When in doubt, dance it out - just ask Korra Obidi Dean. The Nigerian fitness guru, who created Move With Korra to inspire others to get active and live healthier lifestyles, has all the tips and tricks to incorporate exercise and physicality into your daily routine.
Korra, who describes her workout company as “a body maintenance commitment,” motivates her followers to prioritise fitness just as they would all other things wellness that promote happiness and positivity.
“You can spend 30 minutes on your makeup, then you should be able to give me an hour to shape up your body,” the professional dancer and award-winning musician exclusively tells GLAMOUR.
“The body is like a beautiful flower, tend to it and it's petals will shine through, don't and the petals will wither.”
These words of wisdom have guided Korra in establishing a career as a successful dancer and entertainer. From her ballet training growing up in the Lagos metropolis, to teaching dance in Shanghai while holding a residency at UNICO, to eventually competing on “So You Think You Can Dance” while six months pregnant, movement has always been Korra’s guiding principle.
Read on for her best advice on how to balance mental and physical health, make exercise fun, and feel your most soulful self through sweating it out.
What sparked your passion for fitness and wellness? Was this always important to you, or did a certain instance in your life inspire it?
I was born active. I remember vividly having report cards from nursery school stating that I was very restless. My mother scolded me from being too playful.
I am naturally that way, however, the spark for fitness was rekindled in my 20s after university, something tragic happened to me, this encouraged me to go into self defense and fitness even deeper.
What is your current nutrition plan you use to stay in shape?
I stick to things that grow from trees. Meats, fruits, vegetables, lentil and gluten free grains. If it isn't natural, it probably won't make it into my belly.
Has your fitness routine changed since you’ve had your daughter?
Yes, I have had to give room for many lazy days. Many cheat days. Learned to love my body and all the beating it has been through. Embrace my ever changing curves and accommodate a crawling child on my body as I attempt any workout.
Knowing that the time factor is a major deterrent for many people, how is it that you are able to manage the demands of your family as well as your career and still make time to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle?
Time is always an excuse when you do not want something badly enough. I tell my ladies in my 'Move with Korra club,’ if you can spend 30 minutes on your makeup, then you should be able to give me an hour to shape up your body. The body is like a beautiful flower, tend to it and it's petals will shine through, don't and the petals will wither.
What inspired you to write your memoir and can you tell us more about it?
I was inspired by all the Amazons who follow me on social media. They always had the same questions, so I collated all the questions and answered them in a journal, got it printed and My Active Pregnancy was born. A Memoir of my Trimesters.
What new projects have you been working on recently?
Recently putting finishing touches on my album, working on the visuals to my new music, 'MY WAY'
How do you think that exercise and fitness can be therapeutic?
Something about breaking a sweat is just amazing for your psyche. There's also peace that accompanies finding your flow through workout.
Who or what gives you the most inspiration and motivation to achieve your fitness goals?
I give myself the motivation I need. For me, fitness is a lifestyle. I want to enjoy this life. In order to enjoy life, health is key, health is directly tied to fitness.
How would you describe your philosophy or motto on health and wellness?
I don't do philosophies as they have a tendency to narrow out your thought processes, however, If I would stand by anything, it will be, listen to your body, she will always speak to you. Do not bite more than you can chew. Try to make healthy food fun for you. Be true to your body, she will be good to you.
How do you prioritise your mental health with your fitness regimen?
I believe that these go hand in hand. Mental health in the last year has proven to everyone that it is just as important as physical health if not more important. I try to maintain positive vibes, pray and dance. This concoction is a recipe for happiness and helps me through the darkest days.
How would you define wellness?
A healthy congruence of all the planes of your body. Mental, physical, emotional, etc.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to live a more healthy and mindful lifestyle?
One day at a time. Add more vegetables to your diet. Walk, hike, dance, run.
What is something people may not know about you?
My people know everything already. I am an open book.