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I Tried It: Snowshoeing

If you want to get a heart-pumping cardio workout while enjoying a beautiful, snowy, and peaceful landscape, give snowshoeing a try. My love for hiking got me interested in snowshoeing initially—even with the best hiking boots, it’s not always easy to get around when the ground is covered in snow. With snowshoes I’ve easily walked on several feet of snow! Best of all snowshoeing is an easy activity to master activity for people of all ages and fitness levels—you can stroll at a slow pace or even run on snowshoes! It’s one of my favorite ways to get outside in the colder months.

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Here are a few tips for anyone interested in trying snowshoeing:

What to Expect:
One of the really great things about snowshoeing is that it’s extremely easy to learn and you don’t need to take lessons. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. That being said, it will take probably take you few steps to get used to the feeling of wearing snowshoes and how they will affect your stride. Snowshoes can feel a little bulky at first and you may have to walk a little different than usual. The good news is that unlike some other winter sports, the learning curve is fairly minimal and it’s easy to pick up within a matter of moments.
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I Tried It: Downhill Skiing

As an East Coaster, I’ve always dreaded winter. But when my ski- and snowboard-loving husband and I moved to Colorado this past year—a state known for some of the best ski resorts in the worldI decided it was time to give winter a fair shot. Skiing seemed like one way to have fun and burn some calories so I signed up for a Women’s Program at a local resort.

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My expectations were pretty low. I’d skied once before and the experience left me a little fearful and my first day of lessons was no different. I had a hard time and just felt out of control. If I hadn’t paid for the 6-week program up front, I probably wouldn’t have gone back. But I did go back, and that’s when things clicked. I’m still skiing—and improving.

And I’m even having fun! If you’re thinking about trying downhill skiing, here are some things to keep in mind:

What to Expect:
It may take a while to figure out the basics of skiing and feel comfortable. The mechanics of skiing are based upon some very simple concepts, but they might be hard to grasp. If you don’t “get it” right away just keep trying and eventually you will! (There are a few people that pick it up incredibly fast, but they are not in the majority.)


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5 Legitimate, Gimmick-Free Ways to Love Your Heart

It’s February, that special time of year where everything is colored red and love is in the air. Valentine’s Day makes us all focus on our hearts a bit more, but instead of buying another bag of heart-shaped candies why not focus on your literal heart and the ways you can improve your heart health and the heart health of those around you?

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Here are five ways to be good your heart and to the hearts of those you love.

 

1. Serve a heart healthy dinner


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Spinning Gave Me Strength, if Not Thigh Gap

My twitter feed was blowing up this morning. The hot topic: Tracy Anderson telling Redbook magazine, “Spin may burn calories in the short term, but if that’s all you’re doing, it’ll bulk up your thighs.”

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This did not sit well with the SoulCycle loving masses.

 

 

Anderson quickly changed her story via ABC news, saying: “I’ve never said that spinning makes you gain weight. What I’ve said is that spinning creates an imbalance in the muscular system. It bulks the thigh and butt muscles. You develop mass by working these same muscles over and over.”


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Choose the Gym That’s Right for You: Big and Fancy, Mild-Mannered or Family-Friendly

If you’ve decided that working out on your old elliptical machine while re-watching Breaking Bad episodes on Netflix isn’t helping you achieve maximum weight loss results, maybe it’s time to get out of the basement and join a gym. While some fitness centers offer bare-bones equipment for an affordable price, others offer a wide variety of amenities, but you’ll definitely pay to play.

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Before you get out your wallet, decide what’s important to you in a fitness center and what you’re willing to pay for, then choose a gym accordingly. Below is a brief overview to help you make your decision. From Mild-Mannered to Big and Fancy, what do you need for your workout experience in 2014?

Mild Mannered $Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Curves, Blink

  • Low membership fees and no-hassle contracts mean you can get in shape without taking out a 2nd mortgage
  • Often cater to first-time gym members by discouraging intimidating behavior like grunting, growling and gun-showing in the weight room
  • Easy-to-use cardio and strength equipment, so you actually spend your time working out, not punching buttons and reading the user’s guide
  • No children allowed and no child care. Is that necessarily a bad thing, though? Time away from the kids is OK, especially if you’re getting healthy
  • No high-end amenities like juice bars, tanning beds, steam rooms, or  swimming pools
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