Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A

Posts Tagged ‘cardio

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit:Kymberly and Alexandra

Q: Why do cardio fitness teachers always say “keep your head above your heart” when bending down?

Babs, Santa Barbara, CA

A: Hi Babs. We cardio teachers say this because we want to know exactly whom we will be giving rescue breathing to when you pass out. If your lipstick doesn’t match ours, we will have to make a split-second decision about whether or not to rush over and commence the ol’ huff and puff to bring color back into your vibrant (yet probably somewhat clammy at this point) face. And why should we be in a position to provide rescue breathing? There you were, just exercising away, enjoying the heck out of “Mack the Knife” being played on the sound system. “Babs,” your personal wiring system says, “You are working hard. As a reward, your muscle cells shall now demand increased oxygen. Because your muscles are so bossy and demanding, we won’t argue. Instead, we will increase your heart rate and blood flow so your muscles will like us and continue to take us nice places”. Well, let’s say you drop your head below your heart. While your head is inverted, you don’t realize that you’ve just invested in real estate and gotten yourself a lovely pool. It’s red and is in your head. Along with that increased blood pressure.

K: Did anyone follow that? Then you must have diminished oxygen supply to your brain, because I got lost somewhere around “Hi Babs.” Or Alexandra got her heart rate up answering, then suddenly stopped and dropped…. while still typing. Twin translation provided here: Cardio exercise involves raising the heart rate. An uppity heart rate provides more oxygen to working muscles AND the brain. (We are hoping the brain is working during all that activity. Always makes exercise more interesting). Heart rate up, then head suddenly down puts gravity in charge. (See “Perky, Not Saggy” for more on overcoming the effects of gravity). Blood rush to head. Whoa, feeling dizzy. Lots of pressure from rapidly pumping blood and increased blood volume. Then you lift your head above your heart again and WHAM, gravity takes over once more leaving you lightheaded. Your heart pumped out the oxygen, but you just started a fight between gravity and your brain for the game of “who gets the oxygen?”  Need I say more?

A: Don’t talk to me about pressure. Do you know how many nights I’ve stayed up, afraid to drop my head and anger my muscles? The last time they got mad, they moved my joints all over the place and I ended up walking uphill. Both directions!

K: Ok, I do need to say more. First, Alexandra: pull your head up and out.  Second, since in all my years of teaching, I have never had to rescue someone from the dreaded “head below heart- pass out” syndrome, I think this cue is really an excuse to see who’s listening and who is clock watching. ALWAYS listen to your instructor, especially if she looks like one of us.

A:Well, I am obviously more special as I have had to deal with the “Thar she blows” syndrome. Sadly, twas I. Yup, I had given blood and thought it would be an excellent idea to do a high intensity class. My brain did not agree and decided to depart for an “out of body” experience. Do you know how hard it is to give yourself rescue breathing when you are not fully, er, present? Ka-Plonk! By the way, yesterday a colleague suggested I would live longer if I decreased my stress and pressure. I said I was all for that. I want to live longer so I have more time to be stressed and worried. What?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Kymberly and Alexandra

Q: Why does my clingy, sexy workout wear that I bought ten years ago suddenly look like @@^%@ on me?

Signed, Muffin-top, San Diego, CA

Dear Muffin-Top:

A: The answer lies in your signature. No one looks good in clingy wear with 10 years’ worth of snacks hanging out. You need to put on your baggy sweats and get on a treadmill. Hang your cute workout clothes on a hanger in front of the treadmill for inspiration. Start walking and stop eating those muffins.

K: To put it another way, cut back on the batter that fills those muffin cups! Take a photo of your clingy, sexy workout wear and post it on the refrigerator or above the stove, If you eat out often, wrap the photo around your credit card so you can stay focused when ordering a meal away from home. But frankly, what I would do is buy some new gear that simply hides my muffin top (not saying I have one, mind you!!). After 10 years with the same stuff, you deserve something new, looser, and more figure flattering.

A: Now that I think about it, I believe your muffin-tops are only half the problem. The other reason your clingy stuff looks like (edited for family reasons) “doo-doo” is that it is out of style. All of your stuff from ten years ago is so…2000. As in “Turn of the Century.”


Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Kymberly and Alexandra:

Q: I need to get in shape, lose 20 lbs, and look even BETTER than I already do. 🙂  I have two young children, a 5-year-old boy and 1-year-old girl. I want to include them, but quite honestly, playing/exercising at their speed does not provide enough cardio.  I have always been an avid, competitive soccer player, but last May I tore my meniscus and had to quit my league. The surgery was successful, but I still don’t have my confidence back and I don’t want to be tentative and get injured again… Between work, family, music and other pressures of life, I just can’t seem to find the time or energy. I know that once I start some type of program, the floodgates will open and it will be much easier. Recommendations?

Brian of Burbank. CA

Dear Brian:

A: Here’s how to jump start your efforts. Ditch the wife and kids right after breakfast on Saturday, play pick-up soccer all day (forget the competitive league stuff unless you’re the coach, in which case your exercise will be pacing the sidelines and yelling friendly, encouraging comments) then return home after a brewski with the team. In case your wife notices that this plan is all “jumpy starty” in your favor – hers, not so much – go to Plan B….

Plan B: you look in the mirror and notice that “looking better than you already do” will never happen. Didn’t you notice – You have kids…for many years to come. You will never look hot, young, or refreshed again. Wait, I have kids and I look way better than ever. Use my trick – sunglasses and lipstick. Or…make a date with the wife for a nice walk several times a week. Do you have someone who will watch the kids for a half hour or so? Paying a sitter is waaaaay cheaper than a gym membership. And you will get some “us” time away from the kidlets. If you can’t do that, can you at least walk during lunch? I know, I know, you work through lunch half the time, right? But what about the other half? Hello Floodgates.

K: Geez, Alexandra is so depressing. Brian, you can look better than you do now because I am assuming you are giving off the tired, lethargic, and stressed look this year. Youthful hotness lies ahead! You mention having tried to use play time with your wee ones as exercise time so let’s focus on transforming that time, rather than trying to carve out minutes elsewhere. Would your daughter enjoy racing in a stroller while you sing and talk to her? If you can leave your older child with your wife for half an hour (giving her a break from double duty), and strap in the baby for a joy ride, then she is going at your pace, which had better be a jaunty one! If your current stroller cannot accommodate speed racing, then either get a baby jogger oooorrrrr get a sturdy baby backpack and take her for a power walk. I can guarantee you will get the intensity and heart rate you are looking for if you step lively with a 20 pound wiggly weight on your back. Then when you get back in the door after this sweat-inducing 30-minute cardio workout, get your son to sit on your upper back while you knock out push-ups until fatigue. If fatigue sets in at the first push-up then switch out the big boy for the little girl and get your pump on!

A: I could recommend waking an hour earlier for a walk or run, but that doesn’t sound fun AT ALL. Save all your work phone calls till lunch and answer them while you walk. Then you will mentally feel like you aren’t “skipping out” on your work duties. Schedule your walk or run into your calendar so it seems like it’s important. If it’s in the calendar, it will happen! Good luck. Or park your car a mile from work. Just the walk to and from the office counts as exercise.

K: My last suggestion: join a gym that offers day care while you AND your wife work out. Benies galore such as time to work out as intensely as you want; a chance to do something healthy with your wife; and a time for both of you to turn the little ones over to pro care and focus on you, you, you. And just for the record, those sunglasses Alexandra is looking out of are obviously rose-tinted shades. Advice to twinnie: get up that hour earlier you so nicely recommended and add more lipstick… and maybe a low brimmed hat… and soft focus lighting.

A: I got your soft focus right here.





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