Shaping Up

Black Women Do Workout Founder on Health

Watching "Scandal" tonight? Squeeze in a quick, effective ab workout during commercials.
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Whoever said Black women don’t workout is a liar.

Crystal Adell founded Black Women Do Workout in 2009 and has been on a mission to prove people wrong ever since.

“To make it short, it started on Facebook as a way to get more Black female clients for my personal training business,” shares Adell. “I heard people say Black women don’t workout and I thought about turning a negative into a positive … It grew into this sisterhood because of the positive energy and encouraging inspiration.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 57.6 percent of Black women over the age of 20 are obese and more than 44 percent of Black women over the age of 20 have hypertension, or high blood pressure. Both obesity and high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, which is the number one cause of death among African Americans.

“This is my personal attempt to change the obesity statistics globally by introducing fun and exciting fitness challenges that encourage lifestyle change to shape a healthier world for us all,” says Adell.

In addition to posting workout video and health tips on her website, the organization sponsors an annual Commitment Day 5K held on New Years Day across the country.

“What it does is start you off on the first of the year feeling commitment for the year,” she says. “You can walk or run. It’s another way to become accountable.”

If running isn’t your thing, Black Women Do Workout is promoting Timbuk Fitness, an African dance class, with choreographer and reality star Andrea Kelly through a nationwide dance tour.

No matter which exercise you prefer, the most important thing is to start moving.

“It’s not specific to Black women,” shares Adell. “My heart believes that if we can change statistics for Black women in the United States, we can create change in the world.”

For more information about Black Women Do Workout and to download e-book meals and workouts, visit