Health How This Woman Became a Fitness Queen

08:03  10 september  2017
08:03  10 september  2017 Source:   Cosmopolitan (UK)

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  How This Woman Became a Fitness Queen © Nichole Alex Sarah Sapora, now 38, had been working up to 17 hours a day in San Francisco when both her parents were simultaneously hospitalized in the summer of 2015. Having long neglected self-care to focus on her career in marketing and public relations, when Sarah flew home to New York City, she struggled to walk the one-and-a-half city blocks between her parking spot and the hospital where her mother was being treated.

"My knees, my energy level, my back - they weren't working for me. I was in low-level pain all the time, but I didn’t even think about it because that was my normal," says Sarah, who spent much of her adulthood largely inactive. "The realization that my body was in a state where it wasn't thriving opened the door for me to see the other aspects of my life that were also unaligned and not thriving." Between her career and love life, everything was falling short of her expectations.

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Sarah decided to overhaul her lifestyle and has since developed strength, confidence, and pride by doing high-intensity workouts, which she's been sharing with her 112K Instagram followers since her journey officially began 11 months ago. (She began posting on a dedicated fitness page, @GreaterAt40, but moved over to her current, personal account, @SarahSapora, in February.) Now, the fitspirational influencer is getting ready to lead her first-ever body-positivity workshop on September 16 in Los Angeles.

Sarah was inspired to change after seeing both her own capabilities fall short, and her mother fall ill so suddenly, but she didn't begin to make moves until months after she returned to California. "I was just really ready to do the difficult work and threw myself into this personal-growth mindset," she says. "The first step was completely mental, [actually] believingmy life could be different if I could let it be different."

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Her parents' hospitalization had coincided with the end of a grueling job, so when she returned to California, she decided to become an independent consultant working for herself. "I wanted to do more, contribute to something more than a boss’s dream, and leave this planet better than when I found it," she says - she also started doing Kundalini yoga, a meditation-based practice she credits for her emotional growth.

Just show up. I say this all the time, but do you understand what I mean? I had a challenging night last night, I was overwhelmed and hanging out with my fear pretty close. I needed help sleeping, because each time I slowed my mind enough to breathe and say "faith" and "surrender" to myself, tears choked my mind and I started to cry again. This is ALL ok. And feeling things doesn't make me less of a woman or less strong. Feeling is the ONLY way I work and process stuff -- if I don't look my fear head on, I can never put it aside. This morning, I was exhausted and hungover from crying. I slept through my 6 am alarm and wanted to stay in bed. But I got out of bed anyway. I had signed up for a Kundalini Yoga class at 8:30. I knew I didn't have enough in me to lay it all out on my mat today, but I went anyway. I sat in the back. To be there. To breathe. To get out of my own head and to tap into the things that are bigger than me. To be in the energy. To show up. To show up so I can keep moving forward. Fear is standing in one place, spinning my own wheels and getting stuck in my own mud. Love is moving forward. Love isn't being perfect or getting everything right, it's just the willingness to keep going. Keep going. Show up. You may not have the answers but you stay alive. You stay present and you work on having faith in the idea that sometimes you just don't get to know. Sometimes you have to believe in things you can't see or touch. Things that you dont get evidence for. You just show up and believe because Hope is human.

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photo credit: shutterstock Walk your way to slimmer, stronger legs in no time Tried everything to slim down your legs? You already know that walking improves the muscle tone in your lower body and uses up cal-ories - a 45-minute brisk walk burns 270 calories (based on a 150-lb. woman). You also know it's safe, low-impact and easily incorporated into your everyday routine, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends 30 to 60 minutes of brisk walking per day to get in shape. Did you realize, though, that the way you walk - your gait - is key? It's important for both your balance and stability as you move (therefore helping to keep you injury-free), and good form provides maximum power for minimum effort. Combine the right way of walking with good posture and you'll also look slimmer. Slim down your legs by maintaining good posture The key to avoid wasting energy and to maintain your balance is to hold your body upright but relaxed. Leaning too far forward or back while walking can place unnecessary strain on your hips, knees and spine. Slim down your legs by taking proper steps When you take a step forward, you should naturally land on the outer edge of your heel, rather than flat on the ground. Your foot then rolls inward so that the inner edge of the sole takes more of your body weight. This inward roll - called pronation - absorbs shock and helps you to balance. Without proper pronation, the foot and ankle have problems stabilizing the body.

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