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4

Age Actively Using these Resources

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Hugh JackmanAre you a baby boomer wanting to get more fit, age well, and stay active as long as possible? Ok, you don’t have to be a boomer to lust after Hugh Jackman great health and a mentally vital life.  You don’t even have to be a Chicka. Cheeky Chicos are also welcome to bask in the solutions we find for you. Can you use support, worthwhile resources, and 4 cups of coffee per day motivation now and then?

We culled from hither and yon to offer you two-stop resource shopping as follows:

  • the ultimate list of  Fitness and Health Blogs that cater to the over 45 crowd. And isn’t being catered to part of your good life ahead?
  • targeted Special Collections of DVDs, streaming video, and audio interviews we curated for you courtesy of GaiamTV.  Go to the good stuff in a related post coming soon. Or get a sneak preview (Spoiler Alert) if you click on the GaiamTV link now.

Scroll through the sites of blogs for Boom Chicka Boomers listed below. Bookmark them, subscribe, check them out. Get answers to your questions. Join conversations with others who share your interests. Add to our listl.ly.com list if you know of a valuable site that speaks to health for boomers. Let’s make this the most comprehensive, helpful list of its kind!

[listly id=”1qz” layout=”full”]

 

What’s the ultimate list to be part of if you want to be a Boomer in the Know? Why, the subscriber list for our YouTube channel and blog. Please also follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.

We were not compensated in any way for compiling this list. List.ly.com is a free service (they do have a paid, upgraded option, but we have not gone that route).  Don’t you think this list looks prettier than a bunch of links in a row?

Photo credit: webwombat.com.au.

 

8

Food, Glorious Food: What do a Steam Oven and Cologne Cathedral Have in Common?

Alexandra Williams, MA

Just as Kymberly returns from a week at Rancho la Puerta spa in Mexico (please sing, “Welcome Back Kymberly” to the tune of “Welcome Back Kotter”), I’ll be leaving for Cologne and Amsterdam as part of an event known as BlogTour.

Miele_PR_009_2012_002We are going to see a lot of beautiful, trend-setting, functional products there. I am not a designer. The other 13 bloggers are. I probably don’t even wear the right shade of lipstick for my coloring, and my house is decorated in Post-Modern Dust Kitty! What I am is a baker, a cook, a person who gets sweaty, and I live in a home. More importantly, all of you like to eat, bathe and live in comfort, and all of us care about leading healthy lives. This includes buying products that reflect our values and take the earth into consideration.

While I’m in Germany and Nederland (I cannot bring myself to use the English “Holland” or “the Netherlands,” due to my Dutch ties), I will take a lot of pictures so I can share all the cool stuff I see with you. For now (I depart on Saturday), I’ll just mention one product that I’m really curious about. Judging from the comments I’ve gotten from many of you, we are mutually curious about the steam oven from Miele that I mentioned in our post BlogTour: Cologne, Amsterdam and Gifts for Your Home.

I wrote to Miele to get more info, with a particular request to know if I could do baguettes in the steam oven. Rather than reword her answer, I’ll quote directly from Julie McCrary, Miele’s local PR rep.

Food, Glorious Steamed Food

Food, Glorious Steamed Food

I too am a baker and have enjoyed trying out lots of new recipes in the steam oven. This year I’ve made Banana Bread and Molten Chocolate Cake in the steam oven, as well as fajitas, steamed meatballs and a fabulous seafood stew. Oh, did I mention that one of the great things about cooking with steam is that you can cook multiple things at the same time without the fear of flavor transfer? As for the nutritional value, vegetables cooked in the Miele Steam Oven retain about 20% more nutrients than vegetables that are boiled on a cooktop.

The steam oven is also great for reheating leftovers. Because it uses steam instead of direct heat, moisture is reintroduced to the food and unlike when you reheat food in a microwave, the food is moist and doesn’t dry out.

You are correct about the baguettes, you can proof dough in the steam oven. There’s even a specialized program within the Miele MasterChef settings which help set the right time and temperature.

I am now trying to figure out if I can sell my sister in exchange for one of these! Oh, wait, it’s under $1000, so I could maybe just sell her hair. Short red hair is valuable, right?

Always Better - Does that Refer to Me or Miele?

Always Better – Does that Refer to Me or Miele?

There is a recipe link on the Miele site, with over 100 recipes for the steam oven. I’ve linked it for you, but a few of the recipe titles are making me really hungry: Vanilla Bean Custard with Blackberry Coulis, Smoked Paprika Roasted Scallops with Asparagus and Dill Sauce, and Steamed Lobster and Corn Dumplings with Mushroom Puree. You see where I’m going with this? – Straight to the kitchen!!!

Lobster & Corn Dumplings with Mushroom Puree sounds good to meeeee

Lobster & Corn Dumplings with Mushroom Puree sounds good to meeeee

Sooooo, um, yeah, I want to break out in the song “Food, Glorious Food,” from “Oliver,” skipping the gruel!

I’ll be doing further posts about some of the other cool stuff, but in the meantime, did I mention we’ll be taking a tour of the Köelner Dom (Cologne Cathedral)? My undergrad degree was in European Medieval History, so I’m pretty dang excited about this special event too. If you want to follow along, we’ll be on Twitter using the #BlogTourCGN hashtag. And the BlogTour itinerary is right here.

Cologne Cathedral (I want to sound erudite, so I'll call it Kölner Dom)

Cologne Cathedral (I want to sound erudite, so I’ll call it Kölner Dom)

 

If you’re curious about Cologne (Köln for the German speakers), Amsterdam, kitchens, baths, design, furniture (especially Scandinavian) or want to meet the sponsors, my fellow bloggers, and perhaps even a few of the European bloggers, join our Twitter chat today, January 10, 4:00 pm EST/ 1:00 pm PST, using the hashtag above. Bring your questions. I’ll be bringing my fork, wit and curiosity!

 

You can mock our sense of  fashion by subscribing 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, subscribe and have fun leading a healthy life!

P.S. While I do have more dust kitties than I might like, I actually am a snob (according to my sis), and have some truly fab furnishings. All the products made by the sponsors of BlogTour would match them perfectly!

Photo credits: All photos are from the Miele site, except the Dom. 

I received no compensation or products for this post, although I will happily mention that Miele is one of the sponsors of BlogTour.

16

Giveaway: Anytime Fitness Membership for a Year

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
Get on the Ball and Vote For Us!

Have a Ball Getting Fit at Anytime Fitness

Start 2013 with a really amazing prize! Do you want to win a one-year membership to Anytime Fitness? Yeah, it’s that big a deal!

We won a photo contest that Anytime Fitness held, and our prize is really YOUR prize, as it’s a full year’s membership to give away to one of you.

The requirements are simple:

* You must live within 30 miles of an Anytime Fitness, in any of the 12 countries where they’re located.  Anytime Fitness has over 2,035 locations, so click on the link to see which one is near you.

* You must complete the one mandatory requirement we have in our Rafflecopter giveaway below (you’ll want to play along as our videos are fabulous). Also take advantage of the optional entry actions to increase your odds. If you are already an Anytime Fitness member, you will get a year’s extension on your current membership.

That kind of sums it up. The picture you see here is the one that we used to get you this fabulous prize. You are free to comment below at the total supremeness and creativity of our picture. Or suggest video topics you’d like us to add to our sterling collection. Or submit fitness questions to us that we’ll answer right here on the blog. Wow, this giveaway is so cool, just like Anytime Fitness and Fun and Fit. You spend a few minutes of your time entering (you can come back every day for extra entries) and in return you might win a prize worth thousands of dollars. As Monty Hall said, “Such a deal!” Okay, he actually said, “Let’s make a deal,” but we updated it.

We’ll pick the winner Thursday, January 17th, 2013, who will be notified by email and/or tweet. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or we’ll pick another winner.

All the links you need to enter this SuperCaliFragiListicExpiAliDocious entry are conveniently located right here:

Start 2013 as a winner by subscribing 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, subscribe and win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

19

BlogTour: Cologne, Amsterdam and Gifts for Your Home

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.

And if you want to learn more about Cologne or Amsterdam, GaiamTV has a few videos you might like. FengShui at the Dorint, and Insights: Amsterdam.

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!

 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

6

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.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwfS697gno[/youtube]

 

 

 

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.

 

32

Challenge Yourself to a Healthier You

Alexandra Williams, MA

Summer is officially over, the new quarter has started where I teach at the University of California, and the lovely outdoor weather of Fall has begun. A perfect time to set yourself up for a fitness challenge.

Training to walk a half-marathon

If you read my recent post about taking on new challenges and aging forward, not downward, then you know that I believe chronological age is a lesser factor in achieving your goals than attitude.

UCSB Students: You are young in body, yet with budget cuts having decimated P.E. throughout your entire school career so far, you might not be surprised to discover that your parents are probably more fit than you. Why? They (and I) had P.E. every single day when we were kids, so we have a history and muscle memory of movement.

My cohorts (Those of us in our 40s and 50s): We know the meaning of the word stamina! We know that we want the second half to be enjoyable and full of possibilities. We don’t want to be limited by health issues or injuries. We get the importance of taking on challenges (notice I did NOT say “dares”).

As the Fall season and quarter kick off (that’s as close to football as I’ll ever care to be), I want to challenge you to create a fitness goal. Something difficult, yet achievable. If you’re one of my 19-year-old students, that might be making it all the way through the quarter to the Tabata class, which WILL make you, er, uncomfortable, want to urp, exhausted, proud when it’s over. For my 80-year-old students, it might just be time to pick up those 7 pound weights instead of those 5s you’ve been hugging for years (yup, that means you).

As to me, everyone who knows me, and I mean everyone, knows I hate running unless there’s a soccer ball involved. But I found out that I am allowed to walk in a half-marathon coming up in two weeks. I just have to finish in a certain time. That’s it. My challenge is to fully kick kiss my foot surgery recovery good-bye and walk 13.1 miles in less than 4 hours. They give 6.5 hours, but I’m aiming for four. And I will do it! I know this because I already decided about a month ago. Now it’s just a matter of plugging in the training. My mind leads and my body follows.

I’m not special (yes, I am). Do you recall English teacher David McCullough, Jr.’s commencement speech in which he told the graduates, “You are not special. You are not exceptional. Because everyone is.” We are all unspecial because we all want to age with all our faculties and abilities intact, with good looks and great legs; with friends and family to encourage and support us; with the ability to walk and talk and do things we enjoy. We are all special because we get to choose for ourselves the means and methods to get there. Maybe I should use the word “path,” because a fit lifestyle is a journey, not an endpoint.

And ladies (sorry, guys, next time), I heard of a great campaign that can help you on the journey. And yeah, there are prizes. Under Armour has begun their “What’s Beautiful” campaign. I define “beautiful” as comfortable and healthy in your body. Strong is Sexy and that’s all there is to it. Under Armour’s campaign is to encourage women to get on a fitness journey, share it, get motivated, and get support (and free swag) from them. Heck, ten women will get flown to Florida to train with elite trainers, work out, get nutrition advice and SPA TREATMENTS. I am not entering the campaign because I want to give you all a chance I’ll be out of town in early January, but you should! Just click on the What’s Beautiful or Under Armour link. It’s free. There’s no catch. Except your breath. You can catch that!

What have you got to lose by challenging yourself, except maybe some weight or bad habits? More to the point, what have you got to win?

This is what I'll probably look like after doing 13.1 miles

This is how I think I'll look after 13.1 miles!

As far as I’m concerned, my knee surgery (from soccer) and foot surgery (also from soccer) were necessary to help me reach my goals, not keep me from them. Here’s to you. And here’s to me. I will be at my most beautiful at the end of the half-marathon because I’ll have a big smile on my face.

What fitness challenge will bring a smile to your face?

Want something to do that’s so easy it’s not even a challenge? Clickity clack on our links and subscribe to our YouTube channel and our blog. Follow us on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click on the icons in the right sidebar ——–>

 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.

24

Stumbling Blocks are not Walls: Setting New Fitness Challenges After Surgery

Alexandra Williams, MA

Age Forward, not Downward

Back in mid-July I had foot surgery to remove bone spurs and fuse my big toe joint. I spent two days in bed, then got bored and uncomfortable. Remember my one-legged workout a few days after surgery? When I had my knee reconstructed (soccer injury) I was 38 and the doctor called me old (technically, he didn’t say I was old, he said my knee was. Do you see any difference?). That kind of triggered my competitive side and I did my rehab so diligently that I was released to teach weeks sooner than the doctor had predicted.

Now I’m in my early 50s and I knew the doctor would have a plan for my recovery. My Plan #1 was to cut the recovery time in half, but I got squelched by the doc. Turns out there’s no exercise regimen that can make bones fuse faster! Curses. Foiled again. So I went with Plan #2: Exercise everything except my left foot. Hey, that would make a great title for a movie.

Daniel Day-Lewis made a movie about me!

The doc didn’t say, “Stay off your body,” he said, “Stay off your left foot.” That means there was a lot of strength training (seated, lying down & one-legged) and cardio (aqua, rowing machine) I could still do. So I did.

Taking Aqua Cardio at Rancho la Puerta

As of last week I’m officially allowed to use 99% of my foot (the tip of my toe is still off-limits) so no ballet or plyometrics. My solution? To accept an invitation to walk the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco in mid-October. No, I’ve never done a half-marathon before. Yes, my foot still swells up after a long day. No, I’m not ready. Yes, I am a stubborn cuss.

At first I said yes to the half-marathon because I like to say yes. But I surprised myself by the dedication and determination I’ve put into working that treadmill to train for the 13 mile walk. I hate the treadmill. Even if there’s a movie on with Clive Owen and Denzel Washington! Damn, they are fine! Excuse my drooling digression.

I really want to be able to do 13 miles of walking by October 14. I want to be ready and not have pain and swelling. I truly don’t know if I’m being foolish or determined. It’s out of my comfort and normal routine zone. I am a group fitness instructor. I do classes. With music and people. And variation. So why the heck do I feel so attached to this idea of walking the hills of San Francisco?

See how Happy I Look After Teaching Group Fitness!

Am I trying to prove something to myself or all you youngsters?
Am I seeking a challenge because I like new adventures?
Am I looking for a way to come back from surgery as quickly and as strongly as possible?
Am I looking for a way to leave the frustrations of not having full choice & control over my body behind me?
Am I afraid that my body isn’t as cooperative about the demands I place on it as it was 20 years ago?
Am I trying to show that a reconstructed knee and foot aren’t indicative of who I really am, which in my mind is a strong, fit woman? Gah, I hate the phrases “middle-aged” and “older” if they are applied to me.
Am I just looking to lose that last 5 pounds?

Truly, it’s probably all of the above and more. All I know is that I really want to complete the event within the allotted time frame. And I really hope my foot will be ready, because my mind sure is! Wish me luck. If you have suggestions for walking shoes that have lots of space on top, let me know, as the top of my foot right above the big toe joint really starts to hurt in shoes after a few miles.

Totally Styling It For My Workout

I want to give a shout out to a few products that have helped me recover more quickly and comfortably than I otherwise would have: Zensah for their fabulous and attractive compression socks, Vasque Footwear for the only comfortable shoes I can currently use for walking, and especially Hanna’s Herbs for sending these anti-fatigue tablets to help me succeed!

As a matter of fact, Hanna’s Herbs has been gracious enough to offer 5 bottles of the Anti-Fatigue tablets to five of you! Just tweet out this message: I want to win a free bottle of Anti-Fatigue tablets from @HannasHerbShop via http://funandfit.org/stumbling-blocks-are-not-walls-setting-new-fitness-challenges-after-surgery/ via @AlexandraFunFit & @KymberlyFunFit, then leave the tweet url in the comments below. We’ll randomly select five winners on Friday, Sep. 28th.

 

 

 

 

 

If you have had an injury or setback of some sort, first read this post by our friend Shira, then let us know how you dealt with your comeback!

Want to stay young? Exercise your fingers by clicking to subscribe to our YouTube channel and  blog. Follow us on Twitter: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Please also follow us on Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click on the icons in the right sidebar ——–>

20

Growing a Fit Child: It’s Graduation Day

Alexandra Williams, MA

Our friend MizFit (Carla) had a post recently about waiting at the bus stop so she could wave good-bye a second time to her daughter. That got me to thinking about my eldest child and how I used to wave good-bye to him at the bus stop, back when we lived in Oregon.

Now he’s graduating from high school, with plans to move across the country to go to a university that has 22 science majors for him to choose from. I put him on that bus 13 years ago to start him on the journey to get him prepared for now. I cried a little back then because he looked so small inside that big bus. And I will cry at his ceremony because he looks so big.
In between my crying jags, I hope I’ve taught him how to live a healthy, rewarding life that’s full of purpose and joy. Those of you who are parents will have your own definition of what that means, but the things I can point to include:

* He doesn’t drink soda, and he knows the difference between healthful and unhealthful foods
* He gets plenty of sleep (boy, does he like to sleep)
* He knows how to make people laugh, which will help him in work and social situations
* He knows how to be a good host to guests, and has excellent manners
* He believes exercise is part of life; it just is
* He is becoming more confident about taking risks
* He has seen me act like a dork in public (a lot) and it’s now somewhere inside his brain that you don’t need to wait around for approval; you have to approve of yourself
* He knows the value of money, how it works, what it can (and cannot) do
* He drives safely (I believe) and wears a seat belt
* He is beginning to appreciate his younger brother for what he can do, rather than railing against what he cannot
* He can be trusted with money (although he can’t ever seem to find his own iPod cord)
* He eats when he’s hungry, not because he’s lonely or bored or because it’s there
* He writes thank you notes and is gracious
* He chooses friends wisely

Hmmm, I’m his mom so I could make a really long list. But my son isn’t a list; he’s so much more, just as your children are more than you imagined and hoped for! And no matter how much I exercise and make my heart strong, it will never be big enough to hold all the love I have for him.

I”m going to share a cute story that demonstrates that he “gets” how nutrition works. When we moved to Santa Barbara to be nearer my sister, he was 12. Kymberly took him to the grocery store with her. When they came back with bags full of prepackaged, processed food (she’s not like that anymore), he turned to me and said, “Mom, I love shopping with Auntie Kym. She buys food. You buy ingredients.” I laughed so hard and still smile whenever I think of that.

Earlier this week, my son gave me a gift – he came to my kickbox step class and brought his girlfriend. He knows I love exercise. He knows I love teaching. He knows I’ve wanted him to come to a class so I could show him off. I love having a job where my kid can come.

I haven’t named him here because I am a protective person about his identity, but you get to admire his massive handsomeness (all from me, of course, even though he looks just like his dad) in these photos.

I’m proud of the fact that I’ve taught my kids the link between health and happiness. I’m happy my son is moving on to start the next phase of his life. I’m sad that my son is moving on to start the next phase of his life. And I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be.

What are the things your children do that make you proud?

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for writing about my kid, unless you count 18 years of having him around!
His cute tux is a rental. My cute outfit is from Aventura Clothing. And thanks to my sister, who let me take over our blog so I could write this.
15

Women: Health and Humor

By Alexandra Williams, MA

It’s National Women’s Health Week, so this post is all about women and how humor can affect their health. Since I’m a woman (so is Kymberly, but she’s out of town, although I don’t believe leaving town changes her gender), I’m going to talk about myself since it’s my second-favorite topic (My #1 topic is somewhere near the end of this post. Guess ya gotta keep reading).

We were once asked (really? just once?) if we were aware our jokes are corny. And prior to an interview the other day we were sent this potential interview question: “Your writing style is quite casual and humorous. Do you feel this unique approach resonates with your readers? Are you ever concerned it could affect your credibility?”

My answers are “sort of”, “maybe” and “it depends”. Growing up as a red-headed, freckled, smart, four-eyes (this term I’ve never quite understood – how can my glasses have eyes?), nail-biting, socially unconfident, flat-chested twin (am I missing anything here?), it didn’t take me past the first nap of kindergarten to realize that humor was the only thing that could save me (and getting cleavage and contact lenses as a teen). Since research has shown that humor can help with:

  • Bonding with friends and family
  • Reinforcement of group identity and cohesiveness
  • Increased friendliness and altruism
  • Increased attractiveness to others
  • Happier marriages and close relationships

I figure I’m okay with corny, since it makes us all cohesive, and that’s the sticky tape that holds us all together.

As to the casual, credibility question, I guess I think you don’t have to be serious to be taken seriously. After more than 25 years as fitness writers, speakers, presenters, teachers, mentors and even award-winners, we hope people will see value in what we write. Even if that doesn’t happen, we still made you healthier if you laughed at stuff like this:

Getting on My Chobani Face

Don’t YOU miss the 90s?

Thong-tards & Reeboks

Yeah, I’m a Healthy Hottie! I’m going to live a long time. I’ve already achieved my dream – embarrassing the heck out of my teens just by existing (and talking about my 80s and 90s workout wear). And while I’m living longer, it will be with less stress, more relaxation, zapped up dopamine and endorphins, and less pain.

 

 

 

 

Okay, did any of you ever see the movie “The In-Laws” with Alan Arkin and Peter Falk? The year that movie came out I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled. When I was coming out of the anesthesia, I got off my recovery bed, wandered into the operating room, asked where the party was, then went outside and tried to re-enact the “serpentine” maneuver. It’s here for your reference:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2_w-QCWpS0&feature=related[/youtube]

I believe I was captured and returned to the recovery room by my mom, who laughed her ass off. Was it a humorous outlook that made my brain override the pain of the surgery? What else could it have been, hmm?

For the record, I was wearing regular clothes, not an open gown. That was probably best, since my re-enactment was in a public parking lot. Also for the record, my #1 favorite topic is Clive Owen. Or Colin Firth. Or my kids. Depends on a variety of hormonal factors; theirs and mine!

Humor also has cognitive and emotional benefits, which I interpret to mean that if I have writer’s block on a post such as this, I can just grin away and inspiration and creativity will come to me. Or I’ll just bite my nails for a while. Oh, even if you’re not feeling overly joyful, pasting a fake smile on actually tricks your brain, so you get some health benefits anyway. I’ll wait while you try it.
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Did it work?

This post is part of a bloggers’ challenge. If you want to participate, just write a post between May 13-19 about a women’s health issue that is meaningful to you, then click on the picture below to link it up. Please feel free to leave your link in our comment section below too!

And smile! Or frown and stand on your head. Either way you’ll get healthier! And you do know that exercise makes you happier, right?

What makes you laugh out loud? Smile quietly to yourself?
The link via “glasses” is to our affiliate Warby Parker. If you buy something (please do), we make enough money for some lens cleaner.