The Sun Salutation

The Sun Salutation

This week’s AdventureBlog post is guest written by Leah Lillios King, owner of Kali Yuga Yoga. Thanks to the ongoing partnership between Kali Yuga Yoga and Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures, Nashvillians can once again enjoy a season of FREE outdoor yoga with our Yoga in the Park series between June 7th and August 30th.

Each Yoga in the Park session is beginner-friendly. Whether you’re a yogi-master or completely new to the activity, this week’s AdventureBlog explains how to properly do the Sun Salutation, so you can get the most out of your practice!

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‘Tis the Season… For Ice Skating

‘Tis the Season… For Ice Skating

Now that Thanksgiving is over and December is upon us, ’tis the season to start thinking about winter sports, and there’s no better way to stay active this winter and get in the holiday spirit than to go ice skating! Where, you ask? With five local options for public rink time, there’s no shortage of opportunities to lace up your skates and hit the ice:

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Salud to Vets

Salud to Vets

There’s no doubt about it, the more time you spend outside, the better you feel. Americans as a whole are increasingly spending more time indoors due to changes in technology and time use habits, with the average US citizen spending 2 hours and 49 minutes per day watching TV, but just 17 minutes engaging in sports, recreation, and exercise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are definite consequences of these habits for the mental stability of our general populous. Anxiety Disorders are among the leading mental illnesses in the United States, affecting over 40 million adults in the United States over the age of 18. Among these anxiety disorders are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

There is no shortage of evidence on the mental health benefits of getting outdoors. In fact, it even has a name now: EcoTherapy or “Green Therapy.” Simply taking a walk outdoors has been shown to reduce depression scores in 71% of participants in a recent mental health study.

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Lifestyle and Fitness: The Keys to Sustainability

Lifestyle and Fitness: The Keys to Sustainability

When it comes to working out, let’s face it, this is an endeavor one either dreads or loves. So, how does one make exercise feel less laborious and more enjoyable? The first and most significant tip to make this happen is to discover activities that are both fun and rejuvenating! While this may appear as a seemingly simple concept to grasp, it is all too often overlooked because exercise is commonly associated with being uncomfortable and restricted to the confines of a gym. Under no circumstances does this have to be the case nor should it be! Below are a few tips to help guide you to a more sustainable fitness lifestyle:

TRY SOMETHING NEW

The world of fitness is evolving every single day as more people are truly beginning to recognize just how much the human body is capable of achieving. A few of the most rapidly increasing trends include Crossfit, Parkour or “free running,” and calisthenics, just to name a few. Think of activities that perhaps you have not tried before, but have always wanted to do, and go for it! Yes, it may feel a bit unnerving at the start, but it is outside of your comfort zone that growth and progress can occur. Embrace the excitement of a new undertaking and hold steadfast to the process.

Remember, no matter the pursuit, it is ultimately enjoyment that leads to sustainability.

GET CONNECTED WITH OTHERS

Along with finding your sport or activity of choice, another important factor is forming connections with others who share similar interests. We all know how difficult it can be to find the drive to workout on our own; thus, with a partner or group, not only does it serve as extra motivation, but this will also help with accountability in both quality and completion of the workout. Gyms and fitness studios across the board are improving tremendously with creating an inclusive environment for prospective members, beginner-level individuals, and seasoned athletes alike. So if you are looking to work alongside others or tap into that competitive side, group fitness may be for you!  Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures is a fantastic option centered around promoting an active lifestyle, community involvement, and encouraging environmental awareness!

However, if convening with workout partner(s) proves to be difficult, there are a plethora of modalities through which involvement with community fitness can still be achieved. With technology and social media evolving at an astounding rate, the possibilities are truly limitless. Facebook fitness groups are a great way to engage with other like-minded individuals. Use this platform to strive towards a particular goal, hold each other accountable and encourage one another along the way to reach success. Other social media avenues such as Twitter can connect you to esteemed fitness icons as well as allow access to the latest in health and fitness trends from reputable, verified sources; Twitter’s defining quality is that it is based upon frequent, constant updates, which ensures that staying current is a non-issue. In conjunction with social media, this day and age revolves around having access to smartphones making phone applications another ideal avenue to stay in tune with staying fit. If time is a constraint (as it is for so many of us), apps such as Sworkit provide high-intensity workouts designed for incorporation within a busy lifestyle.

YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE

Ultimately, mental and physical progression is dependent upon initiative and effort. The following concept has been propagated in a multitude of ways but still holds true no matter the endeavor, and that is: the amount of progress one makes is a direct reflection of the amount of effort put into the pursuit.

As Maya Angelou simply, yet prudently stated, “Nothing will work unless you do.”

Intertwining healthy habits with one’s lifestyle is a feat in itself and requires balance, and this balance is forged over time with a steadfast approach. Life will present challenges, some expected and some unforeseen, that will disrupt the very harmony you are working towards. This is okay and remember, you are always in control of how you respond! The ability to overcome obstacles is a quality that will enable the achievement of health goals and other facets of everyday life. Along this journey towards a better you, the two defining ideals to keep in mind are patience and consistency. These are two of the most important ingredients for the recipe of success. Take both the trials and triumphs experienced with fitness and apply the lessons learned to other aspirations. Results will not be immediate starting out, and if they are, plateaus or feelings of stagnation may occur along the way, but do not become discouraged. This is all a part of the journey towards bringing about self-fulfillment.

Stay the course, embrace the process, and the results will be sure to follow.

copernicus and misty

This post was written by guest Adventure Blogger, Copernicus Johnson with Metro Parks’ Centennial Sportsplex. Copernicus is an ASCM certified personal trainer with a B.S. Degree in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Alabama. Centennial Sportsplex is a metro owned and operated fitness facility including fitness gym, studio classes, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, indoor aquatic center and indoor ice skating rink. Centennial Sportsplex hosts Team Green’s weekly Fitness Workshops the 2nd Sunday of each month at 3pm, and Team Green Members can purchase discounted monthly and annual memberships at the facility! Our next Fitness Workshop: Jungle Gym Bootcamp is on Sunday, October 11th.

A Night to Remember

A Night to Remember

You’ve been hearing about RAGNAR Relay in our blog, in our eNewsletter, an on the airwaves. The deadline for team registrations is coming up on September 17th. If you’re not a runner, there are some pretty amazing teams for you to cheer on along the course… and hey! There’s always next year to get ready for!

This week’s guestblog is from Elise Timothy with Ragnar Relay.

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There is nothing like a crisp, fall day in the South with the autumn leaves changing colors. Except maybe running 200-ish miles, both day and night, with 11 people who are just as adventurous as you are.

Ragnar Relay Tennessee begins in Chattanooga and heads northwest, where you will hug the Tennessee River and traverse the rolling hills of southern Tennessee, sprinkled with changing foliage. During the tranquility of your night run, you will gaze at the stars and race the sunrise that many a country star have crooned about. The race (and your stamina) will wrap up, when you honky tonk your way to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.

Need more reasons to find your inner wild and accept the challenge to become a Ragnarian? Here are a few:

DO-GOODERS
Ragnar is proud to work with this year’s official charity partner, Soles4Souls, a not for profit global social enterprise dedicated to Wearing Out Poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing here in the United States and in 127 countries around the globe. They have the state-wide goal to collect 10,000 shoes by race weekend (October 23-24th).

During Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures RAGNAR Soles Sweepstakes, local Nashville businesses hosted shoe donations while their patrons vied for a chance to win their own free Team Entry. All together 260 shoes were collected in 3 weeks. It was a nice little dent, but more can be done! Locations like Climb Nashville West, Cumberland Transit (East & West), and REI Brentwood are still participating as drop off locations for used shoes (any type, style, size, or condition welcome… including climbing shoes, pumps, running shoes, and slippers!). Shoes can also be dropped off along the race course and at the finish line on October 24th at Walk of Fame Park.

The EPA estimates that of the 68 pounds of textiles disposed of per person per year, only 15% gets donated/recycled. Soles4Souls has made it their mission to change that.

RUNNING FOR A CAUSE
Team Edith:
Celebrity Nashvillian, Thad Beaty, formerly with Sugarland, is going to play a big ‘ole guitar version of the anthem at the start line in Coolidge Park. This will take place at sunrise so come down early. Thad is running Tennessee as his first Ragnar this year to raise money for this great organization.

Amputee Blade Runners:
Look for this inspiring group of athletes along the course. They are raising money to provide running prosthetics for amputees.

St Jude Children’s Hospital:
Look for this dedicated team along the course as they raise money for the renowned research hospital. Who doesn’t love St Jude?

Operation Give Back:
This group is coming back for more Ragnar and look forward to tackling the Tennessee course.

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY
Ragnar Relay Tennessee teams are just the nicest bunch of Ragnarians. We get all warm and fuzzy thinking about how they cheer and provide encouragement to all runners along the course. Local businesses are also welcoming. Mountain Outfitters is a great place to shop, with the owners offering up Ragnar-only discounts near our Exchange 10.

COUNTRY FLAVOR
You can’t run Ragnar Relay Tennessee without seeing at least one banjo player or a team paying homage to Elvis, Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson as they deck out their van, don wigs and costumes. Runners finish under the Ragnar arch in Nashville at the Walk of Fame Park. Just steps away from our finish line party, Ragnarians have their pick of Honky Tonks for a night on the town. You never know you might see.

Learn more about Ragnar Relay Tennessee HERE to find out how you can register a team, sign up as an event volunteer, donated shoes to Soles4Souls, or set up camp along the course and cheer on hundreds of runners… running hundreds of miles!

How to Change a Bike Tire

How to Change a Bike Tire

If the only thing keeping you from enjoying a nice long bike ride is concern about getting a flat tire, you’ve come to the right blog post! Check out the step-by-step instructions below for all you need to know to change your bike tire on the fly:

(Note: If you do not know how to remove the wheel from your bike, you can visit your friendly neighborhood bike shop and they will happily teach you how!)

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5 Projects that are Making Nashville a Better Outdoor City

5 Projects that are Making Nashville a Better Outdoor City

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog over the last several months, then you know that we’ve got a ton of love for all that Nashville has to offer when it comes to getting outdoors. From parks and greenways to waterways and festivals, Nashville provides residents with an almost endless supply of excuses to step outside and enjoy nature. Though Middle Tennessee is a fantastic place to be for recreation lovers of all types, that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement! As a city, we’re constantly thinking about the next steps to take to continue to support active outdoor lifestyles. Here are five projects on the horizon (or closer) that are helping to make Nashville just that much better for people who love to get outdoors:

1. Davidson Street Multi-Use Path (Coming July, 2015)

Over the last several years, Nashville has made great strides toward becoming a much more bike-friendly city. In 2012, Nashville was recognized as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community (TM) by the League of American Bicyclists, and as of last week, Nashville now has 16 Bicycle Friendly Businesses (TM), including us! If our cycling community is to continue to grow and thrive moving forward, then there certainly needs to be an increase in infrastructure to provide riders of all ability levels with safe and accessible routes across the city. Thankfully, city officials have recognized this need and acted accordingly, recently announcing a multi-use path to be installed along Davidson Street near Shelby Bottoms. The path enhances the existing Music City Bikeway by implementing a paved path for both pedestrians and cyclists that would range between 8 and 12 feet wide and include protective bollards and wide striping to increase user safety. The path will increase connectivity between Downtown, LP Field, Shelby Bottoms, and existing neighborhoods in East Nashville, and is a fantastic resource for commuting and recreational cyclists alike!

ConceptPicture
Concept drawing of the Davidson Street path, via Nashville.gov.

2. West Riverfront Park and Amphitheater (Coming July, 2015)

If you’ve set foot in SoBro recently, then you know how hard it is to miss all the construction going on in what is becoming one of Nashville’s fastest growing commercial districts. Sitting prominently on a long-blighted piece of prime riverfront property (this site was once the home of Nashville’s Thermal Transfer Plant), the soon-to-be-completed West Riverfront Park will provide an incredible array of amenities for Nashvillians to get outdoors. Most notably, the park features a gleaming 6,500 seat outdoor amphitheater, giving the city a much-needed mid-size concert venue. The lineup for the inaugural season at the newly-named Ascend Amphitheater was just released last week, featuring more than a dozen shows ranging from Eric Church and Grace Potter to Widespread Panic and Old Crow Medicine Show, offering a little something for every musical taste. The site will also feature a dog park, outdoor wi-fi, more than a mile of greenways and paths, basketball courts and so much more, providing SoBro with access to a ton of much-needed resources to enjoy the outdoors right in the heart of Downtown.

westriverfrontpartk1
Rendering of West Riverfront Park and Amphitheater, via Nashville.gov.

3. East Bank Landing (Coming Summer, 2015)

Though West Riverfront Park has been getting most of the press recently, there are big changes happening on the other side of the river as well. East Bank Landing is currently under construction adjacent to LP Field and the Bridge Building, tucked in near the eastern end of the Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. When complete, this small park will feature increased green space and shade trees, several benches, a picnic area, and a floating dock for the General Jackson. Perhaps the best feature for local outdoors enthusiasts, the renovated space will also include direct water access for launching canoes and kayaks, providing another access point to what has been a historically under-utilized Cumberland River. East Bank Landing also acts as an addition to the existing open space in nearby Cumberland Park, making for several acres of contiguous green space along the increasingly resident-friendly eastern bank of the river.

4. oneC1TY (Ongoing, some elements now open)

Tucked into a historically nondescript lot north of Centennial Park, the oneC1TY project is quickly becoming one of Nashville’s most talked about developments, and with good reason. Part of the larger redevelopment of Charlotte Avenue into a “healthy corridor,” oneC1TY seeks to become a hub for health and wellness both indoors and outdoors. The project will feature tons of sustainable elements, like a shipping container village (playfully named C1TYBLOX) full of health-oriented businesses, as well as highly-efficient office space for groups like the Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance. oneC1TY will also play host to several public outdoor elements, like walking paths, a lake with a picnic area, an amphitheater for music and other performances, and sand volleyball courts (which are already open). Overall, the project is aiming to be a LEED-certified sustainable neighborhood with both residential and commercial components, and its main goal is to be a center for innovation and collaboration on all things health and wellness in Nashville.

onecity_b11
Concept plan for a portion of the oneC1TY site, showing abundant outdoor space adjacent to the 28th/31st Avenue Connector, via Cambridgeinc.com.

5. Centennial Park Renovation (Phase 1 due in May, 2015)

One of Nashville’s oldest and most recognizable parks, Centennial Park has long been a cherished outdoor spot for many locals. Since 1897, the park has provided Nashvillians with access to walking and running paths, abundant green space, a small pond full of wildlife, gorgeous gardens, and a full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon among other amenities, all in the heart of Midtown! Though the park has long been a staple of Nashville’s recreation culture, an increasingly vibrant and growing user base has spurred on the need for renovations. Construction began late last summer on Phase 1 of the project, which includes a permanent amphitheater for the Musician’s Corner concert series and enhanced parking and landscaping near the Parthenon, among other components. Future phases will provide park users with access to a stream flowing through the park, the renovation of existing monuments and addition of new sculptures, the installation of a playground, and so much more! The Centennial Park Master Plan outlines all of the changes happening throughout the park, and provides a snapshot into how incredible the park will be for all of Nashville when it’s complete.

All of these great projects have got us beyond excited to get outdoors as the weather heats up this summer, and we hope you’ll join us! Check out our calendar to find ways to get involved. Do you have a favorite local project going on that we missed? Feel free to add it in our comments section below!

See you out there, Nashville!

– Matt (Team Green’s Events Coordinator)