Lexington gym owner promotes mind, body and spiritual wellness
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – An expo Saturday morning focused on wellness of the mind, body and spirit for frontline workers and the Black community in Lexington.
The event was hosted by Ebony Cooper, owner of ‘Fit & Fierce Studio,’ and the Kentucky Nurse’s Association.
Cooper says opening her gym was the start of her personal health journey, which she says she began after her dad died of brain cancer. Now, she says she wants to encourage everyone to start their own path to wellness.
“I’m just really big on community,” says Cooper. “I didn’t have the support that I needed.”
So she says events like the one Saturday are important to her. She says she wanted to show appreciation for frontline workers who often put others ahead of themselves.
“We just wanted the opportunity just to give back and let them know that we see them,” says Cooper. “We appreciate the work that they’re doing and it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
In addition, the event also tackled the health disparities seen in the black community, which is something she says she struggled with.
“Nutrition is very, very important,” says Cooper. “When i was growing up, everything was fried. We ate the same foods. Even as an adult, I made the same meals over and over again.”
Arica Brandford has been a nurse for more than twenty years. She says a few factors that play into the disparities are lack of resources, such as education, transportation and healthy food in Black neighborhoods.
She says that’s why it’s important to go to the source.
“You have to have the initiative and the drive to want better and want more,” says Brandford. “The other thing that’s really important is that you have individuals that come to you and provide mentorship, resources, so it’s a two-way street.”
Brandford is a member of ‘Fit & Fierce’, where she says her wellness journey started four years ago. The two share a close bond, having both loss their fathers.
“As a nurse, and as a person who is used to putting others first, she had to teach me to put myself first,” says Brandford about Cooper.
Cooper says ‘Fit & Fierce’ provides more than just exercise, but a place to start fresh.
“It doesn’t matter what your age is,” says Cooper. “It doesn’t matter what your health situation is. Today is always a good day to start.”
Brandford says the Kentucky Nurse’s Association hopes to partner with Fit & Fierce again in the near future.