Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 5:39 pm | Fair 66º


Local News

Q&A with K & A

Fun and Fit: Abs, Aging and the Fountain of Youth

The more years behind us, the harder it gets to keep the midsection in check

Dear Fun and Fit: I am a 54-year-old woman who had been exercising most of my life. I enjoy exercising and eating correctly, and I have been fit most of my life — until recently. There is this thing called age that is catching up with me. No matter how much I exercise and eat right, I seem to have put on a couple of pounds and my midsection is getting larger (even with doing 200 sit-ups a day). I know it doesn’t help me any that I have full-time “sit at a desk” job. Can you please tell me what I am supposed to do to help stop this process? I do not want to go up in my clothing size.

Fun and Fit:Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA
Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA

— Doreen, Santa Barbara

Kymberly: Tip No. 1: Do not let age catch up with you. Run faster. Oh wait, with age the knees start to go, so running might not be too comfy. And F and F LOVE comfy fitness. And dark chocolate.

Tip No. 2: Retire super early from your full-time desk job and do something that requires loads of outdoor activity. We do have our fitness priorities after all! Then I woke up ...

Alexandra: You may not like this, but you might have to run faster just to stay in place. TAKE YOUR FINGERS OUT OF YOUR EARS! I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME! At 54, the rate at which you burn calories has slowed down, especially if you sit on your Bartleby the Buttolomus (lost Latin term meaning “butt”) most of the day.

Sooooo, you are not burning the kcals quite as quickly — fat goes up, muscle mass goes down — the roller-coaster of your BMR and metabolism goes zooming along. Good news: You don’t have to be the high bidder for a leftover Gone With the Wind corset. You do have to lift those weights a bit more. If you are doing strength training, you need to either do it more often or with heavier weights. Increase the cardio — either go longer or harder. And eat less! Boom 1, 2, 3.

K: Good news: Cut back on the 200 sit-ups. Remember, you can’t spot reduce. All the ab crunches in the world are not going to nuke any midsection fat. You do need to expend calories to prevent fat and weight gain, so Alexandra is right to recommend the combo of cardio and weight training. Oooh, admitting her rightliness did not hurt as much as I thought. Or as much as 200 ab crunches per day with minimal results.

Article Image
What or who is your “Fountain of Youth”?

The short version of our advice is boiled down to three plain potatoes: eat fewer calories, or burn more through increased activity, or do both. Full disclaimer: Fun and Fit fully believes that movement is the Fountain of Youth, yet we must acknowledge that the fountain is fed by “spring-in-the-step pure exercise well waters” that require more pumping (iron) as we age.

The super short version of our advice is to say, “The heck with it. I needed a new wardrobe anyway.” But probably better to pump the fountain well.

A: The final words from me: Forget about Mr. (Eating) Right. Go with Mr. (Eating) Less. But marry Mr. (Exercising) Good Enough.

Noozhawkers: What or who is your “Fountain of Youth”? Examples: reading Noozhawk every morning, meditating, eating organic food, sending dark chocolate to Fun and Fit.

— 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, including AM 1490 at 6:20 p.m. on Sunday nights. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A from their home base in Santa Barbara. You can currently find them in action leading classes at Spectrum Uptown and Goleta and at UCSB. 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).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >