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Monthly Archives: December 2012
13

3 Exercises You Never Have to Do Again after 2012

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Build that Bust

Build that Bust

Ready to leave behind certain moves, memories, and mad moments of 2012? Want to enter 2013 with exercises that are effective and efficient? Say sayonara to the following exercises that are useless at best, injurious at worst. Yes, you have the official Fun and Fit wand wave to refrain forever from certain moves!

Unweighted Arm Circles

We confess – we used to teach air circles ourselves back in the 80s. But they don’t actually work anything effectively. The arm circling exercise really just stresses the shoulder and wrist joints. If you want to target your biceps, triceps, or forearm, you have much better options. Comment below if you want us to make videos showing you those better upper body and arm exercises.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7HQjlbFzKM&feature=share&list=PLkNW77Cz_XKGdRnYXJn9V7TfuVH-Zbs-X[/youtube]

Standing Chest Squeezes, aka “Bust Builders”

We must, we must, we must build up our bust.
For fear, for fear, we won’t fill our brassiere.
Who recognizes that ditty from grade school PE? Did you also have to chant those words while doing chest squeezes, bust builders, or whatever you called them? As an adult have you tried standing pec work with free weights in your hands to strengthen your chest? One problem: the resistance factor is all wonky so there’s no significant pectoral work. All this exercise does is stress your shoulder joint.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep7pTGJgC08&feature=share&list=PLkNW77Cz_XKGdRnYXJn9V7TfuVH-Zbs-X[/youtube]

Leg Lifts, Fire Hydrant Style

Don’t use this fire hydrant to put out any hot hiney flames! This so-called leg & butt exercise (it isn’t) is a useless exercise unless you want your hip to hurt. Mostly you are getting external hip rotation joint action, which has some value but not as a great glute move. You can do so many other, better exercises for your legs, and tush that don’t depend on low resistance, high repetition wafting through the air.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dSQubp4zB4&feature=share&list=PLkNW77Cz_XKGdRnYXJn9V7TfuVH-Zbs-X[/youtube]

Click to see more exercises that DON’T work in our YouTube Playlist: Exercise No No’s – Funny, Useless, Parodies and Otherwise

To see exercises that DO work, take a look at a few of our other YouTube Playlists:
Right and Wrong Way to do Exercises
Get Better Posture and Spinal Alignment
Healthy Aging Exercises for Women Over 45

End 2012 with action that will propel you into a more fit 2013:  Subscribe now to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share and subscribe!

19

Gifts for Your Home: BlogTour of Cologne and Amsterdam

Alexandra Williams, MA

Cologne CathedralMerry Christmas to me! I am headed to Cologne and Amsterdam in January as part of BlogTour by Modenus. 

I’m one of 14 international designers (not me) and lifestyle (me) bloggers invited to attend the giant IMM (International Furniture Fair) and Living Kitchen as well as other design destinations in Cologne before moving on to spend a day in Amsterdam for a guided tour of the City’s design hotspots in collaboration with home design magazine Eigen Huis and Interieur.

BlogTour Green BadgeWhat? You are wondering how I managed to wangle this amazing invitation when I can’t even tell you the 2013 color of the year (it’s emerald)! Let me put it like this – You love good food, right? And you spend a lot of time in your kitchen? And in your bathroom? And you appreciate good design, whether it’s your sculpted body or a beautiful sculpture, right? How about well-made products that make your life more enjoyable? Exactly!

A few of the items I’ll be checking out on your behalf:

BLANCO Cerana Sink

We moved away from Oregon just as my dream kitchen was finished. So I didn’t get to spend much time with MY sink. So for sure I’ll be sidling up to this  BLANCO CERANA™ fireclay, as it’s just like the one I left behind.

Miele Espresso MakerThis magical espresso machine is by Miele. Need I say more?

Steam_Oven_Close_Up_Look_InsideI’ve read the research about the health benefits of cooking with steam (think of vitamins, minerals and nutrients). But I didn’t know about these steam ovens until just now. On the wish list!!

Shawl Collar Terry Robe If you read our November Holiday Fitness Gift List, then you already know about the standing towel warmer by Mr. Steam. I figured out pretty quickly that it warms my fitness clothes in the morning too! And I’m sure it would warm up this snuggly robe from The Turkish Towel Company.

Pomegranate cabinet pullsThese cabinet pulls by Du Verre are shaped like pomegranates. I think it would be so cool to have the drawers match one of my favorite smoothie ingredients! Since they’re manufactured entirely from recycled aluminum, they satisfy my environmental values too!

Solon_Compost_Bin_11My compost currently goes into an old milk container. It’s disgusting. Dear BLANCO SOLON™ Compost System, come to Mama.

These are but a fraction of the many amazing items and brands I’ll be checking out during the trip! I’m pretty excited. And I’l be keeping an eye out for the items I think Kymberly would like in her new home. She needs appliances for an entire house! Hmmm, there must be a way to make her into a Shrinky-Dink so she can fit in my luggage and come along….Shrinky Dinks poster

If you want to know more of our gift suggestions for the season (or any time, really)  listen to our Healthy Holiday Gift Ideas radio interview with Southern Fried Fitness.

Now I’m off to brush up on my basic Dutch skills. Tot ziens!

Photo credits: Miele, BLANCO, The Turkish Towel Company, Modenus, DuVerre, Zachi Evenor (Cologne Cathedral), and Go Orbit (Shrinky Dink poster).

For true beauty, form and function, subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share and subscribe!

15

Boomer Time and Anytime – Double Time!

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Kymberly and Alexandra cowgirlsToday is DoubleMint “Double Your Pleasure; Double Your Fun” Twin Time as you get two double fresh, double good topics in one! First up, some quick and timely facts about Baby Boomers. Then a possible trip around the fitness world (with 7 seconds of your help).

Fun Fit Facts For and About Baby Boomers

  • What do you think is the life expectancy of baby boomers? Prepare to be surprised!  A death defying 87 years! Our goal here at Fun and Fit is to rouse you to make those 87 years active, engaged ones!
  • When you exercise hard enough to sweat you grow new cells — cells that are better and functionally younger.
  • People who burn off the most energy have healthier, younger brains compared with adults who do less.
  • Physical activity leads to 5% more gray matter.
  • Specific aspects of cognitive function such as task switching, selective attention, and working memory, all appear to benefit from aerobic exercise.
  • Mental test scores improve for those who take part in an aerobic exercise regimen compared to those who do just stretch and tone classes.
  • Even doing moderate leisure activities for 2.5 hours per week can extend your life by up to 4.5 years
  • Walking and physical activity may help prevent hip replacement especially for women.
  • Employees who exercise are an average of 15% more efficient than non-active workers.
  • Percentage of boomers who exercise frequently? 27%
  • Infrequently? 21% What about the remaining half?
  • Boomers who do not exercise at all??!!  52%!!! Aaaarrgghh!
  • 62 percent of baby boomers have at least 1 chronic condition as a result of obesity.
  • 87% of all baby boomers seek health info online. Such as the info you get from our blog!
People who burn off the most energy have healthier, younger brains compared with adults who do… Click To Tweet

 Anywhere There’s An Anytime

Winning Would Make us Gaga Too!

Winning Would Make us Gaga Too!

The Anytime Fitness photo contest is only a couple of days from ending, and we want to Win the grand prize of a trip to anywhere Anytime has a club (that includes Poland and Australia)! Kind of like Charlie Sheen and his famous tweet: “Born Ready. Winning.” Except he’s the bad boy of television, and we’re the good twins of fitness! And we aren’t warlocks like Charlie either, so the only way we can win the trip to the Anytime Fitness location of our choice (they are found in 12 countries) is if you vote for us. Creativity helps too, so we sure do hope our photo is Cre.A.Tive!

Get on the Ball and Vote For Us!

Get on the Ball and Vote For Us!

The voting deadline ends on 21 December, so please head over to Anytime Fitness and click on the link to give us your vote. We are the Running Twins on the Ball. We appreciate every vote! Did we mention that we want to win the trip?

 

Has the DoubleMint jingle been haunting you since the beginning of the post? We then dedicate this YouTube video to you:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/F7hwvWIK1eM[/youtube]

Fun Fit Fact: Those who subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog get more fun fit facts. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share and subscribe!

Photo credits: Us and Flickr

15

Is Wheat-Free Better for You?

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

To bread or not to bread, that is the question – “Ham and Omelet” by Shakespeare

The multi-colored pasta that your grandparents ate (and possibly made themselves)

The multi-colored pasta that your grandparents ate (and possibly made themselves)

Dear Fun and Fit: I was wondering if you could either discuss, or give me some good sources of information about the new “no wheat” trend. What I have heard about it is that wheat has been completely altered from the wheat of our parents’/grandparents’ generations and is not the same crop, as addictive as some drugs, and can cause numerous health problems including substantial weight gain in the belly region.  Danielle, Torrance, CA

Wow, that is quite the question! Since we are neither nutritionists nor dietitians, we will present some research and links to help guide you, but not give advice on your timely question about wheat-free (and its popular cousin, gluten-free) eating.

Celiac disease is an immune disorder triggered by gluten (a protein found in grains) in genetically predisposed individuals. There is a loss of small intestinal villi, small finger-like projections that significantly increase the surface area for absorption of nutrients. Celiac disease is being diagnosed with more frequency than ever before (it’s estimated that 1 in 250 Americans has it), so there is a correlation between the higher rates and grains.

In a study that just came out last week, researchers found that consumption of bread on a daily basis, particularly wholemeal, was good for cardiovascular health. They go on to mention that it’s associated with a lower insulin concentration, and that eating bread helps prevent insulin resistance.

Also, according to Harvard you can help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and constipation by eating whole grains (not refined wheat that strips away more than half of its B vitamins, 90% of Vitamin E and virtually all of the fiber).

You Won't Get a Stroke from Wheat...or Will You?

You Won’t Get a Stroke from Wheat…or Will You?

Gastroenterologist Joseph Murray at Mayo Clinic led a study that found that young people today are 4.5 times more likely to have celiac disease than in the 1950s. “Celiac disease has become much more common in the last 50 years, and we don’t know why. It now affects about one in a hundred people (note that the study above said 1 in 250). Celiac disease could be a significant public health issue.”

As to what exactly has changed over the past 50 years to cause this rise in celiac disease is up to researchers to fully answer, but it is true that wheat is different than what it was for our grandparents. The linked article talks about the changes in wheat, highlighting the ways it has been genetically modified.

An interesting book called “Bread is the Devil,” by Heather Bauer, R.D., C.D.N., puts forth a case for bread being on the wrong side of the weight loss “battle,” so you might want to check it out at the library. You might also enjoy our radio interview with Nicki Anderson, 5 Nutrition Mistakes Women Make. Scroll down as Nicki’s comments on wheat-free, gluten-free, and other eating trends are interesting and filled with quick stats and advice.

Is There a Link between Ry-Krisp and Weight Gain?

Is There a Link between Ry-Krisp and Weight Gain?

Having said all that, Alexandra will not knowingly eat GMO food (genetically modified organisms), and she does a lot of baking using flour. She does not have a weight problem.

One thing you might like to do is compare the rates of celiac disease in the U.S. to those in Europe, where they eat a lot of pasta and bread, but it’s usually whole grain and non-GMO. Then compare obesity rates. From there, you can decide if a wheat free / gluten free diet is right for you. As to your question about it being addictive, so far most of that claim is anecdotal, not research-based. There is a really good write-up about the true definition of “wheat addiction” and the small bit of research that has been done so far.

So is wheat the devil or the cardiovascular savior? We leave it to you to decide for yourself. We’re just that nice. And half-baked.

Get on the Ball and Vote For Us!

Get on the Ball and Vote For Us!

The voting deadline ends on 21 December, and we want to win. Please head over to Anytime Fitness and click on the link to give us your vote. We are the Running Twins on the Ball. We appreciate every vote! Did we mention that we want to win the trip?

We won’t feed you wheat, but we will wheedle you to subscribe now to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share and subscribe!

Photo credits: Ry-Krisp ad Van Michelle; Colored pasta moonlightbulb; Shredded Wheat  Captain Geoffrey Spaulding

65

TheraFit Shoes Were Made for Walking: Product Review

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Are you like us in that your feet talk to you a lot? And by “talk” we mean “yell” and “whine.” After soccer injuries, sport aerobics competitions, years of teaching high impact classes, knee surgeries, foot surgeries, orthotics, and love of moving, we have – ahem – problem baby boomer feet. So we were eager to be included in a product review of the new TheraFit shoes. We don’t know about you, but finding shoes that match our lifestyle and feel comfortable for long hours is a challenge.

Could these shoes, which are specifically made to provide personalized cushion and support, meet our challenge? Take a look at our video to find out. We guarantee you will NOT be bored for those three minutes. Be sure to watch all the way to the end for a surprise. If you like a spoiler, scroll down to the lyrics we created to the tune of “These Boots Were Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra.

These Shoes Are Made For Walkin

We keep saying we’ve got something for you,
something we call comfy, and confess.
We’ve been wearing TheraFit shoes and suggest them
if you want to travel in the best.

These shoes are made for standing, and exercising too
They come in colors that will make a model out of you.

Our boomer joints aren’t youthin’, ain’t that the truthin’
It’s hard to find shoes for our problem feet
Once we put these on we don’t wanna be a changin’.
For powerwalking our TheraFits can’t be beat.

These shoes are made for action and they’re stylish too.
Try them on and you’ll be shocked by this shock absorption shoe!

You keep saying things been hurting for you
something you call age, but it’s not.

Nah!
You’ve been wearing shoes you shouldn’t a been a’ wearin’
and now your knees are hurting cuz they’re shot!

These shoes are made for walking. And that’s just what we do.
We can sure dance a storm up when we wear the proper shoe.

Are you ready shoes? Start dancin’!

 

Uphill made easy in Kymberly's TheraFit shoes

Please also check out our post that gives more info on these shoes: Holiday Fitness Gift List.

Walk out of the time warp our video just took you on and subscribe now to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share and subscribe!

Disclosure: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own; And boy do we love sharing our opinions! We’d love you to share your opinions too!

9

Prevent Shin Splints: 3 Calf Stretches

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dem bones, Dem bones, Dem Dry bones!

Shin splints are often the result of imbalance between the calf and shin muscles. When the calf (gastrocnemius) is much stronger or tighter than the shin (anterior tibialis), micro tears can occur as the relatively overdeveloped calf pulls on its pair — the shin. Making sure you have flexible, long calf muscles will put the odds in your favor to avoid this painful condition.

The foot bone connected to the ankle bone, The ankle bone connected to the shin bone, The shin bone connected to the knee bone, The knee bone connected to the thigh bone, The thigh bone connected to the hip bone, the hip bone connected to the back bone, The back bone connected to the shoulder bone, The shoulder bone connected to the neck bone, The neck bone connected to the head bone, Them bones got up and walked around. – Lyrics from the song Dry Bones by the Delta Rhythm Boys

Color the the shin bone S for Stretched & Sexy!

If you want your bones and muscles to get up and walk around, you have to keep them happy. Our singing does not necessarily make our bones happy! But stretching, well, that’s a solution of a different horse!

Try the 3 calf stretches you’ll see in our video to keep your calves from overpowering your anterior tib.

Want more ways to prevent shin splints? Check out our prior two posts on the subject:

Shin Splints highlighted on the anterior tibialis

You shoulda been stretching instead of playing with that highlighter!

Prevent missing out on the info that might keep you flexible, youthful, and balanced. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Click now on the icons above or below. We make it easy to share and subscribe!

We have entered a contest by Anytime Fitness that we really want to win. Please click now on the link and give us your vote. We are the twins on the ball who are “flying” through the silver air! Thank you. P.S. It will take about 7 seconds of your time, and we do appreciate every vote!

Photo credits: creativecommons.org: horse:  doe-c-doe, leg drawing:  rosswilliamdrew, highlighted shin splint:  Northcoast Footcare.

 

20

Interval Planks Will Activate Your Abs

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Planks to strengthen your core? For sure! We love planks and hope you do too. Aaaand, we just got ahold of some interesting news about a great way to progress your ab strength via planks (Hint: It’s not about going longer).

Plink, plank, plunk, who’d a thunk that holding a plank for a long time might be LESS effective than another approach?! Specifically, you may require your abs to turn on more and more often from  interval planks as opposed to holding a plank longer and longer. Well, yippee yi yay as we’d much rather stay in the plank position 20 seconds or so, then drop down for a very short break, then come back into the exercise. Gotta love the options that are not only more accessible, but also more beneficial!

Holding a plank for a long time might be LESS effective than another approach. Click To Tweet

For more plank ideas (and actual exercises!) check out some of our previous posts:

A position we’ve long held is that you will get the latest and most accurate fitness info when you subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click on the icons in the sidebar.

We have entered a contest by Anytime Fitness that we really want to win. Please click now on the link and give us your vote. We are the twins on the ball who are “flying” through the silver air! Thank you. P.S. It will take about 7 seconds of your time, and we do appreciate every vote!