Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Exercise and fitness "
11

Fitness Fact or Fiction – Aaahh, Freak Out!

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

QUIZ TIME! How well do you know your Fitness Facts? Yes, it’s time to get your freak on with Fun and Fit, who examine the DARK side of activity this time around. At least one of the following Freak Out Fitness Facts is in fact, not a fact. Sadly, some of them are true. Can you pick out the fiction?

1) Adults and children spend an average of 70% of their awake time sitting (driving, eating, watching tv, reading, working at a computer, playing video games).

2) Kymberly is sitting now, being sedentary and adding to the dismal stats about sitting and butt parking. Oh, Meow!

3) The average woman adds 10 pounds of fat every decade.

4) Our readers are not average and therefore are bucking the fat gain stats.

5) Sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950; Physically active jobs now make up only about 25% of our workforce. That is 50% less than 1950.

6) Alexandra is way more fit than Kymberly.

Alexandra doing a back bend

Kymberly almost worked out

7) Eighty percent of midlife women (age 40 to 60) have one or more heart disease risk factors.

You better have said “number 6.” Or else……

Let’s end our time together today boys and girls with a few Fun Fit Facts….or Fiction???!! Can you pick out the Fun Fit Facts that do not belong?

1) Just five minutes of “green exercise” – cycling, gardening, fishing, or other outdoor activities – can enhance your mood and self esteem.

2) Exercise can improve your brainpower .

3) Fun and Fit are brainiacs beyond belief, partly because they work out regularly.

4) Studies show that for every hour of walking, life expectancy may increase by two hours.

What the heck??!! Did you think number 3 was the fiction? No way; that is solid fact. In fact, all of the Fun Fit Facts are TRUE. Motivated yet to at least go take a walk? 

Now, where did I put my high-heeled exercise shoes & fitness mini?

Photo Credits: Creative Commons & Photobucket

8

Eating Pre- and Post-Workout

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams-Evans, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: What should we eat before and after a workout? (there are loads of different stories about it).

Hanna, Mooncoin, Ireland

What’s the best thing to consume BEFORE a workout? And how long should you wait after eating before hitting the gym for maximum performance and gain?

Mary, Holland, Michigan

A: Hanna and Mary, have you two met? Similar question – different countries. Destined to meet and eat. Before and after a workout you should eat…wait for it…food. Healthful food. Stand back, experts at work. Dare I say carbohydrates and protein? In an excellent article, Jenna Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, LD (this all means she’s an official expert) gives more complete details, but here are some carb/protein combo nuggets of info for you (no chickens were harmed in the making of our nuggets):

whole-grain toast and peanut butter
orange and cottage cheese
yogurt and granola
nuts and apple
hard-boiled egg and wheat bagel
chicken breast (still not a nugget) and rice
string cheese and pretzels

If you are looking for the donut and coffee combo, I’ll just tell you now, it ain’t going to happen. We would never recommend such a combo (although a certain twin who is NOT Alexandra would consider consuming it.

K: Hold on. I don’t drink coffee. Gee, what kind of aspersions are you casting about, twin who is NOT mine. As for the aspect of timing your food and workouts, the best answer is to listen to your own body. Mine tells me to skip the coffee and donuts – so there! – but to eat for sure. In fact, I am one of those hearty sorts who can exercise intensely five minutes after eating, no prob.  In general, though, time your workouts according to your meal size. If you eat a large meal — of carbs and protein — wait two to four hours before intensely exercising. If you want to work out sooner after you eat, then chow down on a smaller meal and wait about an hour or two. The Mayo Clinic further suggests that you eat protein and carbs within two hours post-workout.

But you know what? I live in the practical, real world. If I want to work out in the morning, I for sure want to eat brekkie first. But I am not going to wait until midday – three or four hours post brekkie – to get a’ goin’. Nor am I going to wake up at “too early stupid o’clock” to eat at 4:10am to be able to catch an 8:00am class. Remember the big picture: eat when you are hungry; be active as much as you can; focus on carbs and protein pre- and post-workout. Ta da!

A: Here’s what I always tell my students at the U–the closer it is to the ground, the better it is for you. The best workout food is grown, not processed into a foodlike substance (as Michael Pollan calls it).

So this: yes

And this: no

K: Dear regular fit people (not high-level, competitive athletes):  in case you are busy timing and planning your food and exercise, let me sum up the relevant portion of the article my sis recommended. “…consume a balanced snack 2–3 hours prior to exercise and … consume a carbohydrate- and protein-containing snack or meal following the session to help (you) advance (your) workout, enhance (your) glycogen stores and recover successfully.”
Please pass the box of chocolates.

Readers: What are your hot tips on what and when to eat relative to your workouts. And don’t tell us anything boring or we’ll drown our boredom in a donut.

Photo credits: Creative Common

9

Why No Weights While Walking?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear A and K aka F and F: Why do they say NOT to use hand weights while walking? Regards, Charlotte, CA

Kymberly: “They” who? Is someone following us? I am not paranoid, but why do “they” keep showing up and talking to me?. “They” told me to tell you that adding weights at the end of a lever (hand or ankle, for example) that is moving rapidly is a good way to stress joints, tendons, and ligaments. Carrying hand weights risks raising your blood pressure, when it’s really your heart rate you want to elevate. If your goal is to get a good cardio workout (I think this is a safe assumption that will not make an ASS out of U and ME), then ditching the weights will allow you to walk faster and thereby ditch the body weight…… in a roadside ditch that you pass while out power walking!

Alexandra: Let me walk back through your question…why do you want to use hand weights while walking? Are you trying to save time by doing your strength training while on the walk? Knock that off. Stand still – pick up biggish weights – be a better person. Unless, of course, your hand weight is a sword, umbrella or small dog:
In that case, go for it!

K: In brief–Not Inserting a picture of husband in briefs here–use weights for your weight training; use your walk time to get your unhampered groove on!

A: P.S. Unhampered groove looks like this:

Dear walkers: What do you hold while walking? And do NOT say “my breath.”

Photo credits: Creative Commons

4

Shape Up or Ship Out Shoes?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Okay, what’s the truth about those “shape up” shoes.  Can I get into shape without going to the gym?  Will they really straighten my posture, burn more calories, firm and lift my butt?  Should I be firing my old sneakers?

Diane in Orcutt, CA

Kymberly: “Truth? You can’t handle the truth!” Or can you?

Alexandra: More importantly, can you handle Jack Nicholson? Walk closer to me in your black high-heeled pumps and I’ll whisper the answer–“Yes, you can get in shape without going to the gym.” Let me put it this way; if you wear the shoes and start to walk more and stand up straighter, then the shoes are working because you are now moving the body that’s in those shoes. Are the “toning shoes” really magical? Um, only if they come with a magician. Here’s a direct quote from an unbiased study (meaning the shoe company didn’t fund the study): “Across the board, none of the toning shoes showed statistically significant increases in either exercise response or muscle activation during any of the treadmill trials. There is simply no evidence to support the claims that these shoes will help wearers exercise more intensely, burn more calories or improve muscle strength and tone.” In plain English, that quote means, “Toning shoes–Meh!”

K: Fire up the old sneakers. Fire the new sneakers. But be sneaky about it.

A: Whether you walk in high heels, toning shoes, old sneakers or your favorite bunny slippers, you will feel some effects after your walk simply because you are “mixing it up.” No, that is not a reference to Joe’s Bar on State Street in Santa Barbara (great place to mix it up, BTW); it means any change will make you feel like your butt just got some new “firmware.” Here’s some very dry, potentially boring information you should read about choosing your exercise shoes. And I’d know…I wrote it!

K: As for lifting your butt – you want info on the bottom line? — The bottom line is WALK. Walk some more. Wear whatever motivates you to walk often and happily. People who wear and love the new “shape up” shoes report being more fit. Most likely it is because they are simply walking more. Hey, whatever it takes….. Now where did I put my bunny slippers?

Readers: What motivates you to get out of the house and take a walk? Yes, you can say “my dog.” We are not picky; we are nosy.

4

HomeBody Workout

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Just read your article at noozhawk.com and I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to add 15-20 minutes of weight-training exercises at home 3-4 times a week using free weights, bands, etc.  The more specific the better! I do different types of cardio during the week, all outside here in beautiful Santa Barbara! I realize at the age of 52 that it is more and more difficult to tone up and lose some fat and weight, just about 5 pounds. I do not belong to a gym and so would like to have the tools to do this at home so my metabolism can rev up and that flab can turn to leaner muscle! many thanks

Alexandra, Santa Barbara, CA.

Alexandra: Let’s start with two wondertastic exercises you can do at home with NO equipment where you could get lots of ROI (Rugburn On Impact) – squats and push-ups. The problem is that most people do these with poor, less-than-ideal, blackmail-photo-worthy form. Let’s just say this is where trainers earn their money. But this site has some very specific total body and lunchtime exercises that will have you worshipping me so much that you’ll want to change your name to Alexandra, just to be like me! Hey, wait a minute!

.

Kymberly: Disclaimer – this is not my sister questioning herself. That could happen, mind you. But in this case, TWO Alexandras exist in one website. 2 Good + 2 Be = 4Gotten. Next to acknowledge is that reading our posts at noozhawk will lighten your day. And maybe your body weight! .

A: One of the all-time best workouts we’ve experienced that will kick-start your metabolism comes from Aileen Sheron. You might like to check out her tubing variable resistance DVD. Or get a motorcycle and pump it over your head a few times. Zoom Zoom.

K: Just get the darn DVD. You will have so many awesome (euphemism for “butt kicking”) exercises to choose from. And, no we get no kickback from the Fun and Fit bump we just gave the DVD. (Aileen, if you are reading this–and you should, geewillikers!–send us free DVDs will ya??!) Not too proud to beg.

Back to you, Alexandra #2: Also perform ab exercises as part of your program. I LOVE reverse curls as they activate the ab muscles from the bottom up, instead of the top down. No, that is not a suggestion of how to wear your sports bra when training or how to drive your convertible. Ab exercises involve the spine, which can flex and bend all over the place. So you can pull your hip bones toward your rib cage (bottom up) or you can pull your rib cage toward your hip bones (top down). Either way, the move is free, portable, available at home, and important for your goals. The one thing I would change in this video is to keep your legs parallel, NOT crossed at the ankle. I always suggest training to achieve symmetry and balance, so minimize the crossed feet. Maximize the name “Alexandra” though as it is a way cool name. Almost as cool as my name.

Photo credits:Photobucket

Readers: What is your all time FAVE home weight training exercise and why should we care?


11

Spin, Rinse, No Wash Out Cycle

Kymberly Williams-Evans,, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: I want to amp up my old ass metabolism. I spin 3x a week for an hour. Would it be better for me to go every day and do cardio for a half hour instead? I have been spinning for years. Doing an hour is easy for me heart wise, but still tires out my legs. Molly,  Dayton, OH

Alexandra: The very short answer – 30 minutes 5-6 days  a week, but push the intensity a bit – in little bursts. And you need weight training to kick-start the donkey pulling your metabolism. Your mission is to read No Hulk, No Bulk.

Kymberly: Two words for you Good Golly Maxed Out Molly: Interval Training. Ok, two more since I am feeling generous: Routine Variation. You are spinning… your wheels. Any activity, no matter how great, is going to offer diminishing returns if you do the same thing week in, week out. Wait, are we talking about my investments all of a sudden? Change up girl. Is there another cardio activity you can switch out for one spinning workout? You want to force the muscles (the heart being one) to constantly adapt upward which occurs when you have something new going on. New workout gear does not count.

Regardless whether you are spinning, cycling, rinsing, washing, running, treading, stepping — pick cardio activities and classes you enjoy — you can implement Interval Training to boot your booty into the spin-o-sphere. In short, alternate 3-10 minutes of your regular pace with 1-2 minutes or so of a high intensity, all out, “if my mom could see me now,”  “balls dolls to the wall” burst. And we have eyes in the back of our heads so don’t think this means suddenly cruising at low intensity for the “recovery” or “regular” part of the ride.  Start with the pace you usually handle, and try to go right back to that pace after each interval burst.

A: If you follow our advice, your “old-ass metabolism” will be so energized that you’ll be able to do this:



Dear Cyclists and Old-Asses: Have you had a fitness routine that left you feeling like you were spinning your wheels? What did you change up to re-kick start yourself?

Photo credits: Photobucket.com

1

Pregnant, Physically Phit, and Powerful

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: My wife is incredibly active, and pregnant. She is strong and not the type to consider a walk exercise but the doctor’s advice has been too generic.  “Don’t do more than you can handle” type of answers. What are the best activities for her, activities that are still challenging? She’s at the end of her 1st trimester; has been running, biking, and swimming. She used to do Triathlons. Didn’t do one this weekend because she’s been zapped of energy lately.

Jeremy, Goleta, CA

Kymberly: Good thing you came to us, since we were once fetuses AND pregnant moms. Yup, revel in those credentials! And we have some super specific, non-generic, targeted advice honed from years hours minutes of checking with the real experts. Listen to your body. If an exercise feels good, it probably is; if it feels like too much, it probably is. Seriously! Read this article, The Pregnant Athlete and see for yourself. Show your wife when she is not having any kind of hormone surge. The bottom line, or would this be the “middle line?” — is that a woman who is fit and active prior to pregnancy will have a good sense of her body and therefore be the best judge. In general, she could continue with her activities, reducing intensity when her energy is low and changing position or exercise when she feels uncomfortable. The American College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Guidelines put the kibosh no-no on just a few activities: downhill skiing, contact sports, and scuba diving. Whew! Looks like triathlons are fair game if she wants. What the heck, looks like parasailing is an option. Basically, medical advice is that common sense takes over as MD (Most Decisive).

Alexandra: When your wife hits the 3rd trimester, she will probably not find the swimming too much fun. Not because of the exertion, but because those pregnant-lady swimsuits are so ugly simply lovely.

If she doesn’t mind looking like she’s sporting her own personal life ring in the pool, then she’s active, strong and deluded courageous! Truly, I’d rather give you advice. No matter what, even if she asks and looks oh-so-innocent, you are to say, “You look absolutely fabulous,” as the answer to any question that is even remotely worded like this – “Do you think I look big/huge/large/different/unappealing/unattractive?”!!! And look be sincere!

K: When I was pregnant and teaching 8 group fitness classes a week, the activities I found “best” yet still challenging were buying cute outfits that were gender neutral; holding myself back from snapping at my husband for good no reason; and avoiding hot tubs. No, no, not because the heat was too high for the developing baby, but because I kept displacing too much water.

Physically phit moms: When you were pregnant, what did “active” mean to you? And what did you do with your maternity swimsuit?

Photo credits: Creative Commons

9

Spot Reducing – A Zap-O-Matic Myth

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: So … is there no spot reducing? as in can’t just do certain areas, right? like it has to be holistic?

Annie, New York

Vintage fat jiggler

Kymberly: Holy holistic, AnnGirl, no spot reducing? Dang it, and I was just about to shake my booty into toned, tight, tushy status. Maybe just another butt squeeze and I’ll zap the fat that may or may not be present, but only my undergarments know for sure. Please, please, please may I have some spot reducing? How about just some reducing … of this persistent myth?

Alexandra: The only spot reducing that works involves a dry cleaner. Otherwise you’d see millions of women shaking their bellies, right?

K: I am the first (well maybe not, but I beat Alexandra to it) to tell you that you can make certain areas look groovier and more holistic through strength training. But any overlying fat would still need to be nuked through overall, whole body, calorically burning cardio for the lean, green, muscle machine to show through. Oh gotta go. My vintage belly fat vibrating machine just arrived.

A: Annie, I do have some good news. You can just do certain areas. Only work the parts below your hair.

Zapping kid on bike

Zap!

Put a big clip on your hair so it can hold still while the rest of you moves. And don’t forget that holistic means body, mind and spirit. So tone your body, tune your spirit and tame your mind!

Readers: Have you tried to spot-reduce? How’d that work out for ya?

Photo credits: Creative Commons