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Cross Your Legs: Don’t Sneeze: The Boomer’s Exercise Dilemma

Alexandra Williams, MA

I’ve been teaching fitness since the early 1980s, when exercise was all about high impact. What did I care? I was young and fit and more to the point, I hadn’t given birth, so all those jumping jacks were easy.

Depend photo shootThen I had the audacity to give birth in the mid-90s to two big-headed babies. I could Kegel all day and Kegel all night, but I just wasn’t the same. Have you ever tried to do jumping jacks while simultaneously crossing your legs? Doesn’t work, no no no.

In the late 90s I was teaching a strength training class (no jumping involved at all), and a student came up to me during a break in the workout to very delicately ask me if I was aware that I might want to “er, run to the ladies’ room, as I was, um, sweating on my backside.” I think she was more embarrassed than I, but it made me realize that Kegels and wishful thinking weren’t enough to keep me dry throughout class.

Fast forward to 2015 after years of wearing liners and pads during my more intense workouts. I teach at a university, so my students are young and love intense workouts. Okay, “love” is maybe too strong a term, but never mind that now. I want to focus on the students, without having to worry if I jump or sneeze or cough. Sure, I’d be embarrassed if my students thought I had peed my pants, but more importantly, they’d be uncomfortable if they were worrying for me. Little do they know how hard it is to embarrass me. Part of my job is to make the workout focused on them, not me.

Running in Depend ActiveFit BriefsEnter the brand-new Depend Silhouette Active Fit moderate absorbency lower-rise briefs, which you can find at Walmart. Reaction #1 – ack, aren’t these for my parents? Reaction #2 – maybe I’ve turned into my parents. Reaction #3 – times have changed; I’ll check these out.

My findings:

  • Very smooth, not bulky, which means I can wear them under my fitness capris and not look like my butt got attacked by Wisconsin cheese curds.
  • Moderate (not heavy) absorbency, which is what I need. No major issues, just a need for some back-up to keep my backside dry. hahahahah. That’s my best Power Pee joke.
  • They feel and look just like briefs, not geezer gear.

This is the point in the story where you are encouraged to say, “Prove it” to me. So I shall by directing you to the video below. I am wearing the Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs in the video. Check out my butt. Go ahead. For scientific purposes.

Notice the high quality of the photos and video, and how I look so fabutastic?! That’s because I was a model for a day. You’ll see the print ads in magazines such as Women’s Day, and the video at Walmart. I’m a SuperStahhhhh.

I am participating in a VIN campaign for Depend. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Depend and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. Of course, I dare you to try some of the jumps I did in the video. No commission to me for that, but it would make me smile.


Incontinence, Confidence, Group Exercise, and Big-Headed Babies

Alexandra Williams, MA

As part of a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign on behalf of Depend, we are receiving a fee for this post. All the opinions and experiences are our own. Anyway, who would want to steal our opinions and experiences?

pic of TRX plank tuck

A Confident TRX Plank Tuck

We boomers are at the age where we have some questions or issues with incontinence, ranging from mild to interfering! And who wants to live a curtailed life just because we had the temerity to have children??!! And who wants to admit it? But the more we talk and share our stories, the easier it is to find solutions and support.

I gave birth to two big-headed boys in the mid-90s. I have also taught exercise classes since the early 80s and currently teach at a local club and university. At the U, my students love high impact workouts such as kickboxing, sports drills, HIIT, boot camp … well, you get the drill. Jumpy, bouncy workouts.

Thanks to my boys’ big-headed exits from me, I have to cross my legs when I sneeze or cough if I’m standing. But it’s impossible to cross my legs while doing a jumping jack or burpee. Try it and you’ll see what I mean!

I’ve done Kegels for years, but they only work up to a certain point. So I need a back-up plan. Over the years I’ve tried various mini and maxi pads. I modify my moves as well, to avoid a lot of impact. I have no interest in surgery, as that’s too extreme of a choice for me. So when I was contacted to try the Depend for Women underwear with Fit-Flex protection, I said yes, as I’m probably the perfect fit for their target demographic (<—- see what I did there?). Like you (probably), my first reaction was “What?! I’m too young for those. Aren’t those undies for my parents? But I’m pragmatic, and kind of had a mental checklist:

1. I need something so that I can continue to do high impact workouts
2. I have to wear underwear
3. I might as well try something that combines #1 and #2

Total Gym workout at IHRSA

Moving with confidence

So I did end up wearing the undies they sent me for a few of my classes. I definitely felt less worried. Because they are kind of textured like the elastic shirts of the early 70s (wish I had pics from that time), they looked bumpy under my fitness capris. I would love for Kimberly-Clark to come up with a version that’s smooth and shaped like boy shorts. In any case, I folded the top part down, then put a pair of boy shorts over the Fit-Flex undies. That solved it, and I had a smooth line. I think all those layers even gave me a rounder tush! Score!!!!

Depend Protective Undies

Nerdy High Waist that Easily Folds Over

One little bonus is that you can tear them off. Who cares, right? Well, I teach 3 classes in a row two days a week, and only the first two are impact classes. Without time in between the 2nd and 3rd class to completely undress then re-dress, I just tore them off in under 30 seconds. Not in public.

If you want to try a pair of your own, you can request a free sample by clicking the link. If you want to get other women’s opinions, you can watch these videos from Depend.

We’d love to get your comments, suggestions, solutions and opinions. Let us know what works for you.

Follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.


Time to Leak a Big, Embarrassing Secret About Active Aging

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Alexandra jumping on mini-trampoline

Twist and Shout, without Letting it All Out!

We are part of a Vibrant Influencer Network campaign for Depend. While we are receiving a fee for this post, you are getting our honest opinions — the truth, nothing but the truth, so help you stay dry! The opinions expressed in this post are our own. We are not affiliated with Depend and do not earn a commission or percent of sales. Darn it anyway.

Depend On Us to Keep You Active

Kymberly: Two age related items arrived in my mailbox the other day: my AARP magazine and a sample bag of Depend underwear with their new Fit-Flex protection. Potential oldster moment! And here I fancy myself a youngish and vibrant baby boomer who wears thong undies to exercise class and reads “Outside” adventure magazine. To quote an article headline in the Feb/March 2014 issue of AARP: “You’re Old, I’m Not.” Like most people over 50, I think I am NOT like most people over 50. Except that like millions of US midlifers, I face leakage problems once in a while. As in whenever I jump, hop, skip, laugh hard, or cough big. What about you?

Incontinence, not Incompetence

Incontinence: one of the biggest known secrets of the midlife world — especially for women who have given birth and for men who have been treated for prostate cancer. So let’s talk about this issue for a wee second. (Yeah, I had to go there). What activities do you refrain from because you are worried about an embarrassing pee moment?

In my fortunate case, I am hard to embarrass even when teaching group fitness classes on stage, in leggings, while laughing and moving about … and sometimes mixing pee with sweat. However, I do have times when I hold back from a hearty laugh or take impact moves out of my workouts because I really don’t like dealing with the consequences. That leads me to a few tips to manage leakage:

Depend Protective UndiesKymberly’s Tips to Avoid Incontinence Embarrassment

  1. Sweat a lot when exercising as it will disguise any other body fluids and you know what I mean.
  2. Drink a lot of water even if you worry about peeing. Dehydration is a bigger problem than incontinence.
  3. Try absorbent undies such as Depend. Seriously — you can try them free simply by requesting a sample via this link. You don’t have to tell anyone you ordered a pair of protective underwear. I unpacked my samples, tried them on, wore them to walk the dogs, then laughed my way through the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert show without worrying that my tv watching chair is not “water”proof. The product was comfy and not discernible through my workout capris. I will say that the underwear ran a little big. I tried the S/M size and would have liked a slightly tighter fit, but the Depend was still fairly sleek and very lightweight. Stretchy and figure flattering too!
  4. Go ahead and laugh uproariously, jump high, hit life hard, and make an impact with confidence and no leaking. Wearing protective undies is a small price to pay if it means getting out there, staying active, and doing the things you love without holding back.

By the way, if you leak a secret is it called a “leakcret”? I am cracking myself up here people. (If I am peeing my pants laughing at my own joke, you’ll never know as I am still wearing my Depend Fit-Flex).

Alexandra teaching QiDance

Let’s Get this Party Jumping

Alexandra’s Tips to Deal with Incontinence

Alexandra: I gave birth to two boys, both of whom were classified as “LGA – Large for Gestational Age.” I laugh now because they are the opposite of large. They owe me big for being so big! I taught exercise classes before, during, and after both pregnancies. That was 17 years ago. I have been doing Kegels for about 20 years, and have a few comments to add to Kymberly’s tips.

  1. Kegels are not magical. I wish they were. They only can do so much.
  2. Some women get surgery to help with incontinence. That is not for me. Neither is running. Or jumping jacks. I’d rather wear a Depend undie and recognize that I’m now in life’s second half than have surgery.
  3. I’d feel sexier if they came in a more bikini style (I actually love boy short style, hint hint), but I just folded the top over.
  4. Sure, it’s a bit embarrassing, mainly because we don’t want to admit that our bodies change as we age, but I know for a fact that I got a good deal – two handsome, lovable boys in exchange for mild incontinence. I’d do the same again. And I’m not alone, as I’ve seen some of the videos of women sharing their stories. It’s less embarrassing when you know you’re not alone.

Take action and do the following:

1) Order your free Depend sample pack now while you are thinking of it. Click the link; select your product preference; fill out the short form; move along!

2) Follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

3) Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.