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Benefits of a Spa: We Went to Glen Ivy Hot Springs & Learned How to Relax (and Have Great Skin)

Alexandra Williams, MA

Glen Ivy Hot SpringsAs a new year begins, many of us resolve to put our health first. This includes relaxation, or at least some down time. With this in mind, the Fun and Fit clan headed to Glen Ivy Hot Springs  in Corona, California this past week in order to start 2014 in a wellness way!

And we found wellness galore! Originally known as “Temescal Sulphur Springs” (“temescal” is the Aztec word for “sweat lodge”), the spa was first advertised in 1860 to those who desired the health and recreational benefits of the medicinal waters.

Come for the Medicinal Waters!

Come for the Medicinal Waters!

So there we were, over 150 years later, clad in our swimsuits, robes and sunscreen, deciding which of 19 pools to go in first. From our concierge (yup, great service at the spa), we learned there is a recommended order for a few of the pools, so these are listed in the order that we used them.

So Many Types of Pool Water

The Aqua Class Makes People Smile

The Aqua Class Makes People Smile

Aqua class in the lap pool: A combination of cardio (for the heart, and calorie burn) and muscle toning, our instructor (and long-time friend) Meg Root  made this class fun for everyone. From a 17-year-old to an 84-year-old; from total beginners to fitness professionals, this aqua class is accessible.

Time to Relax

Time to Relax

Saline Pool: A natural antiseptic, salt water helps with a variety of skin conditions, reduces acid levels after a workout (think of lactic acid buildup), and oxygenates the cells.

Mineral Baths: These are the geothermal mineral waters that come directly from the earth at Glen Ivy, and are what made it famous back in the days of the California Gold Rush. At 104°, the waters are known to soothe aching joints and muscles.

Getting Muddy Wit' It at Club Mud

Getting Muddy Wit’ It at Club Mud

Club Mud: This pool is pretty fun and funny. You grab red clay (Silica Dioxide, Aluminum, Iron, Calcium Oxide, Magnesium Oxide, Potassium Oxide, & Titanium Oxide) and rub it all over yourself, then sit in a heated “cave” while it dries. The clay softens your skin, draws out impurities and exfoliates dead skin cells. It can also stain a light swimsuit, so don’t wear your brand new white one-piece.

Crap, that's Cold. Son Went In Fully. Not I.

Crap, that’s Cold. Son Went In Fully. Not I.

Hot Pool & Cold Plunge: You’re encouraged to go in the hot pool for a few minutes, then do a 30-second dip in the VERY cold plunge for up to 10 cycles, but I did a half-body 10 second plunge in the 55°-65°F cold, followed by a 5 minute “recovery” in the hot. My legs were tingly. Athletes use this type of therapy to shorten muscle recovery time after intense workouts, but it’s good for anyone who wants to increase blood flow to the muscles. I increased my blood flow by jumping OUT of the cold plunge quickly. See the expression on my face?

Painted with Green Grotto Goo (Moisturizer)

Painted with Green Grotto Goo (Moisturizer)

The Grotto: First of all, you know it’s going to be quite the experience when you enter an elevator to descend below-ground! Once there, the staff members paint your body with copious amounts of green body moisturizer (aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil and other ingredients including eucalyptus). From there, you go into a warm cave room and let the lotion soak into your skin. You then move into the shower room, which has shower “pods” that spray warm water from above and the side. If you can drag yourself away from that, the final room is a cool, misting area where you can have tea and apples. After removing impurities in the saline and mud pools, the grotto is where you go to moisturize.

Somehow in our busy schedule of relaxing, we managed to eat lunch and go in most of the pools, though the Roman bath, sauna, and steam room will have to wait for next time. If you are near Southern California at any time, we hope you’ll check out Glen Ivy Hot Springs. Repeatedly lauded as one of the best day spas, it’s hard to believe we didn’t know of its existence until a few years ago. But we know now!!!!

Map of Glen Ivy Hot Springs

Map of Glen Ivy Hot Springs

May your 2014 be full of wellness, health, family and friends. And if you want a list of 44 benefits to Steam Bathing, click this link from our friends at Mr. Steam.

Relax while you follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit. Doing so won’t help you exfoliate, but it will help you gain knowledge & support!

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




Healthy Skin Care for Boomer Women: Theraderm SkinCare Giveaway

Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA

Boomer Skin for the Win!

Skin care is relevant to everyone, especially women over 50. Twenty-six percent of older adults want to age naturally (no surgery) AND plan to buy “anti-aging” products. For baby boomer women, skin care treatments are second only to spa treatments.

Skin Care Products from Theraderm for KymberlyDisclaimer: Theraderm gifted us each a set of the same products you have a chance to win.

Beauty Survey from BOOMbox Network

Alexandra: A 2012 survey on beauty by BOOMbox Network  found that we midlifers are concerned about crow’s feet, lip lines & creases, forehead wrinkles, dark creases around the eyes, skin texture, aging spots, facial wrinkles, dry skin, oily skin, acne, and uneven skin. Whew, that is an extensive and somewhat frightening list! Guess we aren’t the only ones who spend time staring at the mirror, just looking for something to worry about. And here we thought our worries ended once our kids left the teen “my parents are here to ruin my life” years!

The BOOMbox survey also found that baby boomer women want accurate, credible information about skin care products. Not surprisingly, we trust our friends, family and bloggers for information about quality, effective products more than other sources.

Fun Fit Facts About Skin

Kymberly: I also trust myself to read labels and to research things I want to learn more about. In so doing, I found some Fun Fit Facts about skin that may interest you. For one, your skin renews itself every 28 days. Isn’t that good news if you decide to embark on a new skin care regimen!? And where is your skin thickest? Thinnest? You have to skim the skinny in this Skin Infographic to find out.

Infographic: 50 Incredible Facts About SKin

Skin That is Beautifully Pro-Aging

Be Beautiful Inside and OutDid you know we host a radio show? If you are committed to improving your skin as you head into midlife, listen to Beauty author and Make-Up artist to the stars, Michelle Phillips.  Click to hear our radio interview of her on Being Beautiful Inside and Out. While there, scurry through our trove of episodes to discover clever, motivating, illuminating answers to many of your active aging questions.

Then enter a giveaway we and Theraderm are offering. In fact, Theraderm is generously offering two prizes. But first, a word from my sister.

Alexandra: Theraderm sent me the Cleansing Wash, Fruit Acid Exfoliant, OPC Reparative Gel, Peptide Hydrator, Platinum Protection Sunscreen, Enlighten Skin Brightener, Peptide Repair Eye Creme and the Anti-Aging Lip Complex to try, based on my requests. So far my favorites are the sunscreen, skin brightener and lip complex because I feel like I can see discernible results (no burning and soft lips). Unlike some other skin care products I’ve tried, I’m also happy to say that none of these have given me acne.

Alexandra’s True Story

Right after I started using the products Theraderm sent me, I walked into my exercise class and was asked by one of my students what I had done to myself to look so young. I almost had to argue with my student to convince her I hadn’t had any work done to my face. I can’t say the skin care products were the cause; I can only say what happened.

I like that the sunscreen is paraben free, oil free, fragrance free and non-comedogenic (doesn’t block pores), yet I do wonder about some of the ingredients, as I don’t recognize many of them. I do recognize urea, which sounds like it might be from urine (it is), yet it’s an organic compound that’s been effective for skin hydration for thousands of years. But I digress….

Giveaway News

Two lucky readers can win the Theraderm Skin Renewal System with Peptide Hydrator (value: $140.50)

System Includes:

Cleansing Wash (4oz)
Fruit Acid Exfoliant (2oz)
OPC Reparative Gel (1oz)
Peptide Hydrator (1.7oz)
Gentle Action Application Pads (100ct)

Active Ingredients:

Unbuffered Lactic Acid
Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs)
Hyaluronic Acid
Patented soluble Keratin Peptides

Does Not Contain:


Kymberly: Sad news for our non-US friends. The Theraderm giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only. The two winners will be selected September 23, 2013 because we want to wrap up this silky smooth giveaway before we head to FitSocial to speak and learn. Enter below.Apply liberally, then rinse and go!

Really want to clean up? Then:

A) subscribe to ourYouTube channel and blog.

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

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

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Sleep – How it Affects Your Weight, Brain & Skin

Alexandra Williams, MA

A recent trip to the Technogel Sleep Experience Center in Los Angeles got me thinking of the reasons we all need a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.

Sleep, perchance to dream...in Italian

Sleep, perchance to dream…in Italian

Weight Loss
Less than 6 hours of sleep can contribute to weight gain. According to researcher Dr. Michael Sivak, an extra hour of sleep each night can help you drop 14 pounds per year. Part of that is the 147 fewer calories you’ll take in during that hour you’re now asleep, and part of that is the relationship between the hormones leptin and ghrelin. More than 35 percent of American adults are obese and more than 28 percent sleep less than six hours a night, and the authors of a 15-year study found these two to be correlated.

Cognitive Function
Want to improve your memory, learning and creativity? Get 8-9 hours of sleep! A 2010 Harvard study discovered that those whose naps were long enough to enter REM sleep did 40% better on a test of creativity than nappers who didn’t get any REM sleep and non-nappers. That REM sleep gave the brain time and the ability to work creatively on various test problems. Further info on this is in our post “Sleep Your Way to a Better Brain & Body.”
I looked through some research Technogel has on their site regarding non-rapid eye movement sleep (REM) and foam versus gel mattresses, and learned something about the differences between light and deep sleep when it comes to muscle repair, memory, appetite suppressing/ increasing hormones, and concentration. It would seem skin and mattress temperature, plus bed comfort can assist or inhibit the quality of your sleep. It’s been extremely warm lately, so I know exactly how poorly I sleep when I’m hot!

I chose the Anatomic pillow for my golden locks

I chose the Anatomic pillow for my golden locks

Aging Skin
Less than two months ago, researchers from University Hospital Case Medical Center presented their evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between lack of sleep and aging skin. They found that “poor sleep quality can accelerate signs of skin aging and weaken the skin’s ability to repair itself at night.” Poor quality sleepers showed increased signs of fine lines, uneven pigmentation, slackening of skin and reduced elasticity, while good quality sleepers recovered more efficiently from stressors such as sunburn, redness, and inflammation.

Pick a pillow, any pillow

Pick a pillow, any pillow

Technogel Sleep Experience Center
I know I’d like to be fit, smart and youthful looking, so I packed up my dreams and desires, and drove to Los Angeles to practice just one letter of the alphabet (zzzzz, in case I stumped you) at the experience center, thanks to an invitation from the director, Doriana. Just me for the whole night, plus the Technogel pillow and mattress of my choice.

As I already own one of their pillows, I knew that the gel “soft-solid” material inside their bedding is the result of a collaboration with the Italian company and Dr. Scholl’s, so I expected to sleep comfortably. The center is on a side street near the Beverly Center that was actually kind of noisy, so I was somewhat concerned about sleeping through till morning (I‘m a very light sleeper). Of course, maybe Technogel chose that location on purpose, to prove you can sleep through almost anything…

Looks boring, but you'll be snoring!

Looks boring, but you’ll be snoring!

Does that chair look comfy?

Does that chair look comfy?

I went to bed around 10 pm, which is 2 hours sooner than normal, and slept all the way through till 8 am. That made me happy. Probably smarter, younger and more radiant too! Before leaving, I poked the decorations they had in the room, as they were all made with the gel. Masks, cats, the chair cover…Does that make me a tactile person or just curious?

Masks and kitties and beds, oh my!

Masks and kitties and beds, oh my!









Hey, wake up and and subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog. Please follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.
Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference …or dream. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.