Episode Summary

Meet our guest on this episode, Nia Harden, a WRAL news reporter, and fitness instructor who started The Heart Fitness to help her community stay fit and healthy.

In this episode, MiMi shares Nia’s journey as a fitness instructor. They discuss why individuals need to engage in physical activities and create habits that promote their overall physical well-being.

An Active Point of View with Host MiMi Melvin and Guest Nia Harden

Top Takeaways

  • “The core is what keeps the body going”
    – [Nia Harden]
  • “Are you going to be around if you’re not focusing on your health”
    – [Nia Harden]
  • “We fluctuate; somebody can be the same weight as somebody else and look completely different”
    – [Nia Harden]
  • “Instead of concentrating on how we’re improving, we’re looking at numbers, and it’s more important to build a healthy lifestyle”
    – [MiMi Melvin]
  • “You want to be here for those you love and the best way to do that is to take some time out for yourself”
    – [Nia Harden]

Episode Highlights

  • [00:01] Intro
  • [02:05] Introducing today’s guest, Nia Harden.
  • [02:52] About Nia’s fitness classes.
  • [07:01] Starting ‘The Heart Fitness’ Facility.
  • [13:35] A typical day with Nia.
  • [18:28] Is there a difference between being an instructor and being part of a class?
  • [20:40] How do you motivate people to make fitness and nutrition part of their lives continuously?
  • [24:25] What happens if you lose weight too fast without changing your lifestyle?
  • [26:48] Final comments from Nia’s fitness journey.
  • [28:26] How to connect with Nia.

Episode Notes

MiMi has a passion for meeting people and sharing their stories to help others live their best lives. This podcast covers sports, fitness, health, fashion, and other empowering stories from around the neighborhood.

Nia Harden

Nia Harden

The guest today is Nia Harden, a WRAL news reporter. Nia relocated from Detroit to Raleigh. She is also a fitness instructor and runs her own fitness studio, The Heart Fitness!

One of her popular classes, called All Ball, focuses on a stability ball type of workout dealing with balance and the core. The core is what keeps the body going, hence a strong core prevents injuries and promotes healthy living.

The Heart Fitness

While deciding on a name for their studio, Nia and her husband chose the heart because it is the hardest working muscle in our body. A strong heart is really important. At the same time, it is necessary to focus on meeting the needs of the heart of community members based on their different levels of strength.

The studio has provided a platform for Nia to create impact, offering the flexibility she needs with her schedule.

As a fitness instructor, Nia moved around different gyms, teaching a variety of classes. On seeing an open space, she considered starting a fitness studio and was encouraged by her husband. They drew up a plan to have a community fitness studio. It offered a way to connect with families, helping those who needed a push to focus on health and wellness.

How can you be around for your family if you don’t put your health first?

Nia and her family

In fact, if we feel that our family can’t function without us, then we must make sure we are doing all we can to be in our best shape. Over time, the feedback they have received confirms the immense impact they have had on their community.

Nia also involves her kids in fitness classes and other activities. This helped during the pandemic as the families could connect with people within a small bubble. Getting kids involved early helps them integrate fitness into their daily activities. She’s heard from parents that when they miss the gym, their kids push and motivate them to return.

Fitness Instructor vs Student

Being an instructor is hard; you’re constantly being challenged to keep people going and motivated, regardless of the kind of day you have had. Being a part of a class on the other hand offers the opportunity to let loose and have fun. But whether as an instructor or a listener, the activities are rewarding.

Fitness lifestyle

Fitness community at The Heart Fitness

To foster continuity that promotes fitness and good nutrition, setting a solid foundation is crucial. The community and building new habits are huge aspects of this foundation. It’s also important to realize it’s about losing body fat over weight loss. This helps to build the right kind of mindset and people begin to understand that it is not a race to quickly lose weight but to consistently work at it at their own pace to achieve results. Such a mindset encourages people to join a community, partake more, and work hard while having fun. All this without being overly conscious of it!

Losing weight too fast without lifestyle adjustment creates a problem of sustainability. Those fad diets work in the beginning but eventually, we revert back to our old ways. It will take discipline in changing the way we think.

There is no easy way, and there is no one way to lose body fat since each person’s body is different from the other based on several factors. While Nia’s fitness classes don’t offer unrealistic promises, the goal is to eliminate the excuses that people often give instead of putting in the work.

Understanding cravings

The body often craves things that are sweet or salty. Rather than going for those things, have something healthy like fruits or nuts. This approach helps change your patterns.

Final thoughts

There are so many new ways that you can work out whether live or online but creating accountability makes a huge difference. Just taking the first step to start gets you one step closer. “You want to be here for those you love and the best way to do that is to take some time out for yourself.”


Find | MiMi Melvin

Find | Nia Harden

Find | The Heart Fitness