AJ Williams, FrontPage Web Editor
AJ Williams: Web/Social Media Editor/Columnist/Writer for the Michigan Chronicle, FRONTPAGE Detroit and Praise Connect Detroit. She's a local media personality who has worked with Mason Radio on 107.5 FM, host of The MIXX TV Show with UDetroit and producer of the "The LovEXperience Series for ARCH Executives. Under her personal brand "I AM AJ Williams" she provides voiceovers and talk show formats including hosting and interviewing.
There’s nothing hotter than the summer body developed from a dedicated exercise regime and use of proper gear. The following is FrontPage Detroit’s must-have workout gear for the summer and beyond. These products will motivate you to work out safely and have fun in the process. Be sure to choose an exercise program that is right for you. It’s hot outside; remember to stay hydrated and rest when needed.
Nike Lunartr1+ (Men’s)/ Lunar Hyperworkout + Sports pack (Women’s): *Nike is advancing the way you train. The Nike Lunartr1+/Hyperworkout+ is one shoe from the Nike+ line that features a sensor chip in the shoe to track how fast you’re moving, how hard you’re working and how high you’re jumping. The Lunar Tr1+/Hyperworkout+ also communicates with your phone via the free Nike+ training app to display and track reps and intensity and includes game-like routines to keep your workout fun and exciting. Beyond the technology, this shoe is amazingly comfortable and supportive. Well worth the price.
Online: Nike.com, Men’s $235 Women’s $220
ASICS Lock Zip Bra: This bra is for those ladies who are more gifted in the chest area. Working out can be uncomfortable when you’re not supported properly. ASICS Lock Zip Bra offers superior support via two layers of cups for women with sizes ranging from 34-40 C-DD. The Lock Down zipper ensures that not only are you supported but that it is easy to remove. It also includes an extra protection clasp for D and DD sizes. The mesh inserts maximize breathability. The comfort and support of this bra is exceptional.
Online: ASICSamerica.com, $60
Reebok Crossfit Light Compression Shirt: Men, this shirt will be the highlight of your workout gear. Reebok’s Crossfit Light Compression Shirt features PlayDry wick technology, meaning you can work hard and stay relatively dry. Strategically placed mesh provides breathability. You can work hard and smell good as it also features anti-microbial treatments to keep odor at bay. Beyond its functionality, Crossfit looks great on. It comes in black and white with army fatigue sleeves. You are sure to command attention as you take on your competitors.
Available at Footlocker: $44.99
Puma Pulse Watch: Keep your heart rate in check with Puma’s Pulse Watch. Included in the Pulse Watch are a 99 lap counter and a dual alarm and countdown timer. You can race a friend and know and prove beyond a doubt that you won with this watch because of its accuracy. No worries if you forget to take it off before a swim; the Pulse Watch is water resistant for up to 50 meters. Downside, it only comes in one color combo, black and green.
Available at Puma stores: $85
New Balance Hydration Energy Belt: New Balance got it right with the Hydration Energy Belt. It is the ideal storage system for serious runners with two holsters on either side to hold the two 10 oz. flasks and an outer pocket for gel packs if you need to refuel. It’s lightweight, nearly 9 oz. You will be prepared for a serious endurance run with this pack.
I am very excited to announce this blog on FRONTPAGE Detroit.com. Just like our paper, our website and our blogs are geared to cater to you. LOVE...is a very big component of a man or woman’s life. It is human nature to want to be loved and to love someone.
With that being said LOVE is one of the most complex of all human emotions, add in the opposite sex and how they view love and let the confusion begin. There are numerous books, blogs and articles on the topics of love and relationships. Being a woman that has been single, married, divorce and looking for love again. I am HERE with you in the trenches. To help me I have four brothers, a host of great guy friends, a over protective mom, a life of crazy experiences, married and single girlfriends that help me make sense of my own love life and allow me to give REAL TALK relationship advice. (Sometimes the message is to the preacher first!!)
I have been called “True Love’s Advocate” because I believe that a life built on love for yourself, love for the passions you have in life and love for those closest to you, is a life worth living. So here’s to you and here’s to LOVE!!!
But, WAIT!!!! I can’t do this by myself, so....I want to hear from you. Email me all your crazy stories, questions and comments on love, men, relationships and even sex (you can even change the name to protect the guilty...I mean innocence).
P.S. Men don’t feel left out, I know you have questions. So, please email me too and get a woman eye view of what’s really going on when it comes to love!
Love and Blessings,
Automakers pitch new small cars, from the Fiat 500 to the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic to the Acura ILX, as models designed to appeal to America's urban-oriented Generation Y. Marketing experts fill product presentations with statistics and anecdotes of how tuned-in youth fetishize smartphones, the Internet, and keeping in touch with friends via Facebook from their loft apartments in "walkable" cities.
Cars? Not so much.
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The problem begins with the assumption that youth moving back to the cities want A- or B-segment hatchbacks, when they're more likely to spend the money on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and $2000-plus bikes.
Gen Y has car enthusiasts, of course, just like every other age group. As always, car enthusiasts are a minority. Today's young people appear to have less interest in driving and owning a car than do their mainstream, non-enthusiast older counterparts.
The Great Recession's effect on the ability of 16- to 34-year-olds to find a good-paying job has exacerbated this, according to the Frontier Group's study, "Transportation and the New Generation," by Benjamin Davis and Tony Dutzik, released last spring. If the U.S. automotive market has truly recovered from its 10.4-million-unit nadir in 2009 to an expected 13.5- to 14-million this year, it's without much help from the under-35 age group.
The share of 14- to 34-year-olds without a driver's license was 26 percent in 2010, up from 21 percent in 2000, the study says, quoting the Federal Highway Administration. In 2009, the 16- to 34-year-old age group took 24-percent-more bike trips than in 2001, even as its population shrank by 2 percent. The same age group walked to more destinations in '09 than in '01, and the distance it traveled by public transit increased 40 percent.
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Young people are returning to big cities and to near-urban, walkable suburbs, co-author Dutzik says. Many remain "connected" via smartphone for their entire mass transit commutes to and from work. They also are more interested in saving the planet, he says, though the economy remains the biggest factor. These young non-drivers are weaning themselves from cars, and won't necessarily rush to buy them when the job market improves.
"The economics of driving are still going to be different for young people," Dutzik continues, citing Department of Energy projections for future oil prices. While gas prices faithfully deflated after each oil shock we've had since 1973, the Frontier Group doesn't expect gas to come down much below $3.50 per gallon from here on.
Besides new mass-transit and proposed rapid-transit projects like controversial high-speed rail, Dutzik points to car-sharing services like ZipCar and smartphone apps that can tell you how long before the next bus arrives at your stop.
" Non-drivers are weaning themselves from cars and won't necessarily rush to buy them when the job market improves. "
The Frontier Group's study is designed to "issue a wake-up call for where you spend the money," Dutzik adds. Along with new alternatives, this means reallocating Federal Highway Trust Funds to existing roads that need repair, rather than to expanding roads or building new ones.
Our lack of a coherent federal transportation policy and the notion of spending Federal Highway Trust Fund monies on mass transit rather than roads is an age-old political hot button. But the Trust Fund doesn't cover 100 percent of new highway projects. New mass transit projects face strict approval processes, while new highways are easily approved, Dutzik says.
"We need a pretty frank and clear debate about what our transportation priorities are," he concludes. If Generation Y has its say, cars and new highways won't be a big part of that priority.
Too many models chasing too few buyers?
Will modern youth's aversion to cars and driving affect the auto industry? Automakers without full lineups, like Subaru, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki already are on notice, while companies like Fiat, Peugeot Citroen PSA, and Opel/Vauxhall struggle in their home markets.
In North America, automakers have cut capacity from about 23 million units annually before the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse, when sales peaked just above 17 million, to a lower, unknown number. No one seems to have a reliable capacity estimate, though it's certainly still higher than the 13.5- to 14-million cars and trucks Americans will buy this year.
Though automakers doing business in North America and Western Europe are seeking ways to cut capacity without causing excessive labor union pain, they're continuing to split automotive segments into "micro-niches."
In October 2006, AutoPacific estimated there would be "at least" 324 nameplates on the U.S. market by 2011, part of its ongoing "atomization" analysis. This counts, for example, the Volkswagen Jetta as one nameplate, and doesn't separate the TDI, wagon, or trim levels.
Since that study, the Great Recession has put an end to the 17-million unit years, and has taken with it Pontiac, Saturn, Saab, Hummer, and Mercury. Last year, there were 285 nameplates on the market instead of the 324 it projected before those brands disappeared, AutoPacific says.
The Germans are continuing to break out more new niche models, says Ed Kim, AutoPacific's vice president for industry analysis. Commonized, rationalized architecture is making this economically feasible, and it's easier for a high-margin luxury model to make money for an automaker than it is for a commodity model. So the next major economic downturn is likely to have one or both of these effects on the auto industry; (1) Commodity brands will have to take advantage of the relative health and margins of premium and luxury models (see, 2014 Chevrolet Impala, Ford's Titanium trim levels); (2) We will lose more brands. Unless Gen Y finds high-paying jobs and has a collective "eureka" moment about the joys of personal automobile ownership.