Category Archives: GET OUTSIDE!

Get Outside – Your Health Depends On It!

March 5, 2020

As you get outside this spring, have you ever considered how our green spaces contribute to our health? Studies show that green space and landscaping contribute to health, happiness, and intellect.

It’s natural to long for spring when it’s cold outside. But did you know, there’s a good reason why you may pine for green? Living landscapes are an important part of the outdoor lifestyle that Americans enjoy, but the benefits go beyond the barbeque and backyard baseball. Green spaces are necessary for your health.

“The advantages of grass and landscaping surpass the usual physical benefits that result from outdoor activity,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Numerous studies have found that people who spend more time outside or are exposed to living landscapes are happier, healthier and smarter. As you get ready to get outside this spring with your lawn mower and other outdoor power equipment, it’s great to know being outside is good for you.

Researchers have studied the impact of nature on human well-being for years, but recent studies have found a more direct correlation between human health, particularly related to stress, and the importance of people’s access to nature and managed landscapes.

Getting dirty is actually good for you. Soil is the new Prozac, according to Dr. Christopher Lowry, a neuroscientist at the University of Bristol in England. Mycobacterium vaccae in soil mirrors the effect on neurons that Prozac provides. The bacterium stimulates serotonin production, which explains why people who spend time gardening, doing yard work, and have direct contact with soil feel more relaxed and happier.

Children who are raised on farms in a “dirtier” environment than an urban setting not only have a stronger immune system but are also better able to manage social stress, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

Living near living landscapes can improve your mental health. Researchers in England found that people moving to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health that was sustained for at least three years after they moved. The study also showed that people relocating to a more developed area suffered a drop in mental health.

Greening of vacant urban areas in Philadelphia reduced feelings of depression by 41.5% and reduced poor mental health by 62.8% for those living near the vacant lots, according to a study by a research team.

Green spaces can make you healthier too. People who live within a half mile of green space (such parks, public gardens, and greenways) were found to have a lower incidence of fifteen diseases by Dutch researchers — including depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and migraines.

A 2015 study found that people living on streets with more trees had a boost in heart and metabolic health. Studies show that tasks conducted under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Spending time in gardens, for instance, can improve memory performance and attention span by 20%.

Living landscapes make you smarter. Children gain attention and working memory benefits when they are exposed to greenery, says a study led by Payam Dadvand of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, In addition, exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children.

This applies to adults as well. Research has also shown that being around plants helps you concentrate better at home and at work. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture believes that spending time in gardens can improve attention span and memory performance by as much as 20 percent.

A National Institute of Health study found that adults demonstrate significant cognitive gains after going on a nature walk. In addition, a Stanford University study found that walking in nature, rather than a concrete-oriented, urban environment, resulted in decreased anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, and produced cognitive benefits, such as increased working memory performance.

Living landscapes help you heal faster. Multiple studies have discovered that plants in hospital recovery rooms or views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens help patients heal up to one day faster than those who are in more sterile or austere environments.

Physicians are now prescribing time outdoors for some patients, according to recent reports. Park Rx America is a non-profit with a mission to encourage physicians to prescribe doses of nature.

All of these benefits reinforce the importance of maintaining our yards, parks and other community green spaces. Trees, shrubs, grass, and flowering plants are integral to human health. Not only do they provide a place for kids and pets to play, they directly contribute to our mental and physical well-being.

Travel Tips From Guest Editor Travel Expert Jared James

August 12, 2019

  For most of us, we go on holiday to relax. It is an opportunity to forget about everything that makes life stressful. Wondering about how to make this possible? Read on and we’ll share some tips on how you can have the most relaxing vacation ever!

Bring a Car to the Airport

Getting to the airport can be stressful. Going home after your vacation can also be a headache. To spare yourself from the hassle of booking a ride and to save money, it is best to bring your car. No need to worry about airport parking. There are now services that allow people to book their spot in advance.

If you are flying anytime soon and you want to bring your car as you head to the airport, ParkON can help you have a guaranteed parking space!

Go on a DND Mode

DND stands for Do Not Disturb. This is one of the best things to do for a relaxing holiday. Forget about work for a while. You don’t need to ditch your smartphone. That would be a hassle. Instead, what you need to do is to temporarily block emails and send automatic replies to let people know you are on a vacation and you cannot respond immediately. Avoid doing or thinking of anything work-related. You can also block calls from certain people, especially those that are related to work.

Take it Slow

Do not be in a rush when you are on vacation. Do not pressure yourself to see and experience everything in a short span of time. Be smart when planning your itinerary. List all the places you want to see and pick only those that you can realistically fit in your day. You are on a vacation to relax and not to see all the attractions possible.

Save and Spend

One thing that can make vacations stressful would be not having enough money for everything you want to do. Plan ahead to save. Do not hesitate to spend when you are on holiday. You deserve a bit of luxury while you are on a break.

Plan Relaxing Activities

You also need to be smart when it comes to the things to do while on a holiday. If the ultimate goal is relaxation, a yoga retreat is a good idea. You can also take a cooking lesson, go on a sunset cruise, or get a massage as you explore your destination. Try to avoid activities that require too much physical activity if you don’t want to be exhausted.

Choose the Right Time and Destination

Visit places that are known for being peaceful and relaxing. Stay away from the main tourist areas. Do not book in a large hotel. Pick the right time to travel. Make sure that you avoid peak season. The shoulder season is a good choice because you can enjoy your vacation sans the crowd while also saving money.

The next time you travel, consider our suggestions above! These tips will help you to have a calm and relaxing holiday, which is the perfect way to forget the hustle of the daily grind even for a while.

Happy Travels!
Jared James

 

Photos via Unsplash

WHAT’S NEW ON CATALINA ISLAND (Hint: I’m obsessed with them!

July 3, 2018

  Consistently named one of the best island getaways by media outlets nationwide, Catalina Island, located just 22 miles off the Southern California cost, is a unique blend of laid back vibe, rich and historic past, features water and land activities to suit any taste and modern-day amenities and services for every budget.

The island is constantly evolving to offer visitors the best experience, whether it’s to relax and rejuvenate or rev up the action. Following are a few of the new happenings on the island this year. What do you say? C’mon and visit!


photo credit @adventurpro

ESCAPE ROOMS

Ahoy…me hearties! Feel free to dress and talk like a pirate at Catalina Room Escape, one of two new Escape Rooms to open on the island. The Pirate Challenge allows participants one hour to solve a variety of riddles, discover clues and escape from the room. Info: 310.510.2777. CatalinaRoomEscape.

The rules are much the same at Escape Room Catalina. You and your group of two-to-eight confidants have one hour to crack the code, solve the mystery and escape the room. Room themes change with the season, so the company promises they always have fresh puzzles to solve. The company can set up a challenge at their location, or at a hotel room or vacation rental. Info: 310-510-8575. Escape Room Catalina

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

Catalina Aerial Adventure is flying high. Be sure to try it to get your adrenalin pumping. The new ropes-and-planks course weaves through a  grove of towering eucalyptus trees deep within Descanso Canyon. Other adventurous activities nearby include  Zip line Eco Tour and  Catalina Climbing Wall.

HIKING

You haven’t seen the real Catalina if you just visit Avalon. Take a hike into the backcountry on the new-and-rehabbed  Trans-Catalina Trail, part of a 165-mile system of recreational roads and hiking trails on the island. Catalina Conservancy has added 27 miles of new trails, refurbished restrooms and is eradicating non-native plants. In other big news for the Conservancy, the  Catalina Trailhead Visitor Center, being built in downtown Avalon, is expected to be completed in late 2018 or early 2019. Info: 310.510.2595 CatalinaConservancy.com

More good news for hikers and backpackers: Catalina Backcountry is operating a concierge service for outdoor enthusiasts. The company will take a load off your back by transporting supplies and equipment. It also offers a naturalist-led hikes, can set up comfort camping or create an adventure expedition. Info: 310.510.1212, Catalina Back Country

TWO HARBORS

Yes, there is a second city on the Island of Catalina. Two Harbors, at the island’s West End, is known for being low-key and rustic. But it has undergone a face-lift, with a new sandy beach, plush palapas, lounge chairs, a group gathering place, food and beverage service on the beach and a small business center. You can take a Catalina Express ferry from San Pedro to Two Harbors. Info: 800.613.1212 Catalina Express; 310.510.4205 Visit Catalina

TOURS

Hope on an eco-friendly bus to tour the island. The all-electric buses are operating on Catalina Island Company tours of Skyline Drive and on Inland Expedition tours. In addition to eliminating the need for diesel or gas, the buses have huge windows, air conditioning and quiet, smooth rides. Info: 877.778.8322, Visit Catalina

About Catalina Island and Catalina Express

Located 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island is accessible by boat from three ports via Catalina Express: San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point. Catalina Express offers up to 30 daily departures and year-round service to Avalon and Two Harbors, transporting nearly one million passengers annually. It offers comfortable airline-style seats and grouped table seating. Traveling to Catalina Island in as little as one hour, each vessel was designed and built/purchased specifically for comfort and speed. Catalina Express is an unparalleled resource in Southern California, and one of the world’s most respected ferry fleets. For information and reservations call 800.429.4601, or visit Catalina Express

Catalina Island’s clear blue waters and Mediterranean climate and ambiance are a Shangri-La. The laid-back island town is chock full of places to eat, drink, shop. Catalina has a wealth of natural and cultural resources, unique animals and plants found nowhere else on earth. Sightseeing opportunities are numerous and varied from escorted tours around town, adventure rides into the interior, jeep eco tours, hummer rides, to zip lines, rock climbing and undersea adventures. Independent activities are plentiful, such as camping, hiking, snuba, to diving, snorkeling, kayaking, spa treatments, as well as beach lounging, golf, motor boating, parasailing, fishing, boat rides down the coastline and more.

 

WANDERLUST: The World’s Only “Mindful Triathlon” Returns to Los Angeles

April 11, 2018

 On Your Mat, Get Set, Flow!
April 28 and April 29, 2018

 

Wanderlust, producer of the largest yoga lifestyle events in the world, in partnership with adidas, brings Wanderlust 108, the world’s only mindful triathlon, back to Los Angeles on both Saturday April 28, and Sunday, April 29, 2018.

Coming to the iconic Santa Monica Pier, Wanderlust’s unique triathlon consists of a five-kilometer run (or walk), a music-fueled, outdoor yoga class and a guided meditation. Mindful triathletes can also browse the marketplace of local craft and food vendors, and experience bonus fitness classes throughout the day.

Saturday’s lineup includes yoga from Chelsey Korus, meditation from Noah Levine, with tunes spun by DJ Drez.

Sunday’s lineup includes yoga from Mary Beth LaRue, meditation from Light Watkins with sweet beats provided by Jesse Blake.

For the complete lineup and ticketing information, please visit:

For the SATURDAY Wanderlust 108: http://www.wanderlust.com/los-angeles-saturday

For the SUNDAY Wanderlust 108: http://www.wanderlust.com/los-angeles-sunday

New for 2018, participants in North America will be able to choose from an array of premium ticket options to create their perfect Wanderlust 108 adventure. Ticket prices starting at $30 with premium packages from $99. Attendees can customize their experience via the tiers below:

WAN(DER)LUST Package: $150

Wanderlust has joined (RED) in the fight to end AIDS.

  • 50 tickets will be available
  • Attendees will receive a Manduka WAN(DER)LUST mat, Wanderlust 108 tote, WAN(DER)LUST water bottle, and Wanderlust fandana.
  • Entry to the entire mindful triathlon: 5K run + yoga + meditation
  • Premium mat placement for the yoga and mediation portions of the event.
  • A scheduled bonus activity: Attendees can choose from a variety of experiences: aerial yoga, AcroYoga, hooping—and new this year—Flying Therapeutics, which is a combination of AcroYoga and Thai Massage, or Body Work, which is deep-tissue, self-massage techniques which can assist in releasing pain, opening locked muscles and facilitating proper posture. Participants will be able to add this to their day’s agenda pre-event.
  • A Wanderbowl will be included as well—a hearty, Mexican inspired vegetarian (or vegan) meal of rice, beans, cheese, avocado and mango-lime-cilantro salsa, plus snacks and a beverage. (Wanderbowls are also available for purchase at any ticket tier.)
  • A Free Wanderlust TV class ( https://tv.wanderlust.com/ ) to continue the Wanderlust experience online at home.

108 Package: $99

  • 200 tickets will be available
  • Wanderlust 108 yoga mat, 108 tote, Wanderlust water bottle and Wanderlust fandana
  • Entry to the entire mindful triathlon: 5K run + yoga + meditation
  • Reserved mat placement
  • Free Wanderlust TV class ( https://tv.wanderlust.com/ ) to continue the Wanderlust experience at home, online.
  • A scheduled bonus activity: Attendees can choose from a variety of experiences: aerial yoga, AcroYoga, hooping—and new this year—Flying Therapeutics, which is a combination of AcroYoga and Thai Massage, or Body Work, which is deep-tissue, self-massage techniques which can assist in releasing pain, opening locked muscles and facilitating proper posture. Attendees will be able to add this to their day’s agenda pre-event.

108 Ticket: $40-$60

  • Entry to the entire mindful triathlon: 5K run + yoga + meditation
  • Prices will rise as the event date approaches.
  • Wanderlust fandana
  • Access to bonus activities on a drop-in basis, space available.

Practice Ticket: $30-$45

  • Entry to the yoga + meditation portions of the event only
  • Prices will rise as the event date approaches.

At all Wanderlust 108 events, the Kula Marketplace will showcase local craft vendors, including clothing, jewelry, and handcrafted items. Local and organic food vendors will be on site, as well as a retail store experience created by adidas and Wanderlust housed in a 60’ geodesic dome. Items from the adidas x Wanderlust co-branded collection will be sold on site at each event.

At each Wanderlust 108 event in North America, attendees will be nourished by a number of Wanderlust partners, including:

  • adidas will be introducing new experiences to the 5K run and offering additional fitness activities to help attendees embed more sport into their day.
  • Flow is pleased to bring their high-quality, naturally alkaline spring water to the Mindful Triathlon to hydrate participants throughout the day. These events will also be a chance for Wanderlust attendees to taste Flow’s brand new organic flavored water: Cucumber + Mint and Lemon + Ginger in a refreshing environment.
  • Ford Motor Company was built on the belief that freedom of movement drives human progress. Ford is proud to be the Official Vehicle of Wanderlust and to support healthy initiatives inside, and outside, the company. Event attendees can stop by the Ford Zen Den to learn more about the sustainable practices and wellness programs at Ford, and of course, take home some incredible giveaways.
  • Rainier Fruit is a leading grower of both conventional and organic apples, pears and cherries. As a fourth generation family farm we are committed to the mission of living Wholesome to the Core. A partnership with Wanderlust allows us to share our delicious fruits with like-minded consumers who are choosing to fuel their active lifestyles with high quality food like our organic apples. We are excited to meet yoga enthusiasts from around the country and help them get to know Rainier Fruit through our on-site sampling and our sponsorship of the Wanderlust Walking Lunch.

In 2018, Wanderlust will donate $1.08 from every ticket sold to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS with (RED), which could provide over 3 days of life-saving HIV medication. To date, (RED) has generated more than $500 million for the AIDS fight, supporting HIV/AIDS programs and services in eight countries in Africa. 100% of money raised goes to work on the ground—no overhead is taken. For more information, visit red.org

Become a fan of Wanderlust at
Facebook www.facebook.com/wanderlust
Twitter www.twitter.com/wanderlustfest
Instagram http://instagram.com/wanderlustfest
YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/WanderlustFestival

   

All Photos by Melissa Gayle for Wanderlust Festival

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Transform Your Running Shoes Into All Weather Terrain Beasts

January 23, 2018

I meant to have this ready for Sundance!! Because this will save you a TON on expensive boots which you will need because it’s ICY AND COLD AND WET AND SLIPPERY!!! Oh well, we are already almost done with my fave film fest. 

Still…Hillsound Equipment’s FreeSteps6 is a cool, affordable and easy on -easy off lightweight traction device to keep your fitness routine rolling no matter what winter weather brings in.

The FreeSteps6 are great for travel, so if you’re going camping, they are totally compact,  and won’t take up hardly any room in your luggage. FreeSteps6 slipped onto your shoes,  keeps you  running or walking all year round in muddy, snowy, or icy conditions.

And now that I fancy myself an outdoorsy bad ass (goes camping once), these make me feel really cool, when it’s freaking cold.   

WHAT:

From icy city pavements to slick backcountry trails, the newly redesigned FreeSteps6 offers durable, ultra-light traction performance to those looking for a simple anti-slip aid during icy/snowy winter days or spring time hiking. Utilizing high-quality stainless steel chains and spikes, the FreeSteps6 gets you outside whether you are going for a run on icy streets, hitting the trails, or just walking the dog.

Price: $39.99

Features:

  • 21 stainless steel spikes grip ice and packed snow
  • Rubber harness fits most footwear
  • Easy to quickly slip on and off footwear
  • Lightweight and packable

Tech Specs:

  • Spike material: Stainless steel
  • Spike length: ¼”
  • Number of spikes: 21
  • Harness material: Elastomer
  • Weight (pair): 12.17 oz | 345g (M)

Recommended for:

  • Fly fishing
  • Trail running
  • Winter walking
  • Ice fishing

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