Tuesday, November 24 , 2015, 8:17 pm | Partly Cloudy 59º

Fun and Fit: Fun Fitness Is More Than Exercise

Time flies when you're having fun — and getting in shape without realizing it!

Alexandra Williams and friend Diane meet for lunch in the Santa Ynez Valley. It was so hot that even the gecko had some chai!
Alexandra Williams and friend Diane meet for lunch in the Santa Ynez Valley. It was so hot that even the gecko had some chai!

By Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams, MA, Noozhawk Columnists |

Today, as Kymberly and I reviewed the scheduled posts we have ready, I realized I wanted to just write about my weekend, and how I had fun and got fit at the same time. The fun came first; the fitness was just a byproduct (does that sound like a chemistry class word?).

Alexandra: I hope you are interested in what I did over the past few days. If not, read this anyway as I am massively captivating!

On Friday, I went for a long walk (maybe five miles) with my friend, Diane. We’ve been friends for more than 25 years and meet for a walk and lunch every few months. Have you ever spent time with a really good friend and thought, “Wow, how did three hours pass so quickly?” At lunch we drank a lot of vanilla iced chai because it was really hot in the Santa Ynez Valley.

On Saturday, a friend of mine from Connecticut was in town, so after baking muffins (it was her birthday), we met up for some good ol’ Santa Barbara sightseeing. She also enjoys walking, so we did a combo drive-and-walk tour. Sometime around 3 p.m., she finally let me know that she actually might like some lunch. Oops, not very hospitable of me to forget to ask a guest if she’s had anything to eat!

Late in the afternoon I went to my veggie garden and pulled weeds. I even found a few strawberries that were ready to eat. So I ate ‘em!

Sunday was extra special because of the Master QiDance class that was held at our club. Kymberly and I have been pushing for about six months to get this program in town, having fallen in love with it at the fitness conventions last year. The class was full and the members loved it, so it’s going on the schedule as soon as the instructors get trained. Again, it was so fun that one of the participants asked if future, “regular” classes would be longer than 30 minutes. The class was actually an hour long, so the time obviously passed quickly for her!

I was so invigorated, I came home and made rosemary fougasse, potato sourdough bread, oatmeal sandwich bread and strawberry shortcake. (Here’s the definition of fougasse from my King Arthur cookbook: “A specialty of Provence, France, it’s made from a basic flour/water/yeast/salt dough, into which is incorporated fresh herbs, etc.” After rising, it’s shaped into a ladder-like form, and I top it with olive oil and kosher salt.) It was nice to enjoy myself and feel so relaxed, happy and productive. Of course, we already know from the research that Exercise Doubles Your Happiness!

Kymberly: You say fougasse; I say fou-tato. My short addition to the theme is simply this: A great group fitness instructor can really transform a workout class into a party blast.

Striking a pose after the Master QiDance class.
Striking a pose after the Master QiDance class.

I rarely take classes as my teaching schedule is fairly well-rounded and full. So when I experience a workout wherein I am transported to Funsville (MapQuest the place and check in via Foursquare), then I give the teacher credit. Thank you to Ms. Larissa S-Y of Qignition for coming prepared, energized, confident, full of fun and focused on us — the class!

Not only do I appreciate an hour well-spent exercising, but also I enjoy mentally noting superlative teaching skills in action. I find that very motivating, both as a participant and as a fitness leader always striving to improve.

If you take a class and time passes quickly because you are having so much fun, let the teacher know! Amazing classes are out there waiting for you to take part in them. Next weekend — the teaching training course to learn the Qignition program. This week — a reinspired time to offer my class participants my best teaching skills.

Readers: What did you do this weekend that was so fun you didn’t realize you were actually moving?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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