I Run for Mothers

In 2013 I unofficially joined Every Mother Counts (EMC) as a Running Ambassador. That means I get to run, metaphorically, for women who are walking or running to seek healthcare. Often, failing to make it due to labor complications. Ninety percent of maternal mortality is preventable. Ninety percent. And Every Mother Counts has figured out ways to cut into that alarming statistic by addressing access, barriers, and education.  In October 2014, I was really fortunate to finally meet my EMC family in person, and was asked to join a panel discussion following a new movie premiere entitled, “Every Mile, Every Mother”.

Christy Turlington Burns, EMC Founder; Julie Smolyansky, CEO Lifeway Foods; Ayesha Akhtar, EMC Running Ambassador; Erin Thornton, CEO EMC
L to R: Christy Turlington Burns, EMC Founder; Julie Smolyansky, CEO Lifeway Foods; Ayesha Akhtar, EMC Running Ambassador; Erin Thornton, CEO EMC

The documentary, narrated by EMC Founder, Christy Turlington Burns, follows the team on the biggest relay race – the Hood to Coast. Following the premiere, I got to join her, CEO Erin Thornton, and Moderator Julie Smolyansky (CEO, Lifeway Foods) for a short Q&A panel discussion, also unveiling the Running Ambassador program. I discussed my own childbirthing experiences and urged interested audience members to start sharing their own stories so we could begin connecting the dots and learn from one another.

I’ve been running in solidarity with Team EMC using the Charity Miles app — best and easiest way to raise money and awareness for several selected charities.  I’d wear my EMC logo shirt as well. Next month, I’m excited to finally run WITH my team, at the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon! It’s my first race in NYC, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to join up not only with EMC staff but also the Ambassadors from across the country!

You can help me get to the start line! Every dollar you contribute goes to programming in up to 9 countries worldwide, from assisting women in transportation, training doulas and providing safe birthing supplies. You can be a part of reducing maternal mortality!

Thank you for your support.

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Running for Mothers

Hello everyone!! I have been waiting for this moment for months and months.  I am extremely excited to announce that I will be part of the pilot Running Ambassador program for Every Mother Counts (EMC)!

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 9.02.12 AMFor those of you who know me, you’ll know this is a perfect marriage of two of my loves: running and public health. So what does this mean for us?

  • Me: Identify a local running event, a 5k or 10k, or even a half marathon, and ensure I can create a team of runners
  • You: Register for the race, join the team, tell your friends about it, thereby raising awareness, and hopefully, raise funds
  • Me: Lead group runs, provide training plans if needed
  • You: Be awesome and support Every Mother Counts!
  • Us: Create a running revolution and make a united impact as a team!

Continue reading Running for Mothers

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Exercise and eat for your body type

Hello!!

I haven’t posted in weeks! I’ve been busy training for my triathlon and making significant gains in the swim department. Recently, an article on body types caught my attention and I found the correlation between knowing your body type, exercise and diet to be very interesting. Do you know your body type?

The media has us brainwashed to believe that the thin, white ideal for women, or tough, muscular and cut men are the standards of beauty. That anything else is a ‘work in progress’. Deep down we know not everyone has or wants to have a runway ready body, and most certainly we don’t find ourselves amidst these types in our everyday lives. We are inundated with ridiculous magazine covers with headlines such as ‘Get Kate Moss’ workout’ and that leads the woman to consider, ‘Ok, if I get her workout, then I have a greater chance in looking like her’. The poison seeps into the subconscious.  The tagline they are noticeably excluding is, ‘only if you are also an ectomorph like Kate Moss’. So, the next time you catch yourself coveting someone else’s body, consider your own body type first.

Body Types
Body Types

 

There are three body types for men and women and once you know what you are, you can be liberated from the thought of trying to fit into a mold that is simply unattainable, or that is not yours. They are: ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph. Most people are a combination of two or more types. The ectomorph is the skinny, thin-framed individual with little fat. They are usually not athletic and have little or no muscle tone, which is why they are often referred to as ‘skinny fat’. Most supermodels are ectomorphs, which has unfortunately contributed to the thin, white ideal of women. Many ectomorphs can eat whatever they want as their body metabolizes food very quickly.

Endomorphs, however, have more body fat, tend to be overweight, have a smoother, more round body and are bigger-boned (than ectomorphs). They have a slower metabolism and take longer to lose weight.  Endomorphs are not the morning ‘go-getters’ and need a little prodding to be active. Don’t despair! Get a gym buddy or hire a personal trainer to help motivate you. Further, let this knowledge be the inspiration for the way you exercise and eat. Unfortunately we see large-framed, oversized women struggling to lose weight to fit into skinny jeans that are not designed for them.

Mesomorphs are naturally active, athletic, and respond quickly to any weight training and are naturally lean and strong. They also gain fat easily when they are not active. Because they have broader, squarer shoulders, mesomorph women tend to have an hourglass figure, whereas men have a “V” or rectangle shape build.

The purpose in knowing your body type(s) is to boost your self-esteem.  Additionally, it is to understand the body’s mechanics. Ectomorph people may be under the impression they are ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’ because they don’t carry extra weight. This is often referred to as ‘skinny fat’, as they have no muscle tone. However, this can often lead to unhealthy binging and eating habits as they are under an illusion that they are otherwise healthy.

I am a combination of mesomorph and endomorph. I have a small-framed body but am (and always have been) very athletic. I have a quick metabolism and find it easy to gain muscle, and am freakishly strong. :) Knowing my body type allows me to design workouts and maintain a healthy diet that is just right for me.

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