• This entry was posted in Fitness on January 14, 2016

  • Fitness comes more naturally during the warmer months. Nothing makes you want to stay curled up with a glass of wine more than a snowy driveway and frosty windows. Plus, it’s not like anyone can see muscle definition through oversized sweaters.

    But succumbing to the “winter slump” can significantly affect your overall health and happiness – and not in the good way. Here are a few tips for creating a winter fitness routine that works for you.

    - Schedule it. Plan your workouts a week in advance and treat them like work meetings – you wouldn’t bail on those, would you? Dose of reality: your exercise plans are just as important as your career-related ones.

    - Look at fitness classes. Many people need regular classes to motivate them to stay active, especially during the winter. Fitness classes make working out more of a social experience. Plus, trying different classes can keep your muscles guessing. Many people enjoy doing hot yoga during winter months, which not only builds flexibility, but focus and relaxation.

    - Try winter sports and activities. Volleyball or jogging might be your first love, but there’s at least one winter sport you can enjoy. Look at local ice hockey or ice skating leagues – both build strength and get your heart rate going. Don’t want to commit to a formal sport? You’d be surprised how many calories you can burn just playing in the snow!

    - Get a buddy. Enlist a friend or family member to help you stay active during the winter months. If it helps, set up a rewards system. Plan on hitting the gym together on a Saturday morning, followed by a light brunch at one of your favorite restaurants.

    - Find out what works for you. This can’t be stressed enough: striving for good is so much better than striving for perfect. Don’t plan on 6 AM workouts if you’re not a morning person, and don’t force yourself to go to the gym at 7 PM if that’s the time you love lazing on the couch in your pajamas. Cater your workout to your lifestyle, not the other way around.

    - Set up a home gym. If reluctance to face the cold weather is keeping you from living an active lifestyle, setting up a home gym could be your best option. A few dumbbells and an indoor rower, stationary bike, or elliptical, can go a long way.

    We know winter is a cozy and relaxing time, but there’s nothing calming about that moment around May 1 when you realize you’ve spent the whole winter letting yourself go. Snow days, movie marathons, and mugs of hot cocoa will be infinitely more enjoyable if you’re making an effort to take care of yourself.

    It’s easy and tempting to do, but don’t neglect your wellness goals this winter. You deserve the endorphins, energy, and overall glow and happiness that come from an active, healthy lifestyle. Live your best (active) life this winter – you’re worth it.

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on January 12, 2016

  • It’s easy to avoid healthy choices in the winter months. We’re curled up in sweaters and blankets, and no one will argue with the statement TV shows and books are more appealing than treadmills.

    But spring and summer will be here before you know it, and nothing sheds light on extra pounds gained during the winter season than the bright summer sun at the first pool party of the season.

    Forget your annual “warm weather is coming” diet and workout schedule. Wellness is a year-round effort.

    Here are a few tips for staying healthy this winter:

    1) Watch television – but move while you do it. This a great way to make the most of your relaxation time. It’s 100% okay to catch up on your favorite TV shows after dinner, but try to move for at least half the time. Place a yoga mat in front of your TV and practice a few basic yoga poses. Or arrange your laptop or TV in front of your favorite exercise equipment – nothing makes cardio more bearable than intriguing police procedurals.

    2) Practice moderation, and don’t try to be perfect. Expecting yourself to be superhuman is a surefire way to fail when it comes to your health goals.  Take a few nights off from working out each week, and don’t be afraid to indulge in a small portion of your favorite dessert once a week.

    3) Embrace winter fitness activities. Find a way to incorporate winter-friendly exercises into your social life. Ice skating is great cardio and works wonders for your legs – and you can do it while catching up with a friend!

    4) Make it a group activity. When you work out with friends, you have people to hold you accountable. It’s much easier to blow off a 6 AM solo gym session than it is to blow off a friend who’s planning on picking you up for a healthy breakfast and weight-lifting session in the morning.

    5) Play. Walk and play a game with your dog – the fun will take your mind off the calories you’re burning. Offer to join your kids on a bicycle or scooter ride around the neighborhood. Make physical activities social ones as well.

    6) Reward yourself with tasty, healthy treats. Protein-packed snacks like chocolate overnight oats and pumpkin quinoa breakfast cookies (with chocolate chips!), satisfy your sweet tooth and give you the fuel you need to get moving. Plus, they’re a lot of fun to make! Embrace your inner baker.

    7) Have summer in mind. Get in the best shape possible now so you can enjoy everything summer has to offer – outdoor runs, volleyball matches with your friends, and Frisbee sessions on the beach. Don’t let summer sneak up on you stuck on the couch!

    Most people struggle with how to keep active during the colder months, but if you plan strategically, there are plenty of ways to keep your muscles engaged and strong year round.

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on January 08, 2016

  • They say big progress is made in small steps. Significantly changing your life can’t happen with the snap of your fingers. It takes tiny everyday tweaks, AKA, “life hacks,” to adjust your life for the better.

    New Year’s Resolutions are made by 1 in 3 Americans, but kept by very few. At KETTLER USA, we believe health, wellness, and happiness are attainable to everyone.

    Below are six 100% doable life hacks you can use this year to make your resolution a reality – right now begins the journey to a better, stronger you.

    1. Make it visible. Post signs throughout your home. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier this year, having a printout of the words “Eat mindfully!” on your fridge could be instrumental in remembering not to over-indulge.

    2. Create small goals within your big goal. A goal to eat healthier is too broad. Put your goal into baby steps. For example, if your goal is to cook more, plan to only eat out at a restaurant once a week, and make the rest of your meals from scratch at home. Small steps are better than clumsy leaps.

    3. Be that annoying person. Tell your friends, family, significant other, and anyone who will listen about what you’re hoping to accomplish. Sometimes we need people to hold us accountable. Plus, how will you feel if you end up having to tell your grandma that you were not, in fact, able to cut back on that caffeine addiction? Don’t underestimate the power of impending shame as a motivator.

    4. Make sure you’re being realistic. Reevaluate your resolution if necessary – is it doable? You’re setting yourself up for failure if you’re vowing not to eat a single piece of chocolate in 2016. A more reasonable resolution: commit to only having one piece of chocolate per month.

    5. Plan a reward. Is there a concert coming to town in April that you really want to see? Tell yourself you’ll splurge on tickets if you’re able to cut back on spending per your New Year’s Resolution.

    6. Look at the big picture. For example, your goal to exercise three times a week isn’t just about looking better in your jeans. Regular exercise will have a significant impact on your overall wellbeing, health, and happiness – keep this in mind in moments when you’re struggling. Your resolution is about more than a quick fix – it’s about improving the quality of your life.

    Coming up with changes to implement in your habits on an annual basis is a fantastic tradition, but it falls short if these changes only last one to three months.

    Use the six strategies outlined above to work your way to a better you, and make sure to enlist your friends and family (and possibly your doctor, if your goal is health-related) to help you stay on track.

    Happy New Year – let 2016 be “the year of you.”

    Still need help choosing a resolution? Here are some of the most popular resolutions for 2016.

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on December 22, 2015

  • It’s not easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle with your aunt begging you to try the double chocolate fudge peanut butter cookies she brought for this year’s holiday feast. “I’m watching what I eat,” or “I’m on a diet,” often prompts eye rolls, and exclamations of, “It won’t kill you! Just a bite!”

    Pressure aside, it’s hard to watch friends and loved ones consume tasty concoctions and endless wine while nesting on the couch, without being swayed to the “dark side.”

    Here are a few realistic tips for staying healthy, and eating and living with intention during the holiday season.

    1) Bring your own. There’s an abundance of healthy holiday cookies and dishes you can bring to a potluck or party this year. If you bring your own, you can guarantee at least one healthy item will be on the table. Plus, people will appreciate healthier choices amongst the heavier food more typical at holiday gatherings.

    2) Prepare your stomach. You never want to approach a holiday party or meal on an empty stomach. Always eat a solid snack with plenty of protein, like a handful of nuts, or peanut butter and celery, before going to an outing. It will keep you full enough to use your reason and refrain from diving for the eggnog and sugar cookies.

    3) Indulge. A little. Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite treats completely. Snack slowly on one or two cookies, and enjoy a glass of red wine (one of the healthiest alcoholic drinks you can opt for). If you indulge a little, you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth. Refusing to eat anything unhealthy over the holidays could result in a secret midnight session with the cookie tray.

    4) Move it! We know the holidays are a time to relax and hang out with loved ones, but you’ll feel awful if you don’t find some way to incorporate movement into your holiday plans. Go for a walk as a group, or play an active game with the kids – physical activity makes for great quality time!

    5) Be careful what you drink. Seasonal drinks are loaded in calories – and alcoholic ones can tear apart any plans you had for eating mindfully. We’re more likely to consume unnecessary calories while drinking, so limit it to 1-2 drinks a night. Icing on the cake: the less you have to drink, the less likely you are to embarrass yourself. Don’t be that relative.

    It’s hard to stay healthy during the holidays. It’s a time of celebration and adventure after all – who wants to spend that time counting calories? But it’s not likely you’ll enjoy the wonder of the season if you’re feeling bloated, loaded, and weighed down by plates of turkey and mugs of mulled wine. Celebrate the season with cheer and your most ugly Christmas sweater, but don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process. With these five tips in mind, you can have fun, avoid the nickname “wet blanket,” eat mindfully, and start the New Year on a positive note.

  • This entry was posted in Toys on December 18, 2015

  • Playing outside is a great way to help your kids have fun and stay fit. There are many benefits to outdoor play, including exercise, socialization and strengthening muscles. Have your kids enjoy the fall weather and unplug indoor games and TV and send them outside for some fun and a little fitness. Here are a few outdoor games the whole family will enjoy!

    1. Bean Bag Toss or cornhole is a perfect outdoor game that the whole family can enjoy. It takes a balance of luck and skill to get the hang of, but once you get the form down it’s everyones favorite game. The game is played with two sets of wooden boards set 27 feet apart (or closer if you are playing with younger children). There are dozens of beanbag toss games available made for all ages and skill levels.

    2. Outdoor Chess with a giant chess set with spaces big enough to stand in, chess teaches kids motor skills, strategy, creativity and how to play by the rules. This game is played on a life-size black-and-white checkerboard with large resin chess pieces. Each player moves the one- to two-foot-tall pieces in this classic strategy board game. Each piece has a specific rule for how it can be moved. The game is over when the opponent’s king becomes trapped on the board, known as a checkmate. Outdoor chess can be played by two players or by several kids divided into two teams. KETTLER giant chess sets are made of resin is about ten feet square and can be weighted down with gravel if needed.

    3. Table Tennis is a great way to create a little friendly competition. Two or four players are needed for a game. Table tennis tables can be designed for indoor or outdoor use. Models with a true play-back feature can be set up for children to practice or play by themselves. Table tennis is a popular after-school activity for a range of ages.

    4. Bocce is a classic outdoor game, it can be played in the grass or even on the beach. Standard bocce balls weigh about 2 pounds, which can be heavy for younger kids. Some variations of bocce are available with more kid-friendly with lighter weight balls and plastic rings. Bocce is a fun challenge for all ages and a simple outdoor game to get the hang of.

    5. Hide and Seek can be enjoyed indoors and out, with two or more players. It can even be played with Mom, Dad or the babysitter. One person, often designated as “It,” closes their eyes and counts to 20 while the others hide within the boundaries. After announcing “Ready or not, here I come,” It looks for all of the other players. The first one who is found becomes It in the next round. There are many variations on the game, and the rules should be agreed upon before it begins.