I don't know about you, but the City Girl's "Twerk" video featuring Cardi B had me somewhere between wanting to book a girls' trip to Miami and running to the nearest gym to go get my body right. Bikini season will soon be upon us and everyone is looking for the best ways to incorporate more exercise into their schedules.
Before you spend an hour "working out at the gym" – five minutes on the treadmill and taking selfies in between crunches don't count *cough cough* – try a twerk cardio class!
Anyone who has truly thrown that ass in circle for an extended period of time knows that twerking isn't all fun and games. Most of us have been to a party before where you arrived with your edges laid and high heels on and left with your silk press sweated out and feeling as if you just ran a marathon. Even a nice, slow whine is a full-blown waist and ab workout – shout out to the Drake "Controlla" - Rihanna "Work" Summer '16. The real ones know it's a workout – a twerkout!
To provide some context about the fitness component of the twerk cardio class, I'm not a couch potato. Maintaining a healthy level of fitness activity is crucial to keeping up with my work and social schedule, so I go to the gym about 2-3x a week and typically do a mix of cardio and ab work. Even though I'm in pretty decent shape, I was so sore after taking the twerk cardio class hosted by NYC Twerkout.
The routine that the founder and main instructor, Nikki Nicole, taught the class was a full body workout and quickly revealed to me how little I engage my biceps, triceps, and lower back muscles. The stamina required to dance and throw dat ass back for 45 minutes straight totally differs from 20 minutes on a treadmill. As a whole, the class was upbeat, free form, and without question, a memorable way to bond with my bookclub girlfriends.
Finding fun, engaging, and creative ways to incorporate fitness into our schedules can be a game changer and is frequently cited as one of the top reasons American adults do not work out.
Be it a Zumba or cardio pole dancing class, feel free to switch up your fitness routine. Go to joint classes to make it a more collaborative activity. Schedule sessions in advance and loop in friends so you will have an accountability partner(s). Pause the Netflix binge-watching marathon for one hour to roll out your pilates mat and watch some ~free~ YouTube ab work videos. Exercising is a lot more interesting and accessible than many of us want to believe.
No More Excuses in 2019. It’s Time to Get This Body Right. Yes, I’m Talking to You.
Recently, xoNecole had the opportunity to pop in on one of Nikki's twerk cardio classes and learn a few moves.
"If you have a booty. If you don't have a booty. Wherever you are in your journey, this is the class for you. You can come get sexy, turn up with your girls, act like you're in the club... But, really just have a good time and start burning a whole lot of calories and getting in shape," Nikki shared.
Watch the video below for my Twerkout experience & exclusive interview with Nikki Nicole:[ia_video https://s3.amazonaws.com/roar-assets-auto.rbl.ms/runner%2F9136-twerkshop%2Bv4.mp4 source="https://s3.amazonaws.com/roar-assets-auto.rbl.ms/runner%2F9136-twerkshop%2Bv4.mp4" autoplay=true feedbacks=true shortcode_id=1550797728603 expand=1 ]
Learn more about NYC Twerkout by keeping up with them on all social media platforms at: @NYCTwerkout.
Featured image by Getty Images
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This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports