Circuit Training in Denver Parks

20140626-132127-48087295.jpg

Denver’s City Park, view of Ferril Lake. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

There are SO many parks in Denver (over 200 in the city and county combined) offering the perfect landscape for circuit training. Benches, ledges, paths, and your own body weight can go a long way and help your wallet also!

In City Park, where benches are everywhere, we like to pick 20 benches and rotate exercises such as arm dips, step ups, squats, and push ups in small sets. Sprint from bench to bench, in between the exercises performed on the bench, to keep your heart rate up.
Not close to City Park? No problem! Find one near you and get moving. Low cost, high impact, with great results and no monthly fee. Use the resources this great city provides.

Take some great shots while you’re out there!

How do you get active in your local park? Tell us about it!

Urban Hiking – Yes, it’s a real thing.

Denver….er, well, Colorado’s weather hasn’t been cooperating much as of late. Tornados, hail, rain, thunderstorms, you name it. It’s making it pretty hard for us to conquer the remaining miles in the June Hike Challenge.

Planning hikes and then having the weather screw up your plans is not only frustrating, but can cost you gas money, time, and energy. For these reasons, plus not wanting to let another day go by sans hiking, Moguls and I set out on an Urban Hiking Adventure around the capitol this afternoon and knocked two more miles off of our 50 mile goal. 45 more miles to go!

Take a look at our journey!

Image

When life gives you rain, bring an umbrella. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

hallway

Have you ever noticed the paintings inside the archways in and around Civic Center? Beautiful work. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

pond

Swimming, anyone? Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

Urban hiking is actually a real thing – people document their urban hikes throughout cities, including cool quirks like staircase connections, unseen walkways, and much more. Moguls and I kept to the sidewalks and walkways of the different parks, but look forward to finding interesting, less-traveled parts of Denver on our upcoming excursions.

Urban hiking is not only less costly then driving somewhere to hike, but it’s also good for the environment.

alamonte pond

Halfway through our Urban Hike, the sun started to shine again! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

buildings

Love the contrasts of all of the different colors, shapes, and sizes of the buildings downtown. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

redthings

There’s artwork all around – go walk around and snap some shots. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

calder

More amazing artwork around Denver. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

fountainsintheground

Moguls’ favorite part – the fountains! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

Get out there, Denver. Urban Hike! Get to know your city using the power of your own body. 

picstitch

Our favorite shots from the Urban Hike. Get outside and check out your own city! What new things will you find when you’re face-to-face? Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

Check out more hiking adventures on our Facebook Page.

Wipe Your Stress Slate Clean – The Acupuncture Lounge

When I was referred to acupuncture by my physician, I initially thought he was an idiot.

A form of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture was the last thing on my mind to help me reduce stress. Weren’t there other options? No – little tiny needles stuck in me like a pushpin would be the way to go, he said!

I’m sure most of us have assumptions regarding acupuncture, but I think these assumptions come from a lack of knowledge. Allow me drop some learning:

  • Acupuncture doesn’t hurt. The needles are barely thicker than a human hair.
  • Many people associate needles with drawing blood or getting a shot – these are hollow needles, and sometimes painful. Accupuncture needles are virtually painless.
  • While Eastern practitioners describe acupuncture as the free-flowing of energy or life force within the body, many Western practitioners explain acupuncture as places to stimulate nerves, muscle, and connective tissue.
  • Acupuncture is used to reduce pain, relieve stress and allergies, and much more.

On Groupon, I found an offer for a $17 acupuncture treatment, thought “what the hell”, and purchased. Before purchasing, I made sure to look up the local center providing the Groupon to confirm reputation – The Acupuncture Lounge has nothing but raving clients and good reviews, so I was quite confident that I would be in the best hands there.

tables

 

The session I had purchased was for one-hour in a group setting. It might sound strange to be laying down and receiving treatment in the presence of a group of people, right? Wrong. No one’s concerned with you – they’re too busy relaxing and enjoying their own sessions. The Acupuncture Lounge makes it easy to enjoy the session and relax, wiping your stress slate clean. The soft music enhances the experience, and all three times that I’ve visited, I’ve been able to take a nice little siesta.

The staff at Acupuncture Lounge are friendly and helpful, answering any questions that you may have. They’re also relatable, and able to provide plenty of helpful tips to continue your stress-free journey after your sessions.

Frequency of visits really depends on what you’re going to treatment for – The Acupuncture Lounge will be happy to help you carve out a plan.

enterquietly

Check out the Acupuncture Lounge on Facebook by clicking on this picture. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

I’m happy that my physician recommended acupuncture; like I said, I would never have thought about this sort of treatment for stress, but it really is helping. I enjoy, and look forward to, my once per week visits – it helps me wipe the stress slate clean, and recollect myself. It helps me to remember my own goals and to focus on them, rather than sweating what we call “the small stuff”.

 

Acupuncture can be used for ailments other than stress – helping with quitting smoking, pain, allergies, migraines – you name it. Check out the Acupuncture Lounge and give them a call with any questions you may have – try something different! You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

 

Find more about what’s good in Denver by visiting our Facebook page.

Follow our adventures on Instagram  and Twitter: @denverspeax

Kombucha, Bamboo Bicycles, Juicing, oh my! – BambuCycles

 

Image

Check out BambuCycles in the Highlands – stop in and slam a green one for us, Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Healthy, scrumptious things to consume and cool bicycles are two things that Denverites go bananas over; it’s not hard to see why Denver, Boulder, and the Loveland areas made top 10 on a recent study’s slimmest cities! Check out this local business that’s helping us reach such lofty fitness goals – Stop #2 on the March 2014 Denver Dishcrawl, BambuCycles.

 

Using a masticating juicer (that means no blades, my friends) the fruits and veggies juiced by the guys at BambuCycles leave nearly all of the vitamins and nutrients in tact, extracting all of the pulp and fiber; the process uses a slower, crushing and squeezing method than other commonplace juicers. Another cool fact: BambuCycles in LoHi succeeds at extracting about 90% juice instead of the typical juicer’s 60% return. They make our Jack LaLanne juicer look like a joke! Check out the differences between masticating (more expensive) and centrifugal (more common, less expensive) juicers here for an easy run-down on the two.

Image

BambuCycles doing what they do best! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

The guys at BambuCycles juiced two, glorious samples for us- one green, and one made of fruits including pineapple, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Ever wondered about how juicing works, or wanted to take advantage of the many health benefits juicing provides? Stop in and chat with Angel and the guys; not only a wealth of knowledge, the staff are happy to assist you with customized juice orders, detoxes, and cleanses.

 

Image

Bright and full of flavor – The Mexican Salad at BambuCycles. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Some of the fruit was saved from juicing and chopped into small salads with a spicy twist (pictured above).

Try a rendition of this vibrant, flavorful melon salad:

  • Take your favorite melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, etc), and chop into 1” chunks – we like to fill a standard dinner-bowl full of the fruit to split between two people.
  • Drizzle lemon juice (to taste). We prefer a TON of lemon juice simply because the tangy and sweet combination of the lemon juice and the fruit is incredible.
  • Dust some cayenne (we prefer) or chili pepper throughout the salad – be careful! (also, to taste)
  • Sea Salt (to taste).
  • Mix the fruit, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne / chili pepper together, making sure each piece of fruit gets this crazy combination of ingredients for the best variety of flavors in every bite. Seriously, it’s like a party in your mouth.

 

Image

 

Another great experience provided on this Dishcrawl stop? Kombucha on tap! If you’re not familiar with Kombucha Tea, let us explain: Happy Leaf is a well known Kombucha producer, pulling from multiple types of tea in their brewing: green, white, and black. Benefits of Kombucha per The Food Renegade:

#1. DETOX!

 

#2. Helps with those pesky joints

 

#3. Digestion & Gut Health

 

#4. Boosts the Immune System

 

Check out The Food Renegade for more great info on Kombucha.

 

 

BambuCycles offer a stylish ride that stands out in a crowd. Not only are they cool looking, but they also provide natural shock absorption that simply can’t be replicated by other machined bikes. Stop in and check out these sweet rides!

 

Alright, alright… juicing, healthy & delicious snacks, Kombucha, AND bamboo bikes? Does BambuCycles NOT do anything awesome?

AnneliseStop2

Annelise, enjoying some juice and Bamboo Bikes. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

The answer is obviously no. They offer some serious benefits to the LoHi community, and definitely have a blast doing it. We look forward to stopping in again soon and learning more about their interesting business.

 

 

 

Exploring the Highlands – Seafood Landing

seafoodfisheye

Seafood Landing has a great selection of seafood, and is located right in the heart of the Highlands on 32nd Ave. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

Remember a few months back when we explored The Highlands and visited places like Vert Beauty & The Matador? We also visited this fantastic seafood shop located at 3457 W. 32nd Ave called Seafood Landing. Open since 1974, the staff over at Seafood Landing really know their stuff, and carry an incredible selection. With the help of Seafood Landing, we can now make a May 2014 Crawfish Boil actually happen right here in DENVER!

When speaking with the staff, we learned that the original owners of Seafood Landing actually brought seafood to Colorado about 25 years ago – we’d say that’s quite the incredible feat, and deserves to be recognized.

Seafood Landing not only sells a great variety, they also have spices, cookbooks, and other novelties to help you do it right – this is definitely a plus! Not sure what spice or recipe to follow for your purchase? Ask them! They’re happy to help make your experience enjoyable in any way possible.

racksofawesome

We are big fans of the spices on display in this fisheye pic! Check out their marinades and spices to keep your seafood delicious and exciting. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Feb 2014

The Omega-3 found in fish oil is fantastic for your health! Looking to lower blood pressure and help out your heart? Fish! Trying to figure out a way to burn fat faster? Pick a day or two of the week and eat fish instead of red meat as your protein. The benefits are plenty – good thing we have Seafood Landing to help us out! Stop in and say hi – check them out and support local business that supports your health.

We love when people like  us on Facebook!
Also, when friends like to “follow us” on  Twitter.

Crossfit DeCO – A Workout I Never Regret

stevenpicturefinal

Meet Steve Mercer, part-owner of DenverSpeax LLC! Steve’s stepped out from behind the scenes to write about a new passion of his.

While living in Michigan, I stumbled on Crossfit via Youtube, and became instantly hooked / curious; it was different. Everything about it screamed “this is NOT your normal workout”.

This was about two years ago, and since then I’ve followed Crossfit fairly closely, but never actually visited or joined a Crossfit gym (aka, “box”). Since moving to Denver, I’ve been searching for a new gym in order to keep myself fit; let me tell you, this is not an easy task when in a new city. Some are too far away,…some too expensive,…some are just too much of a singles meet up, or even too boring. Crossfit came to mind as a good option.

Today I can gladly tell you I hurt…I hurt in a good way.

About two weeks ago, DenverSpeax was approached by Leslie Friedman, owner of Crossfit DeCO, to give them a try. Honestly, we’ve all heard some sort of negativity surrounding Crossfit, which caused a bit of hesitation for me at first. Crossfit has developed a reputation for being too intense and only for high-performance athletes. However, wouldn’t you want to support a locally owned business, be surrounded by other health-conscious people who support you, and become more functionally fit for a more active lifestyle?  Hopefully, you are answering “uh, YES!”.

 

Image

Crossfit may be hard work, but it’s also a ton of fun. Check out Crossfit DeCO’s class schedule by clicking the picture above. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

Located at 923 W 9th Ave, Denver, Colorado 80204, I nervously walked into Crossfit DeCO, and was immediately greeted by many of the coaches and members. Looking around the gym (or “box” via Crossfit lingo), I noticed all different age groups, fitness levels, and experience were in attendance.

Image

Yeah, Crossfit can seem intimidating, but it’s important to try it out for yourself – create your own point of view. Click on the picture above to be brought to CrossFit DeCO’s website. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

Each day, as a member, you are given a warm up and a “workout of the day” (aka WOD) which is designed to help improve your overall functional movement. A WOD can be anywhere from 10 to 40 mins long, involves a variety of different movements, and will whip you into shape.

Image

It doesn’t take a lot of fancy machinery to get in shape. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

I am starting in the functional classes, or “Level 1”. In these classes, you learn the basic movements while still getting a good workout under the guidance of one of DeCO’s experienced coaches. An approach you will find at DeCO is that everyone is expected to try their hardest, but not everyone is expected to perform on the same level; this mentality is not always found in a Crossfit box that I really appreciate. At DeCO, workouts are easily scaled to a person’s capability. Your workout is YOURS.

Image

It’s amazing what you can do in an encouraging, supportive environment! Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

DeCO offers services outside of your day-to-day WOD as well, which is very cool – it’s not just the same, old Box. They offer chiropractic services, massage therapy, Olympic lifting, nutritional counseling, and personal one-on-one training. Check out the rates on their website here. Trust me- the cost is small compared to getting these services independently.

https://www.facebook.com/CrossFitDeCO?fref=ts

Oh, just hanging out… Click the above picture to be brought to Crossfit DeCO’s Facebook Page. Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

We have experienced other gyms, and this is nothing like going to 24 hour fitness or your local fitness center. A new visitor to DeCO may be confused about the lack of equipment and machines, but don’t worry – you can still workout without giant weight machines or treadmills. What stood out for me, and became reasoning behind joining as a member, is the honest encouragement from classmates as well as the coaches. Understanding that it is most important to give all you can, and to do YOUR personal best each time, will prove to be rewarding in Crossfit; Crossfit DeCO encourages you to do so in the most supportive way, making each class enjoyable. I won’t sugarcoat it – it’s tough, but the experience is incredible. Sure, sometimes it’s difficult to get our of bed in the morning and show up. To put it best, one morning after the most thoroughly exhausting WOD at DeCO, I posted a picture on Instagram with the caption:

“I never regret it (after it’s done)”.

Image

C’mon- they’re your friends! Credit: Steve Mercer, Jan 2014

If you want to join DenverSpeax on this journey, Saturdays are free to drop in! Stop in, give it a try, and let them know DenverSpeax sent you. All fitness levels are welcome. Like I’ve mentioned – it’s a great Box with coaches that are highly knowledgable. They’re happy to help with any questions you may have about the Box, or even CrossFit in general.

For more information, visit http://crossfitdeco.com/ and like their Facebook page to see the daily workouts and upcoming events.

Hang out with us on  Twitter!
Show Denverspeax some love on Facebook!

Colorado Ski and Snowboard Expo

Image

Tis the season for gearing up and going shredding – ski and snowboard season! Hopefully, everyone has their passes ready to rock; if you’re looking to pick up some new gear and want to find some great deals (40-75% off last year’s gear), check out the BEWI Ski and Snowboard Expo coming up on Friday, November 8th, 2013,  through Sunday, November 10th, 2013. Here’s the schedule

Friday, November 8 – noon to 10pm
Saturday, November 9 – 10am to 8pm
Sunday, November 10 – 10am to 6 pm

Ticket pricing is as follows, but you can score $2 off by riding the Light Rail:

$12, Children 12 and under are FREE (cash only); with purchase of ticket, you receive a fantastic Liftopia Gift Card for $10.
Each ticket is valid for one day.

Hope to see you there!

Something for the Ladies – Studio 3sixT – Pole.Dance.Fitness

A few weeks ago, while perusing through Groupon one afternoon, I came across a deal for one month of unlimited pole dancing classes for $90 bucks. I considered the opportunity before me; I had never pole danced before, am always looking for challenging fitness opportunities, and $90 bucks for a month of unlimited classes is actually pretty inexpensive compared to other gym’s rates in the area.

Image

Credit: Studio 3sixT, OCT 2013. Out of respect and privacy, I have not taken pictures inside the studio for this feature – take my stamp of approval, and go check it out. The first class is $6, aka a total steal!

So I went for it! I bought the Groupon to Studio 3sixT, and anxiously arrived last Thursday for the Intro to Pole class, a pre-requisite to all other pole classes offered at the studio. Located at 2553 S Colorado Blvd STE 109LL, Denver, Colorado (look for the Music Skool and O’Reily’s Autoparts – head toward the corner between the two, and you’ll see the door with the sign on it!), the studio is in a great location in metro Denver. Definitely plan ahead traffic-wise – Colorado can be a bitch. Plain and simple. The studio is functionally beautiful, home to multiple rooms with mirrors lining the wall, and, of course, POLES! The anxiousness immediately vanished when I was welcomed by Xiaohui, the instructor of the class.

We started class warming up and stretching, incorporating fun and sexy cardio movement. The second half of class, we learned different tricks on the poles, how to walk, and floor work. It was nice to be surrounded by women having a great time working out, gaining confidence by the minute, and just letting loose. The environment is incredibly supportive and enjoyable, and the instruction is not only comprehensive, but also totally sweat-worthy. Needless to say, I’m hooked! It’s hard to find a fitness environment in which people aren’t constantly competing. Also, with their variety of classes including Ballet Body, Saturday Stretch, and, as mentioned, pole dancing, I don’t see myself getting bored.

Aside from being incredibly fun and supportive, the instructors at the studio have a ton of experience in multiple forms of dance. I’ve learned that there are actually Pole Dancing competitions all around the world; check out this video posted by one of the instructors from the Colorado Pole Dancing Championships:

Ladies, if you’re looking for a fun way to work out and rebuild that confidence level, check out this studio. They have a variety of classes for all skill levels. It’s also a great way to meet some new girlfriends, and learn some new moves. Check out the Studio 3sixT Facebook page, shoot them an email, stop by… give it a try! I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed in any way, shape, or form.

Coco Bikes – SKBC – PBR – Denver Chain Chase: The Royal Rush Bike Race

Image

Michael (left) Kirsten (right) on the way from Checkpooint #1: Highlands to Checkpoint #2: Denver Bike Cafe. Credit: Jeff Doorn, July 2013

Saturday, July 13th, I embarked on my first bike race with two of our good friends, Michael and Jeff (their first races as well!). Like previously noted, Jeff just moved here from Dallas – he bought a bike roughly a week prior, and had ridden a few times, however we calculated the Poker Rush race to be about 20 miles. Jeff and I being the newbies to biking said, “Why the hell not?” We had 4 hours to finish the race, we didn’t mind if we were last, and we could meet some new people.

We started off at Coco Bikes on Inca in Denver; this is where we registered for $20 (which included sweet tshirt), received the manifest, and hung out until race time. There were roughly 60 people entered in the race – some beginners, like Jeff and I, some serious racers, and some participating to have a chill, bike ride day with friends. All were welcome, which made the race less intimidating.

Image

Poker Run – Royal Rush Bike Route. I did not include the bike ride to the starting point, Coco Bikes, from our apartment which is another 4 miles. Our ride home from Broadway clocked another 6 miles. Thanks to the Strava App for allowing me to keep track of these things!

When we were signaled to begin, Michael, Jeff, and I road to the Highlands, the hardest part of the entire race. This is where I hurled in front of children along the sidewalk of a beautiful neighborhood. I had only rode in the Highlands once, which was not anything too strenuous as it was only a few blocks. This was totally different. With some coaching and support from my friends  Jeff and Michael, we made it to our first check point. The rest of the race was around the greater downtown Denver area, including Washington Park, Odelay Tacos, & Denver Bike Cafe.

Four checkpoints, one thunderstorm, and roughly 28 miles later (including bike ride from house, race, and bike ride home), we had finished our first race. We weren’t first, last, fastest, slowest – somewhere in the middle was where we wound up. The experience was incredible, and we met amazing friends.

So, why am I writing about this? Simple: to encourage newbies to not be afraid of such events. It’s an incredible, accomplished feeling to finish a bike race, aside from it being a hell of a lot of fun.

Check out places like CocoBikes, the SKBC Facebook Page, Denver Chain Chase, and other Facebook pages to see what races are coming up in your area! Don’t be afraid – if a bunch of fresh-to-the-city Michiganders can do it, you’ve totally got this!

Big thanks to Denver Bike Cafe & Odelay Tacos for participating as check points in this awesome Poker Run event.

For All You Bikers Out There – Strava

Image

Screenshot of the “Explore” tab in my Strava account. Click on the picture to be brought to their website to check it out. Credit: Strava website, July 2013

A friend at work told me about this free app for my iphone (works for droids as well) called “Strava“. So far, I’ve learned that you can set goals and challenges for yourself, keep track of your progress with your phone / laptop, and find other rides that Strava members have mapped out. Today, a few of us are going for a bikeride from 17th & Colorado to REI in the Highlands. I’m totally going to record my ride using the Strava app and check it out for you guys! I’m sure it isn’t the most sophisticated, incredibly accurate bicycling app, but honestly – that’s not what I’m looking for. Just something to help me with tracking my progress. 

In a town like Denver, you get hooked on exercise like bike riding, and I’d really like to see if this app motivates me, and helps me get back into shape. I’ll let you all know how it works! 

If anyone has used the app and has some tips or comments, we’d love to hear!