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Monthly Archives: September 2013
14

Boulder, FitSocial, and Going Back Home

Alexandra Williams, MA
Pearl Street in the Sun

Pearl Street in the Sun

Have you ever gone back to visit a place where you used to live? I’ve done that three times this year, including the FitSocial conference in Boulder this past weekend. For me, these are emotional returns, both for regrets and joys that occurred in those places. Do you have the same reaction?

This past weekend Kymberly and I traveled to Boulder to attend the only conference we know of that unites social media (including blogging) and up-to-date accurate fitness & health research – FitSocial – the “premier conference discussing the communication of cutting-edge health and fitness information to the public via blogging and social media.”

Listening to Every Word we Say at our FitSocial Talk

Listening to Every Word we Say at our FitSocial Talk

 

For me, this was more than a opportunity to speak at a high-class conference; it was a return to the town and home (we still own it) where my boys were born, including a post-flood inspection of the house, which is in a designated flood zone by Boulder Creek. For six years, we lived in Boulder. I thought it was where my boys would grow up, listening to my nagging about stomping snow off their boots, pulling up non-indigenous weeds from the recycled-water veggie garden where we had enough to sustain ourselves for at least a day in case of a Rocky Mountain Zombie Apocalypse. I thought we’d spend many years yelling at passersby to get their dogs off our lawn (organic poop is still poop).

See You, Bridge to CU

See You, Bridge to CU

I loved my job at CU Boulder, which was a 5-minute walk across an old bridge to campus (as you can see, that bridge got washed out by the flood). I loved getting my MA in family counseling in Colorado, joining the multitudes of counselors trying to make a living in blissed out Boulder. But the boys begged their dad to move them to Minnesota (translation – job transfer), so we left in ‘98.

My “babies” are now 16 and 19 and remember nothing of their birthplace except from the stories they’ve been told. But my emotional attachment is strong. We kept the house with the intention of returning to live one day, and I hope that day comes to pass. I also hope the same about my former home in Lake Oswego, Oregon, where we lived for six years. Kept that home too. (Can you tell I love mortgage payments that are always one payment away from total stress?) If my parents had kept our childhood home in Hermosa Beach, I’d probably be trying to save up to buy that one too, having just gone to Hermosa for a day of nostalgic walking around and reminiscing.

We built this from a one-story 700 sq foot dump!

We built this from a one-story 700 sq foot dump!

Colorado is the fittest state of the 50, and Boulder is the fittest town in that state, so it makes perfect sense to hold a fitness conference there. I woke up the very first morning (to a light rain, which didn’t make me feel that confident about the flood’s effects) and walked around Boulder. I had the same emotions as when I visited Oregon in June and Hermosa in early September – peaceful happiness at being back “home” and sadness that it had changed and wasn’t really mine anymore. I felt the pride of being an insider, yet isolation at being an outsider too. Part of me was at peace, walking in the rain sprinkles when few people were about, yet I was also in turmoil as I mentally marked all the places where significant (and insignificant, yet now feeling significant) events had taken place in my past. “Ah, the rocks on Pearl Street where my boys played as toddlers,” gave way to “My babies are almost all grown up and how did that happen?”

Pearl Street has lots of places for kids to play

Pearl Street has lots of places for kids to play

I wanted to stop strangers who looked like locals and tell them I belonged too, yet also was taking lots of “tourist” pictures (surreptitiously, of course). When I met the tenants and got a look around the house, MY house, I felt like telling the them to get out. I also had a strong urge (luckily resisted) to describe the way we built it in detail. Of course they would have found that fascinating!

It’s a happy, full feeling and a sad, regretful feeling to go somewhere that exists as a memory. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone to three cities full of happy, yet “dead” memories in one year. Now I want to move. But it could just be that I am trying to toy with time. Or maybe it’s toying with me. Tell me I’m not alone in this.

Have you gone back after several years to a place where you were happy? How did YOU feel?

Stay tuned later this week for a post from Kymberly that fills you in on a few of the really exciting tidbits from the conference. Some great stuff about weight loss and future trends.

Kymberly at Our FitSocial talk

Kymberly at Our FitSocial talk

Kymberly is living proof that Lorna Jane Activewear is great for Boomers too (though their ads look geared toward our kids).

No matter where you live, follow us:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

3

FitSocial Conference and Boulder Flood Relief

Alexandra Williams, MA
The Boulder Flood

The Boulder Flood

We are leaving this week to attend FitSocial 2013, the blogging and social media conference for the fitness and health industries. It’s being held in Boulder and Denver, Colorado just a few weeks after the devastating floods that destroyed homes, roads, businesses, and lives.

Fitness & Health Social Media Conference
First of all, the conference is “the premier conference discussing communication of cutting-edge health and fitness information to the public via blogging and social media. This conference is a unique combination of blogging, social media, and hard science.” Geared toward fitness professionals and those who love accurate health and fitness information, we went last year and knew we’d return this year.

Quick stretch during FitSocial 2012

Quick stretch during FitSocial 2012

About 100 attendees are registered, which makes it an intimate event, with lots of time to interact with our colleagues and the presenters. On Friday, the conference has been opened up to local Colorado fitness professionals, so the numbers will be slightly higher that day.

So what? Why does it matter how many attendees are there or where they’re from?

Boulder Flood Relief
We are headed to an area that has been seriously impacted by the floods. And a lot of the conferences attendees are locals, which means they probably know someone (perhaps themselves) who lost a lot over the past week. When the few get together, they harness the power of the many!

Whether you’re a guest or resident of Boulder, we think it would be amazing for us all to pitch in to help with the flood recovery efforts. Boulder Flood Relief is a group of volunteers who have organized teams to go wherever help is requested. Please follow them on Facebook. My boys were born in Boulder, and I’m curious to see what the damage is to our home, as it’s only two blocks from Boulder Creek (as we haven’t heard from the tenants, we think things are fine).

As many of us are here only for the duration of the conference, our time is limited. This means we can’t all volunteer to help. What we CAN do is donate money to help the volunteers buy tools and other necessities. One hundred percent of your money goes to support the relief efforts.

Where your donations go

Where your donations go

After you input your donation information, there will be a section for a message. Please put “In the name of the FitSocial conference.” Let’s show Boulder that fitness social media peeps are the best, and that we are here to help!

Watch for our announcement during the conference, as there is likely to be a surprise in store for at least one lucky donor! Again, you can donate by clicking on the Boulder Flood Relief “we pay” link right here.

Thanks!

Follow us:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

 

 

15

Live Longer; Leave Money for Loved Ones; Combat Obesity Rates

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Vibrant Influencer Network compensated us for this post. Of course all opinions are our own, and the research results are from unrelated, independent sources.

Obesity Rates in America Affect Health

Yes, people are dying from obesity and sedentary habits. Women especially are at risk. But you knew this. What you might not know is that you can prolong your life with a minimum investment of time and effort.

Extend Your Life Starting Today

Walking is good for your smile.

Walking is good for your smile.

For every minute you walk briskly, you can reap a potential gain of one to seven extra minutes of life! Midlifers especially benefit from putting in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (such as brisk walking or a cardio class). If you increase your intensity to a strenuous level, you can double the effect, according to a recent study on exercise and lifespan.

Holy smokes, but that is fairly astounding and under your control! For instance, if 150 minutes of a Low Impact group fitness class can offer you a 1-7 return, then a 75 minute high intensity run or elliptical workout would give you 14 minutes of extended lifespan for every minute you huff and puff your sweaty, baby boomer way to long life!

Two For One Special – Quality and Quantity of Life

Kymberly: Let’s imagine you are like one of the women in my older adult classes who protested when I shared this Fun Fit Fact in the Forever Fit Cardio class I teach: “I don’t want to live longer. What if those extra years are dependent, lonely ones?” Understandable fear and question.

No doubt you have heard the adage that exercise adds life to your years, not just years to your life. You know Alexandra and I HAVE to git on up on our high hossies to extol the many benefits of moving on a regular basis, such as countering depression, enhancing mood, improving optimism and self-image. In other words, active, fit people tend to be happy, engaged people since quality of life goes up along with those added years.

Another Stunning Fun Fit Fact That Will Propel You From Your Seat

Let’s look at another huge cause of weight gain and health risk that has been getting a lot of attention lately — prolonged sitting. (Oops, I think I will now stand up to type this post. Ok, my hiney has gone vertical now). Ready to be motivated? If you reduce your sitting to fewer than three hours per day, you increase longevity by two years. I know I want to be around to see my future grandchildren grow up, visit me, and try to out walk me! Nevah! Well, maybe one day, but by 90 years old I will be ok to be out-exercised by whippersnapper rellies.

Sitting is no longer in fashion

Sitting is no longer in fashion

Wait, there’s more! If you cut back your tv watching time to fewer than two hours per day, you have an estimated life span increase of just over a year. We know, we know – such study results are no guarantees for individuals and are statistical averages only. Still, don’t you have loved ones and a bucket list and things left to do in life that make less sitting, more moving, and more quality years just a little tempting? Why not tip the odds in your favor?

Which Leads Us Back to Life, Back to Reality!

Another Female Breadwinner!!

Another Female Breadwinner!!

 

What if you die youngish like-ish despite your best, healthiest efforts? (Remember this post is sponsored by Royal Neighbors of America, a life insurance company with a difference — the organization’s philanthropic efforts are dedicated to changing women’s lives through its national programs.) While we women outlive men on average, is your family protected financially if you can no longer contribute to the household income? Women tend to be underinsured. I know I carry far less life insurance than does my husband. And I am several years younger and a trophy wife! Just agree and keep reading, will ya?

At the very least, click this calculator to assess your life insurance needs. You never know what might happen….

Alexandra’s Story

Alexandra: A few years ago I received a call that Kymberly had been in a serious car accident. Luckily, the phone call started with, “Don’t worry, she’s going to be okay,” so I didn’t panic…too much. And she was okay (You know, as much as she’ll ever be! Notice I didn’t say “normal”). It was a bit of a wake-up call for me, though, as I have the mindset that my exceptionally good health will protect me from everything, including zombies and locusts.

Back in the parallel universe that is reality, I realized that I needed to add life insurance to the list of steps I’ve taken to protect my sons in case I’m hit by a bus (in clean undies of course). Even though I don’t make a lot of money, every bit counts, and I don’t want my kids to be stuck with my mortgage, car payment, the school loans we took out for my eldest, or COD (cost of death – funeral or cremation). I jumped at the chance to write this post (jumping is good for you), because I think I’m the typical boomer woman — has income, doesn’t have life insurance. And I like the way Royal Neighbors is doing business. What about you; Have your protected YOUR income?

Photo credits: Woman baking bread: Senex Magister; Women walking: loungerie; Women sitting: no copyright restriction via creativecommons.org.

Take good care of yourself and maybe even live longer when you:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

10

Healthy Skin Care for Boomer Women: Theraderm SkinCare Giveaway

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Boomer Skin for the Win!

Skin care is relevant to everyone, especially women over 50. Twenty-six percent of older adults want to age naturally (no surgery) AND plan to buy “anti-aging” products. For baby boomer women, skin care treatments are second only to spa treatments.

Skin Care Products from Theraderm for KymberlyDisclaimer: Theraderm gifted us each a set of the same products you have a chance to win.

Beauty Survey from BOOMbox Network

Alexandra: A 2012 survey on beauty by BOOMbox Network  found that we midlifers are concerned about crow’s feet, lip lines & creases, forehead wrinkles, dark creases around the eyes, skin texture, aging spots, facial wrinkles, dry skin, oily skin, acne, and uneven skin. Whew, that is an extensive and somewhat frightening list! Guess we aren’t the only ones who spend time staring at the mirror, just looking for something to worry about. And here we thought our worries ended once our kids left the teen “my parents are here to ruin my life” years!

The BOOMbox survey also found that baby boomer women want accurate, credible information about skin care products. Not surprisingly, we trust our friends, family and bloggers for information about quality, effective products more than other sources.

Fun Fit Facts About Skin

Kymberly: I also trust myself to read labels and to research things I want to learn more about. In so doing, I found some Fun Fit Facts about skin that may interest you. For one, your skin renews itself every 28 days. Isn’t that good news if you decide to embark on a new skin care regimen!? And where is your skin thickest? Thinnest? You have to skim the skinny in this Skin Infographic to find out.

Infographic: 50 Incredible Facts About SKin

Skin That is Beautifully Pro-Aging

Be Beautiful Inside and OutDid you know we host a radio show? If you are committed to improving your skin as you head into midlife, listen to Beauty author and Make-Up artist to the stars, Michelle Phillips.  Click to hear our radio interview of her on Being Beautiful Inside and Out. While there, scurry through our trove of episodes to discover clever, motivating, illuminating answers to many of your active aging questions.

Then enter a giveaway we and Theraderm are offering. In fact, Theraderm is generously offering two prizes. But first, a word from my sister.

Alexandra: Theraderm sent me the Cleansing Wash, Fruit Acid Exfoliant, OPC Reparative Gel, Peptide Hydrator, Platinum Protection Sunscreen, Enlighten Skin Brightener, Peptide Repair Eye Creme and the Anti-Aging Lip Complex to try, based on my requests. So far my favorites are the sunscreen, skin brightener and lip complex because I feel like I can see discernible results (no burning and soft lips). Unlike some other skin care products I’ve tried, I’m also happy to say that none of these have given me acne.

Alexandra’s True Story

Right after I started using the products Theraderm sent me, I walked into my exercise class and was asked by one of my students what I had done to myself to look so young. I almost had to argue with my student to convince her I hadn’t had any work done to my face. I can’t say the skin care products were the cause; I can only say what happened.

I like that the sunscreen is paraben free, oil free, fragrance free and non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores), yet I do wonder about some of the ingredients, as I don’t recognize many of them. I do recognize urea, which sounds like it might be from urine (it is), yet it’s an organic compound that’s been effective for skin hydration for thousands of years. But I digress….

Giveaway News

Two lucky readers can win the Theraderm Skin Renewal System with Peptide Hydrator (value: $140.50)

System Includes:

Cleansing Wash (4oz)
Fruit Acid Exfoliant (2oz)
OPC Reparative Gel (1oz)
Peptide Hydrator (1.7oz)
Gentle Action Application Pads (100ct)

Active Ingredients:

Unbuffered Lactic Acid
Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs)
Hyaluronic Acid
Patented soluble Keratin Peptides

Does Not Contain:

Parabens
Gluten
Lanolin

Kymberly: Sad news for our non-US friends. The Theraderm giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only. The two winners will be selected September 23, 2013 because we want to wrap up this silky smooth giveaway before we head to FitSocial to speak and learn. Enter below.Apply liberally, then rinse and go!

Really want to clean up? Then:

A) subscribe to ourYouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google+Alexandra and+Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit andKymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

24

Sleep – How it Affects Your Weight, Brain & Skin

Alexandra Williams, MA

A recent trip to the Technogel Sleep Experience Center in Los Angeles got me thinking of the reasons we all need a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Sleep, perchance to dream...in Italian

Sleep, perchance to dream…in Italian

Weight Loss
Less than 6 hours of sleep can contribute to weight gain. According to researcher Dr. Michael Sivak, an extra hour of sleep each night can help you drop 14 pounds per year. Part of that is the 147 fewer calories you’ll take in during that hour you’re now asleep, and part of that is the relationship between the hormones leptin and ghrelin. More than 35 percent of American adults are obese and more than 28 percent sleep less than six hours a night, and the authors of a 15-year study found these two to be correlated.

Cognitive Function
Want to improve your memory, learning and creativity? Get 8-9 hours of sleep! A 2010 Harvard study discovered that those whose naps were long enough to enter REM sleep did 40% better on a test of creativity than nappers who didn’t get any REM sleep and non-nappers. That REM sleep gave the brain time and the ability to work creatively on various test problems. Further info on this is in our post “Sleep Your Way to a Better Brain & Body.”
I looked through some research Technogel has on their site regarding non-rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and foam versus gel mattresses, and learned something about the differences between light and deep sleep when it comes to muscle repair, memory, appetite suppressing/ increasing hormones, and concentration. It would seem skin and mattress temperature, plus bed comfort can assist or inhibit the quality of your sleep. It’s been extremely warm lately, so I know exactly how poorly I sleep when I’m hot!

I chose the Anatomic pillow for my golden locks

I chose the Anatomic pillow for my golden locks

Aging Skin
Less than two months ago, researchers from University Hospital Case Medical Center presented their evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between lack of sleep and aging skin. They found that “poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night.” Poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of fine lines, uneven pigmentation, slackening of skin and reduced elasticity, while good quality sleepers recovered more efficiently from stressors such as sunburn, redness, and inflammation.

Pick a pillow, any pillow

Pick a pillow, any pillow

Technogel Sleep Experience Center
I know I’d like to be fit, smart and youthful looking, so I packed up my dreams and desires, and drove to Los Angeles to practice just one letter of the alphabet (zzzzz, in case I stumped you) at the experience center, thanks to an invitation from the director, Doriana. Just me for the whole night, plus the Technogel pillow and mattress of my choice.

As I already own one of their pillows, I knew that the gel “soft-solid” material inside their bedding is the result of a collaboration with the Italian company and Dr. Scholl’s, so I expected to sleep comfortably. The center is on a side street near the Beverly Center that was actually kind of noisy, so I was somewhat concerned about sleeping through till morning (I‘m a very light sleeper). Of course, maybe Technogel chose that location on purpose, to prove you can sleep through almost anything…

Looks boring, but you'll be snoring!

Looks boring, but you’ll be snoring!

Does that chair look comfy?

Does that chair look comfy?

I went to bed around 10 pm, which is 2 hours sooner than normal, and slept all the way through till 8 am. That made me happy. Probably smarter, younger and more radiant too! Before leaving, I poked the decorations they had in the room, as they were all made with the gel. Masks, cats, the chair cover…Does that make me a tactile person or just curious?

Masks and kitties and beds, oh my!

Masks and kitties and beds, oh my!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, wake up and and subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.
Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference …or dream. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

8

FitSocial Conference: A Perfect Choice for Those Who Love Fitness and Social Media

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

If you’re a fitness professional or enthusiast, and you use (or plan to use) social media, you will want to attend the FitSocial 2013 Conference the weekend of 26-29 September in Boulder and Denver, Colorado.

Outdoor yoga after hiking the Flatirons in Boulder

Outdoor yoga after hiking the Flatirons in Boulder

5 Reasons to Attend

The organizers of the conference wrote an excellent post about the “5 Reasons Why You Should Attend FitSocial,”  and we hope you’ll read it. In a nutshell, the advantages are:

* Cost
* Science-based fitness & health content
* Expert social media content
* Network opportunities
* Movement classes

This will be our second year attending (and presenting), and we are looking forward to it for the reasons above, plus a few more.

5 More Reasons to Attend

* It’s fairly small, which means we get to interact a LOT with the expert speakers, the sponsors and the other attendees. Fitness pros will especially love the chance to interact closely with representatives from the Anschutz Health & Wellness Center, America On the Move, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), LiveWell Colorado, National Association for Health and Fitness, WEGO Health (Truvio), and YogaFit, as well as the world-renowned speakers.

Dr Jim Hill

Weight Loss Expert & FitSocial Speaker Dr. James Hill

* Uh, it’s in Boulder and Denver at one of the best times of year – September. “Nuff said there!
* We get access to a state-of-the-art fitness center. Heck, even the locker rooms are amazing.
* Quality time to hang out with friends, new and old. It’s not possible to overstate how amazingly FUN it is to spend a long weekend with people who are all interested in a fit and healthy lifestyle. It’s like a giant sleepover, but with fitness clothes instead of jammies!
* You will come home with enough RESEARCHED information for loads of blog (or vlog) posts. Doesn’t that make your job easier?

The Flatirons in Boulder

The Flatirons in Boulder

Making Money via Social Media

So now you have 10 good reasons to attend. As a bonus, we’ll add that you can learn about making money via social media at our talk “Building Your Brand and Monetizing Your Fitness Expertise.” Whether you’ve been using social media for years or are just beginning, you want to know some tips for making money from it, right? As a starter (main course at the convention), you will want to read our post, “4 Things You Need to Earn Money via Social Media.”

You do NOT have to be a current blogger. You do NOT have to be a certified fitness pro. You do NOT have to understand the ins and outs of social media. You CAN be a beginner – at social media or fitness. You CAN be a fitness pro who wants an intimate, education-rich conference. You CAN be a fitness enthusiast who wants to know and share accurate information. For example, last year we got some great information about the differences between weight loss and weight management.

CECs for ACE & ACSM Certified Fitness Pros

Yup, besides hearing representatives from these two organizations speak, certified pros will be able to obtain continuing education credits at the conference. Score!

Register for FitSocial

We encourage you to join us. Get yourself all registered up, and start counting the days till FitSocial begins!

Workshops = Continuing Education Credits (and are fun)

Workshops = Continuing Education Credits (and are fun)

 

 

 

 

Score even further when you hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference, or to write your blog posts.  Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

No matter what you’re doing in September, it’s always time to subscribe to our fitness-related YouTube channel. Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.