Start the New Year Right, Find a New Sport to Participate In

January 17, 2019

We’re pretty sure you are fired up about 2019. This is the year you’re going to do your best to become a better version of yourself. You will be more fit. Nothing will stand in your way. But before you know it, you’re back to the same day-to-day routine, and the possibility of doing something new gets slimmer.

If this sounds like you, don’t lose hope. Maybe you just need a new sport to get involved in. Here are a few reasons why it’s great to be a little sporty.

Improved Sleep

Do you have sleep problems? Find a sport. Studies show that exercise and sport trigger chemicals in the brain that can make you feel more relaxed and happier. Sports played outdoors are particularly beneficial to you because fresh air has been found to promote a good night’s sleep.

Aerobic exercises such as running, swimming and cycling are the best to combat sleeplessness. It is recommended to exercise at least three to four times per week for 20 to 30 minutes to really make a difference in your sleep cycle.

Playing the right sport and engaging in the right physical activity can help you to get a better night’s sleep. But if you’re not the sporty type, you can still get the benefits of physical activities such as using the stairs instead of an elevator or walking instead of driving to the grocery store.

A Healthier Heart

The heart is a muscle that needs regular exercise to help keep it strong and healthy. When healthy, your heart can pump blood efficiently throughout your body. It will also improve in performance when it is regularly challenged with exercise.

Cardiovascular exercise such as running, jogging, swimming, or cycling involves the use of large muscles in a repetitive manner, activating muscle fibers designed for endurance and utilizing a heart rate range between 45 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate.

When performing cardio exercises, blood flow is directed toward working muscles and away from the areas that aren’t doing much. When performed regularly, these sports help your left ventricle adapt and enlarge, resulting in a healthier cardiovascular system.

In addition, regular physical activity helps to lower the heart rate and blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease.

Reduced Stress

When stress affects the brain, because of its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. In other words, when you feel better, so does your mind.

Physical activities such as sports stimulate the body to produce chemicals that are responsible for affecting your mood positively. Endorphins, which are neurotransmitters, at heightened levels, cause a “feel-good” response. This feeling also helps to release tension. Studies have shown that regular participation in physical activities has been proven to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve self-confidence. Even for as short as five minutes, aerobic exercises can stimulate anti-stress effects.

How to Get Involved with Sport

The New Year is a perfect time to be motivated to get up and try out a new sport. Anyone can be involved in sports — any age, background, and skills can participate. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned sportsperson, getting into a new regular routine such as doing sports on certain days in a week, can help you keep going.

While some sports like cycling can be successfully done on your own, but many people find it more motivating and fun to join a team. For newbies, this is particularly useful, as you benefit from expert guidance, which provides a good foundation for learning — not to mention you don’t feel so isolated in what you’re doing and gain the social effects and support of exercising with others.

Moreover, joining a team gives you the chance to try out a sport and make sure you really love it before committing to buy the necessary equipment or gear.

Remember to choose a sport that fits your lifestyle. If you’re always busy and spend most of your time at work, the sport you choose will depend on your degree of occupation. No matter the sport you choose, we have the prescription sports eyewear you need. Also, if you have health issues or injuries, you should see your doctor before doing any regular physical activity. Your doctor might even recommend what kind of sport to choose to improve your health.

Jogging Tips

January 10, 2019

Did you know that jogging is an effective, practical, and productive form of workout? According to studies, a 155-pound person can burn as much as 606 calories per hour simply by jogging at 5 miles per hour. This activity also challenges your cardiovascular system and can aid in the prevention of heart disease. But before you go ahead and try jogging, take note of these simple tips for a safe, efficient run.

Eat.

Though jogging is a much easier activity compared to other activities like swimming or sprinting, you still have to give your body the energy it needs to maximize your effort and avoid hunger mid-run. The timing of your meal or snack also must be taken into consideration because it can affect your jogging workout. For this reason, avoid eating right before your jog to avoid discomfort. Consume a high carbohydrate snack with low-fat content about an hour before you start jogging. Also, try a whole wheat bagel peanut butter, which is a good example of a high carbohydrate snack that also contains protein.

Warm up.

By completing an active warm up before you begin jogging, your body raises the temperature in your muscles, which triggers a rise in your body temperature. This results in an increase in your metabolic processes and your energy supply.

When your muscle temperature is elevated, your muscular resistance or viscosity is lowered. This enables your muscles to tighten faster and stronger, which is essential to proper jogging.

Warming up also results in better joint load distribution by causing the cartilage layer in your joints to thicken, making way for consistent distribution of loads.

More importantly, proper warm-up helps avoid injury. Warmed up body tissue has been discovered to be more flexible, which helps get rid of injuries by improving your attention and increasing your ability to react.

Target the muscles that you will need for the jog. You could simply march on the spot, take a slow walk, then pick up your pace, do knee lifts, or climb stairs. Also, remember that the overall intensity of your warm-up should not exceed the anaerobic threshold.

Get the right shoes.

Wearing the right kind of shoes is essential to keeping you comfortable and preventing you from getting injured. There are a variety of sports shoes on the market for every type of exercise, so be sure to choose the right ones. Running shoes that have built-in shock absorbers are available for joggers, and lightweight walking shoes are available for walkers.

In addition, be aware of some other aspects such as grip and protection. However, the most important design factors of a running shoe are the ones that promote the correct stride and help you absorb some of the impacts in the ground.

According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, the type of shoe you choose should depend on the sport you are most active in. Therefore, if you plan on jogging three times a week or more, pick a good pair of running shoes.

Avoid using worn out shoes, as they do not provide your feet with enough protection during your workout. Studies show that running shoes should be replaced every 350 to 500 miles. That means if you run 20 miles per week, you should replace your shoes at least twice per year. Also, avoid judging the wear of your shoes from the treads on the bottom. Instead, check the mid-sole of the shoe, which will show damage sooner.

Pick the right surface.

Depending on the specific workout, you should be aware of the different surfaces in order for you to know where to start.

If you are looking for a surface that is soft and provides great cushioning, jog at a forest or park floor. Having said that, be mindful of the risk of injury that increases due to roots, rocks, and bumps.

If you plan on running fast, a pavement is an excellent choice since there is very little danger of turning your ankle. However, be warned that it is going to be hard on your joints because the pavement does not cushion your steps. This surface is recommended for very light runners with good form.

A sandy surface, on the other hand, trains your muscles and makes you lift your feet. But be cautious because it tends to overwork your calf muscles.

Don’t forget to protect your eyes when you are jogging. We offer a large selection of jogging prescription sunglasses.

Cylindrical vs Spherical Ski Goggle

December 19, 2018

On our website Sporteyes.com you’ll see references to “spherical” or “cylindrical” lenses on our ski goggles.  What does this mean?

bomojoblkci Cylindrical Goggles  have been around for decades and what you may have been familiar with if you have been skiing for a long time. These goggles have a flexible lens so they “wrap” around the face better as they flex to conform with your facial structures. They are also less expensive.

bovirtuoseblkaurSpherical goggles we call “bubble” lenses. They are a more rigid, inflexible lens. They “bubble” out in the front. They have several advantages.  First, it gives you a much wider field of vision especially on the periphery.  Secondly, since the lens bubbles out in the front, it tends to sit further from the face to allow more “gap” between your face where you are generating body heat and the lens. This will help with fogging.  Lastly, the manufacturing process for bubble lenses creates less glare and distortion.  It becomes rather complicated explaining the axes on which spherical and cylindrical are built on.  But the bottom line is that the manufacturing process of the spherical lenses creates less overall distortion and glare due to the angles the light comes through the lens at.  They also look “cooler” and more futuristic. But the price point is much higher on the spherical lenses versus the cylindrical.

If you have a hard to fit face or are looking for the most economical option, pick a spherical goggle.  If you are looking for the best optical clarity, peripheral vision and anti-fogging properties, go with the cylindrical lenses.

 

Fun Ways to Exercise During the Holidays

November 29, 2018

It is so easy to gain weight during the holidays. By indulging yourself in your favorite foods, you can gain as much as 10 pounds in only a matter of weeks. Big meals are usually shared later in the day, which causes us to skip breakfast to try to save up our calories since we know we will be eating like a horse later. Also, because of the many festivities and events, we begin a meal when we’re already starving which is a guaranteed way to gain weight. Furthermore, we keep on eating even when we’re not hungry. Now, here are some ways to consider how to stay fit this holiday season without having to take away the fun factor. Don’t forget to wear your prescription sunglasses during the winter.

Instead of shopping online, shop at the mall.

For sure, you’ll burn more calories by physically going to the mall instead of placing your orders online. Purposely park your car away from the entrance to get a good walk even before you shop. To burn even more calories, don’t buy an item right away; instead, browse through similar shops and look for the best deal. By walking, you can burn as much as 65 calories per mile, if you are a 120-pound person. That’s much better than staying at home, reclining on the couch, and digitally placing your orders.

Take a walk.

There are a lot of great places out there where you can simply walk and sweat your stresses out. Walking offers a myriad of health benefits. As a low-intensity exercise, walking is perfect for building and maintaining your muscles as well as for weight loss. This physical activity can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Instead of driving, walk to the local store or a park. According to experts, walking forty-five minutes a day offers a positive health effect, and it also helps fight depression — that’s a great way to get rid of that winter gloom. You can also take your dog for a half-hour walk, which can make your exercise even more worthwhile.

Have fun with that snow.

Shoveling the snow during winter doesn’t have to feel like a chore. With the right mindset, you can turn this household activity into a fun workout. By shoveling your driveway, you will burn calories and stay warm at the same time. Even if you don’t feel like cleaning the pathway, you can still use the snow to burn some calories. Go outside and have some child-like fun with a snowball fight with the rest of your family. Remember to move your body into your throw to work on your shoulders and contract your abs.

You can also work your abs by laying on your back and making snow angels. To maximize this activity, tighten your abs and wave your arms all the way up. Do it ten times and call it a day — that’s a great ab and shoulder exercise in the snow.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, try snowboarding this season. This is an effective exercise for you to enjoy in the snow that will work your core and body as a whole. Just make sure to let go of your fear and focus on your form for a great workout and a fun experience.

Get the whole family and bike at the park.

Cycling is a great way to maintain your fitness for many reasons. First and foremost, it’s a non-impact exercise, which is great for your joints. Secondly, cycling is easy to do, and almost everyone can do it — even kids will love it. Lastly, cycling is relatively cheap and doesn’t require gym memberships or similar commitments — all you need is a decent bicycle, a little time, and an open road, and you’re ready to go. If you’re curious about how effective this activity is, did you know that cycling at a modest pace can burn as much as 650 calories per hour?

To make your family cycling time more fun, start singing and do it as loud as you can. Even if you’re a little off-key, we’re pretty sure everybody else will come along. By singing for about 15 minutes, you’ll burn an additional 25 calories if you are a 150-pound person. Talk about multi-tasking!

Great Places to Dive in California

November 22, 2018

According to the California Coastal Commission, the Golden State has “1,100 magnificent miles across ten degrees of latitude.” That gives you a myriad of places to go diving. But today, we will narrow down the list to make the search easier for you. And don’t forget that we carry prescription dive masks.

La Jolla Cove

A small, beautiful cove and beach surrounded by cliffs in La Jolla, San Diego is called La Jolla Cove. This cove is protected as part of a marine reserve. Its rich underwater environment attracts snorkelers, swimmers, and divers. La Jolla features a sheltered kelp forest that’s teeming with underwater life.

If you are confident about your water skills, you’ll do just fine as the swells that often roll in from the open ocean here can be relatively large and strong. On the other hand, this cove may not be recommended for an inexperienced diver.

Redondo Beach Veterans Park

Redondo’s Veterans Park is used regularly by many diving instructors and dive masters due to its generally good conditions, easy parking, public bathrooms, showers, and a sandy bottom. This is great for those who want to learn how to dive as its depths of 20-30 feet are ideal for open water training.

From 0-50 feet the site has a sandy bottom that houses crabs, shrimp, thornback rays, horn sharks, and in good days, Pacific angel shark. Going deeper at 60-80 feet, you will see bass, scorpion fish, white fish, moon snails, sarcastic fringe heads, torpedo rays, octopus, varieties of nudibranchs, and the giant black sea bass.

Wreck Alley

Located a few miles off the coast of Mission Beach, San Diego, Wreck Alley has several ships that were intentionally sunk as artificial reefs and as SCUBA diving attractions for wreck divers. Out of the eight wrecks, six were intentionally sunk. These wrecks make artificial reefs properly positioned in the cold nutrient-rich currents. Some of the creatures that can be seen at Wreck Alley include corynactis californica anemones, snow white Metridium anemones, scallops, barnacles, tunicates, crabs, starfish, zoanthids, brittle stars, nudibranchs, and other species.

The Yukon, known as California’s most well-known shipwreck, was purchased by the San Diego Oceans Foundation for the purpose of sinking in Wreck Alley. Sitting at 68 feet at the highest point and 105 feet at the lowest point, The Yukon was a 366-feet Destroyer and now a safe haven for marine creatures.

Naples State Marine Conservation Area

Covering an area of 2.58 square miles, the Naples State Marine Conservation Area is a marine protected area that conserves Naples Reef in Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County. It is designated as among the most scenic coastal dives available in Southern California.

Despite its small size, this park is considered as an ecological hot spot. It has a diversity of plants such as kelps, surf grass, and substrates. Naples State Marine Conservation Area has a rich seascape that includes 30-foot reef walls teeming with marine life, one-of-a-kind underwater pinnacle and arch systems, a network of caves, and thick kelp forests. This area is home to anemones, white sea bass, shepherd, nudibranchs, rockfish, red gorgonians, harbor seals, and sea lions. It also houses threatened and endangered species such as steelhead trout, tidewater gobies white-tailed kites, and red-legged frogs.

Naples Reef is considered as one of the Top Ten Dive Sites in California’s marine parks. However, note that this site offers some challenges and may not be suitable for beginners.

Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve

With an area of 6.27 square miles, the Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve protects marine life by prohibiting or limiting the removal of marine wildlife from within its borders. This area features southern California’s world-class variety of rocky and sandy underwater habitats, including shallow kelp reefs.

Laguna Beach State Marine Reserve is the most popular among the Laguna coves. It contains outstanding marine biodiversity, perfect for diving, tide pooling, and wildlife viewing. It is home to gorgonian sea fans, nudibranchs, and reef fish.

Southeast Farallon Island State Marine Reserve

Also known as “Farallones,” Southeast Farallon Island State Marine Reserve is one of the most famous spots for ecotourism in the world. The Farallon Islands are part of the city of San Francisco and are located less than 30 miles offshore. It’s upwelling of nutrients feeds phytoplankton, which results in blooms that are eaten by equally microscopic animals known as zooplankton. This is why the area attracts massive marine mammals such as blue, gray, and humpback whales. Also, you can enjoy watching sea lions and seabirds flying overhead.

Are All Sports Goggles the Same?

November 14, 2018

We recently had a discussion with a customer about why our sports goggles products are more expensive than somewhere like Zenni Optical.  These are a few things you know when you see a big price gap in sports eyewear.

First, we only recommend that any eyewear used for ball sports be rated with the ASTM F803 standard. This is the US safety standard for impact.  Basically glasses that meet this requirement are tested on a dummy head with high velocity small balls being shot at it from various angles to make sure that the frames hold up.  Lenses are also required to be a made of a high impact material (polycarbonate or trivex) AND be a minimum thickness over other eyeglasses made with these materials. This again is to make sure they can hold up not just for everyday use but for high velocity balls being shot at them.

If you order from any of these discount places online where the glasses are being shipped from overseas, they will most likely not meet any of the US safety standards.  You want to make sure the eyewear you are ordering for sports have the ASTM safety standard stamped on that frame and that lenses meet the US guidelines for impact/safety for sports use.  Many leagues now are also requiring glasses meet the ASTM safety standard. Thus, if you got the discount route, you might not be saving any money when you find out your league will not allow you to wear the eyewear you purchased because they do not meet the US safety standards for sports.

Also having your prescription 100% accurate is another issue with these discount eyewear places.  A recent survey by American Optometric Association (AOA) showed out of 200 eyeglass orders placed at the top 10 discount online stores, only 154 actually showed up. This means you run the risk of never receiving an order when placed with these kind of online eyewear stores.   Of those 154, nearly half (44.8%) had the incorrect prescriptions.  While your eyes may adjust to this in a regular pair of glasses, not having sharp vision in a pair of sports glasses can hurt your game.  Precise vision is imperative in most sports.  For fast moving ball sports, having your prescription off one degree could mean the difference in you hitting the ball and missing the ball. If you can see the ball a fraction of a second sooner, your reaction time on the ball will be better, and thus your performance will be better. This is why it is important for the prescription to be 100% accurate.

Even with the US standards,  the prescription can still be off a certain percentage and still be within “tolerance”  (meaning they eye can “tolerate” the difference).  With glasses made overseas, there will be no standard at all and the prescription doesn’t have to be even close.  But just because the glasses are made in the US, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be accurate either.  The US standard does say it can be a little off.  This is why you will still see inaccuracies in prescriptions made with US based eyewear companies especially in the places that turn over eyewear in 24 hours or less.  They can make them so fast because they take what is close to the prescription and not custom make the glasses for you. Again, having the prescription slightly off will reduce your reaction time, and thus reduce your overall sports performance.

We have a zero tolerance policy on our prescriptions. We don’t go with the government tolerance.  If a prescription is not 100% accurate, we reject it and don’t ship it to you.  This is why it may take a little longer sometimes. If the prescription is not exact, they have to start all over again resetting the timeline for fabrication.

Warranties are another thing to consider. Most of the sports eyewear we sell have lifetime warranties on the frame. They can do this because they know that the frames will hold up over time.  With low end glasses, you may have to replace them yearly because the quality is not there.  So over time, they can cost you more.  We have been in business for 22 years. We have customers who still have the frames they purchased from us 20 years ago and just send them back over and over to the the prescription updated in them.  Buying a quality frame means it will last you a lifetime.

Some brands like Liberty Sport also extend their lifetime warranty to the lenses (against scratching, coatings peeling, etc.) . Their warranty also include theft and loss!  This is a great thing for younger kids who tend to lose their sports goggles. If they lose them, they will replace them for you, frame and lenses complete.

All in all you are paying a little bit more, but you are getting a high quality product that you know is safe to use and will allow you to perform at your best.

If you have any questions, as always, feel free to reach out to us.  888-223-2669 or at www.sporteyes.com

 

 

How to Get Ready for the Ski Season

November 8, 2018

Ski Season is here, are you ready? Here are a few tips to help you get prepared for the season if you haven’t already done so. We offer a full line of prescription ski goggles for the whole family.

Rustle up your gear.

This is one of the first things you need to do. While skis are generally built tough, but you also still need to maintain them on a regular basis — not only during the ski season. First and foremost, you ski them over grinding snow, rocks and stumps — not to mention you also expose them to harsh elements.

Before anything else, you should have your skis waxed. Apply a decent quality hard ski wax and use it as frequently as possible. Your skis should be hot-waxed after every third or fourth day of skiing and freshened up with a paste wax every day. Wax is like your engine oil, which helps your skis run as smoothly as possible.

Have a pocket stone handy and deal with minor burrs promptly. If neglected, these burrs will lead to rust, which is much more difficult to deal with. If your skis have a lot of scratches on the edges of your top sheets, you may need to take them to a ski maintenance shop.

Have your self a nice pair of boots.

Your skiing boots are the only pieces of equipment that actually touch your body. Their interaction with your feet is the most important interaction in skiing. Have a pair of boots that don’t hurt your feet to maximize your experience. If you need stock liners, be sure you get yourself custom ski boot liners and custom footbeds. These items will improve your comfort as well as your confidence.

If you are looking to purchase a new pair of boots, consider these tips:

Have your toenails trimmed
Make sure the toe box is roomy and allow for your toes to lay flat and stretch out to full length
Ensure that there isn’t a lot of space for your ankle to move or twist side to side while wearing the boots
Consider thermo-fit liners at your preferred ski shop
Step into your ski binding so that you can flex toward and feel how the boot fits in a skiing position

Invest in nice downhill ski bindings.

Ski bindings are the most important component of your ski in terms of safety. On the hill, bindings release you from the ski when the pressure exerted on them is too high for their settings. When choosing ski bindings, look for those that are compatible with your boots and have a professional adjust them for you.

Get fit.

Before getting too excited about skiing, be sure you are physically fit to perform this arduous activity. Determine what and how much you eat every day. Be sure to balance your meals with a good mix of proteins, fats, and carbs. Get rid of alcohol as it contains a lot of empty calories and slows down your metabolism.

Since skiing is a complicated sport, it demands a lot from your body. Start with endurance exercises as your base. Without endurance, your muscles will easily get tired and your likelihood of accidents increases. A minimum of 90 minute-run, bike or hike per week is an excellent way to start your endurance training.

Also, strength and power are both critical to proper skiing and keeping yourself safe. You should integrate specific weight lifting programs for skiing into your routine about a month before you hit the slopes. To strengthen your leg muscles, a series of squats, wall sits, and lunges are a great way to kick off.

In addition, train for balance and focus on compound movements that require several muscle groups to coordinate. This copies the real-world movements and enhances balance. You also might want to consider working on your core, as it is your body’s central source of power and it protects your back.

By proper conditioning, you’re lowering your chances of getting injured. It’s also important to be mindful of other skiers, especially during peak season and on busy runs.

Fall Biking

November 1, 2018

The weather, the colors, and festivities — these are just some of the reasons why taking your bike for a ride during fall is such a great idea. But where exactly should you hit the trails and enjoy the season? Here’s a list of some of the best trails in the country. Before you hit the trails this fall make sure you have your prescription cycling sunglasses!
Delaware Canal Towpath, Pennsylvania

Located in Bucks and Northampton counties in Pennsylvania, Delaware Canal Towpath has an area that covers 830 acres (336 hectares). It has a 60-mile trail that runs from Bristol to Easton on the Pennsylvania side of the river. The park also has a trail that runs along the New Jersey side that stretches for 70 miles. These two trails can be interconnected by several bridges that cross the river, making this area ideal for those looking for cycling loops. It has a flat trail and is mostly a crushed cinder surface.

What makes this trail great is that it offers a long ride with beautiful scenery. As you enjoy your ride, you will have a view of the historic towns, the Delaware River, woodlands, and farm fiends.

The Delaware Canal Towpath is excellent for family rides or long endurance rides.

Harrisonburg, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Already an acclaimed cycling mecca, Shenandoah Valley just upped its reputation. Harrisonburg had previously been named by National Geographic as one of America’s “Top 10 Mountain Bike Towns”. The city also received the distinction of being one of the “10 Best Blue Ridge Bike Towns” by Blue Ridge Outdoors.

One of the reasons why this city was chosen as a great place to ride is because of its full calendar of bike races and festivals. Bikers are encouraged to hit Massanutten Mountain for single track or enjoy the picturesque road rides through the countryside in Shenandoah Valley or up to Skyline Drive.

Harrisburg boasts a diverse mix of quiet country trails, bike-friendly streets, single track loops, and exciting mountain bike courses. Besides biking, you can enjoy other activities in Harrisburg that include festivals and performance art. And don’t miss the vineyards and various dining options, too.

Kebler Pass, Colorado

With an elevation of up to 10,007 feet, Kebler Pass is a high mountain pass in Gunnison County, Colorado. This pass is paved for the first little bit out of Crested Butte, but eventually converts to gravel and runs for several miles as a gravel road over the pass.

This pass will take you through the spectacular view of Aspen Grove, which has an interconnected root system, ranking as one of the biggest living organisms in the world.

During the fall, this adjoining root system causes the leaves in each cluster of trees to change in bursts of the same color, making it even more mesmerizing.

The trail also allows night riding and winter fat biking.

Virginia Creeper Trail, Virginia

In the 1800s, the Virginia Creeper Trail was part of the Norfolk & Western Railway’s Abingdon Line. It earned the moniker “The Virginia Creeper” because of its sluggish speed it traveled up and down the steep mountain ranges. In the late 1920s the local lumber industry closed down, and for the next 50 years, the line served as a passenger train line that connected the isolated mountain towns in the region.

Today, Virginia Creeper Trail is acknowledged as one of the best trails in the Eastern United States. It’s popular among families who are looking to have an all-day or even all-night bike expedition. Young bikers will love the downhill, costing-friendly nature of the trail from Whitetop to Damascus. A number of outfitters offer bike rentals, which allow you to go on a 17-mile downhill ride and will shuttle you back to Whitetop Station. If you’re a hardcore rider, you can take the full 34-mile ride all the way back to Abingdon to completely enjoy the trail.

Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

With a distance that stretches 469 miles, The Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia is considered as America’s longest unspoiled roadway. It links the Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During the fall, you can enjoy the leaves along the path in a shorter ride at the Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival in the city of Staunton.

Why Golf is a Great Way to Exercise

October 25, 2018

backdrop_0149For the fourth time in the past 120 years, golf is going to be included in the Olympics in 2020. Though it may not be considered a physically demanding sport, golf actually offers many health benefits, making it a great form of exercise.

Golf can help you stay in shape.

A player usually walks around 5 to 8 miles in a game of golf, burning at least 900 calories. According to a study, a male golfer burns around 2,500 kCal during an 18-hole round, and female players burn roughly 1,500 kCal. Keeping a brisk pace going from hole to hole resembles a good cardio workout, and the walk from the last hole back to the clubhouse is usually a mile long. While golf may not be an intense workout, playing the game a few times a week can help you lose some weight.

Golf can quickly achieve the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week to keep you healthy. An 18-hole round easily exceeds the recommended number of steps per day to lose weight (10,000), especially when you walk instead of using a golf cart. Not only does it keep you active, but golf also lowers your cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease, and based on research, can prolong your life. Research conducted in Sweden found that golfers have a 40 percent lower death rate, which corresponds to a 5-year increase in life expectancy.

Golf can help improve your sleep.

Breathing fresh air and burning calories are two powerful factors for a good night’s sleep. Walking the course is a good workout, and regular exercise such as walking helps you sleep faster and remain in a deep sleep for longer periods of time. As an outdoor sport, golf soaks up its players to a considerable amount of sun, which is one of the best ways to get vitamin D, something that is absent from a regular diet. This vitamin is essential for a number of reasons that include better calcium absorption, promotion of cell growth, increased energy levels, and improved attitude. Since golfers absorb a lot of vitamin D from the sun, their overall well-being improves, which helps them sleep better.

Chronic obstructive sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that is more common as people age. It increases the risk for cardiac arrest, hypertension, and death. A study found that golf seems to require exactly the skills that treatment for sleep apnea improves. These skills include memory, decision making, anger management, calculation, hand-eye coordination, and other cognitive skills.

Golf is good for your brain.

Not only does golf challenge your physical skill, but also your ability to stay calm and focused. As a result, golf is a great way to boost your brain power. It helps you to have increased blood flow as your body is always in motion. By keeping active, you ensure your brain has a good supply of blood, which is essential to help it function better.

Golf is also known as a game that requires excellent coordination. It needs you to have great hand-eye coordination, precision strokes, and balance, all of which utilize your cerebellum, a part of your brain that regulates coordination.

This game allows you to strategize to get the ball into the hole. Not only does it require the use of geometry, but it also allows you to analyze the environmental conditions and your strength. Altogether, these exercises are a great left brain workout.

As a social activity, golf allows you to interact with others, which has been proven to improve self-esteem and happiness. Playing golf to socialize can help lift depression, improve one’s outlook on life, and grow one’s social network. Also, friendships made on the golf course can last a lifetime. These attributes play an important role in having good mental health by giving us the feeling of acceptance and satisfaction.

Golf has a low injury risk.

Compared to other sports, especially the contact ones, golf is much safer. While it is a game that requires some physical activity, its main features include strategy, coordination, and accuracy. Golf is recommended for players of all ages in terms of safety, but it still provides some physical movement to keep the muscles engaged. It is ideal for people who still want to play a game despite having trouble with joints, disease, and other aging problems. Now is a great time to order your prescription golf glasses.

Fun Things to Do with Your Family in the Fall

October 18, 2018

Young runners sitting on bench and relaxing after jogging.Summer is about to end. But don’t get bummed out just yet! Just because fall is right around the corner doesn’t mean that the good times are gone. Here are some ideas to keep your family cheerful and pumped this autumn.

Enjoy the beauty of nature.

Fall is the favorite season of many, and for a number of good reasons. Typically, the leaves from the trees and plants beginning to change into kaleidoscopic works of art and just fall off the ground. While spring is very green, summer is sweltering, and the winter is frigid, the fall, on the other hand, is full of picturesque colors.

Autumn also offers perfect weather. With cooler temperatures coming in, bidding goodbye to summer shouldn’t be a hard thing to do. It’s the ideal time to unleash the jackets, coats, boots, and hats to prep yourself for the change of seasons.

With the right outfit on, you can bring out your family into the wild as the scenery begins to redesign. Going for a walk is a great way to help your children to be away from their busy, digital world and get in touch with the real world around them.

Go to a familiar outdoor spot such as a park and collect items such as fallen leaves and create an album of the stuff that you run into on your walk.

Visit a farm.

Fall is the perfect time of the year to visit a farm and pick fruits right off the trees. There are farms that are open to the public in the fall and will let you pick fruits and fill a basket to the brim.

If you’re eager to start decorating your home for the Halloween, you might find some local farms selling their first harvest in late August or early September. Many farms would have fruits and vegetables, including pumpkins ready for your picking even before the change of seasons.

Your children might also enjoy apple picking, hayrides, and corn mazes, which can easily become a family tradition. The good thing about mazes is that they cater to all ages of the family, from little kids all the way up to grannies can come together and have a great time as a family.

Also, many farms also offer baked goods right on their site. After your family has finished picking fruits and vegetables, riding hays, and playing mazes, you could go into the shop and try out fresh apple juice or freshly baked pies and turnovers. This experience will allow your kids to discover both the challenge and joy of picking farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.

Start a pick-up game.

Fall is perfect to play less formal games. Studies show that these types of games are a great way for young players to grow and develop skills while enjoying the game with less pressure compared to a formal setting. Start a game with minimal structure, but make sure that there will be referees or coaches available to officiate the game. If your family won’t be enough to fill the rosters, invite neighbors to play with you.

Go on a camping trip.

We’re sure you can find a hidden paradise somewhere near your own home, so why not plan a weekend or a day trip to a spot that is a little far?

When the seasons change, the scenery, camping grounds, and national parks can easily become the perfect background for your candid family photos. Your shots can simply turn out to be Instagram worthy because of the various colors and the fun that can be seen in your faces.

Your kids will love the idea of cooking hotdogs and s’mores over the campfire. This is a great time to disconnect from social media, so ask everyone to get unplugged from their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

If you’re on the more adventurous side, there are parks that offer activities that your family can enjoy such as kayaking, boating, hiking, zip lining, or fishing. This is also a great opportunity to let your kids climb a tree since they gradually lose their leaves and bare their branches, they’re like pleading to be climbed. Those falling leaves can be collected and be added to a craft-making project. Don’t forget to protect your eyes while enjoying the outdoors. We carry prescription sunglasses for the entire family.