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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20 RAGNAR Realities

20 RAGNAR Realities

This week we introduce guest blogger, Becca Babicz with RAGNAR Relay. In addition to our RAGNAR Relay Training Tips from August 2015, Becca shares 20 things you’ll learn about RAGNAR… while running RAGNAR!

Maybe knowing these in advance will help get your team ahead of the curve!

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3 Reasons to Go Play in the Snow Right Now

3 Reasons to Go Play in the Snow Right Now

Here in Nashville, we don’t get a lot of snow. A slight flurry has been known to freak out many Nashvillians, and just a few inches of snowfall can shut down the city for days. While we all love a good excuse to stay home, curl up by the fire, and enjoy a relaxing day, there are a lot of benefits to taking some time on your snow day to get outside and do some good old-fashioned playing. To help get you motivated to put down the hot cocoa and step outside for a minute, here are three of the best reasons to be active in the snow this winter:

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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:


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.


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.


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.

RAGNAR Relay Training Tips

RAGNAR Relay Training Tips

By the summer of 2013 I had completed three half marathons in just over a year… and I swore I was giving up running in favor of the bike forever. Then, I was approached by Soles4Souls and RAGNAR Relay Tennessee about a possible partnership, and the idea of running again sparked a new fire inside me.

Let me get one thing straight: If I have to choose between running shoes or a bike, I’ll take the bike every time. I do not love running; I also don’t hate it. I’m slow (about a 11 min/mile pace), and I’ve done enough of it to offer up some sound advice for others who like the idea of running but need extra motivation to do it.

RANGAR Relay Tennessee is currently my motivation.

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5 Reasons Why Nashville is a Great City for Outdoor Recreation

5 Reasons Why Nashville is a Great City for Outdoor Recreation

According to one recent study, Nashville ranked just 29th among the 50 largest cities in the United States for recreation opportunities. While it’s no surprise that peer cities like Denver and Portland ranked ahead of Nashville, it did come as a bit of a shock that Nashville was ranked behind cities not necessarily known for their outdoor and recreation cultures, including Cleveland, Detroit and Kansas City. It should be noted that the study used certain metrics like public beaches per capita, which might put Nashville at a disadvantage (and cities like San Diego at a clear advantage), but factors like music venues per capita were also taken into consideration, which would definitely help to give Nashville a boost relative to other metro areas around the country.

While Nashville certainly has plenty of room to improve in many ways, especially when it comes to things like creating more access points to utilize the Cumberland River as a recreational asset, Davidson County continues to make great strides towards being a regionally- and nationally-recognized recreation hub. Here’s a list of our top 5 reasons why Nashville is a great city to get outdoors and be active:

1. The Greenway System

Whether you’re a walker, a runner, a cyclist, a rollerblader, or just about anything else, Nashville’s greenway system is a great resource for local outdoor recreation. If you’re not familiar with them, greenways are “linear parks and trails that connect neighborhoods to schools, shopping areas, downtown, offices, recreation areas, open spaces and other points of activity,” and are “often located along natural landscape features like streams, rivers and ridges, or along built features, such as railroad corridors and scenic highways,” according to Greenways for Nashville. With more than 65 miles of greenway trails in Davidson county, it’s no surprise that upwards of 90 percent of Nashvillians live within 2 miles of a greenway access point. The best part? They’re completely free and open year-round!

Nashville has a TON of greenways with great natural and manmade features, including this pedestrian bridge over the Cumberland River, connecting the Stones River Greenway to the Shelby Bottoms Greenway in East Nashville. Photo cred: Greenways for Nashville.

2. Great Local Parks

Nashville is fortunate to have access to an abundance of high-quality parks. Ask anyone around town where their go-to place to get outdoors is, and you’re sure to hear a lot of the same answers. Percy Warner Park, Radnor Lake State Natural Area, and Centennial Park (and Sportsplex) are all common favorites among locals, providing space for walking, running, hiking, festivals and races, and other beloved community events. Places like Bells Bend Park and Cane Ridge Park (in addition to Warner Park) offer access to mountain biking trails, and dozens of other parks across the county feature everything from tennis courts and golf courses to baseball diamonds and basketball courts, providing recreational outlets for just about anyone. In total, Nashville has 108 parks and 19 greenways, adding up to more than 12,000 acres of accessible open space around town. Current projects like the renovation of Riverfront Park on both the east and west banks of the Cumberland continue to add park-based amenities to Nashville, with features like a dog park, river access, and a 6,500 seat amphitheater soon to be open for use.

Earth Day
Centennial Park is always bustling for Nashville’s annual Earth Day Festival, one of our favorite community events to partner with every year!

3. Tons of Local Waterways

For a landlocked city, Nashville has access to a plethora of water-based recreational opportunities. If you’ve spent even one summer living here, you know that it gets HOT, so taking some time to get out on a lake or river is key to keeping cool. Whether your activity of choice is grabbing a canoe and floating one of Middle Tennessee’s scenic rivers, like the Harpeth or Caney Fork, or hopping in a boat and spending a day on Percy Priest or Center Hill Lake, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy the water in Nashville. Other opportunities include plenty of fishing and swimming, a growing stand up paddle board culture, and Nashville’s annual Dragon Boat Festival on the Cumberland River (seriously, check it out if you never have – it’s a blast! Here are some pictures from when we raced in it last year.).

Harpeth waterfall
This small waterfall at the Narrows of the Harpeth is a great place to cool off on a hot summer day!

4. Our Growing Cycling Community

Did you know that Nashville is one of only 18 cities in the United States with a population of 500,000 or more to be recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community? Over the last decade, Nashville has made a ton of progress in becoming a safer city for cyclists of both the commuting and recreational variety. Nashville has more than 140 miles of designated bikeways across the county, including the 26-mile long Music City Bikeway, which links Percy Warner Park on the west side of town to Percy Priest Dam on the east side. Nashville has also invested heavily in its BCycle bikeshare program, providing affordable access to bikes for both residents and tourists in the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. The BCycle system currently features 25 stations and 225 bikes, with plans for five more stations to be installed in 2015. In the two short years since the program’s inception, more than 50,000 BCycles have been checked out!

Check it out! We sponsor multiple BCycle stations across the county, including this one on Rolling Mill Hill just south of downtown.

5. Our Close Proximity to Nearby Recreation Opportunities

If the outdoor amenities in Nashville proper aren’t enough to keep you busy year-round, then it’s fortunate that Nashville also happens to be surrounded by incredible outdoor and recreational opportunities that are just a short day trip away! Within a 2-hour drive are plenty of world-class rock climbing destinations, including King’s Bluff in Clarksville and T-Wall and Foster Falls near Chattanooga. There’s also an endless number of nearby backpacking and hiking trails that make great weekend getaways, including the Cumberland Trail System, Savage Gulf State Natural Area, and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Nashville is also the end point of the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, and is just a few short hours from sections of the Appalachian Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the thrilling whitewater of the Ocoee River. Seriously, there are so many recreational resources in close proximity to Middle Tennessee that there’s no way they can all be covered here, so you’ll just have to do some exploring yourself!

kings bluff
King’s Bluff, one of our favorite local climbing destinations (fall 2014).

Itching to get active in Nashville? Join us for one of our upcoming trips! We’re heading to Frozen Head State Park on Saturday, January 31st for a backpacking trip, and we’ll be at Climb Nashville for Indoor Rock Climbing every Tuesday now through the end of March!

– Matt (Team Green’s Event Coordinator)

We’ve Got Workshops!

We’ve Got Workshops!

As we noted in last week’s blog, making New Year’s resolutions can be both an empowering and daunting experience. We’ve all got a lot of goals for 2015, whether it’s to improve our fitness, focus on our health, or to be a little greener or more adventurous. Here at Team Green, we want to give you as many resources as possible to help make these goals a reality all year! For that reason, we’re ramping up our regular, monthly workshop offerings to start 2015. Here’s a little sneak peek at what workshops we’ve got coming up and how they can help you achieve your goals all year long:


Want to be a little greener in 2015? We’ve got you covered! Our Engage Green workshop series, in partnership with Urban Green Lab, is designed to give you monthly opportunities to get down and dirty with all things sustainability-related. These workshops are often hands on and will expose you to a range of topics, from gardening to green building, hopefully sending you home with some tips to make your own life a little more sustainable. Topics and locations change monthly, so be sure to check our calendar regularly to stay up to date on what we’re offering. Upcoming topics include a behind-the-scenes look at Metro Water Services’ treatment facility in February and a rain barrel workshop with the Cumberland River Compact in March.
(First Wednesday of each month at 6pm)

home brewing workshop
Our August 2014 workshop on what makes home brewing sustainable!


Looking to work off that extra holiday weight and stay in shape all year? Try our fitness workshop series, in partnership with Metro Parks’ Centennial Sportsplex! You’re guaranteed to work up a good sweat during these classes, where a certified fitness instructor will guide us through an hour-long bootcamp-style workout routine. Each month features a different bootcamp theme, but each workout will be similar in that they all involve a series of fast-paced, high-intensity intervals that work different muscle groups and get your heart rate up. Like our sustainability series, you’ll walk away from these classes with tangible workout ideas that you can do at home or on your own, helping you get fit when it’s most convenient for you! Upcoming classes include a full-body “jungle gym” workout in February and a “booty camp” hamstring- and glute-focused workout in March.
(Second Sunday of each month at 3pm)

boot camp
Our January 2015 “Get Strapped” Boot Camp workout!

Health and Wellness

Our wellness workshop series, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is designed to answer any and all questions you might have on a range of health topics. We’ll bring in wellness experts from around Nashville, connecting you with the professionals who know how to best help you get healthy and tackle any issues you might be having. Our first workshop in this series is coming up later this month, where we’ll learn about the benefits of massage therapy (be ready for hands-on demos!). Other upcoming topics include Understanding Cancer in February and Indoor Air Quality in April.
(Fourth Thursday of each month at 6pm)

In addition to the series mentioned above, we’re also working on putting together a food and nutrition workshop series with the Nashville Farmers’ Market, as well as occasional outdoor gear workshops with Cumberland Transit. Keep your eyes on our calendar in the coming weeks and months as we continue to post more workshops and topics! Have topic suggestions of your own? Feel free to leave a comment below to let us know the kinds of things you want to see us cover! We love extra input, and are here to help you achieve YOUR goals.

See you there!

– Matt (Team Green’s Events Coordinator)

Don’t Make Resolutions this Year – Try this Instead!

Don’t Make Resolutions this Year – Try this Instead!

Resolutions are so cliché, right? Get active. Lose weight. Try something new. Travel. Work on my relationship (or get one). Save (or earn) more money. The problem is that twelve months go by faster than you expect, and without knowing “how” or “why” you want to achieve these resolutions, they get treated like a “bucket-list”…pushed off until next year.

What’s the point?

As cliché as they might seem, goal setting is a critical part of moving forward in life. Here are few helpful hints to transform the way you view your resolutions.

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Take Your Workout Outdoors – You Won’t Regret It!

Take Your Workout Outdoors – You Won’t Regret It!

It’s no secret that being active will help you feel better, both physically and emotionally. Countless studies have been done on the merits of maintaining an active lifestyle, with benefits including weight loss and control, improved mood, and increased daily energy levels, among other things. While these perks are widely known and clearly true, we may be selling ourselves short if our routine physical activity is limited to time spent lifting weights at the gym, running on a treadmill or even practicing yoga at a local studio.

Friends of Warner Parks here in Nashville has a great section in their monthly newsletter that highlights what they call their “Green Hour Tip.” Each month, they pick a new tip to help you incorporate an hour of outdoors time into your daily schedule. Their suggestions range from planning your summer vacation around outdoor activity to washing your car by hand in the driveway. Their message is always the same – no matter what you’re doing, make it a point to spend a little extra time outdoors on a regular basis.

I’ve always enjoyed casually reading these segments, but their most recent Green Hour Tip caught my attention more than ones had in months past. In September’s newsletter, they take note of a trend occurring at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Here, doctors are beginning to prescribe outdoor activity as a treatment to improve the health outcomes of their patients, focusing specifically on younger children who have grown up spending more time looking at computer, tablet and cell phone screens than playing outdoors. Through their “Outdoors Rx” program, in partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club, the hospital has trained more than 75 pediatricians to incorporate outdoor activity into their treatment repertoires. This program, doctors say, not only encourages kids to get off the couch and get active period, bringing with it all of the traditional benefits of regular exercise. Additionally, outdoor activity also promotes a “sense of wonder” in today’s youth, exposing them to the workings of the natural world in ways that textbooks and videos in science class can’t quite capture.

While such programs are vital to promoting health and wellness, the benefits of outdoor activity aren’t just available to children, but to people of all ages! As a great New York Times article from February of 2013 points out, studies have shown that adults who exercise outdoors by running or cycling have more strenuous and effective workouts than those who do the same workout routines indoors. These individuals work more muscle groups, and work them harder, than their running and cycling counterparts who exercised on treadmills or stationary bikes in the comfort of their home or local gym.

yoga in the park
Take your yoga sessions outdoors – you won’t regret it! We host Yoga In the Park with Kali Yuga Yoga every summer June-August.

The differences don’t stop there, however, as subsequent studies have demonstrated that those who walk outdoors score “significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue” than those who walk indoors. To further drive home the point, an additional study found that those who exercised outdoors spent, on average, 30 minutes more per week being active than those who performed similar exercise routines indoors. Case in point: if you take your physical activity outside, you’ll not only enjoy it more, but you’ll get better results and you’ll be more likely to want to go back and do it again!

Overall, the message is clear: we not only need to get active, but we need to do at least some of it outdoors in nature. Whether your workout of choice is walking, rowing, running, cycling, climbing, yoga or anything else, find a way to take it outside! Nothing beats the feeling of the sun on your face, a cooling breeze through your hair, or the refreshing smell of the great outdoors, so take advantage of it and make a Green Hour a part of your everyday routine!

Convinced and want to put your new-found knowledge to use? Join us on our day hike along the Fiery Gizzard trail coming up next Saturday, October 18th! The 9-mile loop through some of Tennessee’s most beautiful terrain will provide you with plenty of great active time outdoors!

– Matt (Team Green’s Event Coordinator)