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Rachael Okesola is a young professional who turned her passion into an online success. With Afrifitness, she built a community of dozens of thousands of followers internationally, hooked to her dance work-outs on African music. She tells us about her story, how to choose a healthy routine that works for you, and how to keep a strong, positive body and mind.
- What is Afrifitness and how did you come to create it?
Afrifitness is an online dance and fitness program designed for the average cultured-woman. The workouts are created from a combination of popular African dance styles, resistance training and high-intensity interval training. I originally came up with the concept of Afrifitness through my own deeply rooted passion for African dance and music. Once I trained as a dance fitness instructor I created my style of workouts that were original. The workouts are accessible, relatable and most of all effective.
- What do your followers say is the main reason that drives them to try your online classes and come back?
The most common feedback I received from my followers is that firstly the music is extremely enjoyable. They enjoy the beats and the music I use is the same music they listen to in their car, at home and sometimes in the club. Another reason that drives them to come back is they feel they are dancing with a friend. They like my energy and my vibe, plus I receive lots of comments about my infectious smile. Lastly, they love the routines because for most of them it doesn’t feel like they’re actually working out. I incorporate lots of common dance moves that they already do at parties or weddings and now being able to do the same moves while working out is just an irresistible combination.
I’ve successfully built a huge following of thousands of women over the last couple of years and as a result, many friendships have been formed. People really feel a sense of belonging in the community and I strongly believe that above all the comments and feedback I’ve received, the one number one reason that people have stuck with Afrifitness is the support they receive from other members of the community.
- What is your key advice to keep both a strong body and mind on a day to day basis?
My best advice for keeping both a strong body and mind is to really enjoy what you do. Staying active and being healthy is really important for your overall well-being but I strongly believe that sometimes people don’t enjoy their routines because they have the wrong mindset. They do things they feel they have to do rather than the things they actually enjoy doing. There are many different forms of exercises and you have to choose what works for you.
If dancing is what really gives you that escape, then stick to dancing. If it’s yoga, running or strength training, prioritise that. Don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it. Once you find what works for you, stick to that routine, develop it over time and you’ll get to the point where this becomes an overall lifestyle.
- Aches and pains are part of a regular and intense practice of sports like martial arts. How do you prevent them and how do you care for yourself when you are in pain or feel some discomfort?
I deal with aches and pains and avoid injury by switching up my routine often. My workout routine consists of dancing, skipping and weight training. After intense sessions of weight training, I allow my body some time to rest and I switch over to skipping or dancing. I’ve found that by keeping variety in my routine, it allows my body time to rest and recover. There are also days where I don’t do any form of physical activity. I recover fully before jumping back into my training routine.
- What is your diet like?
I eat a very flexible diet. I don’t like to be too restrictive but I go through periods where I can be a little bit more strict than other times. That usually depends on my goals at the time. The one thing that I always do religiously is intermittent fasting. I’ve been practicing intermittent fasting for about 5 years now and it’s just become a way of life for me. I honestly don’t know how I was able to eat multiple meals in a day at one point. Not only does eating multiple meals slow me down. but it’s also time-consuming prepping meals and finding time to eat. Now I eat 2 meals a day, every day.
- What are your favourite self-care products?
I keep things very simple. I love my CBD Relief Drops which gives me an amazing night’s rest. Apart from that, I get all the goodies I need through my diet.
- What do you think has changed for the long term with the pandemic?
I think people are more aware of their mental health and are willing to open up about it. The lockdown gave everyone time to pause and it was almost as though the whole world was going through a challenging time all at the same time. For once, we didn’t feel bad about letting out our frustrations because we knew people cared. I really hope this doesn’t change.
- How do you keep positive and productive?
I stay positive and productive by creating. I’m a creative at heart and I enjoy creating things from workouts to dances to recipes and more. I also enjoy seeing my creations come to life and being enjoyed by others. If I’m not making an impact on others, I feel extremely lost.
You can enjoy some of Rachael’s online dance workouts by visiting and subscribing to her YouTube channel
Also, visit her website for more news about Afrifitness.