• This entry was posted in on March 13, 2017

  • St. Patrick’s Day is coming.  Whether you’re of Irish descent or not there are generally a lot of fun events for adults and even for kids to join.  So, how can you make this festive holiday a wee bit of fun for you and your family?

    Get Crafty

    There are plenty of crafts to help get your children excited for St. Patrick’s Day, and ways to include them in decorating your home for any festivities.  

    - St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow in a Jar:  You have to make your way through the rainbow of Skittles to find the Leprechaun’s gold!  This can help your child learn about the colors of the rainbow, and they can sneak a few Skittles while making this special treat.

    - Stained Glass Rainbow: All you need is some tissue paper, wax paper and glue.  Tear up colored tissue paper (colors of the rainbow), tear off a sheet of wax paper.  Spread glue on the wax paper in the shape of the rainbow and then place tissue paper on the glue. Use a second piece of wax paper covered with glue and place over the top of the rainbow and your stained glass rainbow is complete.

    Get Active

    It depends on where you live, but there are often times a lot of fun activities for families on or near St. Patrick’s Day.  There are parades that showcase Irish Step Dancing, local Irish groups play music, and lots of great Irish food.   Some of the most famous and fun activities include:

    - Dyeing the Chicago River Green: If you live in Chicago, then head on to the Chicago River to see 45 pounds of vegetable dye get poured into the river to turn it a festive green color for the day. 

    - Leprechaun Hunts: Cities like Philadelphia and Chicago host Leprechaun hunts for children, in which children and parents participate together in a scavenger hunt to find Leprechauns and win prizes!

    - Leprechaun Dash: This is a special race as part of the Shamrock Marathon series, in which children ages 6 months to 5 years old can participate in their own race.  A 26.2 yard run, as these dashers reach the finish line, they are celebrated with a finishers medal, cheers from the crowd and more.  It’s a great way for young runners to get excited about St. Patrick’s Day, or to participate with their parents.

    Get Cooking

    We’re going to stick to a few sweet treats for St. Patrick’s Day, however, there are most definitely plenty of savory recipes that you can introduce your children to.  Corned Beef and cabbage, Irish Soda Bread are two of the better known Irish dishes for St. Patrick’s Day.  But, let’s have some fun with these tasty treats:

    - St. Patrick’s Day Crispy Treats: Your typical Rice Crispy Treats get a twist, add a little bit of green food dye to the melted marshmallows and turn these into special green treats.  (Get extra creative, and use a Shamrock cookie cutter to make them in the shape of Shamrocks).

    - Green Candied Popcorn:  Add a little bit of butter, sugar, corn syrup, green food coloring and more to spice up a normal bowl of popcorn.  Surprise your kids with their very own green popcorn.

    May the luck of the Irish be on your side this St. Patrick’s Day and we hope that you’re able to enjoy a fun-filled green weekend with your family.

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on February 22, 2017

  • No matter your fitness goals, there’ll be times you don’t feel like leaving the house. The trek down the stairs, to your car, and to the gym will seem unnecessary and unmanageable.

    Having a few pieces of simple exercise equipment at home is essential to maintaining serious fitness goals. If you don’t make exercise convenient to your lifestyle, it’s not likely to happen.

    That’s why we love fitness balls at KETTLER USA. With this one fun and colorful tool on hand, you can get a full body workout without leaving your living room.

    Below is a quick fitness ball workout we guarantee will make you sweat.

    Warm up. Sit down on the exercise ball. Spread your legs apart in front of you, knees bent, and do some sit ups while balancing on the ball using your feet as anchors. Do this 100-150 times.

    Squat and reach. Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly. Make sure your back is completely straight and that your arms are raised out parallel to the floor in front of you. Rotate your hips and reach with the ball held between your hands to the left. Hold for 10-15 seconds, and then switch to your right. Do each side 10 times.

    Ball squeeze squat. Stand up with your legs spread, knees slightly bent. Place the fitness ball between your legs. Squat down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, and squeeze the ball as many times as you can – aiming for at least 20-30 short consecutive squeezes.

    Crunches. Sit down on the ball with your feet in front of you and hip-width apart. Cross your arms across your chest and lean back slightly, keeping your back perfectly straight. Hold for three seconds and then move back up. Do 2-3 sets of 20 crunches each.

    Fitness ball push-up. Lie facedown on the ball with your hands and feet on the ground and stomach on the ball. Carefully walk your hands forward until your shins are on the ball and you’re in a push-up position. Slowly lower your upper body down until your elbows are at 90-degree angles. Lift yourself back up and repeat 10-15 times. If you’re up for it, rest for a few minutes, and then do another set, this time holding yourself down at the bottom for three seconds per push-up.

    Fitness balls are an ideal exercise tool for anyone who loves working out at home or on the go. You can take basic exercises to whole new levels, and keep your muscles guessing and challenged. Plus, fitness balls are compact and hardly an eyesore! When you’re done with your workout, just move your ball off to the side. An even better idea: use your exercise ball as a chair in your home office.


  • This entry was posted in Fitness on February 06, 2017

  • You take calls, send emails, consult your employees, sit in conference rooms for what seems like endless hours a day, and probably eat every meal at your desk. You’re working on a career you’re proud of, but your busy schedule makes it hard to fit exercise into your days.

    We know it’s challenging to stay active when you’re juggling multiple priorities, but your busiest times are when it’s most importance to make an effort to move more.

    Exercise not only improves your overall mental health and happiness, but functions as a great stress reliever. Anxious about a meeting tomorrow? An hour break on a cardio machine could be just what you need.

    If you’re successful in business, but struggling with fitness, here are a few of our favorite and most efficient exercises you can do on the go.

    1) Simple free weight exercises. Basic moves like the triceps extension and bicep curl are classics for a reason: they’re easy to do and highly effective, plus a set of free weights shouldn’t set you back financially.

    2) Medicine ball routines. Medicine balls are small exercise balls (around 14 inches) that come in a variety of weights – you can choose the one most suitable for you based on your level of fitness. Medicine ball exercises work your whole body, especially your core.

    3) Squats. Squats can be done anywhere, as long as you’re wearing flexible clothing you can move in. There are many different types of squats other than the classic variation that you can incorporate into your routine on the go and get a stellar workout with.

    4) Pushups. When it comes to fitness, sometimes it’s best to go back to the basics. You can always make your pushup form better and pushups are one of the best ways to work your upper body with zero equipment – meaning you can do them anywhere.

    5) Innovative floor ab work. Sure, situps are easy to do on the go, but they can get boring. Explore different ways to work your abs to exhaustion using only your body. No fancy gadgets or equipment needed!

    6) Work out in your chair. It’s no secret that we love using exercise balls as chairs at work. Keep your muscles guessing and engaged all day long.

    7) Midday walks or runs timed with your breaks. Working all day without taking breaks can affect your health and the quality of your work. Schedule breaks throughout the day that can also function as exercise. A couple of fifteen minute brisk strolls around the building can burn a surprising amount of calories and clear your head for important meetings.

    A vibrant professional career can be rewarding, fun, and propel you forward in achieving happiness. But you can’t get there without simultaneously working on your health.

    With many effective exercises involving zero equipment, there’s no excuse for letting your wellness slip your mind. Plan your workouts like they’re mandatory meetings – we know you’d never miss one of those!

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on January 26, 2017

  • In the beginning of the year, gyms often see as high as a 30 to 50 percent increase in visitors. New Year’s Resolutions to get stronger, fitter, and skinnier often prompts millions of Americans to adjust their eating habits and start moving more. Most sign up for gym memberships that they’ll likely stop using come February, only to start the cycle all over again come the next New Year.

    Out of sight, out of mind. The best way to ensure you get and stay in shape this year is to make it as easy as possible. Having a well-rounded gym in your home is the ultimate way to meet your fitness goals.

    There’s no excuse. An in home gym never closes. You can work out whenever you please – whether it’s 6 AM before work, 5:30 PM before dinner, or midnight when you’re done with your day. Plus, no commute time makes it easier to fit fitness into your schedule.

    Maximum efficiency. You won’t have to suffer through unwanted small talk, change and shower in the locker room, or wait your turn for the best machines.

    You’ll ooze confidence. A lot of people are intimated by going to the gym because they’re scared they’ll be ogled, or judged for being in poor shape. This often affects women the worst – 14% of women polled in a survey said they were intimated by men looking at them at the gym, and only 8% said they’d feel comfortable asking someone how much longer they were going to take with a machine. Intimidation and degradation have no place in your journey towards better health.

    You can host fun workouts. They say it’s best to work out with a buddy who can keep you motivated and hold you accountable. Set up a laptop or TV and catch up on your favorite shows with no distractions. Gossip or chat about your days in privacy.

    Ownership. Gym equipment can be unpredictable, inconsistent, and with hundreds of new people coming in and out of gyms during the months of January and February, often broken or damaged. It’s hard to get a hold of and stick with a new workout routine without getting distracted and discouraged during this rush time. Skip the crowds and take ownership of your workout. With outdoor runs and walks, affordable cardio equipment, weights, and workout videos, there’s no fitness path you can’t conquer with a home gym.

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on January 12, 2017

  • With snowy roads, an icy windshield, and low temperatures, there are times when it’s simply too cold to leave the house to exercise.

    But being stuck all day without moving farther than the distance between the couch and the kitchen isn’t great for your health or happiness.

    Everyone should have a few workout “tricks,” aka exercises that don’t require leaving the house, up their sleeve for inevitable poor weather conditions.

    You’ll be surprised how hard these seemingly simple exercises are – you might find them even more effective than the regular workouts you do at the gym!

    1. Squats and lunges

    Move to the longest room in your house/apartment for this. Step across the room through alternating lunges. When you reach the other side, turn around and repeat. Follow this set of lunges with a set of ten squats, before beginning your lunge rotation across the room again. Do four total sets of lunges and four total sets of squats.

    2. Free weights

    It’s imperative to have a set of free weights on hand in your house. They’re affordable, easy to use, and effective. One option is Gymnic's Heavymed 500 – these colorful weights are pre-filled with water! As far as how to use your free weights, here are 5 upper body exercises with free weights, and a basic whole body free weight workout for beginners. Free weights give you tons of options for getting a tough workout.

    3. Jump rope!

    This workout will take you back to your childhood, get your heart racing, and work your legs to the maximum. Try this ten-minute jump rope workout to tone your upper body and legs.

    4. Push ups and sits ups.

    Listen to your favorite upbeat music while rotating between sets of different types of push ups and sit ups. Have an exercise ball handy? Make these moves even more challenging with its unstable surface.

    5. Have a dance party.

    This one’s our favorite: break out your loudest tunes and show off your craziest moves (even better if you have a friend or significant other join you). You’ll be surprised how many calories you can burn having this much fun without leaving the house.

    Bad weather makes you only as lazy as you let it. Enjoy your favorite TV shows and warm beverages on snow days, but don’t forget to stay active. Icy roads aren’t an excuse to forget your fitness goals. We promise these five fun exercises will make you sweaty and proud – with a smile on your face!


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