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. (more…)
Last summer I spent a month in Savannah, Georgia, a true American gem that should be on your must-visit list. Aside from soaking up all the history, playing at the beach, and hitting up all the Forrest Gump tourist spots, one of the highlights was attenidng the fifth annual Fitbloggin’ conference.
If you’ve never been, mark your calendars for the last weekend in Denver this year. It’s a life changing three days with an inspiring, motivating, beautiful group of about 250 souls. No matter what your place is in within the weight loss blogging/social media sphere, there is a place for you within Fitbloggin’. And as last year proved, no matter how hot and sweaty you get — be it during one of the morning Zumba classes or out wandering Savannah’s scenic historic district — everyone still has plenty of love for ‘ya.
On the last day of the conference, it was time to cool off and get even more scenic, with a drive out to Georgia’s Tybee Island. I didn’t go alone. My husband and daughter tagged along with myself, Emmie from AuthenticallyEmmie.com, and Alan from SweatingUntilHappy.com. After a whirlwind three days inside a hotel getting all of the hugs, blog lessons, and free California Almond trail mix snacks we could handle, sinking our toes in the sand and letting the sea breeze wash over our faces was the decompress everyone needed!
And frozen lemonades, we needed those to fully complete the post-conference decompression slash Georgia heat exhaustion. After we dusted most of the sand from our bodies, we headed to a highly recommended local dive – AJ’s Dockside Restaurant. We sat outside, because we clearly love sweating as much as possible. We ordered po’boys, because when in Rome. And we ordered frozen lemonades. (more…)
Some people hike all year, and some of us are fair-weather hikers. Regardless of what type of hiker you consider yourself to be, it is undoubtedly time to lace up the boots. If you are planning a trip to a new part of the country, or if you are simply tired of the same ‘ole hikes in your area, we come bearing gifts! We’ve rounded up some of the best hikes in the country
Before you get going however, make sure you are well prepared.
BEST HIKES IN THE U.S.
>> Ramona Falls Hike, Mt. Hood, Oregon
The Ramona Falls Hike is a seven-mile loop, round trip. Though the hike is described as “moderate,” it is not necessarily recommended for families because of the bridge crossing the Sandy River. The beautiful hike is a Mount Hood favorite, however. People love the relatively easy- to-navigate trail, the short distance out of Portland, and of course, the gorgeous Ramona Falls.
>> Mount Finlayson Trail, San Juans, Washington
The gorgeous Mount Finlayson Trail is one of the best hikes in Washington State. The trail is nearly four-miles round trip and offers gorgeous views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic Mountains, the the beautiful Puget Sound. There are plenty of trail heads and paths to take along the hike, so have fun exploring!
>> Oyster Dome, Chuckanut, Washington
The Oyster Dome hike is a nearly seven-mile hike, round trip, though the whole time you will be eager to get to the top. From the top, Oyster Dome is one of the most gorgeous views in the world. Enjoy both the Lummi and Orcas Islands from afar and the beautiful Samish Bay below. The hike can be family friendly, but watch out for the very unforgiving ledges. (more…)
You know that thing where you travel and you’re left to figure out where and how and when you are going to get your workout in? Well the Westin Hotels & Resorts is changing the game!
Holly Perkins, women’s fitness expert and founder of Women’s Strength Nation, has recently paired with Westin Hotels & Resorts to kick off their “Westin Wellness Escapes,” a series of well-being retreats led by experts who want to help you achieve new goals! Throughout the WSN Live event, Westin spoiled guests with inspired meals from their SuperFoodsRX and Fresh by the Juicery menus. Westin Hotels is planning similar retreats, or Escapes, covering nutrition to yoga and running, with events being offered internationally. Next up is a triathlon recovery escape in Jekyll Island, Georgia hosted by Chris Heuisler in May.
Westin Hotels has also partnered with New Balance to provide their guests with a new Gear Lending program. Certain Westin properties will be offering New Balance shoes and clothing for a nominal fee of only $5! Whether you want to save room in your carry-on or just want to try out some new gear, or managed to forget something, this is an exciting amenity that ensures your active lifestyle won’t be forgotten when you’re far form home. Add in the hotel’s 5K events, healthier food options, relaxing spas, Holly’s exclusive workout videos available in-room, and exceptional gyms and we can’t think of a better way to vacation!
Westin isn’t alone though. Many hotels are catching on to the wellness needs of their guests and similar programs have been created at major hoteliers around the country. (more…)
Sunny San Diego was the backdrop for the first Women’s Strength Nation LIVE event April 10 – 12, 2015 and Diets In Review was there every step of the way. The kickoff was part of the launch of Westin Hotel and Resort’s new Westin Wellness Escapes, a series of weekend-long events devoted to helping you live your best life, even on vacation.
Hosted by celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert Holly Perkins, CSCS, the weekend was full of enlightening information to equip women with everything we need to walk into the weight room, confident and ready to work.
The mission of Women’s Strength Nation is to improve the ratio of women to men in the weight room. In order to do that, WSN provides you will all the tools you need to confidently walk into the gym and crush it every single time. Using strength training as a metaphor for building strength inside and out, we learned that in order to illicit change, you must have adversity. Like your muscles, you must be torn down before you can be built back up. When met with resistance and adversity, either in terms of weight vs. your muscles, or life vs. you, in the words of Holly Perkins herself “how you show up for this is how you show up for everything.”
Through individual and group exercises, group workouts, workshops and lectures, we learned the indisputable science that supports strength training’s affects not only on the body, but also the mind. We learned how a woman should train differently than a man, despite the fact that all the information out there is written for a man and a man’s body.
With so many takeaways from the weekend, it’s hard to choose which to highlight. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom:
Change, positive or negative, is the biggest stressor: marriage is stressful the same way divorce is and a promotion is as stressful as a job loss. Our bodies crave homeostasis, to keep the status quo. Everything in our beings wants us to stay the same. The purpose of fear is to maintain that homeostasis. Whether in the gym or in your life, your body will naturally resist. To overcome, just breathe, acknowledge this, and do it anyway.
WOMEN CAN BULK
The women can’t bulk myth was busted. Rejoin, easy gainers! Women can bulk (if they want!) — it just takes a very specific physiology and/or a specific type of training. It has to do with testosterone and yes, some women have more than others which gives them a propensity to bulk, so no, you aren’t crazy if you fit the bill.
STRENGTH DOESN’T HAVE TO BULK
That being said, you can get stronger without getting bigger (they are not synonymous) you just need proper programming. To find the best program for your body type, pick up a copy of Holly’s new book Lift to Get Lean. It’s a female-focused strength training bible, and in it Holly shares four unique programs for each body type and goal type so you can bulk (or not!) how you want.
PULL vs. PUSH
Pulling mechanics are very important for a woman’s body, which is why you need to do three times as many pulling exercises as pushing ones. It has to do with our evolution from the days when we walked on all fours, and the muscles it takes to keep us standing upright.
FORGET THE EXCUSES
In the end, we learned to let go of the excuses that have been holding us back for so long and why it’s vital, as women, not to dim our lights to make others feel comfortable, but rather it’s our responsibility to let our lights shine to motivate and inspire other women to do the same. Together, thirty perfect strangers laughed, cried, shared, and bonded — and will forever be connected. We are strong. And so are you.
Here are three things we learned from Women’s Strength Nation LIVE! that you can work into your next workout:
The 3 rules of strength training
1. Technique trumps everything
2. Manipulate your speed of movement
3. The last 2 reps should threaten #1.
The 5 form cues to make every exercise a full body exercise
1. Pull up your arches
2. Push out your knees
3. Tuck your butt
4. Brace your core
5. Anchor your shoulders
5 essential exercises for every woman
1. Leg press
3. Reverse grip pulldown
4. Chest press
5. Overhead press
images by Lauren Milner Photography courtesy of Westin