• TTT Media

Quarantined Q&A: Reimagine Health & Fitness From Home With Demetria Stewart & Deniro Farrar

Photo/Illustration by Je'Ron Chester | TTT Media, LLC

Editors Note

One of the most significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to citizens across the world has been the restricted access to gymnasiums, city parks and fitness centers due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calling for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation to slow the spread of the virus. Being isolated at home for prolonged periods of time makes it challenging to remain physically active, and can also prove to be mentally stressful. As many fitness trainers and gym members have made the adjustments of training at home, it's important to note that many people haven't had the same motivation to exercise and prioritize fitness at home. For those of our readers who have found it difficult to pivot into remaining physically active while at home, our very own Alaetra Chisholm was able to gain some valuable quarantine fitness and health tips from Charlotte fitness coach, Demetria Stewart, as well as Charlotte musician and health enthusiast, Deniro Farrar.

Photo Courtesy of Demetria Stewart | I Define Me Fitness, LLC

Alaetra: Who is Demetria Stewart?

Demetria: I am a Charlotte, NC native and the founder and owner of I Define Me Fitness. I am a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Therapeutic Recreation. In addition to I Define Me Fitness, I am also a Motivator, Community Leader, Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Certified Mental Health First Aider, Coordinator of the Health and Wellness Ministry and team captain of Village HeartBEAT at my local church.

Alaetra: What do health and fitness mean to you? Does it matter more now that we’re experiencing a global pandemic?

Demetria: I believe health and fitness includes a holistic approach. In order to be healthy, you need to focus on your mental stability, a balanced diet and physical health

Mental Aspect. A healthy lifestyle begins with how you think and feel about yourself. You thrive off of what you feed your mind, therefore, it is vital that you develop and maintain a positive mindset.

Nutrition. It is important to practice portion control and eat foods that will provide our bodies with the nutrients (energy, essential fats, minerals, protein, and vitamins) we need to live a healthy life daily.

Exercise. Maintain a healthy and fit body by exercising regularly. Build your muscle strength, improve your balance and stability. 

I believe health and fitness is more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our normal daily routine has been altered due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. As a result, a stay-at-home order has been implemented. Although this is the “perfect time to relax” and spend time with your family and loved ones, it is also an opportunity to begin new health and fitness habits that can improve or maintain your overall well-being. It is important to practice positive thinking, eat nutritious foods, stay physically active and avoid sedentary behaviors.

Alaetra: What ways do you motivate yourself to stay fit and active while at home? Do you schedule your workouts around homeschool/working from home, or do you work out when you can?

Demetria: My personal goals and clients motivate me to stay physically active. As I am consistently assisting clients and community members with their health and fitness goals, their dedication, hard work as well as encouraging words, motivate and inspire me to remain consistent towards achieving my personal goals.

As a health and fitness professional, there are days where I have to find time to workout. I schedule my workouts around my virtual training classes, as well as working from home with my full time job. Depending on the class, I’ll either exercise with my clients, or I will complete a workout later in the afternoon or evening. Also, as I go about my day, I take breaks and complete a few push-ups, crunches and/or squats. This breaks down on my sitting time and also ensures I stay physically active.

Alaetra: What advice would you give to those who may want to transition to fitness clubs or gyms after the pandemic subsides?

Demetria: To those who may be interested in transiting to a fitness club or gym, I suggest they do their research and select a location that is most suitable for them.

First, be sure the fitness club or gym is convenient and offers the essential services that you and your family need to inorder to be successful. This may include hours of operation, child care, nutrition services, specific equipment, and classes or one-on-one training that tailor to your fitness level.

Secondly, it is important to select a fitness club or gym that is neat and clean because this will decrease the chances of injury, as well as contracting contagious infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It is also important to select a fitness club or gym that includes a positive health and fitness professional(s) who is respectful and who can be trusted to guide and keep the client encouraged, while also providing the proper tools and/or information that will assist them with achieving their goal(s).

Lastly, it is important to choose a fitness club or gym that has a positive and comfortable environment. Many individuals have trouble with finding the “perfect” fitness club or gym because they are uncomfortable. As a result, they may not be consistent towards achieving their health and fitness goal(s).

Alaetra: Describe how the average person can succeed while staying active at home? What tips, tricks or workouts would you suggest for beginners or those with limited resources?

Demetria: Everyone can succeed while staying active and preventing sedentary behaviors while at home if they follow four simple steps.

  1. Eat A Balanced Diet. A balanced diet is key to staying active because it will provide you with the essential nutrients you need to live an overall healthy life.

  2. Get Enough Sleep. Getting enough quality sleep will give your mind and body time to repair and recover. Children should get 9-12 hours, teenagers should get 8-10 hours, and adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep a day. 

  3. Take Short Active Breaks. There are many simple and fun activities you can do during your breaks. This includes: walking around in your home, playing with your children or pets (if applicable), playing active games, house chores (e.g. vacuuming), yoga, dancing and gardening.

  4. Exercise. A few exercises you can complete include: aerobics, walking outdoors, jogging, bicycling and weight training. If you decide to exercise outdoors, please make sure you maintain at least a 1-meter distance from other individuals.

Whatever physical activity you choose, be sure you are exercising for the recommended time of at least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, five days a week). This includes 150 minutes of moderate-intensity (brisk walking, aerobic dancing, yoga, etc.) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activities (jogging, running, circuit weight training, etc.).

Below I have provided a sample workout along with a warm-up and stretches you can complete in the comfort of your own home. Complete a warm-up along with flexibility stretching exercises prior to your workout. This will not only get your blood flowing to your muscles and joints, but it will also decrease your risk of injury. 

Note: Prior to the beginning of a workout, check with your healthcare provider. 

Warm-up. Warm-up for at least five to ten minutes. Your warm up should include low- to moderate intensity, cardiorespiratory and muscular endurance exercises.

Warm-Up Exercises:

  1. Arm circles (10 forward and backwards)

  2. Torso twist (10 side to side)

  3. Butt kicks (30 seconds)

  4. High knees (30 seconds)

  5. Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)

Stretching. Once you finish your warm-up, complete flexibility stretching exercises for at least five to ten minutes. Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds on each side.


  1. Overhead tricep stretch

  2. Across your chest shoulder stretch

  3. Standing side bend stretch

  4. Standing quadricep stretch

  5. Seated sit and reach forward hamstring stretch

Now that you have warmed up and stretched, it’s time to complete your workout. If you have free weights, feel free to use them throughout the workout. If you do not own a pair of free weights, use items around your home such as water filled water bottles or canned goods.

Choose your workout based off of your fitness level. Please be cautious of your limitations. Throughout your workout, rest for 15-30 seconds in between each exercise, and 1-3 minutes after each completed set. Beginner: 1-2 sets of 8-10 reps Intermediate: 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps Advanced: 4-5 sets of 12-15 reps


  1. Good Mornings

  2. Shoulder Press

  3. Standing Torso Twist

  4. Bodyweight Squats

  5. Alternating Bicep Curls

  6. Forearm Plank (Hold for 30 seconds. Beginners, begin holding for 15 seconds and work your way up).

Cool-down Exercises:

  1. Single knee to chest stretch

  2. Cat cow pose

  3. Cobra to child’s pose

Be safe and stay active! Remember, we are what we consume therefore, Be Positive, Get Fit and Live Healthy! You can find I Define Me Fitness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Deniro Farrar | CultRap

Alaetra: Who is Deniro Farrar and what is your connection to health and fitness?

Deniro: My name is Deniro Farrar and I am a musician and health enthusiast. My connection to fitness stems from my daily lifestyle practice of eating plant based and working out. I share my workouts on social media for motivational purposes.

Alaetra: What do health and fitness mean to you? Does it matter more now that we are experiencing a global pandemic?

Deniro: Health and fitness mean the world to me because I feel that health is wealth. I have made it an important part of my daily lifestyle long before the pandemic but I am happy to see others jump on board to take their health more serious. There’s honestly no better time to make a lifestyle change than the present.

Alaetra: What ways do you motivate yourself to stay fit and active while at home? Do you schedule your workouts around homeschool/working from home, or do you work out when you can?

Deniro: I remain motivated by reminding myself that I will be proud of the choices I have made and that my future health depends on it. I tend to try to workout early in the morning to maintain discipline, but if I am unable to, I workout when I have the free time throughout the day.

Alaetra: Describe how the average person can succeed while staying active at home? What tips, tricks or workouts would you suggest for beginners or those with limited resources?

Deniro: While we are at home and unable to go to the gym, the average person can leave their home for a brisk walk or job around their neighborhood. That would be extremely beneficial, and it doesn’t require any special equipment. My simple advice is to stay active, get moving and stay hydrated!

Alaetra: What advice would you give to those who may want to transition to fitness clubs or gyms after the pandemic subsides?

Deniro: My advice to those who are considering the transition would be to just be impulsive and take the leap. Gyms can provide structure for those who need it, but regardless of where you exercise, the more you wait, the more you will doubt your preparedness and fail to execute.

Follow Deniro Farrar on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter & be sure to check out his latest music release titled "Sole Food", available now on all streaming platforms.

Alaetra Chisholm is the creative director, and a staff writer at TTT Media, where she covers music, art, and culture. Connect on her Twitter and Instagram.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

  • White Facebook Icon

© 2023 by TheHours. Proudly created with Wix.com