This alarming statistic is courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. The study concluded that African-American women have the highest rates of obesity compared to other ethnic groups in the United States. And although African-American men fair slightly better than their white counterparts, according to the study that looked at numbers from 2007 – 2010, 70 percent of African-American men were considered either overweight or obese.
With statistics such as these, it has been said that the nation is in the midst of a public heath crisis. But one man in Minnesota is leading a crusade to change these statistics by changing the mindset of individuals, particularly within the African-American community.
Tyrone Minor is on a mission to transform the shape of Minnesota, both physically and mentally. The personal trainer, who has been conducting private lessons and group classes for the better part of 10 years, is set to open his own fitness center just after Labor Day. The F.I.T. Lab is scheduled to open Sept. 3 at 1565 Como Ave. in St. Paul. The acronym F.I.T. stands for fitness, innovation and transformation.
For Minor, being fit is as much mental as it is physical.
“When it comes to fitness, we’ve got to change our perception,” said Minor, who also models. “Oftentimes African-Americans relate their health to cultural experiences and believe you can’t eat foods that taste good and still eat healthy. Eighty-plus percent of health is diet as it pertains to portion sizes and how food is prepared. Some are reluctant to change the way they eat because they feel that in some way they are giving up a part of their culture.”
Though Minor’s classes focus on physically challenging the body, he preaches an all-encompassing approach to fitness. The workout guru said when it comes to diet; one need not completely cut out the foods that are less healthy – simply limit the consumption of the “bad” foods.
“I believe in the 90/10 rule,” said Minor. “If 90 percent of the food you take in is good, you can splurge 10 percent of the time – but of course, included with that is exercise. I feel many of the activities a lot of African-Americans take part in don’t require us to be active.”
Minor, who said he travels to clients’ homes, jobs and to area parks and lakes to facilitate his training, blames too much television watching and social Internet for promoting a sedentary lifestyle.
“I feel many of the activities that African-Americans enjoy do not involve or require much physical activity,” said Minor.
In addition to offering weight training, Minor and other trainers of The F.I.T. Lab will offer cardio training, boxing and even some yoga.
“I believe you should use as many modalities as possible because it challenges the body,” said Minor. “The key for me was to provide a platform for other trainers to come in and bring their own unique expertise and skills. With varying styles (of training) it will make my facility that much better. As a staff, we believe that there is a fitness activity that can motivate all people and help them achieve physical and mental harmony. Rather than utilize one method, we choose to use many different types of fitness modalities to give our clients balance and help them reach their fitness goals. By utilizing components from many fitness models, we will place our own unique footprint on the fitness industry.”
For one-on-one session, Minor charges up to $100 per session, but he provides more affordable group classes where rates are as low as $20 per session.