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Fabulous Adventure Vacations with Just Enough R&R


There are three kinds of people in the world: those who take a vacation to totally relax. They go to place like Hawaii and Mexico to stay at an all inclusive resort to golf or spend time in the spa. A vacation is a way to get away from the world.

Then there are those who see a vacation as an adventure. It’s a chance to hike a mountain pass, to camp on the ridge and see the sunrise. A vacation is a chance to breath deep as they plunge into new experiences and to see what their bodies can do.

Then there are people like me who want a little bit of both. I want a good hike in the morning, followed by an amazing meal of local cuisine. I don’t mind getting up for sunrise as long as there is a cup of tea and a comfortable bed waiting for me at the end of the day. I want to get away from my every day, but I still want to experience what the world has to offer.  If that describes you too, I’ve got some great ideas for a fit adventure followed by a little R&R.


Hood to Coast Relay: Here’s your chance to see that amazing sunrise! This 198-mile relay race takes you from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon. It’s the longest relay foot race in the world, starting early on Friday morning and lasting well into Saturday. Stay the night at the Shilo Inn in Seaside after the race to rest up, have a good meal, and catch the shuttle service back to Portland on Sunday.
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30-Minute Outdoor Fitness Circuit That Lets You Skip the Gym

Take it from AcaciaTV motivation coach Alison Heilig, you don’t have to join a gym to get in shape and lose weight. Heck, you don’t really even need any equipment.

“Every time, we change it up and make a game of it to keep it exciting,” Heilig said of her weekly workouts with her neighborhood running club.

Want to join in on the fun? Lace up your shoes and try this outdoor fitness circuit. After a 5-minute warm up, alternate between 2 to 5 minutes of walking or running and these four fitness moves. Do a 5-minute cool down at the end. Start with one circuit and build up to three!

stair running acacia


Find a set of stairs with at least 20 steps and sprint up to the top. Jog down and repeat for a total of 3 sets. If you can’t find a staircase long enough, just do more reps on a shorter set or use a curb, bench, or box to do step-ups for 1-2 minutes. Challenge yourself by taking the steps two at a time.
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The Must-Have Gear for Every Type of Runner


The great thing about running is the fact that you do not have to define yourself as a specific type of runner. As Shape Magazine explored, running really is an “every man sport.” There are so many different types of runners out there, so naturally, each type of runner needs equipment that will help them out! Let’s explore what each runner needs to perfect their sport.


Best Gear: Minimalist Running Shoes

Barefoot runners are tough, you guys. As the word “barefoot” implies, these are the people who prefer to run as naturally as they were born — without sneakers or anything! According to DietsInReview’s Kelly Turner, trainer and fitness journalist, barefoot runners need the proper shoes and socks. Check out minimalist running shoes to protect your feet — there are lots of choices out there.


Best Gear: Layers

Some people are tough enough to handle the rain, sleet, and snow. If you are one of these awesome people, make sure you layer — something that is not a natural thought before you head out on a run. Also, consider a hat and a water resistant jacket if you live in a rainy part of the country.


Best Gear: Trackers and monitors

Marathon runners are definitely not the casual type. If you are a marathoner, you are likely interested in keeping track of your personal data, which is why you will need to invest in a mileage tracker, a heart rate monitor, or even just an app on your phone, (find the best trackers here) which are often built into phones these days. Don’t forget a running belt so you don’t have to carry your water or fuel snacks. Your arms will get tired eventually.
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The Hottest Fitness Trends to Rock Your Body in 2015


Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) surveys its membership of fitness professionals (myself included) to identify the top trends in fitness. The 2015 list was recently published with, in my opinion, only a few surprises.

What did surprise me on this list? Outdoor activities are #12! I see and hear a lot about running in fitness circles, but not much else. Most popular classes and activities take place in some sort of gym, be it a commercial one or the budget home gym you created in the spare bedroom. I would love to see more people get off the spin bike and on the bike path. Hiking is a new love of mine and, unlike the treadmill, it does wonders for your body and soul. Boot camps are last on the ACSM list at #20. They are still very popular in the Midwest so I am curious what group fitness trend will be taking their place. What are you seeing where you live?

Agree or disagree, here are five “big” fitness trends you can look forward to in the coming year.

1. Body weight training and High Intensity Interval Training came in #1 and #2, respectively, on the ACSM list. This worries me for two reasons. One, the high rate of injury that goes along with beginners starting at too high of intensity as well as over-training, and two, the level of burnout that often follows. I think body weight exercises are great. They can be some of the most challenging exercises you can do, but if proper form isn’t developed before adding the explosive intensity of popular programs like Insanity or P90X you may be asking for trouble.

Trend tip: Perfect your form on squats, push-ups and other body weight exercises slowly before adding weight or plyometrics. 

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Running for Her Life: One Woman’s Escape from Human Trafficking Made Her a Runner and Survivor


Megan grew up in what some might consider an idealistic environment. They were a seemingly typical middle-class, Caucasian family; mom stayed home with her and her sister, and dad made it to all of her soccer games. Megan was first chair violin and graduated from high school as part of the National Honor Society. Her parents have been married more than 30 years and the family attended church regularly. However, after an abusive five-year marriage, she was left alone to support two small children. Her naivety and vulnerability, both emotionally and financially, put her at risk for sexual trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a very complex issue, and a lot of times people think that it’s something you can just ‘get out’ of. Unfortunately, it is not always that easy because there are social and economic obstacles, as well as mental and physical safety that all must come together. It is often, as in my case, a long process to fully get away from a predator and the subculture entirely,” shared Megan. “In short, I was able to leave my pimp and move back across the country, but it took another six months until I was in a place I could leave the sex industry entirely, and it has been almost two years of intensive recovery since then.”
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