On Thursday, March 7th, 2019 Queens Co. celebrated Women’s Month by hosting “Queens Cycle Too!” in collaboration with Reebok for a fun and high-energy indoor cycling/spin class at their Global Headquarters Gym in Boston!
Over 30 women came out to this event and not only got a great workout in but also got to meet new members who are a part of the Queens Co. network, while enjoying healthy smoothies and a private discounted shopping experience at the Reebok flagship store.
While Women’s Month is usually filled with tons of panels, conferences, and social events geared towards bringing women together, we at Queens Co. decided to take a different approach and put our health and wellness at the forefront of this celebration.
Why a health and wellness event?
Just like in almost every other socioeconomic category, women of color often face very disheartening disparities when it comes to our health.
When looking at overall health trends, minority women are two times more likely to report fair/poor health compared to white women and they also tend to experience a higher prevalence of diabetes, heart disease and HIV contraction.
According the African American Policy Forum, “Black women are also disproportionately subject to various factors--from poor-quality environments in impoverished neighborhoods, to food deserts to a lack of access to healthcare --that make them more likely to contract life-threatening diseases, from HIV to cancer.”
There are also drastic gaps in access to quality, culturally-competent healthcare for women of color, meaning the diseases they contract are more likely to be lethal.
For example, research shows that while Black women have a lower rate of breast cancer diagnosis than white women, they have a drastically higher rate of mortality as a result of the disease. The breast cancer death rate for Black women ages 45-64 is 60 percent higher than for white women.
As the data show, health for women of color in the US is in a state of crisis.
While many of the health disparities women of color face are due to systemic inequality issues in our overall health care system and beyond, as an organization that aims to empower women of color, we host fitness events to help combat these disparities and encourage women to take control of their health by getting physically active.
Spinning is a highly intense aerobic exercise that burns a lot of calories, so it's a time-efficient workout that can help you lose pounds. In a 45-minute spin class, you can burn about 450 calories and muscle mass you gain increases your metabolism, so you will burn calories faster, even when you're resting.
It’s also almost a full body workout that requires you to use your glutes, hamstrings, calves, and abs. These are some of our largest muscle groups so not only are you burning calories but also gaining strength and endurance.
There are also many mental health benefits to indoor cycling because it’s not only fun but motivating as you challenge yourself to go faster and keep up with the rest of the women on the class. Our class instructor Megan was amazing. She talked us through the entire workout, incorporating subtle dance moves to the upbeat music that was being played in the studio.
All in all, it was a new and exciting way to celebrate Women’s Month that not only helped to help us get our body moving but helped us build community amongst one another as this event provided most of our attendee’s the opportunity to take a spin class for the very first time.
We’d like to give a very special thank you to Darla DeGrace Pires and the entire team at Reebok for partnering with us to put on this event and provide a memorable experience for women of color actively seeking to lead more healthier lifestyles.
We’re currently working on planning our next fitness event amongst other programming. If you’re interested in joining us next time, become an official member of the Queens Co. Network at queensco.org/membership.