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The Unique Health Benefits of Dance: Part Two

Dance is an art and sport with the power to transport you into a world of creativity, excitement, fun, and health. Here at Garden of the Gods Club, we offer Zumba and Nia dance classes in order to make the joys of dance accessible to you. Regardless of anything you may currently be experiencing in life, dance is an exceptional creative and emotional outlet that also provides distinctive health benefits.

In our last post on the unique health benefits of dance, we discussed the ways in which dance offers a great mental workout, along with a deeper connection to yourself and others. At the core of dance, however, lies an excellent physical workout masked by fun and enjoyment. While you’re having a blast grooving to great rhythms, your body benefits in a multitude of ways. Keep reading to get the full scoop.

A Zumba class at the Sports Club at Garden of the Gods Club

• A low-impact workout. Unlike many other forms of dance, both Nia and Zumba are relatively low-impact workouts. In fact, Nia’s tagline is, “No pain, all gain.”  The choreography is simple yet effective, utilizing a few core moves that are repeated throughout a specific song. This makes it a great way to maintain strength without wreaking havoc on your joints.

• An excellent cross-trainer. If dance isn’t really your thing, you might consider dabbling. Because most of the movement in a dance class is multi-directional, it trains your muscles in a more diverse way than exercises that offer two-way movement. Jane Mapson, Nia instructor at the Sports Club at Garden of the Gods Club, remarked, “Some of my students have commented that their golf swing has even  improved after taking Nia.”

• A form of interval training.  According to HealthMad.com, Zumba is a form of interval training because it alternates both fast and slow movements. This type of exercise burns tons of calories, and one Zumba class in particular can burn up to 800 calories.

• A stress reliever. Dance is an excellent outlet for stress. When you lose yourself in the movement of a dance class, your body actually releases mood-altering endorphins, helping you to better manage the daily stresses of life.

An aid in weight loss and proper weight management.  Because dance burns so many calories while toning muscles, it is a great tool for weight management.

• A strengthener of balance, agility, flexibility, blood circulation, and endurance. This is another benefit of the multi-directional movement of dance. These qualities carry over to other area of life, reducing your risk of injury and boosting your energy.

If you’re still not convinced about the extraordinary health benefits of dance, you may just have to try a class and see for yourself.  The Sports Club at Garden of the Gods Club offers both Zumba and Nia dance classes to members.  To learn more about our affordable membership opportunities, you can contact Tracey Kalata at 719.520.4980 or tkalata@ggclub.com. Why not try out dance? You might have so much fun that you’ll forget you’re working out.

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Things to Do This Weekend in Colorado Springs

The weekend can never come soon enough, can it?  Here are a few ideas for how to spend those precious couple of days off right here at home in Colorado Springs.  Enjoy!

  • “No Child Left Inside” Day — Saturday, 9 am to 2 pm, Cheyenne Mountain State Park.  Gather your family and head to Cheyenne Mountain State Park to enjoy picturesque scenery as well fun and educational activities (archery and wildlife skills classes, ranching and roping demonstrations, ecosystem hikes, history programs, nature sculpturing, and more) from the staff at Colorado Parks and Wildlife.  For additional information, call 719.576.2016.
  • River Run for Orphans — Saturday, 10 am, America the Beautiful Park.  This event is a 5K run and 1 mile fun run/walk with the purpose of raising funds for orphans locally and globally.
  • Harvest Festival — Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.  In recognition of the bounty of a traditional fall harvest, the Ranch is open free of admission on this day.  The Chambers’ 1880s farm will be filled with activities and fun in the crisp autumn air. Ride a pony or a horse-drawn wagon, listen to old-time music, pick a pumpkin to take home, scramble for candy, kick back on the lawn with a slice of pie, or tour the restored 1880s Rock Ledge House and 1907 Estate House.  Fees apply to most activities.  You can also bid on fine, handcrafted folk art at the silent auction.  Plan to stay through the day as food vendors will be on site.  Click here to see and download the 2010 Harvest Festival flyer.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Cheynne Mountain Zoo image by HelloColoradoSprings.com
  • Family Ed-Ventures:  Slithering Snakes — Sunday, 1:30-2:30 pm, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  If you’re scared of slithering animals like snakes, you should attend this family ed-venture, which is designed to help you overcome your fears and learn more about these creatures and how amazing they really are.  The cost is $20 per Zoo member family and $35 per non-member family.
  • Colorado College Hockey vs. McGill – Sunday, 6:07 pm, Colorado Springs World Arena.  Tickets $9-35.

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My Favorite Golf Accessories

Sky Caddie

Sky Caddie

How important is distance in golf? You could probably answer this with a question; how important is gas in a car? If you do not know how far you hit each club or how far you are from the flag or water, then how do you know what club to hit? Once you find out how far each club goes, the rest is easy, and here are a few tools I use that will help shave strokes off your game.

Sky Caddie is the #1 rangefinder in golf and is the most accurate. It will give yardages to any point on the hole that is needed, not just the flag. Although this rangefinder does not give yardage to the flag itself, it does give accurate yardages to the front, middle, and back of the green, which for most amateur golfers is all that is needed. The one drawback to the Sky Caddie is the yearly membership fee that is required. Although this is a turnoff for many buyers, this membership fee pays for Sky Caddie to walk the course to make it as accurate as it is. The Sky Caddie X retails for any where between $300 and $350 depending on where you buy it, but most places will price match.

QuickShot by Laser Link is the next item that I recommend for distance measuring. This comes in two options: one that shoots the flag only, and the other that can give you yardages to any object up to 370 yards. The advantage to this rangefinder is that there is no yearly fee, but it can be tricky to use if there is a wind of any speed. These will retail between $289 and $389 depending on the model for which you are shopping.

Distance is very important in golf, and knowing the correct distance can make all of the difference in your game. Stop by the Kissing Camels golf shop (719.636.2520) here at Garden of the Gods Club for all your rangefinder needs!

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Best Places Near Colorado Springs to Enjoy the Fall Colors

Fall is here!

Did you see the great article in Sunday’s Gazette about the best places in Colorado to take in the fall colors?  If not, click here to read what you missed.  While the article described a number of excellent destinations all around the state, don’t forget that you can find amazing colors right here in our own backyard!  Some of the places that I highly recommend, which are “close to home” and close to the Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club, are:

  • Take Highway 24 west out of Colorado Springs and travel approximately 22 miles and turn left onto CO-67.  This will take you to the town of Cripple Creek, and the aspens along the way are truly spectacular.  Be sure to go in the late morning to mid-afternoon when the sun reflects off the leaves and provides the best viewing time.
  • If you want to get out of the car and stretch your legs, follow the same directions as above, but when you turn left off Highway 24 and onto CO-67, approximately four miles in on your right will be the entrance to Mueller State Park, where there are plenty of trails for you to enjoy.  (Please note:  If you are planning to hike the trails, you will have to leave the pets at home, as dogs are not allowed on the trails in this state park.)
  • Another place that I recommend (and I go there around this time every year) is Rampart Reservoir outside of Woodland Park.  Again, travel on Highway 24 west out of Colorado Springs, and then click here for more directions.  You’ll have to make a few turns once you get into Woodland Park, but the scenery will be well worth the drive.  (You may want to bring your fishing pole for this one!)

As I have said before, whereever you go and whatever you do, just GET OUT!

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Best Romantic Fall Date Ideas

Fall. It’s a time where events like harvest and holidays combine with cooler temperatures and rich colors to create a unique atmosphere.  For those who are lovers at heart, the season creates a great backdrop for romance. To encourage you to take advantage of this season with your loved one, we’ve compiled a list of excellent fall date ideas. Keep reading, and let the season frame some of your best romantic moments.

Autumn is a great season for romance

 • Enjoy the colors of autumn. Though this one seems like a no-brainer, it’s often difficult to make time to enjoy fall’s beauty. Let the prospect of romance motivate you to set aside time for a date where fall’s colors create the atmosphere. Grab hot chocolate, coffee, chai tea, or another warm drink and head to a walking trail or park. The warm beverages will contrast beautifully with the cooler air.  You can take this up a notch by packing a romantic picnic. Or, you can simplify things by taking a romantic drive to take in the colors.  If you live in, or are planning to visit, Colorado Springs, let Garden of the Gods Park be an added backdrop to your fall excursion.

 • Plan a romantic weekend retreat. Perhaps you’re feeling like a weekend away with your loved one would do a world of good. Fall is an excellent time to make your escape. The Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club provides a fantastic getaway. The Lodge rooms and suites boast breathtaking views that create an other-worldly feel. Further, the addition of fall colors to Garden of the Gods Club only enhances the already picturesque views. What a great way to cultivate romance!

•  Visit an apple orchard, pumpkin farm, or corn maze. These are all great activities that allow you and your significant other to engage with each other and the season. Ferrara’s Happy Apple Farm in Penrose, Colo., is a great place to pick your own apples, fresh produce, and pumpkins. Also, attempting to find your way around a corn maze can be a fantastic bonding experience.

• Attend a wine tasting. Delicious wine complements fall’s atmosphere wonderfully. Many wineries offer wine tastings, providing a unique fall date. The Holy Cross Abbey Winery in Canon City, Colo., is an excellent local winery that offers inexpensive wine tastings. Garden of the Gods Club members can also enjoy half-price wine nights on Thursdays from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

• Indulge in a couple’s massage or spa day. The Spa and Salon at Garden of the Gods Club offers a couple’s massage package that allows recipients to pick whichever massage best suits their needs. Couple’s massages are done in the same room and feature champagne at the end of the massage. Or, if you prefer, spend a day together in the spa getting pampered by various treatments like facials, pedicures, manicures, and more. A spa day will rejuvenate tired muscles and renew energy heading into winter.

• Celebrate Halloween early by watching a scary movie together. Get in the mood for Halloween by snuggling close during a scary film.

• Enjoy a fall hike. Take in fall’s colors while getting in some exercise on a hike. Stop along the way to take photos to capture the memories you’re making. There are a variety of trails to choose from that are conveniently located near Garden of the Gods Club.

Autumn truly provides countless opportunities to enjoy valued time with your significant other. So make some time to enjoy fall’s unique, vibrant atmosphere, along with a little romance.

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