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What’s Your Natural and True Posture?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA


Is This Perfect Posture? Where’s the Cleavage?

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

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

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

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



Posture: Going, Going, Gone

Photo credits: Creative Commons


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

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

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

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

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

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

Jelly for running energy

Grape jelly has been around longer than marathons it seems!

Pop-Tarts everywhere

Pop-Tarts: an almost natural color!


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




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

chocolate milk as post-race recovery fuel

Chocolate Milk - the perfect post-race fuel


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

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

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


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Fitness Secrets and Details Revealed About K & A

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

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

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

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

Alexandra in her younger days but still older than K

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

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

Kymberly a certain number of ell-bees ago

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

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

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

BFC: What is your favorite workout?

Clive Owen

Clive. Call me. I said "Please."

Colin Firth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something to complain about

Ah, quit yer bitching!

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

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

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Wrong & Right Way to do Oblique Ab Crunches

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

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

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

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

Internal & External Obliques

X Marks the External & Internal Obliques


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

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

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

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




Breakfast: Yes or No? Then Go Outside & Play

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

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

Mutant sugar colorful sprinkle magic donuts

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

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

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

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

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Wrong & Right Way to Run in Place

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Is there a correct way to jog in place?

Running clothes - 1980s

Digging those 80s fashions!

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





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


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

For all you Marty McFly “Back to the Future” shoes fans, this one’s for you:
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Wrong & Right Way to Do a Squat

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

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

Fitness Squats

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

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

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

Photo credit: Creative Commons-Sanchom

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No Pain, No Gain…No Way!: Karen Whittier’s Inspirational Yoga Story

Guest post from Karen Whittier

I’ve been active all my life.  I took the slogan “no pain, no gain” to heart and if I didn’t feel completely spent after a workout I didn’t consider it a workout.

Karen Whittier- yoga and injury

Karen Whittier

Just like every other working mother out there (I know that’s redundant) spare time is something rare.  So when I did have the opportunity to get some exercise, I’d go run figuring running gave the most bang for my pavement-pounding buck.  Sure I knew runners were supposed to stretch—either before or after running depending on who you listened to.  BUT they just didn’t understand…I didn’t have time for that.

Over the years, the body will try to do what it can to keep going. It’s very easy to choose to ignore your body’s signals that things are amiss. I certainly ignored warnings from my body, but I didn’t want to change my workouts or admit anything was wrong. Sooner or later, though, the body’s quiet distress signals will become full-fledged screams.

The usual progression of overuse leads right to injuries.  I had a handful of injuries, leading up to the one that definitely got my attention.  I was out running when I heard a pop and simultaneously jumped straight up; crumpling on the trail when I landed.  Unfortunately I was out a distance from my car and so I did my best to shuffle/limp the rest of the back.  My tight, unpliable hamstrings were the culprit and I was forced into some stretching exercises with physical therapy when my injury healed.  I even voluntarily tried some yoga classes.

I guess this is an indictment on my intelligence but once I started feeling better I lapsed right back into the prior patterns.  It wasn’t too long before injuries and newly diagnosed arthritis knocked me out of action again.

I credit yoga with reclaiming my physical freedom.  I’d gotten to the point where, almost every day, I’d be in tears suffering from chronic pain and stiffness from arthritis.  I was given more and more medication. None, except cortisone shots, did anything to alleviate the pain and unfortunately cortisone shots are not something that can be done routinely.

Karen Whittier, Commit to the CauseI was getting to the point of desperation.  I faintly remembered feeling better when I’d done yoga.  I decided to commit more fully to it and, sure enough in not too long a time, the range of motion in my hips and shoulders increased; I stood up taller and moved more fluidly.  Having my brain work with my body, as partners, has made all the difference!  I’m not 100% pain free every day and I’ll never be described as flexible, but I am no longer taking anti-inflammatories and I’m much, much more flexible than I was.

Karen Whittier- Embrace Activism

I was so impressed by the results yoga gave me I ended up going through a teacher training program.  I’ve been able to unite my passion for health and wellness through yoga with my commitment to fight disease with a new business, Embrace Activism.  You might not be able to envision just what you’ll discover once you begin your yoga journey, but I can promise you it’ll be life-changing.

One of my favorite quotes to now live by is from William Arthur Ward: “Do more than belong: Participate.  Do more than care: Help.  Do more than believe: Practice.  Do more than be fair: Be Kind.  Do more than forgive: Forget. Do more than dream: Work.”

Dear Readers: Add to your online workout buddy list and actively embrace Karen over at her site, www.EmbraceActivism.com.

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Planking Meets Fitness Plank

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

The art of planking is to lie horizontally across any object or the ground with arms by your side, aiming to occur in daring situations – Urban dictionary.

Guess what?! Planking and a fitness plank are not the same thing. For example, if it’s Hugh Hefner and the Playboy bunnies, that’s planking:

Is Hugh dead or planking?

Dude, you need Viagra! And coffee!

Hugh is supervising bunny planking

Choosing your dessert for the night Hugh?

Actually, that looks kind of fun. Maybe I’ll try it. Gotta find a good location, though. Then I will focus on demonstrating the wrong and right way to do a fitness plank.

Hmm, obviously my son wants to be JUST LIKE ME when he grows up!

Miles Planking

Look Ma, No Hands (or Brakes)

Readers: What crazy locations have you sought out for your foray into planking?


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Homework, Running, Chemo: Juliana Carvatt’s Inspirational Exercise Story

Guest post from Juliana Carvatt

In the last five years, my life has undergone a striking transformation. Five years ago, when I was 21 years old, I was studying elementary education at The College of New Jersey. After finishing my third year of college, I received the shocking news that a freckle on my shoulder was in fact melanoma. The cancer was found throughout the depth of the biopsy collected, which meant it was most likely advanced. The diagnosis was especially frightening because although I have fair skin, I religiously wear sunscreen and have never set foot in a tanning salon.

juliana's inspirational storyDuring the summer between my junior and senior year of college, I had multiple surgeries, first to remove the cancer, then to take out lymph nodes to which the cancer had spread, and later to implant a port that would be used to administer intravenous chemotherapy. I was advised to take the year off of school to complete a twelve-month immunochemotherapy regimen, but I chose to complete my degree while I did treatment. I was determined to graduate on time no matter what.

I would describe the next year as the most difficult of my life.

Although I hope to have many more years of living, I doubt there will be few, if any, as challenging as the one I spent going to school, student-teaching, and doing chemo. But with the support of friends, family, and some very accommodating professors, I made it, graduating summa cum laude, right on schedule.

A week after I completed treatment, I bought a membership at the YMCA and decided that I would never take my body’s ability to do miraculous things for granted. After all, it had fought cancer, recovered from three surgeries all less than a month apart, and endured twelve months of toxic chemo. If my body was capable of doing that, the least I could do was honor it. I found myself drawn to running, and although I was never a runner before cancer, after the fight, I somehow tied running to loving and appreciating my body. Starting to run was a turning point for me. It marked the start of a life of living after cancer. That’s why I believe that while treatment saved me from cancer, it was running that saved me from the devastating physical and emotional toll treatment took on me.

When I first started exercising, I could barely walk a mile.

GradChemo, Cancer, Runningually, I was able to do more. I tried not to get discouraged by how little I could do. I set a goal to participate in a 5K race that was eight weeks away. To prepare, I found a walk-to-run 5K training guide online and followed it carefully. On the days I didn’t want to get out of bed and go to the gym, I would ask myself, “Have you ever regretted going for a run?” My answer to that question has always been “No.” Asking myself this is usually enough to get me out of bed!

After I completed the 5K, I explored lots of other activities in and outside of the gym; kickboxing, skiing, pilates, white water kayaking, yoga, dance, and spin classes. I enjoyed these activities, but running was still my favorite. It’s been nearly four years since I promised to honor my body, and I feel I have kept that promise.

Last spring, I began chronicling my adventures as a runner/cancer survivor on a blog, called Hope, Love, Run. I love writing about my experiences and hope that my blog motivates others to push their own limits and overcome personal challenges. I also feel accountable because I share the goals I set for myself in my posts and reflect on them regularly.

Last summer, I pledged to run six miles every day in July so I could win the title of top point-earner on a site called Earndit.com. I successfully reached my goal of running six miles every day for a month, and reaching that goal gave me the confidence to begin training for a half marathon. I ran my first half last November, and this spring I trained for and ran another half marathon to support First Descents, a charity that encourages young adult cancer survivors to push their physical limits. I called this race my cancerversary half marathon, because the race date was within a few days of the five year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis, a date I was once told I might not live to see.

My life today is nothing like I envisioned it would be five years ago…

it’s better than I ever could have imagined; I am so happy to be alive! I never thought anything good could come from getting cancer, but now I know that’s just not true. I have developed a passion for exercise and an appreciation for my body that many women spend a lifetime searching for. But most of all, I’ve learned that with a fighting spirit and some determination, anything is possible!


Clinton, New Jersey


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