Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Carpool Moms" on Google

I just searched for "Carpool Moms" on Google for the heck of it- on the first page, this blog is item #2, our Carpool Karma press release is #4, and the Carpool Karma website is in at #6. Cool. (Some other good links on there about similar issues - what to do while waiting in the carpool line, and other gifts for carpool moms like us.)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Brain Exercise – At What Age?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the growing trend of older people starting to “work out” their brains in brain gyms. But it got me thinking – that article, and many others you read about brain exercises and other methods to prevent memory loss and things like Alzheimer’s Disease are very focused on the elderly. On a certain level this makes sense because those are the people that are starting to feel the effects of dementia or other reduced brain functions. It’s usually not a problem for them to find time to sit down and do some brain exercises and in some cases, going to a “brain gym” or doing some mental games at the nursing home can be as much of a fun diversion or activity as anything else.

But what about younger people? Wouldn’t it make sense to start working out your brain before the first signs show up that something’s going downhill? Brain exercise is like physical exercise. If you are already in good physical shape it’s easier to stay in shape. Same with your brain - presumably, if you’ve been taking steps to keep it sharp and stimulate it, it will be easier to stay that way into older age.

That’s the approach that motivated us to create our Carpool Karma brain and body exercise CD for moms. There are also plenty of brain games for kids on the web, and we’ll be developing some of our own as well for future Newrobics audio CDs. These are not just marketing ploys - research suggests that mental exercise is important before we get to old age. Another survey I found shows that old age begins at 27 - in other words, your mental abilities begin to naturally decline starting much sooner than you’d think. Whether your mind is a “steel trap” or (like me) you can never remember where you put your car keys, it’s important to start consciously exercising your brain.

And guess what? Research also shows that physical exercise is good for brain fitness too, and the Alzheimer's Research & Prevention Foundation agrees. So, an integrated brain and body exercise regimen is a great way to get your mind – and body – into shape.

Monday, March 30, 2009

“Oh My Gosh - You Have Legs!” – The Ballad of the Carpool Mom

It all started at a PTA meeting. Another mother, who I knew from around the neighborhood, came up to me with a look of (fake) astonishment. “Oh my gosh – you have legs!” she said. I thought that was kind of a strange thing to say, but she continued: “I have known you for years, and I have never seen you not behind the wheel of that green Chrysler van. I have only seen you from here (she pointed to her waist) up- I had no idea you had legs!” That elicited a round of laughs from the other moms, and me as well, but it got me thinking. I live in my car. To school. “Mommy I forgot my lunch at home.” Back to school. To ceramics. To Little League. From ceramics. From a friend’s house. To their cousins’. From youth groups. On, and on, and on. Some days I’m in the car for literally hours. It’s a never-ending circular tour of our town. Full stop.

Now there are lots of things you can do in the car. The cellphone (hands free of course). Radio, but I can’t seem to find a channel that only has good news. Audiobooks, OK, but that’s a commitment and I do a lot of short hops, hard to stay focused. But at around the time of the abovementioned fateful PTA meeting I was trying to figure out how to work some type of exercise routine into my crazy schedule. Separately, the elderly mother of one of my relatives with whom I’m close, was starting to slip into the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and I had been reading about mental exercises and ways to prevent such things from developing. These things were all on my mind when I bumped into my friend Malkie, and then everything clicked. Malkie is a mom of five, and an experienced fitness trainer who has developed lots of interesting fitness methods including the AquaTread water fitness program. I bounced my idea off her: Did she think we could develop a CD for carpool moms like us, with fun and interesting mental exercises, and physical exercises that you could do while sitting and waiting in the car? The rest as they say was history.

We spent months researching, developing and testing. My hubby came up with the name “Carpool Karma.” Then it was time to record the CD and start a company, which we named Newrobics. Our initial product, the Carpool Karma CD, will be available April 7. The journey into momtrepreneurship has already been fascinating and we hope it will continue to be exciting and creative. We’ll continue to blog about our experiences from time to time. Wish us luck!