Monthly Archives: August 2010

I’m Pregnant, in Pain and Want to Work Out

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Greetings! I have patella femoral syndrome in my right knee. I am 3 mos. pregnant now, and therefore cannot do core strengthening exercises to help my knee out. What are some safe forms of exercise that I can do to alleviate the pain in my knee? Thanks, Sarah, Brooklyn, New York

A: You have PFS? I have SFS – Sistella Femala Syndrome. That’s when you have a female twin who can’t (or won’t) help a sister out! I have found nothing, but nothing, to alleviate that particular pain. As to your knee…you could do these knee exercises while balancing against a wall (and holding a delicious pregnant-lady snack), yet we suggest avoiding #s 3 & 8 and maybe 4. We love the advice on, but we also suggest you talk to Real Life Doctor dot Brooklyn Ob-Gyn. Of course, we could suggest you take a break, but you are a pregnant lady, which means you feel impelled to do stuff. But really, your knees would feel fine if you sat down and let the bad boy who got you pregnant do all the work!

K: I think you are secretly asking two questions: “what exercises can I still do to stay fit while pregnant?” AND “what exercises can I do to help with knee pain?” Well, we are offering a two-for-one coupon special (kind of like you and your baby-to-be). Alexandra already addressed the knee situation. Gotta ask — any chance you could and would get into a pool and swim or do aqua classes? You can keep up the workouts with minimal knee loading. Just no peeing in the pool, pregnant personage! For overall activity check out the ACOG Guidelines for exercising during pregnancy. Keep in mind that the guidelines are for the “average” pregnant person, which means averagally inactive and kinda sedentaryish, which you are not. So you and your doctor may free you to do more (we are just in a link crazy kind of mood here).

Once you have your baby, you can enroll in the exclusive fitness training program for parents: lift your baby over your head 10 times per day…..until he or she is 18. After that, employ your baby to do all housework and anything else that might hurt your knee. That should free you to get back to those core strengtheners.

A: We hope these exercises help you get to the end of your pregnancy in more comfort. And peace. And joy.

K: (And that’s just what the baby’s dad will experience once you are out of pain).

Dear Mom Readers: When you were pregnant, what pained you the most? The least? What did you do about it besides taking it out on the partner?

Photo credits: Creative Commons (Editor B)


5, No, 10 Tips to Road Trip Dining

Dear Fun and Fit: When you attend a convention, say in LA, how do you prevent from going overboard while dining out at night? I am curious what YOUR top 5 recommendations are on how to dine out while on the road and still keep your svelte shape? Does it count if I walked to the restaurant instead of ordering room service? Does ordering room service burn any calories? I don’t think so!!!! Johnny Fit Time


K: Saaay, is that your real name? Catchy. Let’s say that I were hypothetically to attend a convention — like recently, for example, in LA — then my top tips would be:

1) Don’t dine out each night when at conventions or on the road! Who has the energy? I drag my toned, tight, tushie (Triple T)  back to my room exhausted by all the lectures, workouts, seminars, workshops, and bags of irresistible purchases and samples from my trade show shopping spree. Then I raid the stash o’ food I brought. Which leads me to Tip Two.

2) Pack and bring with you healthy food, a water bottle, and a cooler (and what looks cooler than hauling an ice chest through a hotel lobby, eh?!). Use hotel ice machines to keep your enviable portable pantry refreshingly frosty and chilled. Bring only nutritious foods. By the end of the day when my make-up is a mere memory, my shoes are off, and my hair fought me and lost, I can guarantee that I am not going to exit the room looking for junk food. I will eat whatever is right there in the room and LIKE it. No, I will LOVE it. So close, so easy, so healthy!

3) If I do go to dinner at the end of a convention day, I badger professional fitness friends into joining me. This is the part where peer pressure really kicks in. I know they will set a healthy standard and select great options (peer pressure really works!). Believe me, it’s hard to slap down something greasy, fatty, and overly sweet when others have yummy looking, low-fat, high food value meals in front of them. I skip dessert because I am too cheap, I mean, I know they are HUGELY laden with calories. So my tip is to pick your dinner pals wisely. If you must, make a pact with your fellow road warriors that you will all reward yourselves by eating food that fuels, not fattens you.

4) Order water or iced tea, not alcohol or a soft drink or some fruity, fizzy concoction that is basically just ordering ice cubes with a little expensive liquid splashed in. Yeah, make the waiter’s day.

5) Eat well during the day. Then you will not be so tempted to go overboard at night. Be overawed instead, or an overachiever.

A: My fave five: (and click here for another 20)

1: Dine out in the middle of the road. You’ll spend lots of time dodging cars, which burns kcals.

2: Stop going to conventions – send your craven minions instead. Make it their problem by only giving a tiny per diem.

3: Yes, it counts if you walked to the restaurant…In Santa Monica!

4: Ordering room service only burns your wallet. Unless you call room service and ask to help schlep trays up and down…by the stairs, not the elevator.

5: Only order from the appetizer menu. One item.

And drink a LOT. No, not this:



K: Bonus tip) “Keeping my svelte shape?” you say. I hide it under a one size fits all shmatta. As people say when they see me on the road trip or at the convention, “you’ve kept your figure. And added to it, I see.” Yes, I am so accommodating (As is my loose fitting top).

A: My last tip? Take two fewer bites of everything. And stop ordering this: .

Readers: What are your secrets for healthy and calorie-conscious eating during out-of-town forays? What is your favorite Monty Python scene or skit? And do you have one thin mint to spare?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Photo Credits: Creative Commons


I’m Low Without My Runner’s High

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit Godessses,

I am a 52 year old man (emphasis on the old) and I want to feel young again without causing any wear and tear on the old joints.  I used to run often and play basketball but a knee injury derailed me.  I enjoyed the “runners high” and can’t seem to find that feeling from non-impact activities.  How do you propose I get back to running or do I just accept my fate?

Sincerely,  Will I. Jaugernaut

Dear Will:

K: Where’s there’s a Will, there’s a way. First, we see you are into accurate names and fun names. Accurate = “Goddesses;” Fun = “Will I. Jaugernaut.” Second, in our world, 52 is not old, but sprightly, especially if we you are active. So let’s focus on the “I want to feel young again and get high” part of the question. We assume you want to reach that goal without going back to the 70’s and relying on other, non-recommended methods. You know what “they” say about the 70’s: “If you remember them, you weren’t there.” That leaves us with the critical point that you have only two knees for the rest of your life. (Acquiring someone else’s knee parts through surgery does not count.) So the priority is to hang onto those precious knees and get lifelong use of them. As Will Shakespeare (two Wills in one post!) never said:- get thee to a non-runnery.  How about heading to an elliptical machine, stationary bike, or row machine? If being outdoors is what brings you that youthful feeling, hop onto a bicycle and enjoy the scenery. All the listed options minimize joint impact while allowing you to create as much or little intensity as you want.

A: One thing is to check your footwear. Lately, there’s a lot of research indicating that less is more when it comes to running footwear. If you think wearing “barefoot” shoes would decrease your knee pain, consider that as an option. Or run in the pool. That is much easier on the knees and you will get that “impact” feeling. As to accepting your fate, there is nothing we do about the name you’ve chosen! In that respect, you are doomed!

K: But we get it that what you really want to do is keep running. It could be that you have reached your lifetime limit on that much impact. Oooorrr, there’s still hope. Try integrating strengthening exercises for your hip abductors, hamstrings, and quads into your workouts (courtesy of this IDEA article). Check your form (or get a friend to check it or videotape you running). Heck, send me a check for that check! Maybe you are pronating, landing oddly, doing some kind of whacked out–yet subtle–form fault over and over, that you can fix once you know about it. Dude, I don’t like running and here I am working it, so give this all a try. Or not. After all, those nice, reduced impact cardio machines are waiting for you and your knees. Pant pant run run…..

Readers, runners, and exercise highsters: What gives you “runner’s high” without actually running?


Walk Off Weight– Keep on Truckin’

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: K and A

I powerwalk 5 times a week for 1 hour 20 minutes.  I ‘think’ I am walking roughly 4.5 miles.  This is great for my legs. However, I have not lost weight and I still have hips.  In addition, my upper body is not getting much action! (except from the truckers who drive by on my route LOL).  What can I do to maximize the workout of the areas mentioned above?

Regards, Charlotte, Escondido, CA


K: So much news and scoop to share about cardio workouts, women, and walking. (Like that alliteration? Wow!). First the good news: you have not gained weight, courtesy of your powerwalks. So keep them up. Preventing weight gain is super important for health, energy, and continued trucker action. For the baddish news: The average woman (yes, we know you are above average just by virtue of the walking you are doing) adds 10 pounds of fat for every decade of her adult life. She also loses about 5 pounds of muscle in those same years. These 10 pounds up and 5 pounds down add up to … strength training. Like my addition? Then here’s more: One pound of lean tissue burns 35-50 calories per day. Losing just half a pound of muscle could cause a weight gain of 3 pounds per year. And you are not gaining weight, so the walks are working (almost as hard as you are). Y’all have got to get serious about resistance training to drop those ell-bees (lbs) faster than a trucker drops his load upon delivery. No way around it–if you really want to lose weight, you have to start a consistent, regular, somewhat intense weight training program that addresses all major muscle groups. (Lots of great workouts for you at this American Council on Exercise link).

A: So you are basically doing a lot of this:

And you need more of this:

Okay, you don’t actually need to hold that much weight, but this much wouldn’t be enough:. You need the one on the floor: (same pic). There are so many different ways to strength train, but let’s make it easy for you. Just pick up some big ol’ weights and lift ’em a bit, will you? Try to do 8 – 10 repetitions to fatigue with good form with a heavy weight (I am vague here because we don’t know how your lady personage defines heavy), and do as many muscle groups as you can find. If you hear hissing or whimpering, you have found another lonely, wallflower muscle. As to still having hips – wouldn’t you be a lot shorter if they suddenly disappeared? And what would hold your trousers up? In case you are a weeee bit interested, you will burn extra calories from weight training after you are done working out. Oh, yeah, baby, post-date glow, aka Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), which is special fitnessy talk for “Hey, I’m done working out, but am still burning my kcals at a higher rate even though I’m sitting on the couch watching 30 Rock.”

K: Question for you, Miss Charlotte – exactly what arm action are you getting when the truckers drive by? Are you waving at them? Sticking out a thumb to hitch a ride? Fending them off? Covering your ears against their horns or whistles? Writing down a fake phone number? Do some upper body strength training instead, but off road.

A: As a reward for following our advice, AND YOU WILL, I grant you this wish – you may remove 20 minutes from your walk. Use that time to do your weight training. While hanging out a truck stop. With your protective mascot.

Readers: What are your favorite resistance training exercises? What do you do to make your walks fun and fresh?

Photo Credits: Photobucket and Creative Commons- Waitsman, Sailor Coruscant, Greg Westfall, eyeliam, Tsan Kasim


Firing a Personal Training Client

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Kymberly and Alexandra

Q: is it OK to kill or fire non-compliant clients?

Frustrated Trainer, somewhere in CA

K: Say now, we normally hear from fitness enthusiasts and participants, not industry professionals. Welcome to our Fun and Fit blog. As for your “insider” question, I believe the answer is “yes,” not only is it possible to fire non-compliant clients, but it is your duty. What kind of walking advertisement would they be for your training business otherwise? I can hear it now:  “Wow, you look lethargic and out of shape. Who is your trainer?”

Two choices : 1) kill the clients by recommending totally sedentary behavior since we all know sedentary behavior shortens lives. Maybe breathe smoke on them while suggesting they lie down and keep a remote close by. 2) Get all their fees for your services paid up front (maybe a year in advance) then let them continue to be non-compliant.

A: First of all, you aren’t my trainer are you? If not, professional duty compels me to say that you need to adjust the workout to something more achievable. I assume you are referring to the exercises they are supposed to do when they are not with you? If they are still non-compliant, have them increase the number of sessions with you. It’s hard to be non-compliant in the presence of the trainer. That would not be non-compliance, that would be “spending money to hang around and chat with my trainer.”

Hmm, now I know why my trainer keeps squinting at me and giving me that “finger across the throat” sign. I thought he was showing me his shaving stop line. Gotta run. I’m supposed to do some push-ups. But I’m so tired – think I’ll go take a little lie-down and dream in a virtual exercise kind of way.

K: Now if what you mean is “non-compliant, big ole’ pain in the Gluteus Medius and Minnieus Mouseius” kind of a client who is wrecking the mood and vibe with bad behavior during your session, then my advice really changes. Instead of “yes, it’s your duty” I am compelled to say “Heck double yes, get on it and fire up the bye-bye-barbie.” Fire the client as no money is worth being around an energy and fun sucker. People have frenemies for that. Bottom line: both you and your clients need to be happy with the partnership for it to work. Just like Alexandra and me….. who needs to get to work.

Readers: Have you ever fired a client? a trainer? How did you feel afterward?

Photo Credit: Creative Commons-igKnition

Fabulosity Comes to Those Who Weight

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dearest Fun and Fit:Kymberly and Alexandra

I’m a glamorous lady person in need of your hilarious sarcasm and expert advice.  I am on a quest to create home improvement magic but have found a limit to even MY glittertastic capabilities: that drill can get quite heavy after awhile.  Even though I have a fantastically large amount of shoes I have an embarrassingly small amount of upper body strength.  The only workout my arms probably get includes swiping my credit card at the hardware store and raising martinis to pour down my throat.  Unfortunately I have a busy schedule of kicking ass, taking names and other general fabulosity. (I need) general upper body strength not just biceps – things like … painting ceilings or weedeating for long periods of time, etc. get to be a problem and I’m too independent (cheap) to hire that (&$%*&) out. I’m thinking I’m not the only girl who has this problem so I hope others can relate!! Can you recommend some effective exercises to tone me up in no time so I can show my house who’s boss?  I toast my martini to you!  Ok it’s really just a glass of cheap wine.

Yours always in Fabulosity,

Madame Sunday

Chattanooga, TN which I call Chattavegas because it makes me (and it) seem waaaay more glam

Dear Madame Sunday:

A: You want to look like the ladies above, but instead you are more like this:


First of all, for triceps, do this exercise,  

To make it easy for you, Fun and Fit are only suggesting beginner exercises that require hand-held weights and/or your body weight. But we do recommend these weights for the triceps kickback (where’s our endorsement fee Centurions?):

Then do this exercise for shoulders, chest and triceps:  

After which you will be able to do this for painting the ceiling:

Glam people inspire jealousy so you have to accept that people will be talking behind your back. So make sure it’s a well-toned back.

And, finally we come to the core. Are you rotten to the core? If so, place your exercise mat on top of this:

so you can be carried around in true glam style while doing the side plank.  

So, have you figured out that we are recommending a complete upper-body overhaul? No oil change or tire rotation required. When you have done all these exercises and are super hot glam fab toned shiny and sparkly, let us know so we can give you the biceps and latissimus dorsi exercises too! Ahahaaaaaaa. Get to Work Lady Person!

K: You set a high bar with your humor and fabulosity (you can pick whether I am referring to high barbells, highballs, or high people in bars). You would be well-served (and who doesn’t want to be well-served?) to add push-ups to your repertoire.  Ideally you would do these suggested upper body and ab exercises (especially the push-ups) at least three times a week, 15-20 repetitions of each exercise with good form, to fatigue. Not collapse or dishevelment, but fatigue that looks like malaise or ennui or the vapors. You know, something Victorian ladylike.

Readers, lady persons and man persons: What around-the-house activities get you in shape? Which ones leave you less than glamorous and glowing?

Photo credits: Creative Commons (Rennett Stowe, Nan Palmero, Quinn.Anya, loosepunctuation) and Photobucket


Here’s to Shoe, Eddie Izzard

Dear Fun and Fit:

I am a famous comedian and actor. I LOVE high-heeled shoes more than anything. But after running around the stage for hours, making people laugh so hard they cough up their Marmite and Bovril, my feet hurt. I don’t want to change my style, so please give me some advice for my over-exercised feet.

With understated Brit-love,

Eddie Izzard

Dear Eddie:

First of all, you are so hilarious that I tip my only pair of black high heels to you! You are so ultra-glam that only a mega-fabutastic solution will do. I suggest soaking your famous, well-paid feet in a tub. But not just ANY tub, no no no, that won’t do for you. I searched high and low (by moving my computer mouse around) and found you the perfect tub.

As you have two sore feet, these come as a pair. You can either stand with one foot in each and do a “straddle-soak” or sit in a comfy La-Z-Boy (a frightening American chair that involves t.v. watching and beer) with one foot in each tub, gently swishing your tootsies back and forth in the water.

In case your back also hurts from all your stand-up gigs, I suggest this lovely matching tub and floor for you to soak in. You will have a smashing view out the window if that groupie will just get out of your way. Or you can let her stay, but ask her to bring you some grapes and biscuits (fancy English-talk for “cookies”). Now that I think about it, you should do your next show with this as your stage set.

And, Eddie, don’t tell anyone else that I am encouraging you to keep wearing those high heels. In real life, they just aren’t good for you. But then, neither am I.

Dear Readers: This has been a special guest post done in collaboration with several Twitter stalkers and goons, after a challenge put forth by “The Evil Instigator” as  ecomod hath dubbed him!  The challenge? – Take these tubs and make a post! And the challenge we give to you, oh readers, is to go to each of these sites and leave a snarky comment!

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Nick, AKA @cupboards

AventeTile, AKA @AventeTile

Dogwalkblog, AKA @dogwalkblog

Madame Sunday, AKA @ModernSauce

Ecomod, AKA @ecomod

And the Evil Instigator, Mr. Paul Anater, AKA @Paul_Anater