• This entry was posted in Fitness on May 25, 2016

  • Temperatures are rising and smiles are growing broader – it’s summertime at last! Pool parties, outdoor barbeques, and fun and games in the sun are just a few of the awesome activities you have to look forward to this season.

    But if the idea of wearing a swimsuit, or engaging in a strenuous game of Capture the Flag is giving you anxiety, the approaching summer season could seem like a curse instead of a blessing.

    Many people gain extra weight during the winter months – especially during the holiday season. From seasonal depression, to the inconvenience of going outside when it’s cold, you’re not alone if you’ve let the weather weigh you down a bit this year.

    Don’t let weight gain or inactivity ruin the time of year many people call their favorite. Here are a few tips for helping you shape up and get moving in time to celebrate the summer season in all its glory.

    Take an inventory of your clothing. This might sound counterintuitive, but before you plan your workout and weight loss routine, go through your closet and try on your warm weather clothing. If you don’t have anything that still fits, it’s time to hit the store. There’s nothing that kills your motivation to move more than ill-fitting and uncomfortable clothing. Even if you know your new clothing is “only temporary,” you deserve to feel loved and comfortable no matter what size you are.

    Find a fun new (and active) hobby. There are many new fitness trends to try this year, and we’re sure you’ll fall in love with at least one. From barre, to kettlebell, to jogging, vow to mix up your routine and try something new. It could end up being the ultimate motivator to get you back in shape.

    Get reacquainted with your grill. There’s nothing lovelier than grilling up a yummy and healthy meal while enjoying the warm weather and a glass of red wine. Experiment with healthy grill recipes, like chicken skewers, and swordfish. You’ll feel satisfied in a way that helps you reach your health and wellness goals.

    Enjoy leisurely walks. A time to catch up with close friends and loved ones and enjoy the beautiful summer scenery, walking can do so much more than just help you get in shape. Start small: come up with a goal to walk 5-7 miles a week. Paired with strength training (and a healthy diet), you’ll be amazed at the strides you can make.

    No matter where you are in your fitness journey, don’t let a slow winter drag you down as we head into warmer weather. Embrace the summer season and the endless opportunities it gives you for getting healthy and staying active, and you’ll be taking care of your body the way you deserve in no time at all.

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on May 19, 2016

  • Weights, cardio, gymnastics, Zumba. It’s been repeatedly established that the best way to get results is to mix up your workout routine. Experts recommend trying new activities every once and a while to keep your muscles engaged and guessing.

    Lucky for you, new fitness fads emerge every few months. It’s easy to mix up your workout routine with access to a full schedule of different classes at the gym, private studios, and specialized personal trainers.

    Here are a few exciting fitness fads we think you might fall in love with this summer. Happy exploring!

    Barre. Barre classes involve body weight exercises, moves with small dumbbells, and of course, intense isometric movements at the bar. There are numerous barre studios popping up around the country, from Pure Barre, to barre3, to boutique local studios. Many chain gyms also offer these classes.

    Kettlebell. Less of a fad and more of a fitness staple that people have been reaping the benefits of since the 1700s, kettlebells are one of the most efficient ways to get a full body workout that incorporates some serious strength training. Pro tip: take a few classes or work with a trainer before attempting kettlebell workouts. Technique and form are key if you want to avoid injury.

    Aerial exercise. Who wouldn’t want to fly while getting fit? With an apparatus attached to the ceiling, you can move your body in dance-like motions, increasing your flexibility and strength, and experiencing the ultimate adrenaline rush. Most major cities have studios that offer some form of aerial exercise.

    Orange Theory Fitness. Said to take away all of the anxiety that comes from exercise classes, Orange Theory Fitness is a group circuit training class (or interval training center) that will motivate you, monitor you, and push you into the “Orange Zone.” (It’s a good thing.)

    Hot yoga. Intense, sweaty, and liberating, hot yoga takes many people’s yoga practice to the next level with high temperatures that some say can increase your flexibility and relaxation. Hot yoga is typically offered at specialty yoga studios.

    Fitness classes are a great way to stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. And nothing beats the day after “hurts so good” soreness that comes from trying a new activity that your body isn’t used to.

    What are some of your favorite new fitness fads?

  • This entry was posted in Fitness on May 17, 2016

  • Are you a victim of relationship weight gain? Some studies say our romantic relationships (and sometimes the stress they cause) can have a negative impact on our health. When we feel safe, we’re less inclined to choose the treadmill over chips. And since many people mirror their partner’s eating habits, the fall to poor health isn’t a solo one. Couples in love can have a tendency to get a little too comfortable together.

    Sound familiar? If so, don’t stress too much. With hard work and planning, you (and your partner) can get back on track. And it can even be fun! Below are five active date night ideas that can propel you onto the path toward living a healthier lifestyle together.

    Try a new fitness class. Studio classes are all the rage right now – and there are so many to choose from! Do some research and sign the two of you up for something new and exciting. There’s nothing more romantic than charging into the unknown together.

    Go on an evening stroll or jog. When the weather is nice, set out at a mutually agreeable pace and enjoy the cool summer air. If you’re walking, take this opportunity to connect and talk about work, friends, hobbies, TV shows, etc. If you’re running, enjoy the peaceful quiet time with your partner by your side.

    Hit the gym. Be your own personal trainers. Are you great at weights but not into cardio? Maybe your significant other kills it on the treadmill, but fears the weight room. Share your workout routines and encourage each other to mix it up and try new things.

    Swim. You don’t have to swim dozens of laps solo to get a good workout in the pool. Hop in, splash each other for fun, and swim around at your leisure. Even moderate social swimming is a fantastic full body workout.

    Get a game going. Double date with another active couple and set up a friendly game of beach volleyball or basketball. Competing together can strengthen your bond, and you’ll have loads of fun crushing the competition!

    Couples that sweat together stay together.  Ruts are bound to happen, but don’t forget that your partner should be the number one person encouraging you to be your healthiest and happiest self. Lift each other up with these five fun active date nights. Because helping your partner stay active is the ultimate way to show you care.

  • This entry was posted in Patio on May 12, 2016

  • There’s nothing like fire to set an intimate, romantic mood. Nights spent outside on your patio are infinitely more enjoyable when your space is illuminated with candles, torches, or other unconventional lighting methods.

    Below are a few fun ideas for working fire into your backyard and patio space. No matter what lighting you end up going with, remember safety comes first. If you’re going to incorporate fire into your backyard, you’ll need to pay extra attention to being responsible with it.

    Tiki Torches
    Coming in all different kinds of styles, tiki torches set an otherworldly atmosphere and add a touch of adventure to the plainest backyard settings. Although you can purchase tiki torches at most stores that carry outdoor or patio supplies, we think it’s totally doable (and loads of fun) to make your own tiki torches.

    Bottle Torches
    Recycle those old wine bottles into beautiful outdoor lighting with these DIY bottle torches. There are lots of options for customizing these, from using matching high-end wine bottles, to mismatched and quirky bottles with offbeat labels.

    A Fire Pit
    Having a fire pit in your background makes it a great area to hang out in all year long. Relax and chat by the pit during summer evening parties, and curl up with a book in a chair (Make sure it’s fire resistant!) during the winter months with a cozy blanket and a cup of hot cocoa. Need inspiration? Here are several stunning fire pit designs.

    Classic Candles
    Timeless, elegant, and affordable, candles might be able to offer you the unique lighting you’re looking for. Scatter them among your patio tables for a safe bet. An crafty option: create your own hanging jar lanterns with old jam jars.

    Floating Candles
    This DIY project is the ultimate conversation starter! Create a magical floating candle centerpiece to give your outdoor area a whimsical feel.

    Basket Candles
    Decorate baskets of all kinds with flowers, moss, and candles, creating lovely outdoor decorations that also help light up your space. These lighting baskets can be hung from trees or placed on tables.

    Fire lighting is an easy and not too expensive way to refresh your outdoor space and create a party atmosphere. Still need some furniture to create your dream patio? View our collection at KETTLERUSA.com.

  • This entry was posted in Patio on May 11, 2016

  • Crisp summer air, yummy meals on the grill, and good company are three of our favorite things...but it takes more than these to plan an awesome outdoor shindig.

    Here are four tips for planning an outdoor party that will last into the wee hours of the night (if that’s what you’re hoping for!).

    1. Variety in food. Your goal should be to have something for everyone, from vegetarians, to strict healthy eaters, to those who are planning on indulging. Small servings of lots of different types of food allow your guests to experiment and try everything, fostering an air of adventure at your outdoor gathering. A few ideas:

    Filling, savory, and satisfying, these stuffed mushrooms are a classic crowd pleaser.

    Burger sliders will turn heads. Try them with different types of cheeses, from the classic to the offbeat, like orange cheddar, gouda, aged Irish cheddar, and for the adventurous, shropshire blue.

    Dainty and refreshing, these herbed cucumber bites taste like spring and aren’t too gluttonous.

    Psst:  A variety in drinks matters too! Have the materials ready for a few mixed drinks, along with a few different types of wine and beer. And definitely have soda and fruit juice on hand for those who aren’t drinking.

    2. Games galore! In case conversation stalls and you can tell boredom is approaching, have a few fun games up your sleeve to entertain your guests with. Some of our favorites:

    Cornhole. It’s timeless, simple, and enjoyable for all ages.

    Card games. Have card sets scattered around the patio area in case anyone is interested in striking up a game.

    Outdoor table tennis. There’s no better way to break the ice than some friendly competition.

    3. The right people. If you’re hosting a huge event, invite who you want and folks will most likely get along and have fun no matter what. But for smaller events, make sure you’re inviting people you think will mesh well. And if you’re inviting someone who doesn’t know anyone else in the group, offer to let them bring a friend, and make sure to introduce them to anyone you think they might click with.

    4. A clean and organized space. Yes, it’s not as fun as the other tips, but it’s probably the most important one. Make sure your party space is clean and removed of stains or other damage. Don’t have a space you’re stoked to show off yet? Here are some tips for creating your perfect outdoor patio area.

    Interested in finding some new furniture to spruce up your outdoor space? View our collection of patio furniture at KETTLERUSA.com.