If you do not know by now that we are lip-smacking fans of the “good stuff,” what is wrong with you, fool? Have you not read our previous posts? Not only is it good for you (in moderation), it is bling for the tongue. Pimp My Tastebuds. As a courtesy reminder, let me just say that milk chocolate (nasty horrid Gollum stuff) and white chocolate (isn’t that a contradiction in terms?) do not count. Pick me up and slap me down.
CocoXan: (www.xanconfections.com) It’s not just because my name has the word Xan in it (I’ll help you – AleXANdra) that I love these; I’d eat them even if they were named CocoKym (but for truth in advertising they should be CuckooKym. Just sayin’). These truffles are gluten free too. I ate them and got smarter, stronger, kinder and healthier. No, I did NOT get pregnant. They don’t have one called Coco Dusty Ovaries.
Chocolats du Cali Bressan (www.chococalibressan.com/) Field Trip. Luckily for me, these crazy French types are near where I live so I was able to drive to their chocolaterie. You, however, can order them online. They will still be delicious and French! The only difference is that I was able to lick their display cases and delicately slurp an espresso. Get over it.
Due to our fair, freckly, oily skin (thanks for the ju-ju genetics parents), we are diva princesses when it comes to stuff that touches our skin (no jokes about hot guys here). These products – we likey!
Bath Petals (www.bathpetalsnaturals.com): We discovered this family business on the last day of the Natural Products Expo last month and were impressed by the feel, smell and ethics of these bath products. Cruelty free, organic and devoid of nasty stuff that isn’t good for your body, we tested the French Alpine Lavender Body Butter, Greek Honey Mint Salt Scrub, and Thai Lemongrass Ginger Body Wash. Maybe I shouldn’t have also taste-tested these, but don’t the names just sound delicious?
Wembe Soap: (www.wembe.com) As we were lugging our
loads of swag sample bags out of the Expo, we came across the most delightful young man extolling the virtues of this natural, vegan, eco-friendly, wild Amazonian soap. We sniffed every single sample (I suspect Kymberly licked one or two, but have no proof; just putting some bad karma on her), and our overall favorite was the Assai. That is probably the first time we’ve agreed on something since our high school days, when we both agreed that I’m the better driver!
You have time to order all of these wonderlicious sparkly goodness treats before Mother’s Day. And we are both mothers, so certain children had better be reading this post!
And we were not paid or bribed in any way to share these products with you, although we did get some divine samples (by “we” I mean I almost shared with Kymberly).
Now, who needs our mailing address? We share (not).
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Alexandra: Did you know that 73% of all patients who chew gum prefer…oh wait, wrong statistic. (Reads note on hand)…Seventy-three percent of US consumers believe that it’s important to be physically fit as part of being “well.” With obesity rates expected to climb to 42% by 2050, that is a LOT of people who will be looking in the mirror for wellness services.
Kymberly: If you are asking yourself, “why should I care about the IHRSA club trends?” give yourself 10 guest passes, then allow us to ask you the following: Do you have a goal to improve your health? to reduce fat? to receive more services and professional expertise from your club? Then ride this trend train to your workout station, as you will be the one to benefit from increased partnerships between clubs and local health care providers, nutrition coaching, personal training for special medical populations, and workplace wellness facilities (excerpted from the IHRSA Press Release “List of Trends for Fitness Clubs”).
A: I know I love teaching group exercise, precisely because of all the people! It’s almost as much fun as disco-dancing. Although…it’s entirely possible that someone will add disco dancing to a group exercise program sometime soon. Sign me up! Socially based exercise is on the rise, including dance and nightclub-inspired workouts. Hmm, might be time to rename the studio Club 54!
K: Why not name it “Studio Get More” cuz’ that’s what’s in store: more classes, more variety in class types, more people taking part in group workouts, from the club to beach; from gym basement to corporate offices. Y’all must have been busy, because survey results show increases in all sorts of group exercise get togethers. Boot camp, kickboxing, step, yoga, Latin dance-based, nightclub-inspired classes (yeah, I think that is a euphemism for “pole dancing and strip tease exercise), are all on the rise. Oops, double entendre there.
A: Wowzer. Since 1999, the number of Americans working with a personal trainer has gone from 4 million to 6.5 million. Hmm, I wonder if it counts if I train myself? That is about as personal as it gets. And now I’m curious about those 2.5 million – what were they doing between 1999 and now? Attending Prince concerts? Elementary school?
K: More than 90% of clubs offer some type of personal training. That’s larger than Donald Trump’s ego. If you still find one-on-one training too rich for your
fat blood, then no worries. You can still be super trendy and save money by taking advantage of small-group and semi-private training sessions. Trainers are tuned into their clients and future clients (you?) and finding ways to meet your training and budget needs.
So many trends, so much good health. Whether it’s in a group exercise class, one-on-a few with a trainer, or in a corporate wellness setting, we are still holding out for our turn on DWTS: The Disco Years! Say, is it possible to start a trend? Dancing, dancing, dancing. She’s a dancing machine!
Photo credits: Creative Commons
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
One day I woke up FAT! I mean really FAT.
To be clear, it wasn’t the first time that I’d woken up FAT. In fact, I was born FAT. I was the only baby in the hospital nursery to gain weight (babies traditionally lose an ounce or two their first week on the planet – but not me)! An ominous sign! And by the time second grade rolled around, I weighed-in at 112 pounds. YIKES! It was Yo-Yo City from there on in.
Now back to the future … THE morning of ALL mornings!
On this historic morning, when I woke up fat, I was discombobulated (more than usual). So, after my shower, instead of grabbing the towel and then my glasses, I grabbed my glasses and passed a full-length mirror on the way to the towel.
Get the picture? I did! I was shocked to see that my fat roll had grown its own fat roll. The unexpected truth was undeniably right smack dab in front of me. I could no longer ignore the fact that the fat monster had once again taken over. I had to stop HIM in his tracks!
So, right then and there (after I painstakingly picked out the lightest weigh-in outfit I could find), I dragged myself to one of those weight loss centers where people obsess about food and the scale. (You know the place I’m talking about, yes?) I was depressed, defeated and deprived before I even weighed-in (sound familiar?); and then, when I did weigh in … Whoa Nelly! Tears came to my eyes. It was, indeed, my highest number ever.
I joined the group for the lecture. As the tears made their way down my cheek, I thought, “I’m never going to make it.” That’s when I heard the voice, which I later came to realize was the voice of Our Lady of Weight Loss. She said, “If you think you’re never going to make it, you never will.” Now, I suppose we all pretty much know that our actions follow our thoughts, but when Our Lady spoke those words to me, it felt as though I had been hit over the head with a Zen celery stick. I was AWAKENED!
I shifted from deep despair to happy in a millisecond! I was excited! Our Lady of Weight Loss had snap-crackle-popped my mind into a new place. I had a deep and powerful understanding that I no longer needed to be depressed, hate myself or be mean to myself over extra fat cells – or over a number on the scale. I let it go. And when I let it go … when I stopped being mean to myself … when I practiced forgiveness, I was able to move on! I was able to move towards my compelling future.
Have you ever watched an Olympic swimmer push off the side of the pool? It is quite amazing, isn’t it? The thrust, the power, their determination is enormous. Often the strength of this one solitary push can propel the Olympian right straight into the middle of the Olympic sized pool.
When we decide to go on a ‘diet,’ we essentially push off from the side of the ‘pool of discontent.’ We gather a vast amount of energy from not liking ourselves, being disgusted, and ashamed of how we look. We don’t like ourselves. No, we sure don’t.
Sometimes this energy takes us half way to our goal weight. Sometimes all the way … 10, 20, 30, 100, 200 pounds lost. Then what?
Unlike the Olympic swimmer who has a plan; who is moving toward her big win; who sees herself as a champion and knows with every cell and fiber of her being that she is the victor, we only know ourselves to be losers. We are basing this attempt on past attempts to lose, which have failed.
It is easy to get lost if you don’t know where you are going. If you want to be victorious at the game of Permanent Fat Removal, then you need to have a compelling future. You need to know where you are going; what you want; what removing those pounds means. The diet and exercise plans do not live alone. This is a holistic event. It’s about your life, not your fat.
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Dear Fun and Fit Readers: If you feel the urge to confess your weight gain past and start fresh with a Kick in the Tush, go to www.ourladyofweightloss.com and say hello, hail to Janice Taylor.
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Alexandra: Just as sports bras are not one size fits all, neither is exercise. Remember the days (okay, we are harking back to the 80s) when exercise meant “aerobics,” which meant “high impact aerobics?” The first generation of “aerobicizers” is now past 50 (we won’t name names), and this group is the fastest growing segment of the population. I don’t know about you, but I know I don’t want to take a class called “Seniors.” I mean, what the heck is that? Baby boomers are looking for specific programs that address strength and balance, and want trainers and instructors who are qualified to address those needs. The industry hears boomers and obeys! As they should.
Kymberly: The second fastest growing demographic of health club members includes children ages 6-17. (If any teens are reading this, pretend we said “teens” instead of “children” and chillax.) Both the rise in youth obesity and the popularity of sports-specific training for children are driving children into clubs. More programs, equipment, and training methods are being created to meet the specific needs of exercising youth. Parents – let’s face it, we’ll spend money, time, effort, and nagging when it comes to helping our kids! I know I got my daughter a gym membership! She’d better thank me for it. Ahh haaa haaaa Riiiight.
A: Since trends happen in increments, it might be easier to see how much things have changed by looking back a few years. Twenty years ago, personal training was a rarity and too expensive for the average gym member. Now trainers are at almost every club and accessible to millions of people. So the fact that you can get trained inside your club for the sports and activities you do outside the club may seem normal now, but was unheard of a few years ago. Now, instead of just playing tennis at the club, you can get trained to play tennis. Are you getting ready for a marathon or ski vacation? Get prepped for it at the club! Do you want to try boxing, rock climbing or mixed martial arts? Some gyms now specialize in these formats. Ka-Pow!
K: Are kettlebells ringing a bell here? Kettlebells are exploding — no, not literally – in both home and club workouts. These balls of steel originated in Russia in the early 1700s and are making a comeback bigger than Betty White. For more on using kettlebells, swing over to the post we did on them where you will see some inspiring pics!
Human powered cardio equipment is going green both in terms of sales- cha ching! – and power. Not only do such machines not require electricity, but some actually produce electricity as you exercise. So hop on this bandwagon for sure and turn this trend into a lasting movement. When I tried a human powered cardio treadmill at IHRSA I found the machine very smooth and sweat inducing– yee-hah!. Since the machine had no electricity, my flying sweat did not short out anything either!
What do these trends mean for you? We have no clue. But it is nice to know stuff, eh? As for us, we see a distinct possibility that our 80’s workout wear will make a comeback so we’re off searching for our braided terry cloth headbands. Any other boomers with us?
Photo credits: Creative Commons, Betty White Calendar 2011, Kymberly Williams-Evans
Before we get to the review, if your goal is to strengthen your abs and core, then take a look at our post that throws what you thought you knew about planks on its head: Interval Planks Will Activate Your Abs. You might be doing them all wrong!
Now for the Omni Ball review: Once upon now, there was a multi-talented fitness pro named Aileen Sheron who invented the OmniBall, a portable piece of workout equipment devised to make me roll around on the floor and scare my cats as I work my abs and more. ”Omni” means “all” as in “omnifarious,” which is what this ball allows for–”relating to all varieties” of upper body, lower, and core training. Omnipotent after an all-in-one 30 minute workout??!! My kind of gig!
Basically you strap a 4 pound OmniBall to each hand or foot, clean your floor, buy Aileen’s 30 minute Omni Ball workout program (click the link), then whoopee it up as you try to follow Aileen’s superhuman lead on screen. And I do recommend you get at least one of Aileen’s workouts to go along with your OmniBall. I worked out to her 30 minute “Express OmniBall DVD” which hit all the major muscles with strength and stretch moves. Then I did some–also known as “none”–of the 30 minute “Start-Up OmniBall” workout.) Hey, the first 30 minute workout was sufficient!
Loved the DVDs as they packed a lot of training into half an hour. Aileen has a clear, clean, friendly, polished teaching style that does not veer into the dreaded “perky” or on camera fakey mode. Enjoyed her and her workout design. The transitions were smooth; the pace just about right; the balance of lower to upper to core training was on target, and she mentions modifications (though shows only a few). I made up my own options in a few places that looked more like “taking a break” and “clearing dirt out of the roller” and “adjusting the straps so the ball would stay on my feet when we switched from handheld to footheld.”
As for the equipment, I learned that a low carpet such as the one Aileen is on in the “Start-Up” DVD looked to allow better roller movement than my laminate floor (could cat fur be the culprit?). The ball itself was very comfortable and the 4 pounds each was more challenging than I expected. Those roll out push-ups are deee-vine. But the moves with my body weight over my hands and the OmniBall hurt my wrists. But then I did break both wrists falling out of a tree back in the day…. Those of you who prefer home workouts will like the combo of the ball and the program–not much space needed, easy to use and follow. Just know you will have to do a pre-workout called sweeping and mopping so that the balls can perform most effectively. I checked with Aileen about which surface the OmniBall works best on. Her report: she has had success on all the workout floors she and her customers have tried. My report: My OmniBalls want to work out at the beach…in the Caribbean….
Well, you can get stronger, leaner, and more fit. But you don’t want to fall into the Spot Reducing Myth (click here to bust that myth and laugh a little). However, even a little of this workout will go a long way to boost your metabolism and improve your strength (Yes, also click <—— that link, but only if you want to be more fit). But if your big goal is to shove some body fat out of the house, then you need to bust a move and a fat burning myth. Go here — to one of our most popular posts — to get smart about the ole’ fat burn realities: To Burn Fat, Do I Go Faster or Slower?
First, we make no money off this product or link. However we know some of you are ready to have a ball with the ball. To purchase, go to https://fewdm.com/shop/omniball/. While we know the product to be good, we suggest you get any training, programming, or workouts directly from inventor, Aileen Sheron. Our review of Tommy Saunders is short — he does not know what he’s doing with the product. He’s a salesperson, not an instructor or qualified fitness leader. You’ll have more fun and get results with Aileen’s workouts.
ACTION: Also get great results by subscribing to our blog so we can come to you twice a week with active aging answers destined to get you more fit. Enter your email in one of the boxes and grab your bonus as well.
KymberlyWilliams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams.MA
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Trend 4 – Consumers are finally scared into caring about what they put into their bodies. And for good reason. if we keep going the way we have been going, we will be renamed Generation Rx. Can we finally get “foodscriptions” instead of prescriptions? We are already looking at a new disease–diabesity. How about looking at labels? Checking online to know where our food comes from and what is in it? Caring about the higher price we pay in medical costs, lost productivity, reduced quality of life when we choose highly processed food over locally grown or organic? Ergo, the natural and organic markets are only going to get bigger and better given increased necessity and awareness. Bandwagon moment people!
5 – Are you a mom? Do you have one? You are HAWT, mamacita in the eyes of the marketers of the food world. Businesses, ads, promotions are all targeting moms since they are the primary shoppers and family “gatekeepers.” Apparently, even when dad shops, he either brings mom’s list or gets what mom would get (or buys what mom will get mad at him for if he forgets to get it. Just sayin’). Sound obvi? Think about the marketing you’ve seen over the years–lots of it was geared towards men, singles, boomers. Manly beer, manly chips, kid-friendly treats, kid foods as entertainment for kid consumers, sexy organics. Not any more. baby… and toddler, and tween, and pre-teen, and teen! The Natural and Organic products industry plans to reach kids and all others through mom: Mom colors, mom text, mom music choices, mom graphics, mom language. Mom rules! Ahem, we all knew that and finally marketers have figured it out too.
6 – Kids, babies, wee ones are also HAWT and the inspiration for many new healthy options just coming to market. Those moms we just mentioned are willing to spend what it takes to give their children the best. Even if we adults do not make great eating choices, we want our children to be safe, healthy, and unrefined. I mean, we want no refined sugars for our little sweeties.
7– Free the glutens! For those of us who live mostly in exercise land, not nutrition land, this might have looked like “free the glutes,” with some new, fun strength training move to achieve tight, toned tushies. Or a modern version of “mooning.” Sounds fun,eh? But this trend is actually about gluten-free everything popping up on grocery shelves and pantries. This huge shift to gluten-free food is projected to grow, grow, grow. Being on a gluten-free diet is apparently “in,” as in “Intestines.” Allergies and reactions to gluten, the protein within grains is big bidness. Who knew? Odds are good that you or someone you know is on a gluten-free diet. Compare that to a decade ago. See what I mean?
8 – Buying AND selling habits will become more and more cause driven. We will make purchasing decisions based on what charity gets a portion of the proceeds, which forest is saved, how few resources are wasted relative to the product, which indigenous peoples are not threatened. Those who value healthy food also value a healthy planet and sustainability. Entrepreneurs and business owners making products for those who care about their bodies also care about the world and all its people. They are creating healthy options because they want to make a difference, not just make a profit. Doesn’t this seem a happy counter to Trend 4? Trendsetters are shopping with values as well as pocketbooks.
9 and 10 – Honestly, I could go on all day making this stuff up and dreaming of a healthy world and a sister who cooks it all for me. But do you really read this far? Doubt it. So I am going to say that trends 9 and 10 are all about less being more. Aaaaannnd … done.
Readers: Do you see yourself in any of the 8 trends we spotted at the recent Natural Products Expo West?