• This entry was posted in Bikes on June 01, 2016

  • Limitless roads before you, a warm summer sky, a spark of adventure, and unexpected surprises ahead, you can experience so much life just through traveling on your bike. Forget leisurely walks on the beach or relaxing days spent at the spa, many people are now opting for the active vacations to match their lifestyles.

    Bike vacations are the ideal way to explore uncharted territories without breaking the bank or your diet. And there are numerous exciting trips you can take in the US while traveling and enjoying life primarily on a bike. Here are a few of our favorites:

    California Wine Country. Love wine and biking? This might be your dream vacation. Explore the luscious landscapes of the West Coast while indulging in some of the best wine in the world. Wine Country Bikes, a company that specializes in “cycling adventures” in Sonoma and Napa, has several different options available for planning an unforgettable tour of California Wine Country, from quick one day tours to adventures that last multiple days.

    Arizona Mountain Biking. Roam the desert and experience breathtaking views in the Colorado Plateau. Plan your own adventure with this list of the best mountain biking trails in Arizona. Interested in a guided tour? Escape Adventures hosts them throughout the year.

    Vermont. Filled with charming towns and lovely green landscapes, Vermont can provide you with an unforgettable biking experience. Great Freedom Adventures curates a variety of Vermont bike tours, including a “Best of Vermont Tour” and “Maritime Beer and Bike Adventure Tours.”

    Santa Fe Bike and Brew. Called “one of the most innovative and unique cycling and craft beer festivals in the country,” Outside Bike and Brew has activities for cyclers at any level, as well as some of the best national and local beer around.

    Interested in learning more about bike tours offered around the country? America By Bicycle offers incredible overnight trips in many different areas of the country, and Adventure Cycling offers over a hundred tours in 40 different states.

    Going on a long distance bike trip can be eye-opening and life changing, cementing friendships, forming new bonds, and experiencing unparalleled views of the natural beauty of our country – all while doing something fantastic for your health.

    Not up for a long distance trip? You can still mix a healthy dose of biking into your vacation. Most major cities offer daylong bike tours for tourists. And if you’re not planning a vacation anytime soon, check out local trails and other bike friendly locations in your town. A sweet summer picnic followed by a short bike ride could be just the getaway you need.

  • This entry was posted in Patio on May 26, 2016

  • A tribute to those who have served our country and sacrificed their lives for our freedom, many people host barbeques, cookouts, and other outdoor parties to celebrate Memorial Day.

    From festive and scrumptious food, to lively decorations, to the right mix of people and conversation-starters, below are a few tips to ensure your Memorial Day fiesta is a smashing success.

    Kick off the summer this year by inviting your closest friends and neighbors over for a night of yummy food and fun.

    Prepare the ultimate finger food. Chances are your backyard area isn’t equipped with seats for everyone. With that in mind, choose your foods carefully. Offer a wide variety of finger foods so people can chow down and chat while standing. Plus, finger food creates a more festive and adventurous environment, encouraging your guests to eat more and try more! A few ideas: bacon and cheese deviled eggs, marinated Greek chicken kabobs, and berry patriotic cupcakes.

    Set up some activities. Help your guests break the ice with the option to engage in some friendly competition. Easy to play and explain, and simple to set up, corn hole is an excellent choice for summer barbeques. Another fun option: have sets of cards scattered throughout your sitting areas in case anyone wants to strike up a game.

    Think carefully about whom you invite. Make sure you get the right group of people together for your outdoor gathering. Will this be a family function? If so, maybe pass on inviting friends who are likely to get rowdy. Aching for a crazy and rambunctious girl’s night? Don’t invite little kids you’ll have to censor your conversations around.

    Remember what Memorial Day is all about. Don’t ignore the true meaning behind the holiday you’re celebrating. Plan to say a few words or offer some sort of tribute to those who have bravely and selflessly served our country throughout the years. An interactive idea your guests will love: set up a tribute wall (which can be as simple as a large piece of stand-up cardboard) and have people post tributes and thank yous on pieces of red, white, and blue paper.

    We hope you have a fun and relaxing holiday this year. Hopefully the tips above will help you set up a shindig that will not only honor the true meaning behind the holiday, but provide your friends and family with an opportunity to kick back, bond, make new friends, and enjoy each other’s company on what’s sure to be a lovely beginning to the summer season.

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on May 25, 2016

  • Temperatures are rising and smiles are growing broader – it’s summertime at last! Pool parties, outdoor barbeques, and fun and games in the sun are just a few of the awesome activities you have to look forward to this season.

    But if the idea of wearing a swimsuit, or engaging in a strenuous game of Capture the Flag is giving you anxiety, the approaching summer season could seem like a curse instead of a blessing.

    Many people gain extra weight during the winter months – especially during the holiday season. From seasonal depression, to the inconvenience of going outside when it’s cold, you’re not alone if you’ve let the weather weigh you down a bit this year.

    Don’t let weight gain or inactivity ruin the time of year many people call their favorite. Here are a few tips for helping you shape up and get moving in time to celebrate the summer season in all its glory.

    Take an inventory of your clothing. This might sound counterintuitive, but before you plan your workout and weight loss routine, go through your closet and try on your warm weather clothing. If you don’t have anything that still fits, it’s time to hit the store. There’s nothing that kills your motivation to move more than ill-fitting and uncomfortable clothing. Even if you know your new clothing is “only temporary,” you deserve to feel loved and comfortable no matter what size you are.

    Find a fun new (and active) hobby. There are many new fitness trends to try this year, and we’re sure you’ll fall in love with at least one. From barre, to kettlebell, to jogging, vow to mix up your routine and try something new. It could end up being the ultimate motivator to get you back in shape.

    Get reacquainted with your grill. There’s nothing lovelier than grilling up a yummy and healthy meal while enjoying the warm weather and a glass of red wine. Experiment with healthy grill recipes, like chicken skewers, and swordfish. You’ll feel satisfied in a way that helps you reach your health and wellness goals.

    Enjoy leisurely walks. A time to catch up with close friends and loved ones and enjoy the beautiful summer scenery, walking can do so much more than just help you get in shape. Start small: come up with a goal to walk 5-7 miles a week. Paired with strength training (and a healthy diet), you’ll be amazed at the strides you can make.

    No matter where you are in your fitness journey, don’t let a slow winter drag you down as we head into warmer weather. Embrace the summer season and the endless opportunities it gives you for getting healthy and staying active, and you’ll be taking care of your body the way you deserve in no time at all.

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on May 19, 2016

  • Weights, cardio, gymnastics, Zumba. It’s been repeatedly established that the best way to get results is to mix up your workout routine. Experts recommend trying new activities every once and a while to keep your muscles engaged and guessing.

    Lucky for you, new fitness fads emerge every few months. It’s easy to mix up your workout routine with access to a full schedule of different classes at the gym, private studios, and specialized personal trainers.

    Here are a few exciting fitness fads we think you might fall in love with this summer. Happy exploring!

    Barre. Barre classes involve body weight exercises, moves with small dumbbells, and of course, intense isometric movements at the bar. There are numerous barre studios popping up around the country, from Pure Barre, to barre3, to boutique local studios. Many chain gyms also offer these classes.

    Kettlebell. Less of a fad and more of a fitness staple that people have been reaping the benefits of since the 1700s, kettlebells are one of the most efficient ways to get a full body workout that incorporates some serious strength training. Pro tip: take a few classes or work with a trainer before attempting kettlebell workouts. Technique and form are key if you want to avoid injury.

    Aerial exercise. Who wouldn’t want to fly while getting fit? With an apparatus attached to the ceiling, you can move your body in dance-like motions, increasing your flexibility and strength, and experiencing the ultimate adrenaline rush. Most major cities have studios that offer some form of aerial exercise.

    Orange Theory Fitness. Said to take away all of the anxiety that comes from exercise classes, Orange Theory Fitness is a group circuit training class (or interval training center) that will motivate you, monitor you, and push you into the “Orange Zone.” (It’s a good thing.)

    Hot yoga. Intense, sweaty, and liberating, hot yoga takes many people’s yoga practice to the next level with high temperatures that some say can increase your flexibility and relaxation. Hot yoga is typically offered at specialty yoga studios.

    Fitness classes are a great way to stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. And nothing beats the day after “hurts so good” soreness that comes from trying a new activity that your body isn’t used to.

    What are some of your favorite new fitness fads?

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on May 17, 2016

  • Are you a victim of relationship weight gain? Some studies say our romantic relationships (and sometimes the stress they cause) can have a negative impact on our health. When we feel safe, we’re less inclined to choose the treadmill over chips. And since many people mirror their partner’s eating habits, the fall to poor health isn’t a solo one. Couples in love can have a tendency to get a little too comfortable together.

    Sound familiar? If so, don’t stress too much. With hard work and planning, you (and your partner) can get back on track. And it can even be fun! Below are five active date night ideas that can propel you onto the path toward living a healthier lifestyle together.

    Try a new fitness class. Studio classes are all the rage right now – and there are so many to choose from! Do some research and sign the two of you up for something new and exciting. There’s nothing more romantic than charging into the unknown together.

    Go on an evening stroll or jog. When the weather is nice, set out at a mutually agreeable pace and enjoy the cool summer air. If you’re walking, take this opportunity to connect and talk about work, friends, hobbies, TV shows, etc. If you’re running, enjoy the peaceful quiet time with your partner by your side.

    Hit the gym. Be your own personal trainers. Are you great at weights but not into cardio? Maybe your significant other kills it on the treadmill, but fears the weight room. Share your workout routines and encourage each other to mix it up and try new things.

    Swim. You don’t have to swim dozens of laps solo to get a good workout in the pool. Hop in, splash each other for fun, and swim around at your leisure. Even moderate social swimming is a fantastic full body workout.

    Get a game going. Double date with another active couple and set up a friendly game of beach volleyball or basketball. Competing together can strengthen your bond, and you’ll have loads of fun crushing the competition!

    Couples that sweat together stay together.  Ruts are bound to happen, but don’t forget that your partner should be the number one person encouraging you to be your healthiest and happiest self. Lift each other up with these five fun active date nights. Because helping your partner stay active is the ultimate way to show you care.