Tips for Staying Fit During the Holiday Season – 2014 Edition

holiday tips_mini

The holiday season is in full swing and I’ve rounded up some great videos with tips, tricks and advice on how to navigate the holidays.  These videos range from advice to workouts to gift giving guides so there’s a little something for everyone here.  If you’ve created an awesome video with fitness tips for the holiday season or found one in your travels across the web please feel free to share the link in the comments!

Little Black Dress Workout from FitSugar

A quick 10 minute workout that you can do in the comfort of your home.  For even more fun invite friends or family to do it with you so everyone can benefit!

Stay Healthy During the Holidays! Fitness Tips & Tricks from Cambria Joy

Tons of high-energy tips, advice and inspiration for staying fit and healthy during the holiday season. Cambria’s enthusiasm for fitness and activity is infectious.

Holistic Health-Fitness Holiday Back to Basics from David E. Fresilli

Great holiday fit tips from a holistic perspective. David Fresilli reminds us that the holidays aren’t about eating stuff, they’re about celebrating the season.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Health and Fitness Fans! from Mind over Munch

When you need a special holiday gift for yourself or the fitness lover in your life then look no further than this great list of 10 healthy lifestyle gifts from Mind Over Munch.

Best Tips and Tricks for Handling Holiday Party Treats from John Basedown

John offers some easy, sensible tips for beating overindulgence whether at home or at a holiday party.

Onelife Fitness – Holiday Weight Gain from WAVY TV 10

Great suggestions for adding new activity to help beat holiday weight gain.

The tips, ideas and advice contained within these videos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Former Fitness Flunky. If you choose to incorporate anything you see in these videos please remember that you do so at your own risk.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training and fitness coaching 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and more.

The 12 Days of Fitness 2014 Exercise Routine

Happy Monday! On this first day of December I thought I’d create a fun little exercise routine for the holidays: The 12 Days of Fitness 2014. If you’re a follower of Former Fitness Flunky you might be acquainted with last year’s 12 Days of Fitness Exercise Routine. This year I’ve followed a similar format where each day adds a new exercise.

12 Days of Fitness 2014

To complete the routine:

Day 1
10 Push-Ups

Day 2
20 Burpees
+ Day 1

Day 3
30 Jumping Jacks
+ Days 1-2

Day 4
40 Second Plank
+ Days 1-3

Day 5
5 Squats
+ Days 1-4

Day 6
6 Russian Twists (per side)
+ Days 1-5

Day 7
7 Tuck Jumps
+ Days 1-6

Day 8
8 Floor Cobras (you pick the hold time)
+ Days 1-7

Day 9
9 Skater Hops
+ Days 1-8

Day 10
10 Lunges
+ Days 1-9

Day 11
11 Sumo Squats
+ Days 1-10

Day 12
30 Second Wall Sit
+ Days 1-11

Please remember to check with your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program to ensure you are safely able to participate.

Want more quick exercise plans? Check out:
Work Your Butt 10 Minute Routine
Work Your Core 10 Minute Routine
Work Your Arms 10 Minute Routine
Work Your Legs 10 Minute Routine
Super Quick in a Rush 10 Minute Workout
Super Quick in a Rush 10 Minute Workout II
Super Quick in a Rush 10 Minute Workout III
Super Quick in a Rush 10 Minute Workout IV
Super Quick in a Rush 10 Minute Workout V

Product Review: The Clear Proof Acne System by Mary Kay

Mary Kay Clear Proof Acne SystemAbout:  I received a 30 day sample of the Clear Proof Acne System courtesy of Influenster.  I was really excited to try this system as I like it when products are paired together into a system.  It makes buying and using products pretty simple when it’s all laid out for you.

First Day Product Impression:  The Clear Proof Acne System comes in a great package and everything looks really nice, except the products aren’t numbered and there aren’t any real clear directions for product usage included.  I didn’t want to make any assumptions about what to do. After going on the Mary Kay site and looking at the products I verified that you wash, tone, treat and then moisturize.

Clear Proof Clarifying Cleaning Gel
With just a pea sized amount I got a rich foam that covered my whole face. The lather was great and my skin did feel clean when I was done.

Clear Proof Blemish Control Toner
The toner stung a bit on my freshly washed face, but it wasn’t anything awful

Clear Proof Acne Treatment Gel
Unlike other products I have tried that may be similar to this, the gel in this system was totally smooth and rubbed in very easily.

Clear Proof Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin
This moisturizer comes out of the tube quick because it’s kind of thin. Despite it’s lightness/thinness it actually covered very well and rubbed in nicely. Even a couple hours later my skin still felt nice and not dry.

Product Usage and Results:  One day 1 I started out with no real expectations. Having used another popular acne “System” before with unimpressive results I went into this trial fairly ambivalent about any outcome.

On day 3 I was questioning this product line.   I had chapped cheeks with big flaky skin.  After washing my face with a washcloth and the cleaning gel I applied the toner and it was pure torture.  The toner burned terribly and then the treatment gel didn’t feel great either.  The moisturizer was a slight relief, but not much.  Hours later my cheeks were still bright red like I had a wind burn.  Not real attractive.

On day 4 my cheek skin looked a bit like leather.  Still nearly as red when I woke up as when I noticed it on day 3.  To try to spare my skin some pain I washed, applied treatment gel and used the moisturizer only.  The toner was not even an option.  I noticed no positive changes and only have this terrible red skin to show for thus far.

On day 6 I only used the cleanser.  My face was so dry I couldn’t even think about using the other products.

By day 9 my skin had still not returned to normal.  I had not used the toner since day 3, but dryness was not abating on my cheeks.  I had dutifully used the cleanser, treatment gel and moisturizer each day, but my skin also didn’t look much better at all.  In fact, it seemed pretty much the same, only angry and dry.  At this point I felt like the moisturizer might be letting me down the most – it’s too thin and I suspect it has alcohol in it based on the smell.  It just doesn’t moisturize much at all.

After day 9 I decided to stop using the toner altogether.  It was just too drying on my now continuously flake-ridden face.

On day 11 I used the cleanser and moisturizer, but skipped the treatment gel.  Was my skin looking better?  I think I was starting to notice some clarity in areas where I had spots before BUT the flaky, dry skin was really not making this a winner for me.

Day 12 was cleanser only, followed by my normal moisturizer (by Lush).  I couldn’t bear the flakes.

Days 13 through 21 were all more of the same.  While I tried to stick with the cleanser because I really liked it, the rest of the products seemed to be causing so much flaking on my face that it was hardly worth it.  Did my skin look clearer?  Yes!  Did my skin look good?  No!  After 21 days I retired from testing these products out because my skin was just too angry to keep going.

Final Thoughts: I totally loved the Clear Proof Clarifying Cleaning Gel because it lathered really well and made my face feel very clean.  It may have contributed to some dryness though.  The rest of the products were only so so.  The toner was mostly unusable during my trial due to how dry my skin was.  The treatment gel seemed to work fairly well as my spots did diminish, but the dry skin was a major down side.  The Clear Proof Oil-Free Moisturizer for Acne-Prone Skin was pretty sub par.  It was thin and didn’t moisturize very well at all.  It did pretty much nothing to combat the dryness that the other products were causing.  It also smelled a bit like alcohol and stung my skin when it was very dry.  The system did work, but the overly dry and flaky skin it caused was just as hard to deal with as acne spots.

Overall, the Clear Proof Acne System by Mary Kay is probably not something I would buy for myself.  At approximately $45 (as of writing this) I feel like it’s way too much money for results that aren’t really great.  There are other kits on the market that aren’t quite as expensive that have similar active ingredients.  While I am a fan of product systems, some of the products were just not right for me.  I think I may have seen more favorable results/less dry skin if I would have been able to choose different products – like an alcohol free toner and a heavier moisturizer.

Full disclosure: I received a free Clear Proof Acne System in exchange for a review from Influenster. The opinions and reviews presented here are solely my own. I have received no payment or compensation for this review other than the product.

About the Author
Alicen Ronan is a Kansas City personal trainer, fitness coach and writer. She has been a certified personal trainer since 2009 when she decided that she wanted to help others make positive lifestyle changes. She is available for personal training sessions 7 days a week both in the Kansas City metro and virtually.

If you liked this article please share it with your friends! Use the share buttons to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest.

Guest Post: What to Do Now to Prevent Future Memory Loss


Today’s article was written by guest author Tina Hamilton. If you’d like to contact Tina please check out her social media and contact info at the end of the article.

Memory loss is a scary thing that can happen to anyone. Memories are so precious and valuable, which means that everyone wants to do everything in their power to hold onto those memories for as long as they possibly can. Many people know that memory loss is a common occurrence as people age, so they assume that there is nothing that they can do to prevent it. The truth is that there are a lot of things that people can do to prevent memory loss and help them live longer, more fulfilling lives.

There are many things that people can do every day to improve their memory and prevent memory loss. These little lifestyle changes are easy for anyone to make. Additionally, they all compliment a healthy lifestyle, so those who want to be healthy and stay in good shape will have no problem adapting. Doing these practices daily can help improve a person’s quality of life and extend their number of healthy years. Here are some things to do now to prevent future memory loss.

Exercise daily
Daily exercise is important for a lot of reasons, and preventing memory loss is one of them. Having a regular exercise routine helps people maintain their brain function and reduce stress every day. Studies show that people who maintain regular exercise throughout their life have less ‘brain shrinkage’ and better brain function later in life than those who stick to a sedentary lifestyle. There are just too many reasons why exercise is so important to avoid doing it at least a few times a week.

Incorporate some weight training
In addition to exercising every day, there are other ways that exercise can prevent memory loss. Incorporating weight training into the regular schedule is one of the great ways to improve your memory. Weight training can help maintain a strong mind, not just strong muscles, and prevent degeneration of brain tissue. Everyone can add a couple of weight training sessions a week to see a dramatic improvement in their fitness level and memory retention.

Make exercise a social activity
It is important to stay social for a number of health reasons. People just function better together, and when the goal is to be healthy and fit, having some support is the best way to achieve those goals. Going to the gym with a friend, a personal trainer, or participating in group fitness classes is not only a fun way to work out, but it can also help prevent memory loss. Social engagements stimulate the brain, so working out with someone can be a great way to exercise the body and the brain. Anyone can find social activities around their local community that combine fitness and social engagement for a fun way to stay fit and healthy.

Boost the daily diet
Diet can be a great tool for maintaining a healthy and fit body through a lifetime. Those who are engaging in physical activity need to make sure that they are fueling their body properly in order to perform at their best each day. Additionally, there are a lot of items of a healthy diet that prevent memory loss as well. Antioxidants in fruit and vegetables, healthy fats in nuts and fish, and meats high in iron and vitamin D are all great for preventing memory loss and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Everyone should shoot for a healthy balance of all of these things in their everyday diet in order to be their healthiest inside and out.

Take on a new hobby
Learning new things is always fun, but it can also help save you from memory loss. Studies have shown that taking on a new hobby can actually help people maintain their memory function and prevent future memory loss. This is a great way to fulfill a lot of healthy goals throughout the day, including staying active, getting in some social time, and promoting healthy brain function. Some good ideas for healthy hobbies include ballroom dancing lessons or training to be a fitness professional. These are great ideas that allow people to have fun achieving a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Tina Hamilton HeadshotAuthor Bio:
Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. You can find her on Twitter.