Archive for ‘Health & Fitness’

Stay Sexy ~ From the Heart

Stay Sexy ~ From the Heart

A couple weeks back I wrote about my success with bone density loss prevention, which will definitely help with staying sexy. Today I’m reporting for my other half, who is a cardiac patient.

If he didn’t have heart problems, we probably wouldn’t be writing erotic romance together. The fact that his life has felt at risk gave rise to our motto if not now, when? and has led us to take risks and explore new dimensions we might never have attempted otherwise.

We just spent the past three months in our former Iowa home, putting it on the market and (thankfully) selling it, in order to morph into full time RVers, living in our motorhome to write, edit, market, and travel. Part of our Iowa sojourn included full medical checkups for both of us. The exciting news is that six years after his triple bypass, my husband’s risk of death from heart problems has dropped to equal that of the general population.

Does this mean he doesn’t have heart disease anymore? Not by a long shot: the same genetics that got him in trouble will reach right out and grab him if he doesn’t keep doing, every day, all the things that have led to this miraculous change. So we thought we’d share what those things are:

CARDIO: At least six days out of seven, 30 to 40 minutes (often more) of cardio workout. Sometimes we bike. Sometimes we hit a gym with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stair steppers. Sometimes we dance. Most days we also take a 15-30 minute walk.

STRENGTH TRAINING: Two to three days a week, strength training/resistance workouts.

DIET:  We eat very little that comes in a can or box (well, apart from morning whole-grain cereal). Fresh fruit, at least three a day. Fresh veggies – two to three a day, sometimes more. Nuts, yogurt, popcorn (high in fiber, low in fat), nothing deep-fat fried, smaller meat portions. If we have dessert at all, it’s usually fruit, perhaps with yogurt or low-fat milk.

MEDICATION: He faithfully takes his small daily dose of a statin and a beta blocker. To that he adds a few carefully selected supplements.

STRESS REDUCTION: This is a biggie, and also a genetic vulnerability in his family. Taking a mid-day break, finding an occupation he enjoys (writing erotic romance comes to mind), accessing some yoga stretches and poses, spending more time relaxing on purpose and not just by chance.

SEX: Having sex three days a week or more (yes, we practice what we preach, hooray for that!), at least a little sexual contact daily, lots of cuddling, holding hands, physical contact.

He and I have often joked over the last several years that his first and most important job is simply staying alive, making sure he does all the things on this list so we can be together a long time and enjoy each other. I’m thrilled with his job performance – lovin’ the life I live.

Have fun, and Stay Sexy!


Stay Sexy ~ Just Do Something!

Note to self: Re-read what I’ve been writing! Every week, I write a column here on our blog with tips for staying vibrant, excited, healthy and sexy across the life cycle. Most mornings, I get up and I start my day with something I’ve been writing about – usually, some stretches and at least ten minutes of target-heartrate activity before breakfast.  But lately? Well, lately, I haven’t felt like it. I’m not motivated. I’m resistant. I’m oppositional. I don’t wanna.

What would I advise someone in my quandary?

Just start. Just do something.

So here’s my pledge: Tomorrow morning, before that first cuppa, I will go stand in the living room and start with the simple opening exercise from my fave Extreme Makeover DVD. All you do is stand in one place and swing your arms, for maybe thirty seconds. Focus on keeping your shoulders down, not scrunched up by your ears, but relaxed. Swing both arms forward, then behind. Feel the tension go, and feel your heart and your body start to wake up, just from that simple beginning.

The thing is, once you’re already moving, it’s much easier to keep moving and ramp up to more active routines.

But I’m not promising to do all that – all I’m pledging to do is to start. We’ll see what happens after that!


Exersexology ~ Interview with Monique Hallowell

This sexy book was an accident! Fitness expert Monique Hallowell sent fitness professionals home with heart-rate/calorie monitors to study calorie burn during everyday activities – but they left them on while having sex, and her creative mind produced a sexy book out of the data! 

Today we’re thrilled to welcome Monique Hollowell, author of Exersexology, for an up close interview. We met Monique at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas in January and got excited about the erotic possibilities of her concept, so we bought the book, loved it, and invited her to tell us more:

Adriana: Welcome, Monique! For openers, could you briefly describe the concept of your book, Exersexology?

Monique: Absolutely! Exersexology is an A-Z Guide to calorie burning sex. The book is filled with over 200 sexual positions which are arranged in twenty-six sexisodes (position chapters). Each sexisode ranges between 4-21 positions. The sexisodes are very user friendly and are formatted in a circle from start to finish. Once the circle is complete, the approximate calories are burned. The book caters to all populations with sexisodes ranging from low intensity to high intensity sexual position combinations (45-303 calories).

Adriana: I’m familiar with how this all got started, but could you let our readers in on the story of what inspired you to develop Exersexology?

Monique: Actually Exersexology came about by accident. I was conducting a general calorie burn study with fitness professionals. The information I was collecting was actual calorie burn while exercising, gardening, house chores etc., but to my surprise the participants were leaving the calorie counting devices on all night including the times they were having sex! This spread like wild fire and I began getting more data on sex calorie-burning than the other activites. Years passed and I hosted an internet radio show on fitness and sex, and thirty minutes after the show aired we had thousands of podcast downloads, it was our #1 rated show. At that time, I know there was a huge curiosity, so I did research, conducted my own case study and created Exersexology – The study of calorie burn during sex.

Adriana: I love that it was accidental! Still, it’s quite a leap from “let’s look at how many calories we burn having sex” to creating the fabulous cycles of “sexisodes,” as you call them, and pulling together the marvelous illustrations of each of the twenty-six cycles. Can you let us go behind the scenes? How did you create the book?

Monique: Wow, believe me it was so fun, but it was a lot of work! The concept began early 2011 and the book was launched January 2013. So it took two years to create the sexisodes, conduct the case study, gather the data, and publish the book. I first came up with the A-Z concept because it’s simple and familiar to everyone. Next, I started creatively writing and  giving each sexisode a chapter name from the alphabet (for example, I is Infinity) with a small description. Then, the sexual combinations were based on the theme of the alphabet letter. The positions are all live pictures, which were then recreated by a graphic artist into silhouettes. After couples were chosen and the data was collected from the participants (utilizing heart rate monitors while performing the sexisodes), the book was then pieced together detail by detail to create the final project.

Adriana: One of the things we noticed is that the book doesn’t report how long couples spent going through the various sexisodes. Is that data still available to you? Do you have a sense for whether some sexisodes burn more calories per minute than others?

Monique: Yes, the time was not added because the duration was different for each couple, but yes I still collected the data on time. The significant data was the average calorie burn each person had after completing the circle. The foundation of the data was based on research indicating that thirty minutes of sex burns from seventy five to one hundred fifty kcals.

So, for example letter S Straight Shooter is only 5 positions which will last you about 15-18 minutes, thus the calorie burn being lower at Approx. 54 calories. Whereas a sexisode such as B Bootcamp is filled with 15 challenging positions ( which require greater transition time), gives an approximate burn of 303 kcals and takes 45min-1 hour. From my data, the average position takes anywhere from twenty seconds to two minutes to complete, i.e, getting into the position, performing the position and transitioning out of the position.

Adriana: 🙂 Of course some couples might choose to linger more than two minutes performing a position…As you know, we always try to ensure that whatever we share with readers includes accurate data, and we get concerned when we see others reporting misinformation. That’s what led us to take on the sex doesn’t really burn very many calories news item a couple months ago. Have you run into this? If so, how do you typically respond?

Monique: Fortunately, I have not run into doubters. It’s simple – people can put on their own heart rate/calorie monitor have sex for 30 minutes and get the facts immediately. First, when the information stated above was reported it was reported in combination with effective ways to lose weight for obesity etc. As a fitness professional for over thirteen years, sex is not the first thing I would recommend to burn the most calories and lose weight. Sex is an addition to what you’re currently doing. Next, the study that reported sex hardly burns any calories was done in the 1980’s with ten men in their mid thirties. For whatever reason, their sex episodes only lasted six minutes, and the average calorie burn was 21 calories. The standard data on all exercise is usually noted in thirty minute intervals. Therefore, from the study mentioned above, if the men would have lasted thirty minutes, they would have burned 105 calories.

Adriana: I love that you said sex is an addition to what you’re currently doing :). It wouldn’t be the main tactic for losing weight or getting your heart-rate up, but it’s great to know it makes such a positive contribution to those goals!

When you created the book, how were you hoping it might be used? Who do you hope purchases the book, and what are you hoping they do with it?

Monique: The case study participants in the book were couples between the ages of 35-65, but it’s not limited to those demographics. The book is truly for everyone. The book should be used as an extra tool in your sex tool box. Sex should not be so serious, Exersexology should open up great erotic conversation, provide some creativity to do different things and most important laugh a lot and have fun!

Adriana: That’s exactly why we got so excited about it when we saw your display at the Adult Entertainment Expo. As you know, we’re authors of erotic romance, and we write our weekly Stay Sexy  column focused on staying vibrant, healthy, excited and sexy across the life cycle. So we’re especially excited about the erotic pleasure couples might enjoy just from leafing through these pages and trying out the cycles of positions, whether or not they record their calories. Have you received any feedback of this nature from your participating couples?

Monique: I ask for data all the time ( which can be posted on my my blog at, but many of us are so secretive about our sex life! I have not received a lot of calorie burning data, but I’ve received very positive feedback of how fun the book has been and how it’s added more creativity to sex lives.

Adriana: As we described in our blog post Shaping up with Sex, we had a fun time with the Quintet sexisode. Are your participants reporting any favorites? May I ask if you have a personal favorite?

Monique: Earth, Joule, Lava and Quintet  have been the participants favorites. I am a deep emotional lover so I enjoy forward facing positions (My zodiac sign is Cancer, of course). My personal favorites are Earth and Yin N Yang, but as a fitness professional I often enjoy Crosswalk and Voltage. During the case study, Straight Shooter was the most repeated sexisode, which I believe was because all the positions are the most common (missionary, doggy style etc). Gravity was noted to be the most difficult (this includes upside down positions) and Infinity was the most pleasurable and longest duration (takes about 90 minutes).

Adriana: Ah, a fellow Cancer – no wonder you created the book! From your website and your publicist’s newsletters, it looks like the book is creating quite a stir. What are some of the highlights you’ve experienced as you market the book?

Monique: At the Adult Entertainment Expo we sold out of all our books! I had the exciting opportunity to go down to LA and speak on Playboy radio w/ Tiffany Granath, and I’ve had three TV appearances in addition to many inquiries about translating the book in different languages.

Adriana: Do you plan a follow-up book, or any revisions? Are you still interested in collecting data from couples who try out the sexisodes? And, if so, where would an interested couple go to report their data?

Monique: Yes, I feel like the sky is the limit with Exersexology. I do plan on writing a follow-up book, possibly a How-to manual, but nothing immediately since the book just launched. Yes, I am still collecting data and if you have any please go to and click on My Blog.

Adriana: And of course we’d like to know, what is next for you? Where do you see this going?

Monique: I’m so excited about this project. It’s not just a book to me. I’m hoping this starts a new wave of abundant possibilities and research in regards to fitness and sex! I’ve been approached to do many articles and more TV, possibly a fun video series! The sky’s the limit.

Adriana: Lots of great opportunities! It’s been such a pleasure having you with us today – thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us.

About Monique

Monique Hollowell has more than 13 years fitness industry experience. She is the author of Bellie Fit Basics and Exersexology. Monique is an internet radio show host, national presenter and CEO of Lafemme Mobile Gym. She has been featured in multiple radio shows, news segments and national publications such as Ebony and Happen Magazine.

Where to find Monique:

Twitter @moniquesfit

Where to find Exersexology (Author signed copy)

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