Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bootcamp for Books: A Great Way to Bring in the New Year and Help Get Books to Students in Need!

LaLona Richards is not your average personal trainer. She is the reigning Mrs. Georgia 2010, the winner of Georgia Fitness Award, and a woman on a mission to fight illiteracy.

According to a new survey, illiteracy is viewed as the greatest threat to our children's future. The United Nations defines illiteracy as "the inability to read and write a simple sentence." In 2000, one in five adults aged 15+ was illiterate.

Frankie’s First is a foundation started by LaLona to raise money for books that will be distributed to the homes of students in need ages pre-K through 12th grade. About 15 million children, one out of every four, live below the official poverty line. Frankie’s First believes that all children, despite their socio-economic background, deserve to have books to read at home.
LaLona met Frankie while serving as a 7th grade teacher in rural Arizona. Frankie was a eager student who desperately wanted to read, but her family could not afford books. This experience planted the idea for Frankie’s First in 2002, and has directed LaLona’s career path of teacher and literacy consultant for the past eight years.  Frankie's First and fighting childhood obesity are LaLona's platforms as Mrs Georgia.

LaLona’s primary way of raising money for Frankie’s First is through “Bootcamp for Books”. LaLona and several other degreed fitness professionals are now offering Buckhead’s only indoor bootcamp.  “Bootcamp for Books” will meet several times a day at IQ Fitness in Buckhead, and 100 % of all profits go to Frankie's First. The bootcamps will start the first week of December and run until the first week in February.  Each class is limited to four clients, ensuring proper assessment, individualized programs, and constant personal attention.
To take advantage of this unique opportunity to get in fabulous shape while helping students in need, please visit or email today! You can also follow her nutrition and fitness tips on this blog. 

LaLona's Radio Interview - Newstalk AM 1160's Women on the Move

On October 21st, I was honored to be a guest  of Newstalk AM 1160’s show Women on the Move.  The host, Jennifer Green, was a pleasure to meet!  She asked me “behind the scenes” questions about the beauty pageant world and wanted to know all about my personal charity, Frankie’s First, my work as a personal trainer and Boot Camp for Books campaign, and how I balanced that with my education consulting and role of wife and mother.  She also inquired about my top sponsors – the whole reason I am able to serve as Mrs. Georgia.  It was a delight to be on the show and a joy to talk about my passions in life with all of the Newstalk AM 1160 loyal listeners.   Thank you, Jennifer Green!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

LaLona's Fitness Tip #2: The Right Kind of Weight Training (FIT)

Weight training develops muscles, prevents injury, and sustains our bodies through grueling cardio workouts – right?  Well, maybe, maybe not.  Weight training does not help unless it is the right kind. In fact, if we are not careful it can easily hurt us.  I started my first weight training program around age 11 and have had one ever since, yet starting around college I began to have knee problems and aching joints.  Over the past two years I have had two knee surgeries. Why? I was not doing the right kind of weight training.

Traditional weight training, often done on machines, targets and isolates specific muscles in order to make them grow.   Though machines appear to be safer to use, they restrict movements to a single plane of motion, which is an unnatural form of movement for the body and may potentially lead to faulty movement patterns or injury.  These movements are not movements we do in our daily lives.  Long ago we realized through cause and effect that these exercises generated a growth in muscle, but it was not a research-based formulation of best practices for the body.

Functional Integrated Training (FIT), on the other hand, involves training the body for the activities performed in daily life (bending, lifting, carrying, etc.).  Instead of isolating one primary muscle like traditional weight lifting does, it calls for us to use multiple muscles with each exercise with an emphasis on always including the abdominals and lower back.  FIT emphasizes the body's natural ability to move in six degrees of freedom.  As a result, it may lead to better muscular balance and joint stability, possibly decreasing the number of injuries sustained in an individual's performance in a sport.

FIT is not just better for you, it also gets better results.  In 2009 Spennewyn conducted research, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, which compared functional training to fixed variable training techniques; this was considered the first research of its type comparing the two methods of strength training.  Results of the study showed very substantial gains and benefits in the functional training group over fixed training equipment. Functional users had a 58% greater increase in strength over the fixed-form group. Their improvements in balance were 196% higher over fixed and reported an overall decrease in joint pain by 30%. 

What does it look like?  An example of FIT would be this. Stand where you can see yourself in a mirror with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed outward, hands at your sides.  Squat down so that your thighs are parallel to the ground or lower, being careful to keep your back arched and your buttocks extended backward as far as possible (stick your butt out!). Simultaneously, raise your hands above your head and extend your thumbs in a “thumbs  up” fashion.  Repeat this exercise moving as quickly as you possibly can, striving to eventually do 60 in one minute. 

How did that feel? Hard, huh?  That is FIT. You just worked your leg, stomach, back, shoulders, and arm muscles. Well-done.  Ready to make it harder?  Add arm weights. 
Stay tuned for more FIT tips. I will soon be doing YouTube videos to demonstrate quick, effective moves you can do at home.

Monday, November 15, 2010

LaLona speaks at the Young Women in Excellence Night

On Tuesday, November 10th, I was honored to serve as the keynote speaker for the Young Women in Excellence Night at the Peachtree Corners Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This is a night to celebrate the church’s young women ages 12-18 and their accomplishments in their journeys toward completing the Personal Progress Program.  This is a program in the church designed to help young women strengthen their faith in and testimony of Jesus Christ as they learn His teachings and regularly apply them in their lives.
I was asked to speak on inner beauty and what it means to be beautiful in the eyes of Jesus Christ.  It was a remarkable evening, one of my favorite moments since being crowned Mrs. Georgia. I was touched by the young women’s faith, fortitude, and dedication, and blessed by meeting the incredibly strong women who serve as the leaders of this group. 
At the conclusion of the evening, each young woman was given a banner (like my Mrs. Georgia banner) that read, “Daughter of God” – what a wonderful title we all share!

Thank you, Jen, for asking me to participate.

Friday, November 12, 2010

LaLona Attends Event in Powder Springs

by Marcus E. Howard The Marietta Daily Journal
10.10.10 - 12:00 am
POWDER SPRINGS - Powder Springs residents proudly celebrated their city on Saturday during a revived Powder Springs Day.

Before it was discontinued in 2007, the community event had been a fall tradition for years. However, this weekend was the first time the city of Powder Springs has hosted the occasion. Cobb-based JRM Management helped the city plan and organize the one-day celebration.

Powder Springs Mayor Pat Vaughn and the city council thought it would be a good idea to revive Powder Springs Day in order to continue to build relationships with residents and businesses.

"Our citizens had been asking to bring it back," Vaughn said. "They loved the parade and so that's why we did it."

A morning parade began on Atlanta Street near the Powder Springs Library. The one-mile parade traveled north on Old Austell Road and then cut west onto Marietta Street, past the Country Store of Seven Springs, before ending at the intersection of Old Dallas Road and Jackson Way.

Residents lined both sides of the route, with arms stretched out, to catch candy and other goodies tossed by smiling parade participants.

Pastor Mike Wood of First Baptist Church of Powder Springs, a South Cobb Citizen of the Year, served as the parade's grand marshal. Participants included Vaughn and other politicians, the McEachern High School JROTC Color Guard, Hillgrove High School Marching Band, American Legion, Push Rods Antique Cars, students from Ace Premier Cheer Gym, Miss Cobb Outstanding Teen Copelyn Jue and Mrs. Georgia-America LaLona Richards.

"I've been coming here since I was a little girl," said Powder Springs native Casey Ledford, 23, who now lives with her husband Marc Ledford and daughter Elizabeth in nearby Dallas. Elizabeth, 2, was dressed in orange Halloween inspired clothing.

Following the downtown parade, there were arts and crafts, food, entertainment and children's activit ies in Powder Springs Town Square. City organizers expected several thousand people to attend throughout the day.

Among the entertainers were the Powder Springs Elementary School Chorus, the Downtown Dance Team and a solo performance by Aisha Bryant. LaLona Richards, Mrs. Georgia-America, was scheduled to kickoff her Frankie's First foundation in the area by requesting donations of new and gently used books that will be distributed to low-income schools.

The city of Powder Springs was incorporated as Springville in 1838. The land had previously belonged to two Cherokee Indian groups before the first settlers came to the area to find gold, according to historians. In 1859, after the "Trail of Tears" forced the Cherokee off the land, the name of the city was changed to Powder Springs in commemoration of seven local springs.

For decades, people like Charles and Jean Gibson have found their way to Powder Springs, tucked into the southwestern par t of the county and dotted with modest homes and country shops. The couple has called the city of roughly 15,600 people home for the past two years.

"It's very pleasant," said Charles Gibson, 66, as he watched the parade inch pass him. "Nice day, great morning and a nice thing to do."

City officials plan to continue Powder Springs Day as an annual event on the second Saturday of October.

"It was very successful and everyone enjoyed the day," said Vaughn.
Thanks for reading!
The Marietta Daily Journal 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Get Ready for the Holidays!!

Get ready for the Holidays!!

Come meet and listen to
LaLona Richards, Mrs. Georgia 2010
As she gives Holiday tips for Fashion, Health and Beauty!

See and Shop
Exclusive designer, Jana Kos
Winter Collection 2010

November 17, 2010
Noon - 2pm

The Lenox Grill at Lenox Square Mall

RSVP- Allison Carter 404-579-8623

ALLISON CARTER……..your partner in STYLE

 (404) 579-8623

LaLona's Beauty Tip #1 - Say No to Tanning Beds

It’s winter. You are not getting that natural Vitamin D from the sun that gives you the sun-kissed tan you desire, you know not to go the tanning bed, and you can’t justify the regular trips to the salon for a spray tan. What do you? 
I suggest Sally Hansen’s Airbrush Sun Especially for Body.  It is a spray, dries in 60 seconds, takes effect in 6 hours, and starts out quite light. Therefore, it can provide just enough color for winter – not a dark tan.  However, during the spring or summer months when you want a darker tan, you can apply a coat a day for three days and look beautifully golden. The tan lasts 5-7 days.  You can find the product at any drug store or most department stores and it runs about $13 a bottle.
Whatever you put on your skin gets inside your body, so please be cautious about using any product like this too much. Also, if you are in the market for a professional spray tan and live in Atlanta, there is no better place than Spa Sydell.  Go see Lona or Ramona at the Midtown location and I promise you will not be disappointed!