Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Exercise and fitness "
11

Exercising with Fibromyalgia

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Hula Hoop Workouts Ahead

Caution: Hula Hoopers at Play

Dear my fave twins: My goal is to get more fit. I want to build muscle and increase flexibility while being careful of my body because I have fibromyalgia. How do I pick which types of exercise will meet my goals, besides just alternating through them all? What that looks like for me right now is a brand-new-to-me yoga-pilates class, low-moderate intensity walks when it’s nice enough to do so, my exercise bike, and then at-home yoga, stretching, small dumbbells, and body weight exercises like crunches. I might want to try hula hooping or other classes at the gym where yoga is.  Kristine from Vancouver, WA

Kymberly: Looking at what research says about exercise and fibromyalgia, we almost couldn’t have put it better than you. Almost… cuz’ we will say it even spiffier and with more chutzpah experience.

Mind/Body Modes Help Alleviate Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Walking on a Garden Path

Take a Meditative Stroll

In short, the variety of exercise modes you are self-selecting is just about spot on for someone with your condition and fitness goals. Pilates and mind-body activities (such as yoga, Tai chi, qigong, and meditation) are particularly good for minimizing fibromyalgia pain. Your moderate intensity walks, hula hooping, and biking will meet your cardio need; the body and free weight workouts will target your muscle strength and endurance; while the stretching and yoga will help your flexibility. You have covered the three key categories for overall fitness with these activities. As long as you include something from each category at least twice a week you are in the effective and safe zone. Sounds like baseball all of a sudden. Yooooouuuuu’re SAFE!

Core Moves Without a Lot of Flexion Beat Out Crunches

Alexandra: I would suggest some other core exercise instead of the crunches. Since you want to be more fit (you didn’t mention wanting a certain “look” to the abs), you will gain more strength with other choices. For example, I refer you to two no-crunch posts we did (with video) that won’t put strain on your neck or head: No Head or Neck Strain I and No Head or Neck Strain II.  Click on both these videos and the links we added for more on the relationship between fibromyalgia, pain reduction, and exercise.

Low to Moderate Intensity is Best

You are smart to take on low to moderate intensity, as the Mayo Clinic has found that “short bouts of physical activity throughout the day may prove beneficial for fibromyalgia sufferers.” So when you are planning your workouts, you might consider sprinkling them throughout the day rather than doing everything at once. I wonder if knitting after some of your harder workouts would be a clever way to minimize any muscle/ ligament/ tendon pain simply by virtue of distracting you? That would be an interesting study, especially as research has already proven that people report lower levels of pain when their minds are elsewhere (I know I fantasized about killing my husband when I was in labor, heh heh heh).

Fitness Classes May Help More than Home Workouts

yoga pose at the beach

Yoga, then arm raises, then swimming. Alternate your workouts.

Kymberly: Fibromyalgia exercisers do well to achieve an intensity level where they are short of breath while still able to speak in short phrases. As for whether you should alternate between the types of workouts you mention, we say “absolutely!” If you are someone who likes variety, then you have the right mix for you. If you try a new activity such as hula hooping (is that even a verb? OK, let’s make it so) and you start to feel pain or fatigue related to your fibromyalgia, check with your medical pro, take a break from that mode, and go back to what did work for you. Your idea to attend classes is also particularly good as a limited study on the effects of Pilates on fibromyalgia suggested that exercise participants might adhere to their program under instructor supervision better than those working out at home. Group classes rule!

Alexandra and Kymberly take HIIT at FitSocial with Chris Freytag

Exercising with Fibro-My-Sistuh

Lastly, our all time favorite advice when it comes to what kind of exercise is best–whether directed to someone with fibromyalgia or not–is to do the types of workouts you will actually do. The more kinds you like, the better!

Pedestrian and Garden Path Photos courtesy of MorgueFile.com. 

Other photos courtesy of Kymberly

Got an event that could use a double bill presentation of movement and great fitness info?

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

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

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

12

Why Do You Exercise? Is Looking Good Enough?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

FitBlogLA name tag

This personalized Meet and Tweet Greet was Sweet!

“The ultimate goal of working out is to be happy and healthy.” So opened fitness celebrity, Tony Horton of P90X fame at the FitBlogLA Meet and Tweet event I just attended courtesy of Fitness Magazine.

When Tony followed up that comment by reminding us that “one size exercise program does not fit all,” I started to trust his message a bit more. Known worldwide for his high intensity, high impact, high energy exercise programs, Tony was the last person I expected to advocate for moderation, caution, and mental flexibility. Yet here he was spreading the word that “our goal as fitness professionals and (healthy living) bloggers is to get more people into the movement game” while getting our ego out. He admitted up front that his program, or ANY high intensity workout is right for some, but not all. As baby boomers, we might want to go all out, but if our joints don’t agree, then we’re wise to modify. I, for one, am neither happy nor healthy when I push too hard and increase my knee pain. Sure, I love the benefits intense workouts offer, but not if I suffer long term.

Stick with me as I share a few more quotes and key comments from Tony’s talk on “The New Way to Work Out” that may elevate your happiness and healthiness levels! (For more on the effect your reasons for working out matter so much, also read our post Why You Want to Lose Weight Affects Your Success.

Why Do You Work Out?

Kymberly at FitBlogLA pool

Being strong enough to wear new outfits makes me happy!

What gets you into the movement game? Why do you exercise? If you are like most people I have taught and met in fitness classes over the last 34 years on 4 continents and online, you work out to … wait for it … wait for it… look better. You may also want to feel better, to live longer, to think more cogently — or reap a zillion other benefits that movement offers. But looking better continues to pop up as reason numero uno. If we ask ourselves why we want to look better, what lies beyond? To do what? To be what? To get what? I think Tony nailed it that we really seek a level of happiness. Oh Yes, I firmly believe active people are happier people.

What Scary Activity Will You Try?

Snowboarding in Lake tahoe

Not Yet Going Scary Fast

“Do scary things that won’t kill you,” challenged Tony, himself a baby boomer. What physical activity have you thought about doing that scares you a bit? For me, it was learning to snowboard. Going downhill fast still scares me. Doing plyo jump squats scares my knee into “cap” – tivity. Get it? Ha ah aha My sense of humor scares others, but not me.

Do You Prioritize Skill Over Number, Amount, Duration, Speed, Flash and Flair?

“Focus on getting better as opposed to going through the motions.” Tony’s emphasis on form and technique over pushing hard and damn the torpedoes was a welcome message I hope you take to heart. And to the gym. Doing more bad reps does not give you better results. Better form gets you to your happy place. In fact, your body will change when you focus on skill. Well, your body will change regardless (thanks again menopause!), but we’re talking changing for the better with mindful movement.

Remember the mantra from our post, Reducing Obesity — What Does and Doesn’t Work: Move More: Sit Less and you will be on your way to more happiness. Don’t Worry; Be Happy (Thanks Bobby McFerrin for getting that tune stuck in our heads).  Feel free to leave answers to the questions in our post down in the comment section.

Got an event that could use a twin pack of movement and great fitness info?

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

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

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

 

26

Reducing Obesity – What Does and Doesn’t Work

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Pass the Expensive Fat Please

Alexandra at strawberry fields

Sleeping Beauty in her Field of Lean Dreams

Many want to lose weight, yet few manage to reduce fat despite billions of dollars and years of dedicated effort. What is it about eating healthy foods and working out that proves so elusive and off-putting? Unless you’ve been in a Sleeping Beauty coma, you know that obesity has skyrocketed in the last 30 years. Simultaneously, sedentary behavior has plopped itself into a deep couch into which we are sinking deeper and deeper. Pass the remote will ya’?

As Dr James Hill, Executive Director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, author of State of Slim, and leading world authority on obesity bluntly tells us “our lifestyles are killing us. Selling deprivation has not been successful.” Let’s face it; who wants to embark on a journey of calorie deprivation and lifelong struggles against temptation to keep fat at bay? Many launch; some arrive; few stay at the new destination. If you are on a weight loss or weight maintenance journey, we have news for you and you and you.

What Has Not Worked Yet

James Hill, PhD

Dr. Jim Hill = State of Grin

Dr. Hill and his colleagues point to three decades of what does NOT work to lose and keep off excess weight:

  • restricting calories. Did you fully ingest that tidbit?!! Calorie restriction DOES NOT WORK. Excuse the yelling but this is kind of big.
  • taking entire food categories off your “ok to eat” list. (Such as no more sugars or no more fats)
  • depending on willpower
  • being told to work out intensely and often to achieve exercise benefits
  • thinking that “eat less; exercise more” will work (surprised by this one? So were we. Keep reading Also click this link to our post on step one for losing weight).
Inflamed Foot

From Fat to Foot to Fit

What Does Work (Dare Us to Prove It!)

After attending sessions at the recent FitSocial conference  keynoted by Dr. Hill, we want to share with you strategies he has proven WILL work.  These strategies are evidence-based, peer-reviewed, and thoroughly researched. No gimmicks, no quick buck to make: no random anecdotes.  If you go through the suggestions quickly they seem usual and obvious. If you put them into a context you notice they have twists to former “truths.”

  • Move More; Sit Less  – Replace “Eat Less; Exercise More” with this revised mantra;
  • Match your diet to your exercise habits (not in the sense that being inactive matches eating cheese fries with gravy on them);  Ewwwwww
    Products from NPEW

    Loads of Healthy Choices to Make Automatically

  • Eat a high performance diet (for details on what this really means read the recently released book, State of Slim;
  • Strive for physical and cardiorespiratory fitness;
  • When moving, make decisions in this order: Aim first for Amount of movement; Next for Type of activity; then for Intensity of exercise level. (Again, this surprised us as other research suggests looking first at high intensity exercise to burn fat or lose weight. Dr. Hill and his colleagues were very clear – if your goal is to KEEP weight off, then the order of Amount, Type, Intensity is most efficacious. ATI people!
  • Use multisyllabic words such as “efficacious.”  Ok, I made this one up to check who’s paying attention.
  • Make healthy decisions automatic. As the day progresses, willpower diminishes. Like a muscle, willpower fatigues with a lot of use. Decisions require willpower. So reduce the need to make healthy decisions by setting yourself on autopilot for adding in movement and foods that fuel you.

Did you catch our post on ways to successfully make permanent lifestyle changes? If nothing else, remember this young grasshoppers (and fellow baby boomers!): Willingness, NOT Willpower is the Key!

Got an event that could use a twin pack of movement and great fitness info?

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

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

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

8

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

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

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

Outdoor yoga after hiking the Flatirons in Boulder

Outdoor yoga after hiking the Flatirons in Boulder

5 Reasons to Attend

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

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

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

5 More Reasons to Attend

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

Dr Jim Hill

Weight Loss Expert & FitSocial Speaker Dr. James Hill

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

The Flatirons in Boulder

The Flatirons in Boulder

Making Money via Social Media

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

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

CECs for ACE & ACSM Certified Fitness Pros

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

Register for FitSocial

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

Workshops = Continuing Education Credits (and are fun)

Workshops = Continuing Education Credits (and are fun)

 

 

 

 

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

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

17

How to Choose the Right Sports Bra

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: How do I go about finding the right sports bra for me and my activities?  Lynn, Santa Barbara CA

Disclosure: We received compensation for this post, which worked out well as we can then refer you to a good sports bra site. The reader question is real and legit; the advice we offer is also legit and fit and full of wit.

Betty and Veronica

The girls want to work out while staying in.

Alexandra: Poor ol’ Betty and Veronica, sagging and dragging from so much work. Somebody please stop me from singing that awful junior high song.

Kymberly: In short, (or is that “in sport?”) you have two bra types to choose from:

1. Compression

The compression choice is best for A and B cup sizes and pretty much built on the concept of holding those babies in by smooshing them cuz’ there is not that much to spill out or squash down. You will know a compression bra by the fact that you usually put it on by pulling it overhead.

2. Encapsulation

The encapsulation sports bra type is more appropriate for C cups and bigger. You will recognize these bras by their hooks and adjustable straps. The goal here is to hold your breasts up and in, not just in as is the case with compression bras.

Alexandra: I was just part of a tweetchat last night that discussed this very issue. The participants were split 50/50 on whether we preferred wire or wireless. I don’t know your activities, but the 3 F’s should be considered: Function, Fashion, Feel. Look at the three choices and give them a ranking in order of preference. For example, I am fairly average in the chest, so I like Feel and Fashion. I don’t worry as much about Function.

Enell sports bra

This Enell sports bra is an example of the encapsulating style

I’m going to mention the HerRoom site, which has loads of sports bras. Plus, if you scroll down the page, you’ll see a link to a video about a Sports Bra Bounce Test,  as well as detailed info about the various features of the leading sports bra brands.

Retro bra

Cross my heart and hope to exercise!

Kymberly: Once you determine which bra type is right for you, then narrow down your choice further using these three criteria:

  1. Comfort – Part of my midlife mantra is that I am more interested in being comfortable when choosing my workout gear rather than caring about the color, lacy factor, or designer label. Price factors into my choice as well, which I will put in the comfort category as I am super comfy with a great price!
  2. Bounce factor – ‘Nuff said there. Nothing says “the sport for this sports bra is poker or golf” like too little support and too much bouncing as if doing a Tigger impression “Bouncy Flouncy Fun Fun Fun.” Without the fun.
  3. Look/ Style – Again, I am not so caught up in how the bra looks in and of itself. More significant to me is how I look in the completed exercise ensemble. Does the bra support my outfit in a slimming, youthening, life enhancing way? Oh wait, that’s the wonderyears bra, not a sports bra. And for the record, I am in that generation that believes a bra is underwear and should be under the other clothes, out of sight, doing its job quietly and effectively. Just like my sister. Mwah ha ha hahhh

Alexandra: You are saying I should be under your clothes? That’s creepy.

Kymberly: Anyway, take a peek at this titillating post we wrote awhile back: What NOT to wear to your work out.

Got an event needing edu-taining speakers? Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

Get fully supported with great exercise and active aging advice by subscribing to our YouTube channel to access short videos that will improve your fitness level! Have you subscribed yet to our blog? Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

Photo credits: vintage bra: x-ray delta one

20

FitBloggin: Boomer Health Through Social Media

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

For a hint of the fun flavor, we present this flash mob video of “Fame.” Alexandra is easy to spot.

Are you on a weight loss journey? Are you interested in using social media to help you meet your fitness and health goals? Do you like to travel? Do you like to win prizes and receive gifts from quality brands? Would you like to improve your writing, video, marketing, business and photography skills? Best of all, do you enjoy meeting people who are happy to meet you right back? All of these things occurred at the Fitbloggin’ convention last week.

Alexandra & Kymberly speaking at Fitbloggin'

Alexandra & Kymberly speaking at Fitbloggin’

Last week we headed up to Portland, Oregon to speak at the annual Fitbloggin’ convention, which in their words is “for bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun.” But you don’t have to be a blogger; you can be a future blogger too.

Mornings were dedicated to small group discussions that ranged from the challenges and emotions during and after significant weight loss, to goal-setting (for diet and activity), to injuries. Afternoons were for the business side of things, with speakers talking about writing, working with brands, making money from your social media accounts, improving video & photo skills, technical blog skills, and nutrition. A lot was packed into the two-day schedule, that’s for sure! If you go to the Fitbloggin’ Facebook page, you can access the notes to many of the sessions.

In between, there was the Expo hall, where sponsoring brand representatives showcased their latest products and services. When we say “showcase,” we mean “they were very generous with their time and products.” For example, Reebok gave everyone a fitness top and workout shoes.

Purple Power courtesy of Reebok

Purple Power courtesy of Reebok

Alexandra wore the top in the JumpSport trampoline class and her boobsicles stayed in place. Ergo (yes, a place to stick that fancy-shmancy word). we signed up to be affiliates with Reebok via Share-A-Sale because we think you will like their workout apparel. Maybe we should get an ad tagline: Better Boobsicles for Boomers! hahahaha. And someone (not Kymberly, sadly) won a complete kitchen from Amana. Alexandra won a personal trampoline, so look for some upcoming videos that show knee- and pee-friendly moves!!! If you don’t know what that means, just move along. Nothing to see here.

Rocking the Reebok top, 90s paisley shorts and Zensah socks in the trampoline class

Rocking the Reebok top, 90s paisley shorts and Zensah socks in the trampoline class

We have attended and spoken at many, many (repeat that word several times) conventions, and found this one to have the most “hugs,” by which we mean friendliness and genuine caring between the bloggers, Fitbloggin’ staff, sponsors and even the hotel staff (it was held at The Nines in Portland).

An enthusiastic thank you goes out to NOWFoods, the company that helped pay for our travel to Oregon. They offer products that range from aromatherapy to supplements to snacks and teas. And they happen to be giving away free samples of their Slender Sticks on their Facebook page. Just click on the square marked Sample. One lucky attendee at our “Craft the Perfect Pitch” workshop won a backpack full of their products. It was probably worth more than what she paid for the convention!

Dang, gurrrrl, you won that fab-o prize from NOWFoods

Dang, gurrrrl, you won that fab-o prize from NOWFoods

Next year it will be in either Austin or Nashville. We’re voting for Austin!

Need professional, edu-taining, motivating speakers or writers ? Call us at (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

While bouncing around, subscribe to our YouTube channel to see short videos that will improve your fitness and health. Have you subscribed yet to our blog?  Please also follow us on Google+: Alexandra and Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Or click now on the icons above.

14

Easy Tips to Stay Active While Traveling: Climb Stairs, Hike Paths, Sweat a Lot

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Stairs in the heatTraveling boomers on a bus. Could make your fitness plans go bust. If you sit on your butt. So don’t be a nut. Hike if you must. Climb if you can. Cross that bridge and make a plan. To move when you can. It can be done. And be lots of fun. We advise this plan for everyone.

During our recent trip to Thailand (courtesy of our mom – Thanks mom!), we had a lot of “sit on the bus” time, plus lots of “stand in the heat while we describe this wat (temple) or park to you.” It would have been easy to get out of the movement habit. It would have been even harder if we had not already been active beforehand.

Whether you need motivation to improve your conditioning in anticipation of travel or simply want to enjoy some pics and group tour tips, take a look at the following:

1) When you have 15 minutes to wait for the group to gather, go for a quick hike in the vicinity, even if it’s just around the back of the building. We took a short trail that circled around the back of the visitor center at Khao Yai National Park. Yippee Khao Yai, Yippee Khao Yai!

View from Temple Top2) If you are visiting any building or ruins with stairs, climb them. You’ll have a great view of everything, including your friends who stayed below. And your pictures will be more fun, even though your descent might be a bit nerve-wracking (we had to hold onto the rails all the way down for a few of the very steep wat steps).Ayuttaya wat steps

 

 

3) Jump on the suspension bridges. You’ll almost immediately get the entire bridge to yourself!

Kymberly on Khao Yai bridge

4) Go to the top of observation towers and observe. Besides, it’s a great spot from which to make bird calls that fake out your fellow travelers.

The Outlook Tower Leech Hike

5) Faced with a steep hill? Go up it. At some point, there HAS to be a downhill part. Don’t believe us? Listen to Blood, Sweat, and Tears sing “Spinning Wheel.” Sweat with us since what goes up, must come down!

1 km straight up

6) If you travel when it’s really hot, you’ll be drenched no matter what, so you might as well have a contest to see who can create the sweatiest shirt.

Hiking makes you sweaty

7) Travel with someone who will be active with you, and encourage you to climb the 209 steps to the waterfall (yes, we counted).

Heo Narok Waterfall

8) Plank on top of a mountain ridgetop viewing deck. This might have been one of our more daring actions.

Kymberly planks all

9) Relax at some point. Active boomers know when to take a break.

Meditating after Sukhothai hike

Our trip had 3 huge, delicious meals a day, so we knew that if we didn’t find ways to move, we’d come home out of shape and out of our clothes. No matter what activities you manage to find while traveling, take pictures. They are a good reminder of your go-getter attitude.

What ways do you incorporate movement into your travels?

Group shot from village trek -

Outlook Tower

200 steps to the Waterfall

Holding up the stairs

IMG_2730

Sukhothai wat

IMG_2908

Up for 1 kilometre

Stairs to Buddha - Kymberly

Make your fingers do some walking as you subscribe to 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. Then go fly a kite. Or climb a hill. 

Photo Credits: Alexandra and Kymberly

14

Managing Weight As You Age: Guest Post by Jody Goldenfield

Guest post by Jody Goldenfield: Managing Weight as You Age

She’s small and mighty — mighty inspiring! Today’s guest post comes from a baby boomer friend we call “The Golden One,” Jody Goldenfield. You can trust her to share truth about what she admits women may not want to hear: “Menopause sucks!”  But it can suck less if you follow Jody’s story and advice.

Jody Goldenfield at beachAt 55 years old, I have had 7 plus years of experience with the “change.” Women can begin having hormone changes from the early 40’s into the 50’s with numerous symptoms from irritability to night sweats to hot flashes to depression to anger to hair growth – just to name a few! I KNOW – aren’t you all looking forward to this if you are not there yet?

As much as all of the above symptoms are a pain in the arse, I think the one part of changing hormones that drives women crazy the most is the dreaded weight gain! We are minding our own business and living a healthy life when all of a sudden our bodies decide to fight us!

I started perimenopause in my late 40’s. It was not too bad then. Once I hit 50, well, all hell broke loose! I could do a whole other post on symptoms beyond weight gain, which come and go and come and go and come and go for years. For this guest post, I am going to focus on weight gain and what we can do to manage and reverse it.

Experts’ words of advice most often are:

  1. Start resistance training/weight training if you have not done that already. I HOPE you are already doing this because it is so important beyond weight management for aging  Bone health is on top of that list! Muscle burns more calories when your body is at rest so make it a fat burning machine by lifting weights. If you need help, find an accredited trainer. There are also fitness professionals specific to the aging population – like the twins here!
  1. Up the intensity of your cardio sessions. Try to do more in the same amount of time or you may have to add in a couple more sessions per week. I know this is not what many want to hear but you may have to do this depending on your goals.
  1. Manipulate your food intake to find what works best for you regarding FOOD! 75% to 80% of weight loss and weight maintenance is all about the food. Unfortunately, you can’t out-train a bad “diet.” As we age, the same amount of food can now be too much food due to changing hormones.  You most likely will have to reduce how many calories you consume depending on your current intake. Managing weight gain will be a mixture of food swaps, calorie intake, and exercise.
  • Be careful about the types of carbohydrates (carbs) in your diet. Carbs are not the enemy as some say BUT the types of carbs are crucial to weight loss and maintenance. Vegetables, sweet potatoes and complex carbs are great.
  • Protein fills you up so add in lean sources of protein at each meal.
  • Healthy fats also help fill you up. Do not be afraid to eat your healthy fats. This was a mistake of mine as a young woman. I learned my lesson once I started to add them to my diet.

The Golden One, JodyNow, let me tell you what I did so you can get an understanding of someone that has been through this and is still going through this change.

For me, I was already doing all of the above. I was weight training with intensity. I was doing cardio sessions with intensity. I was already eating very cleanly – lean protein, healthy fats, the carbs that the experts were saying to eat to manage the weight. It was frustrating to know I was already doing everything I was supposed to do and still gaining weight, so I had to find a way to make it work for me.

  1. I was already a person in tune with my body. I like to say I “listen” to what my body tells me in terms of how exercise and food affect it. I make sure to notice how my body changes when I eat certain foods. Learn to get more in tune with your body rather than going through the motions.

  2. I started to SLOWLY change some of the foods as well as the ratio of protein to carbs to fats. I reduced the calorie intake – SLOWLY – I would say every 6 months or so starting at age 50. Sometimes the changes were less than every 6 months and there were times it was more than every 6 months. This is where that “LISTEN TO YOUR BODY” comes into play – so important!

  3. There were times when absolutely nothing I did mattered & the body just refused to change. PATIENCE is your friend! Don’t give up and work through this!

  4. Also, pay attention to how your body looks and how your clothes fit. The scale, if you do weigh yourself, may not move but your clothes may fit tighter. The weight on your body starts to shift to different places during perimenopause to menopause so be aware of this otherwise the scale and/or your clothes are going to provide a rude awakening one day! ;)

  5. You are going to have to decide what is most important to you in terms of how hard you are willing to work to maintain your pre-perimenopause/menopause body. From experience, I can tell you it is very very hard to keep the weight down and the same body appearance as we age. Only you can decide how hard you are willing to work to keep the weight in a range that is comfortable for you.

I know this all sounds depressing and you want to say, “screw it all”! This is life for women. Some have it worse than others but we all will go through it. All you can do is accept it for what it is and decide what you are willing to do, how hard you are willing to work and honestly, how important it is for you to stay at your pre “change of life” weight. It is hard to stay there so it is not a bad thing if you decide that 5 pounds’ extra is OK. Everything in life is relative to what works for you long term

I have found a couple wonderful sources of information I would like to share with you.

  1. Ellen Dolgen at http://www.shmirshky.com/ is an expert in this field. Her website has resources to help you through this along with a directory of doctors specific to “the change”. She has also written books that will make you laugh out loud while still giving you the information you need to manage this time in your life.

  2. If you are looking for sleepwear to help you through the night sweats & hot flashes, check out Dry Babe at http://www.drybabe.com/.

Jody Goldenfield  w/flagI am open to questions if any of you want to email directly at jody@truth2beingfit.com. I could have written another 5 pages on “my life during perimenopause & menopause” but I am sure this has gone on way too long already!
Bio: For those who don’t know me, my name is Jody Goldenfield & I blog at Truth2BeingFit, http://www.truth2beingfit.com. I am 55 years old and have been working out for over 30 years. I love to weight train but I also do my cardio! I admit to having done many things wrong when I was younger but I learned from those mistakes. My motto is “always learning” and “always a work in progress.” I plan to continue to challenge myself each and every day no matter what age. Age is just a number!

You can also find me on Twitter at @truth2beingfit, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jody.goldenfield and Instagram at truth2beingfit

Thank you to Kymberly & Alexandra for allowing me to guest post here today!

We hope and suggest that you check out Jody’s blog. You’ll start each week out positively with her “Gratitude Monday.” You’ll end your week pumped up by a woman whose enthusiasm for resistance training will motivate you. Hop over now!

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11

Healthy Heart: Improve Your Circulation and Flexibility

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Have a HeartBonnie Raitt was right when she sang Have a Heart. You probably have a heart, but is it a strong one? And do you also have great circulation and flexible arteries?

Hard to make that sound sexy and exciting. However, having a strong circulatory system and being flexible should be on the top of your “gotta have” list if you want to live a full, healthy life. If you are a woman over 45 (keep those genetic predispositions in mind too) you will especially need to focus on circulating better than a politician at a fundraiser!

Circulation is the movement of fluid through the vessels of the body in a regular or circuitous course induced by the pumping action of the heart. Say what? When you have good circulation, blood can move to every cell in your body in less than 60 seconds.

Thinking of which, did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the US? Or that the symptoms of a woman’s heart attack can differ drastically from men’s, so those signs often go unrecognized? We need to do better at spotting heart attacks in women AND take action to minimize heart disease in the first place. In other words, having good circulation not only can improve your life, but possibly also save it!Circulataory system

Notice how Bob Hoskins ends up at the ER in the Bonnie Raitt video clip? Did you notice what he was eating? Exactly!

The three main ways you can help your circulatory system are to:

Exercise
While many types of exercise help your overall awesomesauceness, walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health, according to the American Heart Association. For every hour of walking, life expectancy may increase by two hours.

Let's get Flexible, FlexibleAchieve good flexibility
Researchers have established a correlation between flexible bodies and flexible arteries in people older than 40. Can you touch your toes? If so, you probably have flexible arteries. Arterial stiffness indicates an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Being fit seems to delay the development of age-associated artery stiffening.

Intake healthy food and drink 
One of our favorite ways people can support their circulation is via cocoa flavanols. What can be better than finding out that a regular, small dose of dark chocolate helps your health. We’re all over that good news!

On this last day of Heart Health Month, we are headed to the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute on the east coast to partner up with CocoaVia® to help spread the word about taking care of your circulatory system all year long! They make four flavors of cocoa flavanol supplements (2 chocolate; 2 fruit). We’ve tried them all, and love the fruit flavors in our morning smoothies and water bottles. Check out more recipe ideas on CocoaVia’s site.

Traveling to conventions is also proven (completely non-scientifically) to help us circulate with our knowledgeable fitness colleagues, so we are looking forward to the trip. Please follow our adventure via our pictures and tweets.

While you’re at it, please have a heart and subscribe to 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.

Photo credits: Heart collage:  qthomasbower; Circulatory system: Vivienne Balonwu