He says walking is ‘nature’s machine’ for staying healthy
Confident and informative is the way he communicates. Kwasi (kwah-see) Nate is owner of Fitness for Seniors Program, which specializes in the baby boomer generation “because I see a lot of people on canes, walkers, wheelchairs and “go-carts,” he says.
“I have a combination weight-management business,” Nate explains, “which is weight-loss solutions that I have partnered on with Market America and Shop.com.” In business since 2009, his program focuses on lifestyle change. “I have been doing a chemical health support group called ‘Brothers and Sisters in Recovery’ for like the last 18 years.”
After getting an opportunity to be a personal trainer, Nate knew that this skill would “coincide with my basic business,” and that is how his business continued to grow. With the credit of being American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.)-certified in exercise, he became more knowledgeable in fitness and nutrition.
“A lot of people are carrying too much weight on their skeletal frame,” says Nate. “When you are 100-200 pounds overweight and you are carrying that on your skeletal frame, it’s not good for your health. Plus, [with] all the fat that is [surrounding] your internal organs, your organs cannot function properly. Just a 10-pound weight loss can change your blood pressure levels.”
With this fitness and nutrition expertise, he developed a circuit for seniors similar to CrossFit and other circuit trainings, where participants go from station to station. His program also includes yoga and meal planning. Nate also encourages his participants to find a buddy to walk with: “Having someone to do it with helps.”
The idea is to get seniors doing something every day, even if it is just walking. “That is why we picked walking, because that is nature’s machine.” To describe the concept’s beginnings, he says, “We started by walking out at the Mall of America. We [walked] all four floors up; we do the fourth floor twice,” both indoors and outside. “It takes a couple of hours to do that.”
His groups also walk from West Broadway and Lyndale North [Minneapolis], to North Memorial Hospital [in Robbinsdale] and back. “That is about 70 blocks, and takes us about one hour and 50 minutes,” explains Nate. “When walking, we walk to the pace of the slowest walker.”
He is mobile within the community, tailoring his workouts to individuals or groups, walking the downtown skyways in winter and the local lakes during warmer months. Wherever someone would like to meet, Nate is willing go, including, but not limited to, senior groups, public housing, churches, or anywhere else senior groups gather.
“The thing I focus on is the biggest thing in the Black community — obesity. A few years ago, [people] were talking about how young people are becoming obese and highly overweight. Well, obesity also affects adult onset Type II diabetes and high blood pressure, which is really a problem in our community.
“In 2010 we figured that food was as big of a threat to our health as was drugs and alcohol,” continues Nate. “So we embarked on helping people that were addicted to food… We wanted to prove that if two old guys [one of them Nate himself] could change their meal plan, take supplements or accelerators, and just walk and lose weight, then anybody could do that. I went down from 195 to 160.”
Before helping a client lose weight, he likes to help with improving mental health. “If you have a mental health condition, we have to find out what your primary [concern] is. We help you find that, and then we work on losing weight. You have to be able to overcome your mental health issues before you can lose weight. As they say, serenity is your birth right.”
If you are a senior or an advocate for a senior group, you can reach Kwasi Nate by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. An assessment will then be completed to help you and/or your fellow seniors reach your goals.
Brandi Phillips welcomes all reader comments at email@example.com.
Brandi Phillips is a contributing writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.