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{Exercise} What exercise body type do you have?

2011 January 14

Those group exercise classes? “Forget them,” says FOF Linda Taylor, President and CEO of Taylor Wellness Arts. “They can be a waste or even harmful for most FOFs because they are not custom to our individual body types and needs.”

In response to the exercise-related injuries Linda witnessed (and experienced herself when one ended her ballet career) she created the Taylor Method, a fitness plan based on 4 unique body classifications: Military, Flat Back, Sway Back and Kyphosis-Lordosis.


Do you know what type of body you have? Find out below.

A few weeks ago, FOF Founder Geri met with Linda Taylor at her studio. Linda classified Geri as a Kyphosis-Lordosis which means she has shorter ligaments, a rounded upper back causing her head to sit forward and an arched lower back. Geri’s posture problems stem from her Kyphosis-Lordosis body type. She has turned-in knees and the puts all her weight onto her big toe joints and her quads.

Until you know your specific body type, Linda believes you can’t exercise, stretch, walk or even sit properly. Once classifying Geri as a Kyphosis-Lordosis, Linda was able to help her begin to “unlearn” some of her bad movement patterns and habits and reteach her how to sit, stand, walk and eventually exercise properly.

“For years, people thought if you were born with a certain structure that was the way you were going to die. If you had a curve in your back, you’d always have a curve in your back. To the contrary, what we have  found is movement makes structure. You can move into a bad pattern but you can also move into a good pattern.”

The first step to breaking bad movement patterns and exercising properly is knowing your body type and correcting your posture, according to Linda.

Watch a video below to discover your own body type and start correcting your posture.

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{Giveaway} Free bestsellers and advance copies just for FOFs!

2011 January 14

To enter, answer this question in the comments below: Which one of Kristin Hannah’s books would you like to read first: Night Road or Winter Garden? Why?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

Welcome to the FOF Book Club!

We’ve partnered with St. Martin’s Press to offer you FREE bestsellers and advance copies of books. After you’ve read them, you can join live chats with authors and other FOFs! (Can you tell we’re excited?)

This week, we’re giving away 60 books by bestselling novelist, Kristin Hannah. Ten FOFs will win an advance copy of Night Road, Kristin’s hotly anticipated new book about motherhood and forgiveness. Fifty FOFs will receive Winter Garden, her critically acclaimed bestseller about two sisters who uncover their mother’s secret past. All of the winners will receive an invite to a private online chat with the author.

60 lucky FOFs will win! To enter, tell us: Which one of Kristin Hannah’s books would you like to read first: Night Road or Winter Garden? Why?

[click here to read an interview with FOF author Kristin Hannah]

(Contest closes February 5, 2011 at midnight E.S.T.)
See all our past winners, here. See complete rules here.

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{Exercise} Watch These Now and Win!

2011 January 13

Win the complete Yoga for Faboverfifty Women video. To enter, comment below and answer: How do you think Iyengar Yoga would help you?

A message from FOF Founder, Geri Brin:

One thing I know for sure: If I’m lucky enough to live to my eighties, I do not want to shuffle like my mother did.

Many older people shuffle because they’re unsure of their balance and worried they’ll fall. And they’re absolutely right. If we don’t work our muscles, they are going to atrophy and we will fall.

Beauty products, plastic surgery, great-looking clothes and jewelry may be a girl’s best friends. But balance, strength and flexibility—physical and mental—are what really keep us young.

We have the solution: Yoga for Faboverfifty Women, a new video we’ve created for the FOF Shop. It will calm your mind and strengthen your body.


FOF Founder, Geri Brin

Ready to practice Iyengar?
The complete video series, Yoga for Faboverfifty Women, is available for download in the FOF shop right now! We’re charging $14.99 to cover our production costs, but we promise it will be worth it!

Win the complete Yoga for Faboverfifty Women video. To enter, comment below and answer: How do you think Iyengar Yoga would help you?

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{Exercise} 9 Top Trainers for FOFs

2011 January 13

Meet the country’s best butt-kickers. Here are 9 trainers FOFs call on to get (and keep) in shape:

1. Erica Akemi Shepherd at The Pilates Company, Woodinville, WA
FOF KatieF says, “She’s beautiful inside and out and a tough and fun trainer. Her studio, The Pilates Company of Woodinville, offers a variety of programs: BASI Certified Pilates, a Pink Ribbon Program for Cancer Survivors, Mommy and Me Pilates, and Tracy Mallet’s Booty Barre.”

2. Laura Dixon at Harmony Mind Body Fitness, Chicago, IL
FOF Susan Dixon says, “Laura is a one-of-a-kind Pilates trainer. She has a background in dance and Stott Pilates Method as well as certification in Gyrotonics, Gyrokinesis, and XtendBarre. She is quick to understand your strengths and weaknesses and will work one-on-one with you to help you improve your physical condition.”

3. Sherry Stewart, St Louis, MO
FOF janis0314 says, “Sherry is an FOF, so she knows that there are special needs for women and men over 50. She takes extra special care to make sure you have a well-rounded workout within your limitations. Sherry is also the best personal example–not a ‘Do what I say, not what I do’ trainer.”

4. Donna Perone, New York, NY
FOF Terry Perl says, “I’ve been working with Donna for more than 6 years. What I love is, she doesn’t just do what’s trendy. She focuses on functionality, flexibility, balance and strength. She’s not trying to make you into a 100-pound teenager, she’s trying to help you stay moving and keep your joints and bones in shape. Thanks to Donna’s workouts I am stronger, I have muscles, I can go up and down stairs better and I don’t say ‘ooph’ when I stand up from a squat! Every woman could benefit from a trainer like her. Plus, she’s an FOF herself!”

5. Ernestine Shepherd, at Energy Fitness Center, Randallstown, MD
FOF elegantlady63 says, “This woman is incredible and the greatest inspiration ever. She is 74 years old with the energy and body of a 20 year old. She is a champion bodybuilder and has won trophies all over the world. She teaches classes at Energy Gym and several Senior Centers in Baltimore.”

6. Michelle LeFleur at St.Joseph’s/Candler Health System, Savannah, GA
FOF Susan H says, “I have always hated exercise even though I know it’s good for me. I’ve had other trainers but it was not until I met Michelle at Candler Wellness Center in Savannah, that I understand how a good trainer can make a difference. I started with Michelle to help lose weight and get strength back in my legs after multiple surgeries. She helped me develop a training program I like and feel good about. Knowing that she’s waiting for me at the gym makes me look forward to working out. Best of all, she’s introduced me to water exercise. When I’m in the pool, I can move my knees like there’s nothing wrong with them. Michelle is not only a trainer, she’s become a friend, motivator and cheerleader for every ounce of weight I lose and every ounce of strength I gain.”

7. Jane Trahan, Baton Rouge, LA
FOF sharon k says,Jane is amazing. She actually makes me laugh out loud while I’m working out. She has been my trainer for over two years now–the longest time I’ve ever stuck with a program–because she varies the routine and keeps it interesting. I have joint issues and Jane has adapted her program to work with my joints. She has kept me more active and healthy than I’ve ever been!”

8. Josh Simmons at Forma Gym, Walnut Creek, CA
FOF merrittinmartinez says, “Josh is a trainer and a massage therapist who has taken me from an injured lump to a long distance cyclist. He can ‘kick your butt’ kindly while modifying moves to accommodate injuries. Oh, and he’s not hard on the eyes, either!”

9. Pam Roth at Fast Track to Fat Loss, online
FOF mjk1256 says, “Pam is part of the Fast Track to Fat Loss team. She is always online to answer any questions and suggest great ideas for success with diet and exercise. She has really become a friend as well as a trainer for the past few months. I’m 71, I started out in size 12 jeans and now wear an 8.”

Do you have a trainer you love and want to recommend? Click here to add him or her to Fab Faves now!

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{Giveaway} A signed copy of Denise Austin’s “Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life” + 3 workout DVDs

2011 January 12

FOF television and DVD fitness star Denise Austin is giving away a signed copy of her just-released book Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life plus 3 of her workout DVDs.

To enter, comment below and answer: Have you ever worked out to a fitness video? Which one?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

“Denise Austin practices what she preaches,” said legendary fitness enthusiast Jack LaLanne, who gave Denise her a first big break on his show. And it’s true… Denise works out just 30 minutes each day (“I really try to make the 30 minutes very effective and efficient because I don’t have a lot of time.”) and eats healthily but indulges a little too (“I eat well 80% of the time and have my treats 20% of the time”). In her just-released book Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life, 53-year-old Denise Austin shares the food and fitness plan that’s allowed her to maintain her booming body and her booming business for the past 30 years.

The book has a quiz to help readers identify their own energy-zappers, a list of energy-boosting foods and guidelines on when to eat them, mini-workout routines and more.

“I wrote ‘Get Energy!’ because I meet with women all the time who ask me, ‘Denise, how do you have so much energy?’” says Denise. I compiled the tips and stretches that I use throughout the day to stay energized and fit!

Denise’s workout bible has already received glowing reviews: “Denise Austin makes the Energizer Bunny look lethargic,” wrote People magazine editors. “Denise Austin probably could motivate a statue,” said a review in the Chicago Tribune.

[Read Denise's entire interview with FOF here]

[Read Denise's 5 ways to get your energy back here]

To enter to win a signed copy of Denise’s just-released book Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life and 3 of her workout DVDs, comment below and answer: Have you ever worked out to a fitness video? Which one?

Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

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{Exercise} Denise Austin’s 5 easy ways to get energy back now!

2011 January 12

In her just-released book Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life, 53-year-old Denise Austin–who “makes the Energizer Bunny look lethargic,” according to People magazine–shares the food and fitness plan that’s allowed her to maintain her booming body and her booming business for the past 30 years. Here she shares 5 easy ways for you to get your energy back now:

1. Expend energy. A sedentary lifestyle is an energy drain: ironically, the more you sit, the less energy you have. Regular exercise boosts your circulation and delivers much-needed oxygen to your body. And you don’t have to sweat buckets, either. I exercise just thirty minutes a day. I know how tough it can be to get to the gym when all you want to do is curl up on the couch. But research shows regular exercise can reduce fatigue by 65 percent. Just remember: to get energy, you need to expend it.

2. Stretch. Each time I take a break from working at my desk, I stretch. Presto! Instant recharge. Remember: energy begins with oxygen. Stretching enhances blood circulation, which brings fresh oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your body. During a good stretch, your brain calms, your mood lifts, and your energy generator comes online again. Then you’re ready to jump back into the fray.

3. Go to bed earlier. It’s better to sleep and wake early (i.e., 10 p.m.– 6 a.m.) because your body’s functions—temperature, digestion, and restorative processes—are linked to its exposure to natural light. Research suggests that getting ninety minutes’ less sleep for just one night can reduce your alertness by 30 percent the next day. Can’t sleep? Make a list of worries and possible solutions in the early evening to avoid the fretting that keeps you awake; turn off the bedroom TV; create a soothing pre-bed ritual; get earplugs to drown out distractions, such as your partner’s snoring.

4. Breath deep! Renewing your energy can be as easy as breathing! I’ve always said that energy begins with oxygen. Take a deep breath right now..in through your nose…and then slowly exhale through your nose. Repeat a few more times. With each breath, you delivered energy-giving oxygen to every cell in your body, from head to toe. When you breathe correctly, you can melt away stress and relax and unwind–and of course, it all benefits your energy level.

5. Savor a square of dark chocolate. To rev up and bliss out, indulge in one square of dark chocolate. It’s rich in anandamide, the so-called “bliss molecule” associated with post-workout euphoria, according to research conducted at the University of California — Irvine. Caffeine and another stimulant called theobromine are also at work.

This is adapted from Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life by Denise Austin. Copyright (c) 2011 by Denise Austin. Reprinted by permission of Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

[Read FOF's complete interview with Denise Austin]

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{Style Expert} Problem-Solving Workout Wear

2011 January 12

Our style expert, Linda Cohen, is an FOF fitness fanatic. A runner who practices yoga and weight training, Linda has sweat through more tanks and track pants than she’d like to admit. Here, she reveals the problem-solving workout wear that stands the test of time–and treadmill.

Problem: I need a yoga pant that won’t highlight my lumps and bumps during downward dog.
Solution: The Groove Pant from Lululemon, $98. “My tried-and-true yoga pant. The fabric never stretches and always holds you in even if you’ve gained a little holiday weight. You can wear them all day and feel dressed and not sloppy.”


Problem: My fitted t-shirts are hugging my belly fat.
Solution:Underarmour’s Shortsleeve t-shirts ($24.99) have a flattering, looser fit that won’t cling to rolls or bulges. Plus, it keeps it’s shape after many washes and the patented material prevents odor.”


Problem: I need a jacket that zips over my sweaty workout wear so I look pulled together when I run to Starbucks.
Solution:Lululemon’s Stride Jacket is sophisticated, cool and, perhaps most importantly, long enough to cover your butt. I wear mine with a t-shirt and jeans when I travel. The black stretch fabric never fades.”


Problem: I need workout pants that are comfortable, but aren’t ratty college sweatpants.
Solution: “Nike has designed great fits for three different body types.The BE BOLD pant ($60) has a slim cut and a low rise if you’re ready to flaunt that toned bod. The BE STRONG pant ($60) is relaxed to the knee to balance out your hips and the mid-rise helps shape your butt and prevent ‘muffin top.’ The BE TRUE pant ($60) has a looser fit but is still flattering and slimming–never sloppy.”


Problem: I want to run with abandon, but my flapping underarms make me want to run and hide.
Solution:The Athleta Long Sleeve Wickit Workit T ($44) keeps your arms covered and cool with breathable, wicking fabric in five pretty colors.”


Problem: I need workout clothes that hold up to wear and wash but don’t cost a fortune.
Solution: “Workout clothes do take a beating, so there is value in spending a bit more on items that will last. Gap Body has a wonderful line at a fair price–the quality is good and the fabric doesn’t fade. I’ve also bought the Champion products at Target which are lighter weight and fit well. Pants are just $19.99 and they have plus sizes up to 3X. My one suggestion: Wash them in cold water or they will fade. Finally, the accessories at Old Navy are bright fun and cheap. Love this Crossbody workout bag for $12.50!”


Problem: I need need body-shaping sneakers that don’t look like orthopedic old-lady shoes.
Solution: “I just started wearing Reebok’s Easy Tone ($79.98) sneakers to the gym in October, and I feel a difference. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and they’re helping me tone my thighs, calves and butt. It is like having twice the workout. I recommend trying them on in the store because they seem to run a bit small.”


We’d love to get your recommendations. What’s your tried-and-true workout gear?


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{Poll} Worst workout wear trend?

2011 January 11

A thong-leotard over biker shorts!? Unitards!? Leg-warmers!? Really…What were we thinking? We can’t take back the fitness fashion faux pas of the 80s but we can make sure they never happen again!

Take our poll: “Which 80s fitness fashion trend was the most ridiculous?” Then, see what other FOFs chose.

Which workout wear trend should stay in the 80s?

View Results

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Images via So Shiny, American Counsel of Exercise, Tone it Up, and Style List

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{Excercise} Yoga at age 92!

2011 January 10

Think you’re too old for yoga? Meet an inspiring 92-year-old yoga master, Tao Porchon-Lynch (age 87 at the time this video was shot). Neither her age nor a total hip replacement has stopped this FOF from teaching or practicing the ancient exercise.

Video via Huffington Post

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{Weekly Roundup}

2011 January 7

Have a lovely winter weekend, FOFs…

Street-Spotted: Now and Then

Former fashion editor is going to make eBay more like Lucky mag.

“Even Jackie O. had a uniform” says Vera Wang.

Birkin Bag on the cheap

Trends that are aging you.

How not to look frumpy: an amazing before and after

What to wear to work

A walk in the park

Looking ahead

What do you think of this look?

French apple tarts straight from Paris

Advanced Style Best of 2010

Until Monday…

P.S. Enter to win a groovy 1960s Fashion Illustration

Image via Millie Motts

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