Harlem Word: Myna Majors – Fitness Coach for the Mind, Body and Soul Part 2

Editor July 15th, 2009

As a fitness coach at the Harlem YMCA Myna Majors stresses the importance of setting realistic goals and helping members achieve them. Her background in Tai Chi and meditation provide a well-rounded approach to a healthy mind, body, and soul and have has helped her overcome her own health challenges. 

Q: What are some of your beliefs on making healthy lifestyle changes?

A: When working with members at the YMCA, I try to stress that healthy lifestyle changes can be achieved through time management, re-organizing the mind, and modification of ones perspective. Time management is often the reason why members find it hard to stick to an exercise program. As a fitness coach, I help members prioritize exercise and being active.

What do I mean by re-organizing the mind and modification? Well, both ideas go hand in hand. We must re-organize our mindset by doing more than we think we can. At the same time, we must modify how we envision ourselves being active. Both ideas are important for older members especially. Many of my clients are older members who have injuries or they have certain things they've done in the past to stay active and can no longer do them. I was a dancer, but after several surgeries on my knee and foot I had to modify the types of activity I did. I couldn't allow the pain stop me from being active. Now, I enjoy Tai Chi-I am still active, just not in the same way. You can be active at any age, and I can show you how!

Q: What would you say to older folks who want to be more active?

A: Many of my clients are seniors. I really like working with older members because I think the senior population needs the most work. In the later stages of life people become sedentary, but I encourage seniors to become more productive and more agile-not less! Many seniors feel that they cannot be active because of injuries or because certain activities become more difficult as they get older. But what I try to teach is the idea that we can all re-organize our minds and bodies. How do we do this? Well for me, I had to change what being active meant to me.To hit this point home, I like to share my story with my clients. People often see me and say, "Myna, you're so active!" But, I was not always this way. There was a period when I was completely inactive due to health conditions and several surgeries -but I had to change my thinking. Just remember that you should do what you can do. I started out doing Tai Chi in a chair, but as I got stronger, I progressed. The great thing about what I do as a fitness coach is that I help members see the range of activities they can participate in. Remember that our bodies change as we age, so our activity might have to change as well.

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