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Fitness Products & Trends That Caught Our Eye for 2014

Alexandra Williams, MA
pic at Total Gym booth at IHRSA 2014

7:30 am Circuit Class

March was a busy convention month, as we went right from the Natural Products Expo over to the IHRSA convention, which serves the health and fitness club industry. The majority of attendees are club owners or managers, and we go every year to learn the latest, both for products and industry trends.

We stop at Expo booths that catch our eye because they have something that will work for us as instructors, or for you, our readers and radio show listeners, or because there appears to be a fun or unique baby boomer angle.

pic of Sproing machines

Our knees like the Sproing workout system

As the major players for all the fitness equipment and machines are exhibiting their latest inventions or upgrades, it makes perfect sense that they offer workouts in their booths. So we got up at super-pre-dawn o’clock and did a circuit class with Total Gym, followed by a really boingy and sproingy “run” on the Sproing  not a treadmill “soft surface system.” We loved both, especially the Sproing, as we have crappy, genetically flawed reconstructed knees from our superstar soccer days (the word “superstar” needs to be read with a twinkle in your eye).

pic at the Regupol booth IHRSA 2014

Getting irregular with Regupol

Speaking of needing to exercise on soft surfaces, we had some fun goofing off testing out the shock absorption of the flooring surfaces at the Regupol booth. Made of post-consumer tires and post-industrial rubber, we did our best recycled splits!

To recover from all our hard work, we invited ourselves into the sauna room at the Helo booth. The heat was on!! Actually, after only a few hours’ sleep, we were kind of tempted to take a nap in the sauna. The reps were nice about it until my sis started snoring!

Helo Sauna booth at IHRSA 2014

Say Hello to Helo

pic of Nexersys machine

Muscles Meets Nexersys


If you ever take any of my group fitness classes, you will find out rather quickly that I’m not a fan of teaching kickboxing-style workouts. That was before. This is now. On a whim, we stopped at the Nexersys booth and gave the machine a good workout. Or it gave us one. Something tiring. Essentially it’s an interactive machine with punch and kick pads. Some people want chocolate or jewelry; I want this machine. Their website tag line is “Get the Body You Want.” He never showed up, so I did a four minute workout with the body I had – mine!

All group fitness pros need music, so we grapevined our way to Power Music, and signed up for their digital music subscription service that lets you access unlimited pre-made and custom mixes. We were going to buy CDs, as that’s about our level of technology, but the guys at the booth were so into customer service that they explained how much money we’d save with the service, then walked us through the entire downloading process. I left with music already on my phone AND a sheet of instructions. Props to the peeps at Power for major hand-holding. Now I just have to figure out how to use my phone with the sound system at the university. Sad, I know.

pic at LifeFitness booth IHRSA 2014

Helping Marc Coronel do the splits at the LifeFitness booth

Shout out to LifeFitness and the Synrgy360 system for A: having a workout set-up that resembles a playground, and B: hiring the ever energetic, always positive Marc Coronel to demo the workouts. Second shout out to DietBetter (formerly DietBet), a social media, interactive weight loss game. You can win money for safely losing a specific percentage of your weight. We met the founder and learned that some new, top-secret fun things are on the horizon.

pic at DietBetter booth IHRSA 2014

DietBet = DietBetter





The day ended with us relaxing completely testing for research purposes on the SolaJet DryWave massage beds. You lie down on something akin to a modern waterbed, but with more support. Warm water jets move up and down your body, providing a deep tissue massage. We intended to fake sleep so we could do intensive research, but the people at the booth actually let us stay until the Expo was closed.

pic at Sola Jet booth IHRSA 2014

Is that Thumbs Up or Surf’s Up at the Dry Wave Massage?


Some of these items cost a lot, so ask your fitness facility to buy them. Pitch a fit so you’ll get your way. Cheer yourself up with a Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt CLIF Mojo bar. Also for research purposes.



Did you know that we’ve moved to a bigger platform for our radio show? Give us a listen Wednesdays at 8 am (live) and 8 pm (rebroadcast) PST on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness channel.



3 Food Trends for 2014

Alexandra Williams, MA
pic of Expo West

Natural Products Expo West

For the fourth year in a row, Kymberly and I spent several days at the Natural Products Expo West, sampling delicious (and healthy) food and beauty products, and attending sessions so that we could share the latest news with you.

In this first part of our trend-spotting series, I’ll share three food trends.

1. Products that seemed out of the ordinary a few years ago are now getting even MORE unique – examples of this include calamansi flavored sparkling coconut water from JaxCoco, South Asian-inspired snacks from Zouq,

pic of Zouq snacks

Zouq snacks are my new go-to munchie

wheat free, gluten free, sugar free, all cheese chia seed parmesan crisps from Kitchen Table Bakers , frozen desserts sweetened with monk fruit from Arctic Zero, and even grassfed, organic, bacon cranberry bison bars from EPIC Bar.

2. Parallel, yet not diametrically opposed is the trend toward making healthy food accessible and available to all (especially families). According to Steve Sidwell, founder of Lúvo, the number of lunch eaters has dropped, while the number of snack eaters has risen. Those snacks (and all food) should be good for you, and accessible – including at work, school and airports. In other words, bring the healthy food to the people, not have the people search out the food.

pic of Steve Sidwell

I was trying to steal Steve’s Lúvo jacket.

3. Beverages that are designed to aid your body are so varied and unique, there’s no reason to ever drink a sugar-laden soda or hospital-visit-inducing energy drink. Ever. Teas with chocolate or vegetables added, sparkling, vegan, organic probiotic drinks, (my fave is the new Hibiscus Berry Daily Cleanse from KeVita, flavored kombucha that even non-kombucha people like myself enjoy (try the black currant from Clearly Kombucha), and even different types and flavors of chocolate milk and coffee. Oh, check out Teas of Texas. Not only do they have pecos cantaloupe white tea, they also do limited edition teas for college football teams. Good sense of humor. I even found a skin rejuvenation collagen drink! I thought that was called “water” back in the day. Oh, you heard it here first – Organic Valley has protein shakes coming out in June. You can’t find them yet, but let me tell you – they’re delicious. You’ll see.

pic of Texas Tea at Expo West

Check out these Flavors

Stay tuned for more trends in upcoming posts. In the meantime, let us know your guesses as to what those might be in the comments below. Oh, we also have lots of giveaways coming up too, so keep an eye on our Facebook page.






Finally, less than one week (March 19, 2014) until the re-launch of our Active Aging for Boom Chicka Boomers radio showon a bigger platform – Voice America, Wednesdays at 8 am PST live/ 8 pm PST rebroadcast. Up first, author, scientist and personal trainer Tamara Grand, on “Hormones and Menopause.”

We were not paid to share any of these products with you. We did receive press passes and samples at the expo. 


Natural Products Expo West: Scenes from 3 Days of Food, Natural Products and Friends

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Natural Products Expo West is the leading trade show in the natural, organic and healthy products industry. That means food, skin care, drinks, supplements, ingredients and way, way, way more. We were two of over 60,000 attendees visiting over 3,000 exhibitors.

IMG_2541We’ve only been home a few hours, but we wanted to share a few pictures from the event.





You know you’re in for a good experience when the first thing you see in the Press Room is a Gifting Suite!



Top Left: Alpina USA Greek Yogurt with Granola (We went to an Alpina test kitchen event. More on that in a future post)scenes from Expo West

Top Right: Debbie from Premium Gold Flax

Middle Right: Curtain at the Stonyfield Farm booth made from yogurt lids

Bottom Right & Bottom Left: Extremely unique chocolate from Lilie Belle Artisan Chocolates (yes, that really is bacon in the chocolate, and yes, you should NOT eat this bar unless you like super spicy)

Bottom Center: Daisy from Carmela’s Food Company (her marinara recipe comes straight from her Italian emigrant grandmother, Nana Carmela)



Expo WestLeft: Silk Soy Vanilla Iced Latte 

Center: Lotus Aroma is a French-Canadian company that makes skin care products that are devoid of crap (and the owner has a great sense of humor)

Right: Organic Valley has come out with even more yummy items in their grass-fed line (sisters not included). They put on a rockin’ 25th anniversary party too!


Left: Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA Fitness Journal. She knows food and fitness, oh yes!

Top Right: We met our FitFluential friend Jody of Truth2BeingFit. She is super fit and super fun.

Bottom Right: That is my former UCSB student Will. He now works for CORE Foods. Buy their stuff.Friends Expo West

Day 3 Expo West












Left: Artists from Hugo Naturals creating soap

Center: We like balance so that’s what we did with Chandra, founder of Drink Chia. We support woman-owned businesses like crazy.

Right: Someone has to win this beehive from Attune Foods, and Alexandra wants to be that someone.


Photo Credits: Alexandra and Kymberly’s Instagrams.

Please click to visit us at FunandFit.org, subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and follow us on twitter: @KymberlyFunFit and@AlexandraFunFit.  See our instagram pics at: @AlexandraFunFit and @KymberlyFunFit. We follow back!