story and live the life that God has intended for you to live.
  3.  Be Honest and Make the First Move: Facing our finances can one of the hardest things we ever do. Especially if we are not managing them well.  We have to be honest about our choices and our motivations.  Finances, similarly to fitness is a heart issue.  It deals with who we are at our core.  What you spend your money on is an indication of where your heart is. If you are living from paycheck to paycheck there are some things that you have to be honest about in your life. Could it be that you are living above your means, you are underemployed or you are wasteful? It can be a challenge to really face yourself and change. It’s ok, we are here to encourage you and support you as you move ahead towards financially freedom.

This month we will discuss various aspects of financial literacy, including how to save 3-6 months of your expenses, how to plan for retirement, how to plan and pay for college and we will also have several Facebook Live chats to take your questions.  Join us as we get “Financially Fit” together!!

Are You Financially Fit?

 

 

4 Reasons to Do the Core Workout

Four Reasons You Need to Do The Core Workout

Each week on the FitFaithLife Instagram page we share a Wednesday Workout. This week’s workout was The Core Workout.  So, I am sharing Four Reasons You Need to Do The Core Workout. Core workouts target the muscles in your abdominals, lower back, and glutes. They provide power, stability and endurance. A strong core is the foundation of functional fitness.

The Core Workout
The Core Workout

 

REASON 1: Core Workouts Build Balance and Stability

Most physical activities require the use of your core muscles. A weak core makes you susceptible to injury, a weak back and back pain. By doing exercises that build your core, you will enhance your balance stability, which is important as we grow older.

REASON 2: Core Workouts Can Help You Get Flat Abs

Your abdominal muscles are only a part of the muscle group that make up your core. However, there are several core exercises that target your abs and along with a healthy, balanced diet, can help you achieve flatter abs.

REASON 3: Core Workouts Can Be Done Anywhere

Most core exercises do not require any equipment and they can be done anywhere. Exercises like planks and Supermans, only require enough space to lay on your stomach or side.   The Glute Bridge is another classic core exercise. They can be done inside or outside without having to make many adjustments.

REASON 4: Core Workouts Can Help You Reach Your Overall Wellness Goals

Core exercises really should be the foundation of your exercise regime.  The exercises not only tone your abdominals, but they tighten your glutes and legs and strengthen your back.  If you are an athlete training for an event or someone who is striving to live a healthier life, adding these simple but effective exercises to your workouts will yield quick results if you are consistent.

 

 If you missed our other Wednesday Workouts, follow us on Instagram to stay in the loop. What are your exercise goals? Are you strengthening your core?

Outdoor Summer Workouts

Outdoor Summer Workouts

I have always enjoyed outdoor and water activities.  I guess you could call me a “water baby”.  However, I have recently found two Outdoor Summer Workouts that I love and that keep me motivated.  The first is good old fashioned walking and the other is Aqua Zumba! Walking is a great way to get outside and get your heart rate up. It is accessible to just about anyone who want to get in shape. Aqua Zumba is also a great way to get moving and is also an activity that just about anyone can participate in.

Outdoor Summer Workouts
Walking the Track

 

Walking

There are many benefits to a regular walking routine.  According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mood
  • Improve your balance and coordination
Walking Benefits
The Benefits of Walking
Photo Credit: Prevention.com

For me, walking gives me time to relax my mind. I find that as I walk, my creativity flows, I gain insight into situations and I am able to talk to God and be focused enough to hear Him answer. I recently discovered an amazing walking group that allows women of color to connect with each other, walk and be social activists within their community.  The GirlTrek website describes their mission as “a groundbreaking 3-year-old national nonprofit that mobilizes women to live their healthiest, most fulfilled lives through a habit of daily walking. Through grassroots organizing and award-winning social media campaigns, GirlTrek supports thousands of walkers, over 400 neighborhood-based volunteers, and inspires an ever-growing network of 200,000 supporters through social media. GirlTrek’s health movement is fueled by active role models, street organizers, authentic partnerships, and a whole lot of hustle!” I walk everyday anyway, why not add the component of grassroots organizing.  Through the GirlTrek Facebook page I was able to connect with local GirlTrekers. Ironically, we connected at Aqua Zumba!

Aqua Zumba

In my city, the Parks and Recreation Department operates swimming pools citywide.  They offer free swimming to kids and adults alike throughout the summer.  In addition, they also offer swimming lessons, and exercise classes like Aqua Zumba!  This class at my local recreation center is free. If you were to take a similar class at a fitness club you would pay at least $35 per month for the membership fee. If you are not a “swimmer” it doesn’t matter because you are never fully submerged in the water. You may get splashed a little but your face and hair don’t go into the pool.

There are great benefits to water workouts like Aqua Zumba. Besides being fun, the Zumba website cites the benefits as “There is less impact on your joints during an Aqua Zumba® class so you can really let loose. Water creates natural resistance, which means every step is more challenging and helps tone your muscles”.  So far I have taken two classes this summer and I love the group aspect of the class, I love the music and the instructor, Kenyetta was full of energy.  She says, My mantra is to foster a community where everyone can have a great time once they enter my class or the pool…to leave all that you have on your shoulders at the door..and dance as if no one is watching!.”

The other great part of this class was that after all of the walking I have been doing, it is an excellent way to tone my muscles without putting too much impact on my joints. If you want to take a class check into your local recreation centers or the Zumba website.

What are your favorite Outdoor Summer Workouts?

Welcome to the LIFE

Welcome to the LIFE! After much prayer and thought, I had to make the hard decision to delete the old FitFaith Life and start fresh! Renewal is a good thing! I am happy to bring great new posts, lots of energy and most of all to share great faith and fitness information with you!

For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

So what will be the same and what will change? You will still receive the same great recipes, workouts and inspirational posts. What has changed is really my perspective. I realize that this LIFE is not really about me but it’s all about the life of Christ in me. So, I am going to bring to you the best interviews, workouts, product reviews, and more!

cropped-THE-LIFE.jpg

FitFaith Life is YOUR virtual coach for faith and fitness. I really believe that this life is more of a movement than just a lifestyle. God wants us to be healthy and whole. He wants us to live a life free from disease and he wants us to have the strength and fortitude to serve Him. He also wants a real relationship with us, not just lip service. His love for us knows no bounds and FitFaith Life is all about embracing that love. The ultimate goal is for you to embrace a culture of fierce faith and fierce fitness that will transform the way you view your relationship with God and with yourself.

When you know who you are and whose you are this life is a blessing. I hope you will go along with me on this journey! Are YOU READY to LIVE the LIFE?