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A Strong Core Can Bring Added Health Benefits

Gradually Strengthen Your Core Muscles to Improve Health

Although the focus of working out the core muscles is usual for appearances, such as building a noticeable six-pack, there’s more to strengthening your core than just looking good in a swimsuit. A strong core can increase health benefits for your entire body.

Your core is just that–the “core” of your body. All of your essential functions extend outward from the center, like the trunk of a tree. Your spine, organs, and limbs are all connected through the core of your body. Because everything is connected from the center, when your core muscles are weak, this affects your entire body, even if your limb muscles are strong. By strengthening your core, you will help increase your back strength and stabilize your whole spine. As a result, you reduce the chance of injury and improve your posture.

The core is made up of upper and lower muscles, both of which are important. Most people tend to focus on working out their upper muscles (again, working for that six-pack), but it’s important not to neglect the lower core muscles.

To workout your core, Garden of the Gods Sports Club Manager Lauralee Beerman recommends first getting an assessment from your personal trainer. It will take time to build up your core strength, and it’s important to take it slow and listen to your body. You can begin with doing short exercises at your desk. An article in Best Health Magazine recommends this workout:

A simple but effective exercise for building core stability is to draw in the abdominal muscles (think about your belly button pulling away from your pant line), hold for five breaths, and then relax. Repeat 10 times. [Physiotherapist and Pilates instructor Martha] Purdy recommends doing this 10 times a day.

Other great workouts that focus on your lower core muscles include Pilates and the plank exercise. You can also check out WebMD for a great slide show of exercises to strengthen your core.

When working out your core, Lauralee reminds us that it is important to remember to be cautious and pay attention to signs from your body. Check with your personal trainer or fitness instructor to be sure you are using the proper technique and have a neutral spine during your workout routine to prevent injury. Also, give your muscles at least a day to rest before exercising them again. And remember, give yourself (and your muscles) a break! Begin with the amount of exertion you can handle and gradually increase your workouts. This is something you can build up over time. For example, try and do the plank four to five times a week, adding a few seconds at a time.

Start building up your core strength in the coming winter months, and before you know it, you’ll be ready for swimsuit season!

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Course Management Tips for Autumn Golf in Colorado

Autumn golf in Colorado

The golf season is coming to a close, cool air has started to settle in, and the crisp clear mornings are a delight, as we have had a hot summer here in Colorado Springs. In Colorado, the fall is one of the best times to play golf with the season’s changing trees, cooler temperatures and great course conditions that cannot be beat anywhere. You have had all summer to refine your game to play the best golf of the season in the fall.  I have a few tips to help you play your best and a few things to keep in mind during the upcoming season.

With the fall season comes aerification, which is the process of helping with the compaction of the greens, fairways, tees, and the rough. This process is a necessary evil that needs to take place in order for the course to be ready for the following season. When you are playing on a recently aerified golf course, it is acceptable to move your ball out of a hole that your ball may be sitting in. This will help with the initial roll right away.

As always, remember to fix your ball marks and fill your divots, as this helps the maintenance staff keep the course in the best condition possible. When you are preparing to play or at the course for practice sessions, try to keep the range in the best shape possible. When you are hitting, try to keep all of your divots close to one another. This will help the golf staff when setting up the range each morning; they may have a tough time finding good turf because the distance between the divots covers a large area.

Cooler temperatures at night may cause frost to be present on the golf course in the morning.  When players arrive at the course for an early morning tee time, please make sure to check with the golf course staff to ensure that there is no frost on the practice areas or the course. If there is frost and a player walks on the putting green or driving range tee, it can cause major damage and take weeks to repair. We all know that this can be frustrating that you are delayed; just keep in mind the staff is trying to prevent damage to golf course, and be respectful of those decisions.

Harder ground conditions during the cooler months will cause the ball to roll more, which you will need to factor in with your tee shot and your approach. Sometimes taking out the 3 wood or a long iron will put you in a better position off the tee. Your approach shot will also need to hit short of where you would normally hit to compensate for the harder conditions. Once you find the distance to the pin, think of the distance you would like your shot to land, and hit that club instead of hitting the shot the exact distance.

My hope is that you have gained a few tips for fall golf and that you will keep these tips in mind when you play. Good luck out there, and keep it in the fairway.


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A Sneak Peek at the New Fall Menu at Garden of the Gods Club

Coming soon to Garden of the Gods Club:  Our new fall menu!

Enjoy the aromas of autumn in the new GGC fall menu… coming soon!

Leveraging seasonal ingredients, such as pumpkin and cinnamon, Executive Chef Steven Weber is already working on an exciting autumn menu likely to send your tastebuds into flavor nirvana.  Today, he carved a few minutes out of his busy day to give us, and our readers, a sneak peek at several of the new dishes coming to the menu in October.  When we snapped these photos, we could just smell the aroma of autumn in these delicious recipes!  Scroll down to get all of the goodness, plus a recipe you can try at home, too.


Lump Crab & Atlantic Salmon Cake

This crab cake is nestled on a napa cabbage and daikon radish salad and garnished with roasted red pepper coulis.


Grilled Colorado Rack of Lamb

Enjoy this favorite local meat prepared with caramelized sweet onion glace de viande and accompanied by parsnip potato and buttermilk puree and seasonal vegetables.


Salad Bouquet

Beautifully prepared, this salad features crispy asiago cheese and balsamic-marinated Roma tomatoes.


Pecan & Herb-Crusted Walleye Pike

Enjoy this fish deliciously prepared with pumpkin cinnamon risotto and seasonal vegetables and orange butter sauce.

Can’t wait for the launch of our fall menu?  Want to try your hand at creating this dish at home?  You’re in luck! Chef Steve has graciously decided to share his delicious recipe below.




  • 2 6.-oz pike filets, salted and peppered to taste


  • ½ cup pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup panko
  • ¼ cup loose parsley leaves
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 sprig thyme, stem removed
  • Flour for dredging
  • Egg white for dipping


Process pecans, parsley, onions, thyme, and panko until coarsely chopped. Dip top only of pike in flour, then egg white, AND then bread crumb mix. Brown bread crumb side in oil in sauté pan until golden, flip over, and put in 400-degree oven until desired doneness.


  • ½ cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup water, give or take
  • ½ onion, diced
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • ½ cup large, diced, fresh pumpkin
  • ¼ cup grated asiago cheese
  • Pinch of cinnamon (be careful; too much will take over the whole dish!)


Sauté the rice and onions in the drizzle of oil until onions are translucent. Add water in 4 additions, allowing the rice to absorb each addition. With the final addition, add pumpkin, asiago, and butter. Add enough more water to have the rice be al dente but have a thick sauce to it.


  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 chopped shallot
  • 10 peppercorns
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup butter


Combine orange juice, garlic, thyme, shallot, and peppercorns. Simmer until reduced to thick liquid; strain. Add cream to the strained liquid and simmer until reduced to coat the back of a spoon. Whip in the cold butter and serve.



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Shorter Autumn Days Don’t Have to Mean Shorter Workouts

Ahhh, autumn.  The temperatures drop, the leaves change color, and the days get shorter… and your motivation to stay active decreases. It’s easy to find excuses to skip your workout, but don’t let the reduced daylight hours keep you from achieving your fitness goals! Garden of the Gods Club Fitness Manager Lauralee Beerman offers three tips to keep you active during this fall season.

Sports Club views offer a great alternative to an outdoor workout on chilly fall days.

1. As the seasons change, the weather can be unpredictable, especially in Colorado. Lauralee advises dressing in layers if you choose to do an outdoor activity. Be sure to have a light jacket on hand, just in case the sun should set and make temperatures drop quickly. You can keep a small bag in your car with a hat, gloves, and extra clothes to be sure the weather does not stop you from your workout. Lauralee also recommends keeping a poncho on hand to prevent hypothermia in the event that a chilly drizzle crops up unexpectedly. As long as you’re prepared with lots of layers, a change in weather does not have to mean a change in your plan to work out.

2. The fall season means holidays are just around the corner, which can bring increased stress in your life. There are parties to attend, family members to visit, and large meals to plan. Lauralee suggests that you try out  mind/body classes, such as yoga, to help with the added stress. An article about the benefits of yoga states that regular practice can reduce anxiety and improve concentration. Carve out time for yourself, and you will leave the class relaxed and ready to take on your busy day.

3. Even though busy schedules and fewer hours of daylight can reduce motivation to work out, keeping up a regular fitness schedule is important. Lauralee encourages those wanting to stay fit year-round to check out an evening group fitness class, such as circuit training, which is offered at Garden of the Gods Club’s Sports Club. Getting involved in a class with others who enjoy the same activities can give you the support and accountability you need to keep you motivated and coming back throughout the whole season. Take a look at the group class schedule, and find a class that works for you. Maybe even try something new!

For more tips to stay active in autumn, check out this WebMD article. Whether you stick to your tried and true routine or shake things up and try something completely new, get out there, get active, and have fun!

Staying physically fit is important, no matter what time of year it is. If you are interested in membership at Garden of the Gods Club to take advantage of the many fitness activities available, we invite you to contact Tracey Kalata, director of membership, at 719.520.4980 or tkalata@ggclub.com.  If you are already a GGC Member and would like to participate in our group fitness classes or set up personal training sessions, we encourage you to contact Sports Club Manager Lauralee Beerman at 719.329.4009 or lbeerman@ggclub.com.

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs This Weekend: Sept. 21-23, 2012

Pedicure at Garden of the Gods Club's spa

A pedicure at Garden of the Gods Club’s spa

It’s nearly Friday…  What are your weekend plans?  This will be the perfect weekend to get out and enjoy Colorado’s autumn  foliage or to “fall” into relaxation by giving yourself a spa day here at Garden of the Gods Club.  This month, visit us on a Sunday, and you’ll get a complimentary margarita or mojito by the pool with your purchase of Margarita Body Scrub and Wrap. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to add a reflexology massage for only $27.50, a savings of 50%! You’ve worked hard all week, so you deserve it!

For those of you who’d like other ideas for weekend fun in Colorado Springs, we’ve rounded up some ideas below.  If we’ve missed anything, please let us know by leaving a comment on this blog post.  Otherwise, get out this weekend and make some incredible memories with those you hold dear.

  • The Glass Menagerie — Friday, 7:30 pm, Saturday, 2 pm & 7:30 pm, and Sunday, 4 pm, Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater (UCCS).  Presented by THEATREWORKS, this production tells the story of a desperate mom scheming to get her shy girl married while a frustrated son flees the scene. Reality TV? Not exactly. It’s America’s most beautiful dream play, made by a magician from music and memory, smiles and heartbreak.  Tickets $35.
  • Arthritis Foundation 20th Annual Jewels of the Vine Wine Tasting — Friday, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.  Enjoy a lovely evening of wine tasting, live entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and a premium silent auction at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. This event will feature hundreds of wine and microbrew beers, with all proceeds benefiting the Arthritis Foundation – Rocky Mountain Chapter. Tickets are $60 each. For reservations, call 719.520.5711, or go to http://jewelsofthevine.kintera.org to purchase tickets.
  • Pikes Peak Pickleball Tournament — Saturday & Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm, Monument Valley Park.  Pickleball is a fun game that is played on a badminton court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. It is played with a perforated plastic baseball (similar to a wiffle ball) and wood or composite paddles. It is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.  The public is invited to play in Colorado’s first USAPA sanctioned pickleball tournament at Monument Valley Park on September 22-23. People of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Mixed doubles play will be Saturday, September 22. Men’s and women’s doubles will be Sunday, September 23. The entry fee is $25 for one event or $30 for two. For a registration packet, email Debbie Crockett at dcrockett4@msn.com. For more info about pickleball, go to www.usapa.org and download a flyer on the Colorado Springs event.
  • Free Family Adventure Day:   Color Revolution — Saturday, 10 am to 1 pm, Bemis School of Art.  Treasure a day with your family, being creative! Bemis School of Art instructors will lead hand-on art activities that include pop art portraits, paper and cloth beads, and monochromatic collage landscapes. All ages and skill levels welcomed.
  • The Music of Led Zeppelin — Saturday, 8 pm, Pikes Peak Center.  The Colorado Springs Philharmonic invites you to “experience the power of a combined symphony orchestra and rock band pumping out Led Zeppelin’s classic hits in a brilliant combination of passion and thrills.”  Tickets $19-59.

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