Archive

Monthly Archives: September 2011
17

What’s Your Natural and True Posture?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Posture

Is This Perfect Posture? Where’s the Cleavage?

Do you want to improve your posture? Are you keen to enjoy the happy, comfy, confident body that good posture brings? Do you want to instantly look 5 pounds thinner? Ok, so now we have your attention.

To get where you’re going, you need to know where you start. Or something like that. We were tempted to start with “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Perfect Posture,” but you might have thought we were pickled.

Your first step is to know your current posture — unchanged, unmodified, no artificial sticks-up-the-wherever added. But how can you establish your normal stance without already thinking about trying to “correct” it?

Cue the trumpets as Fun and Fit talk you through an easy way to get to your regular, 100% all natural beefcake posture. Once you have that established, you are in the perfect position to make assessments, observations, and improvements. And with enough comments on this post, we might make those video sequels showing you how to assess and progress. For now, don’t mess with what you have going now. Just know what you are dealing with. Us! And You!

 

Posture

Posture: Going, Going, Gone

Photo credits: Creative Commons

15

Running a Half Marathon: Hydration Belt or Water Stations? Gels or Sports Drink?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: So, I signed up to do this half marathon in October.  I’m scared to death, but seem certain this is something I need to do.  I’m required to maintain at least a 14 min/mile throughout or be disqualified.  So, I need to finish in 183 minutes, basically.  I’ve found training that seems to be working for me and my knee issues that allows me two short runs, an easy walk and a long run during the week.

At any rate, I’ve bought a hydration belt and have been using it. I’m wondering
a) if you think it best to wear it for the race and (keep to) my drinking schedule instead of relying on water stations (except the chocolate aid station. This is Hershey’s!).
b) do I need energy gels or just go with Gatorade in one of my drink bottles
c) anything else?
Amy, Hershey, PA

Alexandra: Dear Amy: First of all, my condolences. In my vast experience of running races (none), I believe that’s 13 miles. My first reaction is to advise you to drive–you’ll definitely meet the 14 min/mile rule. But you seem intent on actually running. Sigh. You know that cars have been invented, right?

During your race, if you find energy gels to be more convenient or mentally a “boost,” choose that. Researchers tend to differ, but it does seem that most of them held hands, sang “Kumbaya” and decided to agree that you are just as well off with a less expensive alternative. Say, you can even put some grape jelly into a baggie, then cut a hole and squeeze that into your mouth during the race. Urgle – I feel saccharine-sweet just thinking of that! Heck, the Stone Research Foundation even recommends a Pop-Tart over an energy bar!

Jelly for running energy

Grape jelly has been around longer than marathons it seems!

Pop-Tarts everywhere

Pop-Tarts: an almost natural color!

 

Kymberly: As to the decision about Gatorade or water, we will say that the most important aspect is taking in carbohydrates and electrolytes when engaging in a true endurance activity. So a sports drink is probably better than water since you’ll be running for 183 minutes, which is essentially two soccer matches. Now we’re talking!

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U8pAM4VXvI[/youtube]

 

A: As to the chocolate station, forget your troubles, come on get happy, ‘cause chocolate milk is a good post-exercise recovery drink.

chocolate milk as post-race recovery fuel

Chocolate Milk - the perfect post-race fuel

 

K: We asked a few of our experienced running friends to comment on the hydration belt issue. They had some great comments:

  • “If you’re in a very specific or exact hydration routine, then I would recommend carrying your own water. If nothing else, it’ll be a nice safety net for if something goes wrong (super-warm weather, big crowds, lack of supplies, etc). I’ve had several races where I wished I’d brought my own hydration and zero where I was sorry that I had.” Dawn Dolobowsky
  • “Always stick to what you do in training. Wear the belt.” Sarah Stanley
  • “I’ve found that I need to drink when I need to drink and having the belt has been a life saver.” Erika Howder
  • “If you have your own belt, you drink when you need to AND you can always use course-provided fluids if/when needed. If you use something like Heed or other electrolyte replacement you can carry your own and not worry about the race-provided fluids causing GI distress.” Amanda Brandon

Running Readers: is it all about distress or de-stress when entered in a half marathon?

 

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5

Fitness Secrets and Details Revealed About K & A

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Once upon a time there was a princess who cleverly disguised herself as “Brooklyn Fit Chick.” She had the good fortune (some say she was cursed, but this is our blog, so hesh up!) to make the acquaintance of two A-DOOOOOOR-ABLE twins, Kymberlicious and Alexandretta (names are cleverly disguised for no real reason). Princess Brooklyn Fit Chick (BFC) asked to interview these two magical, mystical, maniacal soosters and get to the bottom (or top) of their journey through the fitness realm.

Their interview replies–first posted on BFC’s blog— have been preserved for all time throughout the land … so stick around and partake of the plethora of pithiness.

BFC: Twins, how do you like to be properly addressed?

Alexandra in her younger days but still older than K

A: I never like to be properly addressed; improperly addressed is a lot more fun! But I go by Alexandra. On Twitter I am @AlexandraFunFit.

K: Please address me as “Kymberly, the much younger twin” aka @KymberlyFunFit or Kymberly Williams-Evans.”

Kymberly a certain number of ell-bees ago

BFC: What is the name of your magazine, class, program, or blog?
A: The name of our blog is “Alexandra is Infinitely More Interesting than Her Stinky Sister Kymberly.” For short we call it Fun and Fit.

BFC: How would you describe it to someone who has not read it before?
A: For people who have not read our blog before, tell them it’s lots of naked pictures of us from our college days. For those who have read our blog before, it’s more of a lighthearted look at fitness, exercise and good health, backed up by current research. We answer fitness questions from real people, create videos to enhance readers’ workout results, do reviews of stuff we find interesting, and post inspirational stories about people who have made a healthier life for themselves. Once in a while, we do weird stuff, such as smash strawberries all over ourselves, but that’s only when Kymberly forgets to provide proper supervision!
K: What we really do with our blog is wait by the phone for people to call and hire us as speakers, emcees, or writers once they see how edu-taining we are. tick tick tick. Rrrring! Oh yay! Gotta go. Phone is ringing!

BFC: How did you get interested in writing?
A: I got interested in writing about 20 years ago when I discovered you can get paid for it. I didn’t realize they meant in zlotys! Besides, my brain goes too fast for my tongue so I need another way to get my thoughts out as my tongue was exhausted.
K: My start in writing hearkens back to high school, when I discovered I could tussle with words and win! Since then I have been writing non-fiction of all sorts. Our Fun and Fit blog is the first place and time I have co-written with what’s her sissie, Alexandra. She cracks me up so I has me some reel fun writin’ wid her!

BFC: What is your favorite workout?

Clive Owen

Clive. Call me. I said "Please."

Colin Firth

Colin, I have been drooling on you since "Pride & Prejudice"

A: My absolute favorite workout is the one someone else does. Why should I have to do all the sweating? But I love soccer, step and walking. Er, um, I don’t actually play soccer anymore, but I still have delusions of a fabulous soccer career! If my parole officer weren’t looking, I’d say that my favorite workout involves Clive Owen or Colin Firth – curse that restraining order!
K: My favorite workout is Advanced Step with complex choreography and a skilled group fitness instructor. My second favorite workout is any power walk in beautiful scenery. My third fave is on a cardio machine with my headphones on watching “Dancing With the Stars.” My fourth favorite workout is the one I’ll be doing when DWTS calls Alexandra and me to appear as their first set of twin contestants! (Pick up the phone NOW DWTS people! How hard does a person have to hint around here?!)

BFC: Who are your “fitness heroes?”
A: My fitness heroes are all from the fitness industry: Len Kravitz, Aileen Sheron, Fred Hoffman, Carrie Ekins – they all are ehhhhh-xcellent at what they do and they make it accessible for everyone. FYI, Len is actually a researcher and professor; he hasn’t taught classes since the 80s. So I guess I’ve been tracking his action for a while.
K: My fitness heroes are the people who take my group exercise classes. They come every week with great attitudes, energy, willingness to work hard, and fun personalities! I am on the schedule to be in class; they could have stayed home, but they came to move and groove with me instead.

BFC: The biggest physical challenge you have overcome?
A: Shoving Kymberly out of my way at press conferences. And knee replacement surgery. That sucked. Shoving my sister is way more fun!
K: I am tempted to say “holding my ground while A tries to elbow me out of the way,” but my biggest physical challenge really is staying active after two knee surgeries.  My soccer and running days may be over, but I am thinking of finding a knee-friendly sport and entering the National Senior Games.   Once I am old enough, I mean……. AND right after Alexandra and I compete in DWTS (ABC — you have a second chance here!)

BFC: Besides your blog posts, what are you favorite reads?
A: I like to read my laundry tags so I’ll know if I’m doing the laundry right. Otherwise I get laundry guilt–very traumatizing. I have some blogs I love – lifeofanarchitect, coffeewithanarchitect, modernsauce, kittenagogo, lifelessonshalfwaythrough. – because they are funny and poignant.
K: I LOVE reading lots and oodles, so it’s hard to narrow this down. I am going through a phase right now reading about the connection between the brain and movement: “Incognito,” “The Brain That Changes Itself,” “Prime-Time Health,” The Magnificent Mind,” and “Spark.” I also love reading whatever my sister writes, especially if it’s a check to me!

BFC: What is your favorite TV guilty pleasure?
K: Favorite tv show? Duh, Dancing With the Stars, unless they don’t call to get Fun and Fit on the show. Then it’s any soccer game that happens to be airing, especially if it’s Women’s World Cup USA action with Hope Solo, as then I get both soccer AND a Season 13 contestant all in one.

BFC: If you could trade places with a specific person from any time in history for one day, who would it be and why?
A: I’d trade places with any of my former bosses so that I could give myself a big honkin’ raise.
K: How fun could this be? Sooooo, I would either want to trade a day with an upper class Victorian woman from London who wields enough clout to have some independence. She could enjoy my life for a day seeing how far women have progressed since Victorian times. Motivating for her; interesting for me!  Orrrrr, trade with myself in high school and kick some butt from my more mature perspective. Plus I’d make some investments using my magic time travel knowledge so that I’d come back to now with serious moolah and “visionary” real estate purchases.

BFC: How do you motivate yourself when your mind & body are saying “Ugh, not today?”
A: I say, “How can I embarrass my teen sons if I don’t stay one step ahead of them?”
K: After having read the books I mentioned above, I think of the effects on my brain and intelligence that exercise confers and that motivates me to giddy up.  I want to be a mentally with-it older person one day. Heck, knowing how much exercise helps brain power, I am motivated to motivate my husband, daughter, and nephews to exercise as well. You can imagine how FUN I am at those moments. They love my helpful nagging encouragement.

BFC: What’s your favorite place in the world to chill out?
A: Inside a cathedral with great acoustics when the choir is practicing. Then I can sing along.
K: Outside the cathedral with the doors closed. Meeeeoooowww — are those caterwauling cats I hear or a certain “A” personage?  Or snorkeling anywhere with calm, warm water and lots of marine life.

Something to complain about

Ah, quit yer bitching!

BFC: Who/what makes you laugh when you need a mood lift?
A: I have a few weird friends who will text me or send me tweets that are hysterical. But if they’re not around, I go to my friends’ blogs and post snarky comments. That always cheers me up. Oh, by the way, check your inbox!
K: My daughter, my husband, and the older adults in my Friday “Senior Strength and Cardio” class crack me up almost as much as Alexandra does.  Gotta admit I also love the “Jon Stewart Show,” “Steve Colbert Report,” and “Whose Line is it Anyway?” That’s my final line, and I’m sticking with it!

Photo credits: Creative Commons and the dusty archives of A & K.

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13

Wrong & Right Way to do Oblique Ab Crunches

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

We are asked all the time about working the sides, “muffin top,” “love handles,” or waist. So we shall waste no time and show you the wrong and right way to do an oblique crunch.

Enjoy a quick video tutorial from Thing 1 and Thing 2:

And now, a message from your sponsor (the obliques):

Internal & External Obliques

X Marks the External & Internal Obliques

 

  • Your external obliques run diagonally, forming a V in front. Imagine you’re putting your hands into a vest or front coat pocket – voila!
  • Your internal obliques run at right angles to your external obliques and form an inverted V.  Put your hands on your hips with your thumbs in front and fingers behind, pointing down as if putting your hands into back pockets.

For those of you who like the nitty-gritty, oblique-y details, here’s an excellent definition by our colleague Dr. Len Kravitz, who teaches at the University of New Mexico and is way smart!

Now you know the official terms for “I want my waist to be fit and trim, but don’t want to copy any of those lame exercises I see people do in the gym that are destined to hurt their back or neck.”

Well, did you do the oblique crunch along with us? Feel free to post a video of your wrong or right favorite ab move on our fan page.  Or comment below between reps. 412, 413, 414, 415 ….

 

 

6

Breakfast: Yes or No? Then Go Outside & Play

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Hey Fun and Fit: I recently started exercising for thirty minutes in the morning (after a thirty year layoff). My previous morning routine revolved around eating and coffee. I’m loathe to give them up. Is it better to exercise first, on an empty stomach, or does it really matter? Mike, Santa Ynez, CA

Mutant sugar colorful sprinkle magic donuts

Kymberly:Thirty minutes of exercise times thirty years of a hiatus equals = eat breakfast! Yes, eating relative to exercise really matters. Breaking a fast also matters. Science says many things (So does my sister. Have you heard our radio show?): “eat first so you have energy to maintain intensity;” “eat at least 4 hours’ prior to exercise,” which means getting up at an hour known only to nocturnal animals, graveyard shift workers, and vampires (the “real” ones as in “Twilight”, not the fake ones elsewhere); “eat after working out when your metabolism is revved up and digests food better.” What’s a person to do? Call FunandFitBusters (well, we are not busters per se, but sisters).

What it comes down to is what works best for your body? Do you feel more energized and ready to work out when you have some brekkie in you or do you feel weighed down and lethargic if you eat first? Who cares what statistics and general averages say when your body is having a different conversation.  For me, I have to eat first or I drag and feel lightheaded. For you, it sounds as though you should keep up the (ahem, healthy) eating then attack the day in a fitnessy way.

Alexandra: I was laughing because when I first read your question I thought you were asking if we thought you should give up eating! Hahahaha. No. Just give up eating fake food. Anything covered in sprinkles or glaze is probably fake food! To cheer you up, here is a post we did that gives you some food suggestions.

K: More good news– you do not even have to give up wake-up coffee as it has beneficial properties. You might have to give up your record of 30 years’ avoiding gasp! exercise. But then you might also give up the extra weight and health risks. Woo hoo!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4xNrSbw5Iw[/youtube] [plus1 count=”true” size=”standard”]
8

Wrong & Right Way to Run in Place

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Is there a correct way to jog in place?

Running clothes - 1980s

Digging those 80s fashions!

Way back when headbands, leotards, slouch socks and even Marty McFly silver shoes were in fashion, there was  high-impact aerobics and few other indoor cardio options. And so we jogged in place. Same with runners getting revved up for the big outdoors. Took a while (and some ice, shin splints,  ace bandages and research) before we realized there was a wrong and right way to get our cardio legs running! Well, here it is, well into a new century, and often we still see the style that will cause leg pain and injury! Yes, we see you kicking back (literally).

 

 

 

 

So for you, dear exercisers, we have a short little video that will delight, entrance, enlighten and frighten you as you discover how to get your jog on safely!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OsBk8Xe5Wo[/youtube]

So, are you ready to go out and buy some ultra-trendy silver shoes?

For all you Marty McFly “Back to the Future” shoes fans, this one’s for you:
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1

Fun and Trendy Products at the IDEA World Fitness Expo

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Fun and Fit recently attended the IDEA World Fitness Convention. That includes surveying the purveyors of the latest and greatest coming to your workout world!

When Kymberly wasn’t in classes, and Alexandra wasn’t doing editorial duties for IDEA Fitness Journal, they got together in the Expo Hall to find all the Funnerist and Fittliest tools, gadgets, machines, programs, snacks and mouth-watering beverages! And now we share some of them with you! (By “share” we mean we didn’t save you any).

First up was a stop at the Sproing booth. We will not explain this; we will let the video be your guide! However, we will say Kymberly particularly loved being able to run again since her two knee surgeries years ago.  Sproing’s tagline is “Soft is the New Hard,” which relates to the soft and cushy pad you walk, jog, run, lunge, jump, and SPROING on. Wheee! Thanks Sproing;  now try to catch us!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3CuzJZkVgE[/youtube]
Chobani honey yogurt

Chobani Greek Yoguft - My Honey (but not Sweetie)

Have you tried Chobani Greek Yogurt yet? No pictures because we were too busy eating the samples. Greek yogurt is the latest recommended food for protein lovers! We can say from personal experience that Chobani works well in smoothies too! Just turn your blender to “power up” mode. Lemon, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Raspberry, Vanilla and more, more, more.

 

PopChips booth

PopChips Twins (like DoubleMint, but Better)

At the PopChips booth, they were giving away bags of their new flavors. If you had a hard time deciding, they gave you one of each. We were stars! But what the heck is with that pink tint on our faces? A secret PopChips ingredient?

 

Fun & Fit & FitFrappe

Fun & Fit Frapping it Up at FitFrappe Booth

We wanted a tasty beverage treat to go with our lunch (that’s the way we describe the free samples), and guess what?! You won’t believe it when we tell you! We found the FitFrappe booth. Why is that such exciting news (besides the fact that every single flavor was super delicious)? Because the day we left for the convention we received notice from Klout Perks that we were going to receive a FitFrappe sample package in the mail! Jeepers. Just in time for our birthday (it’s not too late for you to send gifts). Here we are, frapping it up with our pal Jim Wendt (do you see the look of fear in his eyes? I think we both goosed him simultaneously – twin sandwich).

Kike Santander, Leigh Crews, Kymberly Williams-Evans, Alexandra Williams

Dang, that looks fun!

What would you do if you got to meet a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning, totally smokin’ hot music producer & composer? Well, who cares, because here’s what we did when we met Kike Santander, the man behind Batuka, one of the absolute most funster, fitnessy workouts we’ve ever almost sweated to! Click on that link and check out the dancing AND the “Listen to the Music” button. Then come back to us as we are heading to Batuka training in November.

Strappy, not scrappy! Another push-up to LOVE!

Lest you think only Alexandra tries the actual workouts (check out our Fun and Fit Facebook posts that show her sliding down the Strip Tease X-Pert Pole Dancing pole), rumors are true that Kymberly managed both a FreeMotion Rip:60  body weight workout AND a class using the CoreFitnessRoller. FreeMotionFitness Education Manager, Natalie, gave Kymberly a one-on-one session that worked all major muscles in under 20 minutes. Kymberly’s glasses stayed on and some cals came off!

We get on the Roller and fit men want to put their hands on us!

Next stop, the CoreFitnessRoller booth, where our friend and fellow Santa Barbarian, Darya Bronston debuted her invention that incorporates the best of the foam roller, tubing resistance, balance, and cute helper boys. We dare you to balance on the CoreFitness Roller, work your core, and smile at the crowd all at once!

See what fun stuff lies ahead for you? Workouts and healthy food, here we come. Now that we are so fit and all……

 

 

 

Readers and Eaters: What new products and training programs do you plan to try this fall?

Photos courtesy of Kymberly, Alexandra, and anyone we corralled at the IDEA Expo.

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6

Wrong & Right Way to Do a Squat

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Squats are an excellent way to work the booty…and quads and hamstrings! Lower body magic move alert!

Fitness Squats

Even in French, there's a wrong & right way to perform squats!

The problem is that most people do them wrong, then wonder why their backs or knees hurt. So Kymberly put on her booty boots, Alexandra put on her best “squint into the sun” face, and we decided to show you both the wrong and right way to do a squat. Come on now, do them with us! Even better, practice sideways to the mirror to check your form.

Well, are you and your now-perfect squat form ready for some boot-scootin’ boogie?

Photo credit: Creative Commons-Sanchom

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7

Have a LaBlast with Louis van Amstel, Dancing With the Stars Dance & Fitness Pro

Go Louis van Amstel and DWTS (Dancing With the Stars)! Go Fun and Fit for scoring an exclusive interview with him at the recent IDEA Convention so that YOU, dedicated readers can get the latest on the hottest and greatest!  (Thanks CRUNCH gym!) Get DWTS (Get Down With ThySelves) as you find out what Louis has in store for you and the workout world with his new LaBlast dance fitness program.

Though Louis will not be part of Season 13 of DWTS, he will be out and about –maybe in YOUR club, presenting this new, super cool, ultra HOT new program.  Watch our short video and have a LaBlast!

Louis van Amstel LaBlast Fitness Creator

Recognize this DWTS face?

What is LaBlast and why is international ballroom champ and DWTS star, Louis launching it for people like you and Fun and Fit? And did you know he teamed up with CRUNCH gyms to make an even bigger impact.

LaBlast is a really fun fitness class that Louis designed based on the popular dances from DWTS. And it’s for everyone, not just people who took dance lessons as kids! Louis has choreographed the classes to accommodate all skills levels. Even Kymberly could do it! Yes, she owned the jive and disco routines, though the Samba was sumpin else!

Fun and Fit got the only exclusive interview with Louis at the recent IDEA World Fitness Convention, right before he taught a class to 500 fitness instructors.  How did we manage that? Alexandra says it’s her ability to speak Dutch that charmed the native “Nederlander.” Kymberly says it’s her press connections! Could be a bit of both!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fksPvGPz_-s[/youtube]

Ask the manager at your health club to add LaBlast to the group exercise programming. You’ll love it. And we’re sure you’ll love Louis in this interview – he’s a friendly, cheerful guy!

Tot ziens and Goedzo!  Now if they would just rename DWTS something like “Dancing With the Celestial Bodies” then we might qualify and GET ON THAT DARN SHOW.

Readers and Viewers: Don’t you think it’s time for the first pair of fitness twin celebs, F and F style?  Feel free to start the write-in campaign, then meet us in a LaBlast class.
Why, here’s Kymberly in the LaBlast class from the convention (after about 12 hours of convention classes):

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