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We are right in the middle of winter, and while we are ever so thankful for the blue skies and snowy adventures in our Mile High City, spring does not *officially* arrive until March 20th. Plus, we have all seen that looming snowflake in the forecast through May. Even with the adventure life readily available in ski towns, cabin fever is real.
Feeling antsy for warmer weather? Here are my six favorite ways to escape the cabin, stay active (indoors) and invest in my own self-care during the long Denver winter season.
Put the pedal to the metal.
Let’s bring the bike indoors this season, sweat it out and make shift happen at studios like Shift Cycle + Fitness in Sunnyside! Get ready to raise your heart rate, climb an imaginary mountain and cycle your heart out. I love ending my day with this high-energy workout. Not only am I literally letting go of the email life, but I’m also pedaling to the beat and channeling my best Lady Gaga all while forgetting about the cold outside.
“Beyond fitness, a cycling class can prep your mind and soul to conquer really hard sh*t. In every class we set an intention, practice gratitude and open ourselves up to making a shift in our lives and in our bodies,” says Whitney Herman, founder of Shift Cycle + Fitness. “When we conquer hard stuff on the bike and push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we find the power and fortitude to overcome daily stresses, insecurities, and negativity in our everyday life and start kicking ass at positivity and shining a little brighter.”
Eliminate that winter upper body hunch.
The cold in the air creates a reaction in our bodies to literally hunker down and hunch over for warmth and protection of our core. Perhaps each night you feel the shoulder crunch and neck tightness after braving a day in the Mile High or out on the trails. You need to release the tension and channel total relaxation. After a morning hike in the mountains of Evergreen, I treat myself to a Sacred Stone Journey Massage at Sacred Stone Day Spa. Featuring heated toe stones and chakra balancing, you’ll instantly kick that lingering winter chill. Customize the level of depth and your preferred pressure—then just climb into the heated bed and take a deep breath as your massage therapist spends a little extra time on your traps, neck, and collarbone this time of year.
From 0 to 95, bring on the BIG heat.
This might be blasphemy in Colorado—the home of the heated yoga studios—but I’m not usually a heated yoga human. Eeek! However, I will make an exception during winter. Snow on the ground? Sign me up for all the heat. BIG Power Yoga in the RiNo brings sweat and inspiring conversation! Experience the best heated flow followed by a lavender infused towel during savasana. Ahhh.
“The heat in Baptiste Yoga is often misunderstood to be designed to simply make the practice harder,” says Laura Rust, founder of BIG Power Yoga. “The truth is, the 95 degree temperature is intentionally used to help you get deeper into your body (everything is more malleable in heat, especially tight muscles!), help you detox and release old stuff (everything from physical toxins to toxic thoughts), and help get you out of your comfort zone in a way that calls forth full presence.”
Keep hydrated to keep healthy.
If you live in Colorado, you might have been infected with the gastro virus or perhaps the 6-week respiratory cough rocking daycares all over our sweet city. With temps dropping up and down, the flu is relentless, especially this time of year! Get your vitamins intravenously from the team of nurses that hold down the best IV treatment center in Denver, Hydrate IV Bar. It’s no secret that hydration is key to health and should be the main focus with the Colorado altitude, especially if you have a fireplace (hello dehydration!).
"We provide IV hydration therapy in a relaxing setting for deficiencies such as altitude sickness, low energy, athletic recovery, and general health and wellness,” says Katie Wafer, owner of Hydrate IV Bar. “Our custom IV solutions are safe and effective, and are formulated to help you feel better faster."
A sweat-worthy playground for adults.
I love walking up to Fitness in the City on Delaware Street and reading the big graffiti wall that tells me to ‘BE A GOOD PERSON’. Honestly, when I show up to sweat, I actually am a good person—way nicer than I was before. I love Stefan Olander’s Meta Circuit class because it’s like a playground for grown-ups. The circuit training style class focuses on cardio, movement, and fun. We swing kettlebells, run ladders, lift barbells and jump rope all in one class. Drenched, breathing heavy and sweat dripping after 60 minutes results in high-fives… and has you feeling pretty damn grateful for the work you put in.
Bounce out the winter blues.
Some days I really need to trick my body into working out with a fun surprise. Nothing beats rebounding on trampolines at Compass Fitness in South Denver. Owner and powerhouse trainer, Jillian Keavany, brings the sweat to the trampolines with Sound Off headphones to shake up your morning—or evening—ritual of movement.
“Trampoline workouts are a GREAT way to experience a high cardio experience without the high impact on joints! It's wicked fun (with a side of terrible, I like to say), high energy, and with a consistent high heart rate, burns loads of calories throughout,” says Jillian. “If you like to ski, this is the perfect cross-training workout for incredible leg and glute strength.”
However you choose to take care of yourself this winter, welcome spring with a little extra self-care and MINDBODY!
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
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