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Sleep: A Vital Component of Well-Rounded Fitness

Think back to the moment that you opened your eyes this morning. Did you feel well-rested and ready to tackle a new day? Did you groggily fumble for your screaming alarm clock in attempts to turn it off? If you are like some 40% of adults who say that they experience daytime sleepiness severe enough that it interferes with daily activities, chances are you could go for a couple more hours of shut-eye.

Sleepiness not only interferes with your daily life, but if you’re trying to get fit, it can also derail your best efforts to do so. This article on sleep deprivation describes how a chronic lack of sleep can increase your appetite, along with your stress hormone levels. Although this combination makes it difficult for your body to metabolize glucose, a lack of sleep can actually make you crave more carbohydrates to help you stay awake. If you’re still not convinced that sleep influences your weight and fitness, this study describes how getting more sleep can actually turn off obesity genes!

The bottom line is that not getting enough sleep can damage your metabolism. So, if you are trying to lose weight or increase your fitness, making time to get adequate sleep is essential.  If you are one who struggles to fall asleep or stay asleep, here are some tips that may help you get better rest tonight.

Getting sufficient sleep in a key ingredient to managing weight and staying fit.

Getting sufficient sleep is a key ingredient to managing weight and staying fit.

1. Purge worries and to-dos from your mind. You may be interested to learn that sleep deprivation is actually listed as a form of torture by Amnesty International. Many people inflict torture on themselves by worrying and reviewing the following day’s to-do list in their mind while they are trying to fall asleep. Not only does this prevent you from falling asleep, but it also impacts your ability to carry out that to-do list once the new day arrives.

Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project, recommends winding down at least 45 minutes before turning out the light. In a  Harvard Business Review article, he advises people to create a ritual that encourages relaxation before going to bed. This could be as simple as listening to music or sipping herbal tea. He also recommends writing down what’s on your mind. If there are unfinished items on your to-do list, or unresolved issues that will cycle through your mind throughout the night, jot them down on a piece of paper. Doing so will help you get them out of your head so that you can rest. The piece of paper will always be there in the morning to deal with.

2. Stick to a set sleep schedule. Sticking to a set bedtime and wake time helps your body recognize when it’s time to fall asleep and when it’s time to wake up. Although it sounds simple, there are often many items clamoring for our attention. This makes it tempting to skimp on sleep in order to get more items checked off of a to-do list. Ignore this temptation and pencil in your bedtime. It’s worth it.

3. Exercise regularly. Ironically, if lack of sleep is interfering with your ability to get fit, making sure that you get regular exercise will help you sleep better. The Sports Club at Garden of the Gods Club offers a variety of group fitness classes, personal training, Pilates, and more to help you get enough exercise. Just make sure that you don’t exercise within three to four hours of going to sleep, as working out can energize you and keep you awake.

4. Create a relaxing bedroom environment. The American Psychology Association recommends minimizing noise, light, and excessive hot or cold temperatures where you sleep. This helps to create a relaxing environment in which you can sleep soundly. Try to incorporate elements that are soothing to you, such as a relaxing aromatherapy candle or spray, arranging furniture in a way that appeals to you, or decorating with soothing and relaxing colors like green and blue.

Getting enough sleep is crucial to managing your weight and staying fit. And, if you would like help in your fitness efforts, we encourage you to contact our Director of Membership, Tracey Kalata, about our affordable Sports Club memberships. In the meantime, we hope that these tips help you get some rest!

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs Over Labor Day Weekend 2012

If you haven’t yet spent a Labor Day weekend in Colorado Springs, you’ve been missing out!  This weekend brings so many fun events, including my personal favorite, the Colorado Balloon Classic.  Garden of the Gods Club will also be buzzin’ with activity, including our annual Labor Day Golf Tournament and annual mixed doubles tennis social.  Check out our Colorado Springs event highlights below.  For more ideas, take a look at our website or visit the community boards at PeakRadar.com and ColoradoSprings.com.  If you or your visiting family/friends need a place to stay in Colorado Springs, check out our Lodge.  We hope you have a great Labor Day weekend!

  • 38th Annual Labor Day Arts & Crafts Festival– Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 10 am to 5 pm, Memorial Park, Manitou Springs.  This free event will feature high-quality artwork, fine crafts, talented performers, and fabulous food.

    Colorado Springs Balloon Classic

    A photo I took at the 2010 Balloon Classic

  • 36th Annual Colorado Balloon Classic – Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, Memorial Park, Colorado Springs.  This is one of my favorite *free* events of the year here in Colorado Springs!   The Colorado Balloon Classic (a division of Colorado Springs Balloon Classic, Inc.) was organized in 1977 and has grown to be the largest and the longest continuously running hot air balloon festival in the Rocky Mountain region as well as the state of Colorado. Mass ascensions of dozens of balloons are scheduled for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings with a Balloon Glo® scheduled for Saturday and Sunday evenings. Each year a variety of concessions are available, and entertainment is provided during each event.
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Football — Saturday, 12 pm, USAFA.  Help the Falcons kick off football season by watching them face off again Idaho State.  Tickets start at $17.
  • Sky Sox Baseball — Saturday, 6:05 pm, Sunday, 1:05 pm, & Monday, 1:05 pm, Security Service Field (formerly Sky Sox Stadium).  Root, root, root for the home team as they battle the Las Vegas 51s.  Tickets start at $8.

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Golf Tip Video of the Week: Dealing With Water, Bunkers, & Wind

Learning how to manage the landscape of a golf course, as well as the weather, are important parts of developing your golf skills.  Today, GGC Head Golf Professional Cory Proehl, PGA, explains how to manage landscape elements such as bunkers and lakes, as well as how to deal with wind. We hope that these tips prove to be helpful the next time that you are on the golf course.

Once again, thanks for tuning in to our weekly golf tip videos.  To schedule a lesson with Cory or another Garden of the Gods Club golf professional, please call our Golf Shop at 719.636.2520.  To learn about golf memberships at Garden of the Gods Club, contact Membership Director Tracey Kalata at 719.520.4980 or tkalata@ggclub.com.  Happy golfing!

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Preparing for Your Labor Day Road Trip

Labor Day is just around the corner, and for many people it is prime time for a fun road trip! Whether you view Labor Day as the final party weekend of summer or the ushering in of the lovely fall season, the long weekend is a perfect opportunity to enjoy extra time with family and friends. If you happen to be taking a road trip this upcoming Labor Day weekend, here are some helpful tips to make it a smooth one.

We hope that these tips come in handy as you plan for an excellent Labor Day road trip!

Proper planning is the key to an excellent Labor Day road trip!

1. Plan ahead. When it comes to pulling off a successful road trip, planning ahead is important. This article recommends taking the time to make sure that your car is in shape by getting the fluids, engine, and tires checked. Be sure to pack a car emergency kit in case you need a few tools for a roadside repair, as well as a first-aid kit. You can also make the trip a smooth one by planning where you will stop for meals, hotels, or any other pit-stops. If you’re traveling through Colorado Springs, consider staying at the family-friendly Lodge at Garden of the Gods Club. Your family will enjoy a variety of activities from which to choose, including golf, tennis, a full-service salon and spa, fine dining, and swimming pools.  In addition, if you need a bit of guidance when planning your trip, this online road trip planner is a great resource for helping you plot out the details of your trip.

2. Bring some in-car entertainment. Nothing can sap the fun out of a road trip faster than being bored to death while miles of pavement fly past you. If you are traveling with children, make the miles fun by bringing along games or movies. Find some fun games for your iPad, or pass the time with an excellent book. And, don’t forget to create a playlist that includes some favorites for everyone in the car.

3. Take the scenic route. If you’re traveling through an area that has gorgeous scenery, consider bypassing the highway for the scenic route. Although this may require a bit of extra planning (see tip #1), it may also provide some excellent family photo opportunities and memories. Taking the time to enjoy the scenery can add a lot of wonder and satisfaction to your road trip.

4. Don’t eat out for every meal. Not only will packing for at least some of your meals save money, but it will also prevent you from gorging on fast food, as described in this article. So, pack a few healthy meals and snacks, and plan to stop at a real restaurant for just one meal per day. Doing so will help you avoid feeling sluggish from eating out for every meal.

If you’re planning a road trip this Labor Day, we hope that these tips help you to make it a great one! Whether or not you plan to travel anywhere over the long weekend, we hope that you take advantage of the opportunity to get some rest and relaxation or enjoy time with family and friends. Have a wonderful Labor Day!

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Five Creative Nail Designs to Try This Fall

Creativity knows no bounds – even when it comes to creative nail designs.  In fact, you may be surprised to learn that people have been coloring and designing their nails for more than 5,000 years! Nail design has a diverse cultural heritage, as the ancient Chinese applied enamel to their finger nails, the Indians used nail color derived from the henna plant, and the ancient Egyptians used nail color to signify a lady’s social class.

This fall, try a creative nail design for your fingers or toes!

This fall, try a creative nail design for your fingers or toes!

Fast forward to modern times, and creative nail design is as popular as ever. And, with fall just around the corner, now is a great time to indulge in a manicure while trying a new color or design for the new season.  If you like to pamper yourself with a manicure or a pedicure, you will enjoy the following creative ideas for beautiful nails.

Shellac gel polish

Shellac gel polish

1. Strengthen your nails with shellac gel polish. If you want nail color that lasts for two to three weeks, shellac gel polish is an excellent choice. Shellac gel polish with color additives provides a longer-lasting look that also strengthens the nails,” Amanda Rigby, spa director at The Spa & Salon at Garden of the Gods Club, said. “One thing to keep in mind, however, is that manicures using shellac gel polish do require a bit of extra time to complete.”

2. Try bold nails with dimension. “One trend that we are currently seeing in nail design is a return to the bright colors and designs of the early 1990s,” Amanda said. “Bold colors with add-ons like rhinestones and stickers create a look that pops,” she continued. “This trend transitions from the end of summer into fall, because vibrant colors can either go well with summer or they can really brighten up a chilly fall day.” A Glamour beauty blog article recommends trying bright colors such chartreuse, gold, jade, hot pink, or orange for a look that transitions well into fall.

Try a fun polka dot nail design!

Try a fun polka dot nail design!

3. Sport fun polka dots. Have a little fun with your nail design this fall by topping your nail color with polka dots. You can add small dots without a mess by using a toothpick dipped in nail polish. For a neat design, try using complementary colors for your base color and your polka dot color. For color ideas, check out this color wheel.

4. Experiment with nail decals. “If your personality dictates a more subtle nail look, experimenting with decals is a low-key way to try something new,” Amanda said. “Applying just one decal to a single nail is very popular right now,” she explained. “If you want just a touch of dimension, this is a great way to go.”

The ombré manicure

The ombré manicure

5. Try the ombré manicure. If you have a hard time deciding on a nail polish color, why not wear two? The ombré manicure allows you to do just this. With this innovative nail design, one color blends into another color, creating a seamless transition between the two.

This fall, have fun with creative nail designs! Whether you opt for bold colors and dimensional additions like rhinestones or decals, or you prefer a classic, solid color, there are a variety of inventive ways to have your nails done. And, for the remainder of August, you can enjoy a fabulous discount on a Happy Hour pedicure at our Spa & Salon. Stop by the Spa & Salon between 4 pm and 7 pm any Wednesday through Friday in August, and you’ll receive 25% off our Bahama Mama pedicure, which incorporates luxurious FarmHouse Fresh products and includes a complimentary Bahama Mama cocktail. If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a manicure or pedicure, we encourage you to contact our spa concierge at 719.520.4988 or ggcspa@ggclub.com. You can also request an appointment by clicking here.

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