Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘fitness’
Posted: November 30th, 2012

Move over Victoria’s Secret. Spanx has been in the news big time this year. Sara Blakely, 41, the youngest woman to hit the Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires is squeezing big money out of the girdle that does it all. Sold on QVC, endorsed by Oprah, and hitting $250 million in sales in 2011, Spanx opened its first retail stores in November. Blakeley is married, and she is a mom to a 3-year-old son. Catch the ABC-News story here.

The first Spanx store opened at Tysons Corner Center shopping mall in McLean, Va. Read the USA Today article here. Blakely said the mall was also the the site of the first Apple store. Another store is in Philadelphia, and one will be opening soon in New Jersey.

The Spanx idea got legs 13 years ago when Blakely cut the feet out of her control-top pantyhose to smooth out her lower body. She ran the business out of her apartment. Now, the Spanx empire includes back-fat-eliminating wear, clasp-free bras called “Bra-lellujahs,” shapers and tummy tamers — more than 200 products sold in 13 countries. She even has a line of Manx T-shirts for men and more. This is a success story we love — no butts about it. Quick info on Blakely:

  1. The Clearwater, Fla., native has an interesting and inspiring story. Read it here.
  2. She is the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire.
  3. She credits motivational tapes for success.
  4. Failed the LSAT entrance exam for law school. (Credits this for success too!)
  5. Founded the “Leg Up” program that supports female entrepreneurs.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 3rd, 2012

A friend of mine’s son, a state champ in tennis, went from a good player to a state champ after changing his diet to get through grueling tournaments. Diet is more important than you think. Ask successful athletes in tennis, football cross country, basketball, volleyball, soccer, track or any sport what helped them achieve greatness, and many will tell you they learned to eat right.

As a mom of many athletes, I’ve seen kids eat candy bars and Swedish fish before track meets and still perform well, but in the long run, athletes who go the distance commit to good nutrition, and that means protein and carbs. Here’s a link to KidsHealth advice.

5 things to know about athletes and nutrition:

  1. Is your kid taking creatine? It is a supplement, and if your kid is into this, read this article about the importance of nutrition and hydration. I’ve seen kids take everything from protein powder to excess vitamins. With the Internet, everyone seems to be an expert on nutrition, but supplements are not a good idea and not meant for kids under 18. If you have a concern about your teen’s nutrition, ask a doctor — not a friend.
  2. Protein bars work for some folks as a protein source, but many are loaded with preservatives and sugar alcohols. My kids didn’t have a problem, but protein bars give me horrible stomach aches. Peanut butter on half of a whole grain bagel was my daughter’s pre-run meal before every cross country and track meet. She was cross country runner of the year in our district, and her track team won states two years in a row. Many tennis players — national and local — credit protein and carbs for keeping energy levels up without the carb crash that can occur if you are performing in an all-day or all-weekend tournament.
  3. Tournaments often have pizza and fast food readily available, and don’t fall for it. A lot of kids can’t handle dairy — in the form of cheese, yogurt or milk — before an event. Save dairy for after the event or hours before it.
  4. Hydrate with water. For most people, sports drinks are not a necessity, but water is. Kids must listen to coaches about hydrating, or they will cramp. I see it every year in football — a kid misses an entire game because of cramping. Our bodies need to be hydrated for days in advance of an event. Here’s a great article on dealing with cramps from LECOM.
  5. Kids don’t always listen to parents or coaches. Kids are kids, and some (like some of mine ) have to learn the hard way. They may get caught up in the latest fad diet but forget that it can have consequences. My son tried Atkins while playing football, and discovered a total loss of energy. Fortunately, a trainer talked him out of it. Visit your family doctor and/or a registered dietitian if your son or daughter is out of sync with sports and diets. Here’s a list of registered dietitians in the Erie area. And remember as kids grow, their nutritional needs change. The days of pre-gaming on Swedish fish and candy bars don’t make the grade at the varsity level.

Pam Parker, a tennis player well acquainted with muscle cramps, is the mom of three and stepmom of three — all athletes.  She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: August 16th, 2012

    We often look for baclpacks that are stylish, fashionable and durable. But many thanks to RENEÉ HEWITT of  Topical BioMedics for advice on backpacks for kids.

    She reminds us that heavy backpacks  worn incorrectly can cause serious back, neck and shoulder pain.

    Tips for Back Safety
    Lou Paradise, president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, a topical pain ointment for kids, offers the following tips for proper backpack safety:

    -Make sure backpacks fit properly and have padded backs and straps.

    -Children should wear BOTH straps – slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.

    -Teach your child to pack light only carry what is necessary to avoid any excess weight.

    -A backpack should weigh no more than 10  - 20 percent of the child’s body weight.

    -The backpack’s straps should fit snuggly over the child’s shoulders.

    -Parents should pick up their child’s backpack on a regular basis to gauge its weight.

    -Make sure the backpack is positioned on the back between the shoulder and not resting on the child’s lower back or hips.

    -Tighten the straps so the pack sits close to the body.

    -Organize the pack carefully and pack the heavier items closet to the center of the back.

    -If your child experiences back pain, weakness or numbness in the arms or legs, be sure to speak with your doctor.

    Look for Signs That Signal a Backpack is Too Heavy

    -A change in your child’s posture when wearing the backpack

    -Struggling to put on or take off the backpack

    -Pain when wearing the backpack

    -Red marks from the shoulder straps after the backpack has been removed.

    Features to Look for When Choosing a Backpack
    -Two shoulder straps to distribute weight evenly

    -Wide, padded shoulder straps that won’t dig into shoulders causing pain and cutting off circulation

    -Padded back provides more comfort and protects children from being poked by sharp objects inside the backpack

    -Backpack should be made of durable, lightweight material

    -Waist belt to distribute the weight more evenly across the body

    -Backpacks with wheels are an excellent choice for students who must tote a heavy load, but are less practical for use in snow during the winter months

    To learn more about Topricin Junior, go to http://www.topricin.com

    Pam Parker is an award-winning writer and editor for Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: August 15th, 2012

    Yesterday, my boss Marnie Mead mentioned the death of Helen Gurley Brown at age 90. “Without women like Brown, there would be no magazines like Her Times,” Marnie said.

    Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, taught us things we didn’t even know we needed to know, and it all started with “Sex and the Single Girl,” her homemade book of advice. It told women that being single didn’t mean celibacy and boredom.

    Hearst hired Brown three years later, and she turned Cosmopolitan into a conversation piece. And many of us remember her early years.

    In an interview on NPR, Brown told women to get a job and make money. It didn’t matter what we did — but doing something paved the way to better lives. A favorite quote of mine is from an NPR story is:

    “A job is where the money, the success, and the clout come from. It doesn’t matter where you start, what matters is starting and hanging in.”

    Read the entire story here.

    And Brown was no rich kid or cover girl model. Her father died when she was young, and she grew up in Arkansas with a depressed mother and a sister who suffered from polio paralysis. Brown worked her way through secretarial jobs in Los Angeles to Cosmo.

    She quickly created a mindset for women — especially “Cosmo girls”  to be sexy and smart. And it was all fun. I still remember the male centerfolds in the 1970s — actor Burt Reynolds was there. By 1983, the magazine had 3 million subscribers. Brown left in 1997 at age 75.

    Read some of her most famous quotes here in Fashion Beast. Here are a few of my faves: “Good girls go to heaven; bad girls go everywhere.”  “Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort.”

    A great woman with a sense of humor. Rest in peace, Helen.

    Pam Parker is an award-winning writer and editor for Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.


    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: August 10th, 2012

    Not just for sport or court, colorful shoes are hot topics!

    It’s back to school and when that kid of yours picks up the chartreuse must-have high tops, don’t freak. Color is big. Last week, I posted my new lime-green kicks. They’re not just for the court. Yellow, pink and bright blue sneakers, flats and sandals are trendy and the cute leopard ballet flats are still in fashion. The photo at left is from TLC. Check out more colorful footwear at Seventeen Magazine.

    Skinny jeans are staying — and in colorful patterns, leopard prints, paisleys and much more.

    The 80s are back. I’m not sure if I’m glad or scared, but slightly puffed shoulders are returning for the younger set, and so are ruffles. In a fashion shoot for our September issue of Her Times, we dressed a model in a striped and ruffled blouse from The Limited. I had one just like it in the 80s. Tops are also sporting polka dots, prints, plaids and patchworks. It looks like someone raided my 1980s closet! Check out a cute jean jackets with puffed sleeves at Seventeen Magazine.

    This utility jacket from Forever 21 is one of the hot trends — $24.80, and some fashionistas claim sleeveless blazers are in. In my day, we called those vests, and it’s nice to see them back. So are bomber jackets.

    And houndstooth is still here – so hang on to your black and whites.

    In other fashion news:

    Penn State is putting names on the backs of their football uniforms breaking with a long-term tradition. I bring this up because I am a Penn State grad.

    The Olympics featured some awesome clothing styles (but it would have been nice if they had all been made in the USA) for our athletes. Seeing Gabby Douglas in sparkling pink and Serena Williams in a sharp gray jacket was a surprise. Our red, white and blue was kind of hard to find among some of the U.S. team uniforms on occasion. But then again, it seemed all the international athletes wore a lot of color — not just their own country’s flag hues. There’s nothing wrong with color, but I had trouble picking out the Americans at times. My hubby pointed out tiny flags on sleeves and above the heart on some uniforms.

    Enjoy you week in style!

    Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.


    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: August 3rd, 2012

    This much color might not be for everyone, but these Saucony kicks are tame compared to some of the shoes available on the wall at Achille’s on West 12th Street in Erie, Pa.

    And I got the shirt to match at TJ Maxx.

    Color is all over feet of tennis players, runners and more. Don’t be shy about color.

    And the gang I play tennis with is not shy about telling me my construction safety uniform would be perfect on any highway. So would my tennis game!

    Pam Parker is an avid and colorful tennis player. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: July 5th, 2012

    In a letter to the editor yesterday in the Erie Times-News, a 72-year-old man wrote a great letter. James Ligons of Erie wrote that high school athletes should learn to play tennis because of the hand and eye coordination, footwork and endurance.

    As a tennis player, I endorse that!  He added another note about men playing tennis in their 80s and 90s. Very true — I play with them, and they can kick your butt any day of the week!

    There was a time when I was going to give up tennis because of my bad runner’s knees. Then I played with these guys. And gals. You’ll never quit if you see these folks in action.

    If you want to take up the game, visit Westwood Racquet Club or Pennbriar Athletic Club.  They can hook you and your kids up with a lesson just to see if you like it. My kids have played since they were little. They never played competitively like I did, but they all acknowledge that it improves balance in nearly every sport.

    And this week, you can tune into Wimbledon where you’ll see some professional tennis action.  And for anyone who says it’s too expensive — I spent more money bowling than I ever did at tennis. Read Ligons’ letter here.

    Pam Parker is the mom of three, stepmom of three and editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.



    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: June 8th, 2012

    EXTRA host Mario Lopez certainly doesn’t need any help from the fountain of youth, but he participated in a beauty treatment  that will air June 26. Dr. Susan Evans, Dr. 90210,  performed a procedure with Japan’s hottest beauty device – The ReFA Platinum Electric RollerReFA uses solar-powered microcurrent technology to provide skin tightening results you expect from an aesthetician in a convenient, cost-effective and portable device. Here it is:

    It retails for about $320, and rolls over bare skin with a massaging technique.  There’s more info on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ReFaUSA. I need to test this out.

    Pam Parker is an award-winning writer and editor for Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: May 31st, 2012

    Even if you’re not a tennis fan, you’ve probably heard of Venus Williams and Serena Williams, two women who pretty much changed the face of professional tennis more than 10 years ago. And they are American women who pretty much learned the game on public courts in Compton, outside of Los Angeles.

    For the first time in 47 professional tournaments, Serena Williams,30, lost in the first round at Roland Garros in Paris during French Open, the prestigious clay tournament.

    French player Virginie Razzano, 29, beat Serena 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3. After a year that included foot surgery that resulted in a near life-ending blood clot. Serena seemed out of sync, off balance and even tearful after losing a tiebreak — something we never see in Serena. And give Razzano credit. She had been cramping and shaking during the marathon final game.

    Venus Williams, just shy of 32, was booted one day later in a second-round match when Agnieszka Radwanska beat the champion 6-2, 6-3 in an hour.

    Age, illness and injury are creeping up on the champion Williams sisters. Radwanska, 23, had no fear and plenty of energy against Venus, who is publicly battling Sjogren’s Syndrome, something that often robs her of energy.

    What a run they’ve had. Venus has won $28 million in prize money since turning pro in 1994. Serena has won more than $36 million since turning pro in 1995. I don’t think they’re done. The Olympics are coming, and they will hopefully mentor some more Americans, and give us something to cheer about.

    Pam Parker is an award-winning writer and editor for Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

    Posted in: Uncategorized
    Posted: March 29th, 2012

    I just read the great report on folks who were lucky enough to get a hole in one at local courses. Check it out here.

    No one in my family got one, but we came close. And we watched a young golfer from Villa Maria get one on a Sunday afternoon outing.

    I taught my kids to play golf when they were 7 years old. All of them. They learned to hit the ball in the yard, at a driving range and at the park across from our house. Then, we hit the links. We always chose a short 9-hole course, and played at a low-traffic time of day. They might not finish 9 holes — it’s OK — this is just for fun. Here are seven reasons to teach your kids the game:

    1. You’re outside and walking around in nature. That alone gets your kids away from the video games and TV, but don’t over challenge them. If they repeatedly miss the ball, let them throw it. Keep moving.
    2. It teaches them to slow down, analyze and think out their next move — not as challenging as chess or pool, but it does teach kids a lot about how to accomplish something with brain and brawn.
    3. Someday, they’ll thank you. The six kids in this blended family are ages 20 to 28. The older kids have discovered that business often calls for a game of golf, and they are glad they played and know the game. Not knowing the game can be embarrassing in business circles.
    4. You may end up with a real fan. Two of the boys play pretty regularly, and they are really good golfers.
    5. You can enter tournaments as a family. My oldest son and I have played in numerous tournaments as part of a foursome. We’ve won some prizes and have some great memories that include playing with my late father. Three generations in a foursome is a delight.
    6. It’s a way to celebrate birthdays and Mother’s Day. My kids and I have played almost every Mother’s Day.
    7. They will all learn to say, “Fore! Tell me your reasons to play golf with your kids. And check out the golf listing right here.
    Posted in: Uncategorized