Tag Archives: sports

What’s In My Skate Bag?

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What’s In My Skate Bag?

Hello!! As most of you know, I am an avid ice skater and love hitting the rink as often as I can for a lesson with my childhood coach. When I was younger, I can remember how all of the skaters at the rink had the coolest skate bags on wheels to tote their belongings back and forth. Myself, on the other hand, opted for a Betsey Johnson travel bag and I have been using it for close to two decades… Until now, that is!

I had been long overdue for a much needed upgrade and Elite Sports delivered with this gorgeous new sports bag. What do I keep inside it? Let’s find out:

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^^^ You can shop my new bag in a variety of colors here!

My Practice Necessities:

  • Skates (Of course!)
  • A rag to dry my skates after practice
  • Hard guards for walking off ice
  • My favorite travel mug
  • A snack to eat on the way to the rink

When I go skating, it is typically after work because I hate getting up for early Saturday morning sessions. This means that I need to have a good snack and my travel mug handy to keep my energy up because I’ll have a late dinner afterwards. My “Making A Difference” mug was a surprise gift from the Ohio Department Of Developmental Disabilities and I take it everywhere. It works like a dream and I never have to worry about my hot drinks cooling down or cool drinks warming up lol.

My go to snack on the way to skating are the Belvita breakfast bars. I freaking LOVE these things and I’ll often have one before going to work too. My favorite are the soft baked bars – especially the ones with dark chocolate in it – YUM! It almost makes me feel guilty eating them because they taste like dessert but they provide me with the boost I need for a great skate.

As I mentioned before, it took me the better part of almost twenty years since I upgraded my skate bag and my wipe down rag still hasn’t changed. What can I say, I am a woman of habit! I got what was once a nice towel from the Skater’s Edge (A skate shop in Ohio) from a competition forever ago and it hasn’t left my possession since. Call it nostalgia or whatever you will for holding onto something for so long but it still wipes my skates dry all the same. 😀

Like a majority of the necessities in my skate bag, my hard guards were bought when I got my first pair of skates lol. Hey, if it’s not broken… These are a must have for skaters to protect their blades for pre and post practice as well as all of those bathroom breaks from guzzling water throughout the session!

And, finally, I don’t get to use my new(ish) skates as often as I would like, especially with the craziness of just moving apartments. However, when I do get the chance to get back on the ice, it’s like I never left. I can’t wait for my next practice to break out my new Elite Sports bag! 😀

How long do you tend to hold onto things for? What is in your work out bag? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Have Some Fun: Visit A Local Hangout

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Have Some Fun: Visit A Local Hangout

Lots of communities have a local hangout where everyone seems to gather for a big game, trivia nights, or the company. This might be a bar, restaurant, arcade, or in some cases all three of these things in one. If you are in the mood to meet some new people, places like these are great to go to. It also offers these benefits:

You Will Have Longer Conversations:

It has been noted through research on the topic of socializing at pubs that people who sit at a bar and talk to other people tend to talk longer. While being in this kind of social situation, a person is more inclined to get involved in conversations with multiple people allowing them to converse freely. Being able to hold up a conversation is a great skill that not only brings its own happiness, but also helps you in daily life.

In your professional life, being able to talk, network, and hold your own makes people want to interact with you more and get to know you better.

You Will Get Involved In Sports:

Most hangouts have a dartboard or pool table and people are always crowded around it. Getting involved with a sport like darts helps you with your concentration, hand-eye coordination, control, and patience. All of these skills can only make your life better. Being a part of a team also makes you have a sense of belonging and community, which is a win for your mental health.

Whether it’s watching sports on TV and being among like-minded fans or joining the local sponsored sports team and getting exercise, visiting your local gathering place can introduce you to this world and help you meet new friends.

You Get Out of Your House:

Getting out of the house on a weekend night and being among people of various age groups and backgrounds always makes a person happier. When we are home and tucked away from the social scene we can develop feelings of isolation and loneliness. When we are out in the world socializing, those feelings melt away.

Even if it is only for one drink or two, sitting down in public and interacting with other people also breaks up the day and makes you feel as if you are part of something greater. The best thing that comes out of this is that you make new friends and discover new things about yourself.

You May Learn Something New:

A lot of bars and restaurants hold trivia nights in order to get more patrons in the front door for something fun and interesting. The best part of playing trivia games: you become a smarter person. Research has found that people who go to pubs and participate in trivia games are going to learn something new.

This also allows a person to show off their intelligence and how much they know in a public setting which boosts confidence and makes a person feel better about themselves and their abilities.

You Learn to Let Your Guard Down:

When you are in a social situation where everyone is talking to each other and having a good time, you are more likely to want to join in too. In order to do this, you are going to have to let your guard down. When you get into the habit of opening yourself up and talking, you will not feel so insecure to speak up and ask questions at work or with your family and friends. This kind of confidence will help you take control of your life and improve it.

You Will Feel More Relaxed:

When you go out and have a good meal, perhaps a drink, and time with your friends, you are more likely to feel relaxed. An evening of getting yourself out there and enjoying yourself is the best cure after a stressful week. It gives you the opportunity to leave your job at the office and focus on having a blast, instead.

Exploring the local hangouts in your area will give you the chance to connect with people and unwind. Plan an outing somewhere new with your friends and enjoy!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Be On The Lookout!

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Be On The Lookout!

Hey! Lots of fun stuff is coming out on lifewithlilred including new OOTDs (I’m taking pictures today, I hope!), book club reviews, and I’ll be teaming up with Elite Sports and Born Tough to give some of their products a try. I can’t wait! 😀

Keep it posted with yours truly so you can take a look at all of my essentials in my skate bag when I hit the rink. But, if you can’t wait until then, here is some awesome gear by Elite Sports to check out in the meantime:

I love you all!!! ❤

Get Fit With These Inexpensive Outdoor Activities

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Get Fit With These Inexpensive Outdoor Activities

Now that the sun is making a comeback, most of us are keen to get back outdoors and enjoy fresh air, nature, and exercise. If you don’t have a huge budget and are considering ways to get fit that allow you to spend more time outdoors then these are some perfect options to consider:

Walking/Running:

What could be cheaper than walking or running? All you really need is supportive footwear but it doesn’t have to be expensive. You could run or walk just for exercise or you could switch car and bus journeys and you’ll actually save money. How about walking to and from work each day? Some people find it easier when they have a destination to get to and others prefer just getting out and about so do what works best for you.

If you have a dog, then even better! Getting out on long walks together can lead you to find new and interesting places in your local area. This is great for all fitness levels since you can choose walking or running routes that are either completely flat or those with hills and inclines. You can walk or run fast or slow, you can walk or run for a short distance or a long one, all depending on your starting fitness.

Cycling:

Cycling is another way you could get around instead of transport or just get out for fun exercise. Buying a bike initially can be expensive but is something that will last pretty much forever if you maintain it properly. Alternatively, you could pick up a used model from a local group for cheap or even free if you’re lucky. Once you have the bike and safety helmet, it’s free to exercise from then onward. Again, you could find some lovely places in your area that you’d never thought to explore before and it’s a fantastic all body workout which is great for toning and cardiovascular fitness.

Soccer:

You might not have kicked a soccer ball around since you were a child, so why not give it a go? You don’t have to be an excellent player by any means, just round up some friends and get outside on a sunny day. You could keep it very simple and just buy a ball. Or, if you want to kick around more regularly, invest in some goalkeeper gloves and goalkeeping tape for the person in goal. A little bit of friendly competition can be a good thing, time goes quickly when you’re having fun and you’ll burn tons of calories running up and down the field!

Basketball:

Basketball is another great team sport which is cheap to do outside as all you need is a basketball. Most towns and cities have basketball courts dotted around so have a look and see if there are any close to you. Even if you don’t have a team of people to play with, you could just shoot hoops instead. This is still a good workout and helps to tone the arms. It will also help you to practice your technique and can improve coordination.

Yoga:

Finally, yoga is a fantastic type of exercise. It can be done anywhere so when the weather warms up it can be really nice to get outside and do it. Find a serene setting like your garden, a beautiful meadow, or the beach. Put down your yoga mat and do some stretches and yoga poses. This can be good for both mental and physical health. Yoga can also be done any time of day, it can be particularly beneficial either in the morning to gently wake yourself up or before bed to help you to wind down.

None of these activities require any special skills, even beginners can try their hand with them at a basic level. You don’t need lots of equipment, a gym membership, or to spend lots of money. You can simply get outdoors, move your body, and have some fun!

Featured Image By: Pexels

What To Look For When Hiring A Fitness Trainer

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What To Look For When Hiring A Fitness Trainer

Are you still keeping up with your New Years Resolution of getting in shape? A fitness trainer can definitely be beneficial for achieving your fitness goals and helping you to be your best self. There are a few things to keep in mind when hiring a fitness trainer to make sure you’re getting the most out of your sessions:

Location is important:

One of the first things you’ll want to consider when hiring a fitness trainer is their location. You’ll want to find someone who is close enough to you that getting to and from your sessions is convenient. This will help you stick to your plan and not have any excuses for skipping out on a workout. You need to also keep in mind that you’ll be spending a lot of time at the gym or studio so you should feel comfortable there.

Their credentials:

When you’re looking for a fitness trainer, you need to make sure they have the proper credentials. These will differ depending on where you live but in general, you should look for someone who is certified by a reputable organization. There are continuing education units for trainers which ensure that they are up to date on the latest fitness information. This is important because the science of fitness is always changing and you want to make sure your trainer is using the most effective techniques to help you in your journey.

Their personality:

The personality of your fitness trainer is also important. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person so you need to make sure you mesh well. They should be someone who is encouraging and motivating, but also realistic. You don’t want a trainer who is always pushing you to your limits without achieving results or making you feel bad about yourself in the process. Find someone who makes working out fun and something you look forward to instead of dreading.

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Their methods:

Your trainer should be using techniques that are proven to be effective and tailored to your specific goals. They should also be using a variety of methods to keep you engaged in your workouts and help you see results. Before hiring a trainer, try to ask questions like “What is your work style?” or “How do you develop workout plans?” to get a feel for their methods.

Their prices:

The rates of fitness trainers can vary greatly, so you’ll want to find someone who fits within your budget. However, you should also be aware that the cheapest option is not always the best. You’ll want to find someone who offers value for the price and isn’t just in it for the money. Many trainers offer discounts for packages or if you commit to a certain number of sessions, so be sure to ask about these options.

Their availability:

You’ll want to find someone who can work with your schedule and is available when you need them. If you’re only available for early morning or late night sessions, make sure they can accommodate you. You should also find out how long they usually work with each client and if there are any cancellation policies.

Their experience:

Last but not least, you’ll want to consider the experience of your trainer. You want someone who has been in the business for a while and has worked with a variety of clients. They should also have experience with clients who have similar goals to yours. This will help them better understand your needs and how to best help you achieve your fitness goals.

These are all important factors that will help you find the best possible trainer for you. Now that you have the right trainer to help you, it is time to put in the effort and work to achieve your fitness goals!

Is Exercise Good For Your Skin?

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Is Exercise Good For Your Skin?

Being physically active can have many health benefits from boosting one’s immune system to reducing the risk of heart disease. But is it good for your skin’s health? There are pros and cons to exercise when it comes to maintaining healthy skin so let’s explore this more:

The Pros:

Being physically active can prevent pressure sores:

It’s a well known fact that lying down or sitting down for too long can cause pressure sores (sometimes known as ‘bed sores’). People who are bedridden are most at risk of this and professional carers must regularly turn them to prevent these sores from developing – failure to do so is viewed as neglect and could warrant hiring a nursing home abuse attorney.

If you’re not bedridden, you shouldn’t really be developing these sores. However, many people with no mobility issues still develop them simply by working a physically inactive job or sitting on the couch all day. This is why it’s so important to stay moving – never sit in the same position somewhere for more than three hours!

Exercise can relieve stress, which can relieve skin problems:

Exercise is a well known stress buster. It releases endorphins which can help to cleanse our body of the stress hormone, cortisol. Stress is known to make inflammation worse – many skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis are triggered by stress. By exercising regularly, you may be able to stop these skin conditions from flaring up.

The ‘post-workout glow’ is a real thing:

Many people report noticing a ‘glow’ to their skin after working out. This is because exercise promotes blood flow to the skin. On top of making you look more rosy-cheeked and youthful, this increased blood flow can physically make your skin healthier by supplying it with increased oxygen and nutrients.

Exercising outdoors can provide many skin benefits:

Jogging outdoors or exercising in your backyard could have increased skin benefits. Sun exposure helps to increase vitamin D production, which is necessary for skin cell growth and repair. The fresh air also helps to oxygenate your skin from the outside, also helping with skin cell repair.

The Cons:

Sweaty skin can increase the risk of spots and acne:

When we sweat, the PH balance of our skin changes, causing bacteria to grow and thrive. Sweating also causes our pores to open up. Bacteria can get into these pores along with dirt or makeup and this can lead to spots and acne. Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to counter this: 1) Try to avoid wearing makeup while exercising as this can clog pores and 2) Take a shower immediately after you exercise.

Conditions like rosacea are made worse by exercise:

Skin conditions like rosacea are caused by an increase in body temperature. Our body naturally warms up when we exercise, which can then lead to rosacea flare ups. Is there any way to prevent rosacea flare-ups when exercising? Keeping well hydrated and exercising in a cool environment can help (i.e. a well air-conditioned room or outdoors when it is cool).

Chafing can lead to rashes and blisters:

Certain forms of exercise like running can lead to chafing of the skin. This can lead to painful rashes and blisters. Wearing the right clothing may prevent chafing – moisture-wicking clothing is designed to take away sweat from the body, preventing clothes from rubbing against the skin. You can also try adding Vaseline or talcum powder to areas that are prone to chafing.

Outdoor exercise may increase the risk of sun damage:

As mentioned in the pros, our skin does need some sun exposure to help us get the vitamin D we need for skin cell repair. However, too much exposure to the sun can result in harmful UV rays burning the skin. Sunburn isn’t just painful and unpleasant to look at – it can increase the risk of you developing skin cancer. If you are exercising outdoors for long periods, it’s very important to wear high factor sun cream or to choose times of the day when the sun is less intense.

The Verdict:

Exercise can lead to issues like acne, rosacea flare ups, chafing, and sunburn. However, you can reduce the risk of these skin problems by taking precautions when you exercise. Overall, exercise is very important for your body and does have some major skin benefits such as reducing inflammation and helping skin cell repair. You shouldn’t give up exercise to protect your skin – approach exercise in the right way and it could make your skin healthier.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Have Fun & Stay Active With Bowling

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Have Fun & Stay Active With Bowling

Did you know that bowling is one of the most popular activities out there? Most people don’t associate it with a sport, but it is. Just because you don’t need to be extremely athletic, doesn’t mean it isn’t a proper sporting activity. In fact, this makes it a perfect way for people to start exercising and being more active. If you’re new to the whole fitness thing, bowling is a brilliant way into the door. It gets you up and moving, but without loads of heavy impact or crazy strain on your body.

So, if you like the sound of this, how can you get started?

Buy the gear:

Another reason to take up bowling is that it doesn’t require a lot of gear. Usually, all you need are some bowling shoes, bowling gloves, and a bowling ball. Now, it’s important you understand what kind of bowling ball is best for you based on your ability and physical strength. It can be good to start with a lighter one and make your way up. Also, bowling alleys do supply all of these things for you anyway. So, when you’re just starting out, maybe don’t invest in the gear just yet. Play with what they provide, see if you enjoy bowling, and then commit to buying your own stuff.

Find somewhere to play:

You’ll be surprised at how many bowling alleys are close to where you live. It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that every city in the country should have at least one bowling alley. Look online for your closest one, see the reviews, and pay it a visit. It can be a good idea to go to multiple places before you decide on one to visit regularly.

Book your slots/buy a membership:

Some bowling alleys let you buy a membership that grants you unlimited access to the facility whenever you want. You still have to book a slot, but you don’t have to pay every single time. However, the majority of places will just make you pay every time you book a slot. Either way, figure out the best time to go bowling. If this is something you want to do on your own or just with a couple of friends, it can be best to book slots around the busy periods. Those of you that have free time during the day should book during weekdays as it means kids won’t be around. It can be harder to get slots after schools close because lots of kids love bowling.

From here, you’ll reap the health and fitness benefits of bowling, while also enjoying a very fun and sociable activity. Who knows, you might get good enough to go pro someday! 😀

Featured Image By: Pexels

How Exercise Can Make You Look Younger

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How Exercise Can Make You Look Younger

There are many products on the market that claim to undo the effects of time on your skin. However, there’s one aspect that people often don’t talk about when they discuss skincare: a healthy lifestyle. The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and its health depends on how you treat it. Your lifestyle factors into the condition of your skin as much as anything else, so it makes sense that being healthy and exercising can affect how youthful your complexion is too:

Exercise Can Combat Sagging:

Aside from proper nutrition and adequate sleep, exercise can be a key component as well. While many people think that only the effects of aging make us look older, we actually start to take on an aged appearance long before our time. It all starts in your twenties and thirties when the underlying muscles and bones lose their elasticity and snap back less easily. Before you know it, your body geometry is more prominently defined, and your facial features start to sag.

When you exercise the muscles in your face and neck, they become tighter and more toned. It’s actually possible to get a younger looking jawline through easy exercises! After a while, your skin will tighten up with these underlying muscles. Of course, the effects will not be as pronounced as the best non-invasive facelift treatments, but it will visibly improve your appearance.

Exercise Can Reduce Dark Circles and Puffiness:

There are many reasons why people have puffiness under their eyes – not all of them are related to fatigue or not sleeping enough. Short term swelling can often be due to crying or allergies, but chronic cases may represent a more serious medical condition.

However, exercise may help! By regularly working out, you indirectly reduce the amount of water in your body. When you sweat, it’s easy to lose a lot of liquid without even realizing it. If you’ve ever had an intense workout and then noticed that your skin was not as puffy or dark circles were not as prominent, this is why!

Exercise Boosts Blood Circulation:

If you want to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, then one thing that you should pay attention to is your blood circulation. There’s a reason why people are always trying hot stone massages or using warming masks – because blood flow improves skin health.

The heart acts as the main pump for your circulatory system, pushing fluid throughout all of your tissues. When you exercise, your muscles demand more oxygen and fuel to get a boost of nutrients and also receive a lot of fresh oxygen. This helps improve blood flow to your face, delivering useful nutrients and carrying away waste.

Oxygen is an integral part of the production process for collagen. In fact, people often describe aging as a simple case of ‘rusting’. When your body starts to slow down its mitochondrial activity (the cells in your body that produce energy), the old proteins in the body become oxidized and start to look bad. Collagen is exactly like iron – when it’s exposed to oxygen, it rusts and flakes off. By keeping your blood flowing regularly around your face, you can slow down this aging process.

Exercise Makes Your Skin Glow:

Many people have that ‘fresh out of the shower’ look after working out. You might notice that your skin looks much healthier when you’re sweaty! The reason why exercise makes us glow isn’t just because of sweat. Our bodies are constantly trying to regulate our temperature, so in times of stress or physical exertion, the blood vessels in the skin dilate. If you’ve ever noticed that your cheeks turn red after a workout, this is why.

This dilation of the blood vessels happens as a secondary effect to improved circulation. When there’s more blood flow to your face, you look more awake and ‘healthy’. This is why exercise makes us look younger – we’re literally glowing!

While exercise can’t undo the effects of sun damage or other signs of aging like wrinkles, it can make your complexion look much healthier overall. If you want to maintain your youthfulness over the years, exercise should be a significant part of your lifestyle – not just something that you do occasionally!

5 Factors To Consider When Buying Sports Equipment

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5 Factors To Consider When Buying Sports Equipment

When getting into a sport, there may come a point when you need to buy your own equipment. But just which equipment should you buy? Below are 5 factors to help you choose the right gear:

Cost:

First, you need to set yourself a budget. The price of equipment can vary a lot – brand new professional-level equipment will usually cost the most, while used entry-level equipment will cost the least.

Some sports are likely to be more expensive than others. For example, you can get into yoga with nothing more than a yoga mat. A sport like sailing, meanwhile, requires buying an entire boat. Most people end up hiring or sharing a boat until they get to a professional level as there’s often no point investing in one until then.

Size/weight:

Equipment needs to be the right size and weight to match your body. This is important for performance and safety (it’s imperative that items like helmets are the right size – if they’re too loose, they won’t protect you). If you’re buying equipment for a child, it’s worth finding equipment targeted at their age. As they grow, you may need to invest in new equipment. This is something to keep an eye on.

Performance level:

In many sports, you can buy different types of equipment aimed at different performance levels. There’s no need to splurge on professional equipment if you’re a beginner. Unless you’re playing at a professional level, you won’t notice the difference between a basic tennis racket and professional tennis racket. Equipment aimed at beginners may even be easier and safer to use in some cases. For example, a pro-level bicycle may be more tricky to handle than an entry-level bike.

Brand reputation:

Some official sports bodies may require you to buy a specific brand. If you’re not taking part in a sport that demands this, you have the freedom to choose from various different brands – but which should you choose?

It’s worth looking into the reputation of different brands to find something that is recommended by other users. For example, when choosing a ping pong table, it’s worth spending time looking at table tennis reviews. Don’t just focus on the most well-known brands as there are many lesser known brands out there selling top quality gear and it’s generally a lot cheaper than top brands.

Condition:

If you’re thinking of buying used equipment, you’ll need to consider the condition. If equipment is heavily used and worn, there may be a greater chance of it breaking in the near future. Certain old or worn equipment may even be unsafe to use and is worth steering clear of.

Try to always buy used equipment in person. When buying online, stick to local selling sites so that you can pick up equipment in person and carefully inspect the condition. It’s possible to find a lot of used equipment online being sold cheaply that is still in practically new condition, which is the type of equipment you should be aiming for.

Like many other hobbies, playing sports involves some monetary investment. Shop smart with the tips above as you pick out your gear!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Treat Day!

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Treat Day!

Hello! This past Tuesday was full of treats for me and it made for a nice, albeit exhausting, day. For the first time in several months, I had a skating lesson in the evening after work and I knew that I would need an extra caffeine jolt to see me through until my arrival home. So, I decided that it was the day to grab my annual winter seasonal drink from Starbucks: The Peppermint Mocha!

I am ashamed to admit that I waited in line at the Starbucks drive thru for at least fifteen minutes for this drink but it was well worth the wait. The Peppermint Mocha is my absolute favorite seasonal drink from Starbies and I would drink it every day if I could. My taste buds would love it but my wallet… Not so much.

My treat drink from Starbucks was as delicious as I remember it being and my only regret is that I didn’t savor it more. It was completely gone by the time I arrived to my next client. Better luck next year, I suppose! Throwing the drink back or nursing it, it definitely did the trick because I still had a shocking amount of energy by the time I arrived at the skating rink for my session at almost five o’clock. And, from a permanently sleepy girl, trust me when I say that this never happens!

It felt so good to get back on the ice after a fairly long hiatus when my coach was on maternity leave and I am always pleased when I can pick up right where I left off from my last lesson. Of course, I felt dead tired the following day because it was a hell of a work out but #noragrets at all and I can’t wait to go back next week.

It is so nice to have something to look forward to during the work week but next time I will have to settle for coffee pot coffee instead of my beloved Starbucks. No one ever said the figure skater lifestyle was easy! 😀

How do you treat yourself? What is your order from Starbucks? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah