Category

Inspiration

7 Wellness Apps to Take Your Health to the Next Level

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness, Inspiration

Who here has fallen off the new year’s fitness resolution bandwagon? (*raises hand*) When it comes to fitness, we all have our excuses: lack of time, costly services, the constant struggle to follow a plan and meet goals. The good news? There’s an app for that! We’ve selected some top-rated fitness applications compatible with both Android and iOS. Each app is either very low cost or free—totally worth it regardless, if you ask us. Join us in getting back on track!

 

Aaptiv

App Store Rating: 5 stars

Google Play Rating: 3.5 stars

Aaptiv is the ultimate substitute for your favorite fitness classes. Top-rated on several sites, Aaptiv provides hundreds of classes to choose from, with the option of an instructional voice. Its audio format can also help motivate you through training for that marathon. Bonus: the app provides some awesome upbeat playlists. You’ll get the motivation of a personal trainer or fitness instructor in the privacy of your home.

 

Charity Miles

App Store Rating: 4.8 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.2 stars

 

Perhaps you already have a decent routine (because you’re doing better than the rest of us!) but need some extra motivation to keep moving. Charity Miles can get you off your rear for a good cause. Your walking, running and biking miles earn money for more than 30 world-class charities such as Habitat for Humanity and World Wildlife Fund.

 

DailyYoga

App Store Rating: 4.8 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.3 stars

 

Google Play selected DailyYoga as the Best Yoga App of 2017, and with one of the largest pose databases, it’s still a top contender today. The app has several classes available in the free version and is noted to be particularly good for beginners. Many classes are under 30 minutes, so you can finally fit yoga into your busy schedule. DailyYoga is designed to play nice with both Apple Health and Google Fit to integrate well into your overall fitness plan.

 

Headspace

App Store Rating: 4.9 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.6 stars

 

We are all about mental fitness! Headspace’s tagline is “Meditation and Mindfulness Made Simple.” Endorsements from the likes of Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow, coupled with reviews from the New Yorker, Business Insider and more show just how popular this app is. It is one of the highest grossing meditation apps ever. Led by a former Buddhist monk, Headspace offers daily meditations for stress management, sleep and more.  

 

Johnson and Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout

App Store Rating: 4.7 stars

Google Play Rating: 4.3 stars

 

It may or may not have started the craze, but a New York Times article in 2013 certainly fanned the flames on the 7-minute workout trend. We suggest you go to the source. Johnson and Johnson’s official app, based off the findings covered in that article, provides detailed descriptions, instructional videos, a well-rounded library and an easily customizable routine. In addition, the app includes a timer—which is especially helpful for those who don’t have fitness-tracking watches or other devices. You just need your phone, a wall, a chair, and your body. Oh, and the app is 100 percent free. No excuses!  

 

MyFitnessPal

App Store Rating 4.5 stars

Google Play Rating 4.6 stars

 

Originally released in 2005, MyFitnessPal is an oldie and a goodie. The app is till rated No. 1 and No. 2 in for health and wellness in Google Play and the App Store, respectively. Powered by UnderArmour, it’s the mother of all smartphone calorie counters (Over 5 million foods in the database! An option to scan foods as you shop!) and one of the easiest tools on the market for nutrition and workout tracking. Feel free to check out the rest of UnderArmour’s extensive fitness app portfolio to pair with it. We might not ever not recommend this one.

 

Sworkit

App Store Rating: 4.7

Google Play Rating: 4.6

 

Not only does it have a catchy name, but Sworkit has also received some rather official endorsements, including from the American College of Sports Medicine. Although it does require some payment to unlock all the features, Sworkit is an extremely well-rounded exercise app. You can choose from yoga, cardio, strength training, stretching, etc., following an overall plan and subsequent workouts tailor made to you.

 

Maybe you’ve found your one true fitness-app-love on this list, or perhaps you’ve been inspired to go looking for something similar. Apps play off all the tried-and-true tactics of yesteryear—planning, tracking and motivation are key to achieving overall wellness. Your cell phone just makes it that much more convenient. Let’s get going again on those fitness goals!

The Best Places to Hike in Salt Lake & Utah County

By | All Posts, Health & Fitness, Inspiration

Utah is full of incredible places to take in Mother Nature’s beauty. Now that spring is here, we’re taking the challenge to get our buns off the couch and go outside into the world! We hope you’ll take the challenge with us and check out some of these greats trails all over Salt Lake and Utah County. We’ve ordered them by location, and then from least difficult to most…so whether you’re an experienced hiker or just getting started, there is definitely an option here to get you moving.

 

SALT LAKE COUNTY

Ensign Peak

1 mile round trip

It is believed the peak of this small hill is the viewpoint from which Brigham Young and several other LDS church leaders looked down over the Salt Lake valley and planned the framework for a new city. It’s a great easy walk, perfect for after work or a Sunday afternoon, and only takes about 15 minutes up and 15 minutes back down. The best way to take in this view is with a picnic basket in hand.

Donut Falls, Big Cottonwood Canyon

3.5 mile round trip

This hike is perfect for a short evening walk or a casual weekend outing for the family. There is about ½ mile from parking to the trailhead, but it doesn’t get too steep and has an incredible view at the end. The last 100 yards to the cave can get slick, so if you’d like to go up that high you may want hiking boots with spikes in the late winter/early spring.

Desolation Trail, Salt Lake Overlook

3.5 mile round trip

Set in Millcreek Canyon, this pleasant short trail elevates to an idyllic spot for viewing sunsets overlooking the Salt Lake valley. The trail begins just east of the Millcreek Inn Restaurant. It climbs approximately 1,250 feet up long and steady switchbacks. The scenery all along the way is vibrant with colorful flowers and wildlife, so take your time and appreciate the opportunity to make your Instagram feed look amazing.

Lower Bells, Bell Canyon

4 mile round trip

This is a more difficult trail and will not be for the faint of heart. Though she be but little, she is fierce. Weather on this trail is generally good this time of year, however it is common for the snowpack to still be melting, so hiking boots with spikes are recommended. The incline to the top is steady and gradual, but continuous. The last 100 yards to the falls may be icy, as the water is often still frozen in March. However the bluish-white hue of the falls when they are still partially frozen is noted by many as one of the greatest attractions of this trail. It also is a great family trail and feasible for small children 5 years old and older.

White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

10 mile round trip

Located approximately 5 ½ miles into Little Cottonwood Canyon and ¾ of a mile before Snowbird the trailhead is marked with a sign, information center, and small vault restroom. This favorite trail of Little Cottonwood has been beloved for years due to its valley beauty. The ridges carved from early glaciers that swoop down to clear cold lakes is a breathtaking vista. The trail is not too difficult, as much of it follows an abandoned road. There is a short section before the end of more difficult switchbacks, however they are not too long.The payoff of the lake’s beauty is so much sweeter after a short bout of hard work.

 

UTAH COUNTY

Cascade Springs, Provo Canyon

1 mile round trip

This small, beautiful nature walk goes along several natural springs and is suitable for all ages, including those with ADA needs. Wooden boardwalks surround all the springs and give the young and young at heart a sweet view into nature’s wonders. It is fun and easy and a great option for anyone looking to get out of the house for a short while.

Timpanogos Cave

3 mile round trip

The trail is paved and begins right beside the Visitor Center. The incline is a bit steep, but virtually anyone in good health will be able to walk this path, so long as time and care is taken for all members of your party. This portion goes 1 ½ miles up and then 1 ½ back down. The view is beautiful, and you can get some great photos outside the cave at this point.

Should you choose to go farther, there are many tours through the caves which are scheduled in advance and planned for groups of approximately 20 people. Ticket prices range from FREE to $8.00 per person, varying by age. These walks through the caves are led by a guide and are full of fascinating geological and historical information.

Julie Andrews Meadow, American Fork Canyon

3.5 mile round trip

Located in American Fork Canyon, this quirky area was named for its peculiar resemblance to a well-known scene in The Sound of Music. The field is along the Timpooneke Trail, also known as Chris’ Flat Trail. Lush green grass, flowers in bloom, and just a bit of snow scattered along the Timpanogos ridge in the background create a beautiful early-spring view. Enjoy it with the family and a picnic. You’ll be sure to have a great time.

Mount Nebo

8.5 mile round trip

It is a common misconception among many Utahns that Mount Timpanogos is the highest peak along the Wasatch front, however the truth is Mount Nebo is 179 feet higher than Timp…making it the true “papa bear” in the Wasatch range.  The hike will take a full day to be sure, but is not terribly crowded most of the time and is riddled with stunning views. It is a moderate to difficult trail with certain sections being quite vertical on a rocky ridge. However, if you don’t mind adding a little more length to the hike there are some loop-arounds and switchbacks that decrease the time your elevation will be steep. Thunderstorms tend to come and go quickly, especially in the spring, so be prepared for this hike with a good rain jacket, hiking boots, food, and water.

 

We hope you enjoyed this list of great hikes across the Wasatch front. Let us know in the comments which ones you have done and any details about them we may have missed! Do you have any other favorites we didn’t list here? We’d love to hear. Enjoy the spring and get outside!

#LoveYourPerson: 10 Creative Ways to Love Your Spouse

By | All Posts, Home, Inspiration

Whether you’ve been with your significant other for a few months or a few decades, it’s easy to get into a routine. Work, school, kids, social events, family obligations…the list goes on and on of the things that can distract us from that most important person in our life. And sometimes these distractions can even make the daily peck kisses as you walk out the door, or “I love yous” and “honeys” while talking on the phone seem insignificant or lose their meaning. So to celebrate February right and enjoy our week to #LoveYourPerson, we’ve put together some ideas you can use to really reconnect with your loved one and let them know you care…without breaking the bank.  

 

Prepare a spa night

For just a dollar or two, you can pick up some great one-time use face masks at any grocery store, or make your own with ingredients at home. You can offer to give them a foot massage while they relax, or if nothing else, just warm them a fresh towel in the dryer while they take a shower.  Even this small quick act will let them know that they are on your mind.

 

Start or end the day with an intentional hug

You know that feeling, usually when someone has passed away, or something truly difficult has happened, and people hold on to one another for a bit too long? When both parties are invested in this type of embrace, it often has a healing effect, as it exhibits true caring and concern for another person. So why do we save those hugs for only when things are really tough? Make it a point to give your spouse that kind of hug on purpose, at least once a day. You’ll be amazed at how much easier other aspects of your relationship will turn out to be or how much your communication will improve.

Do a chore that is normally their responsibility…cheerfully

Many couples come up with a system at some point that just “works” for them. “He hates laundry, I don’t mind it.” “I take out the garbage because she prefers dusting.” You have it all figured out by now! What we may not be considering in these agreements is that is disconnects us by compartmentalizing. Shake things up by doing something for them, with a smile. Take note that they may not notice this one right away if at all, so it’s important to check that your intention is to truly serve and love, with or without accolades or gratitude. You’ll feel the difference when you show true charity to your S.O., even if they don’t notice the action.

 

Serve them breakfast in bed

This tried-and-true act of service is a classic for a reason. Get crazy and try to do this on an out-of-the-blue weekday, not just Sunday morning or the day of Valentine’s, and the extra effort will be even more appreciated. Your partner will be sure of your love if you woke up a whole hour early just to make them feel special on a random Tuesday. Keep in mind their favorite french toast and omelet are great, but simple cereal and coffee count, too.

Transform a room in your house into a getaway

For all those “It’s a Wonderful Life” fans out there, you’ve probably already thought about how fun this could be for you and your spouse. Pick a room in your house, and a destination in the world.  With a little creativity you’ll be surprised how many things you already own can evoke a different time or place: you can build a blanket fort and go “camping” in Yosemite, fill the bathtub and take a “cruise” through the Caribbean with mai tais and bikinis, or make the floor in your bedroom a picnic of English tea with “crumpets” and jam or cucumber sandwiches.  Make it fun, make it cheesy, but simply doing something different together will make a memory for you both without the huge cost and commitment of an actual vacation.

 

Make TV time actual bonding time

There may be days when what you really need is time together to just “veg” out.  Make this relaxing time still intentional by creating intimacy through discussion. Pick shows that explore new interests you could try together, or be open to pausing movies which address topics that are interesting to talk through. Likewise, you could also make it a service moment by handing over the remote and giving your husband or wife free reign for a night. Stay engaged and ask them about something they love that may not be your thing.

Get “flours” as a gift for your S.O. instead of boring old flowers!

Or try a number of different punny gifts that take a romantic gesture up a notch by keeping it light! Just like this example inspired by the Will Ferrell movie, “Stranger than Fiction,” if you make them smile or laugh…you’ve done something right. Some of our favorites include a box of Krispy Kremes with a note that reads, “Donut go breaking my heart!” or paint a unique succulent pot with the transcription “Life would succ without you.”  

 

Prepare her toothbrush in the morning, or iron his clothes

We all have tiny little tasks that busy up our mornings. Pick just one to do that will help out your loved one—if you really want extra brownie points, try to do something every morning for a couple days or a full week. The little tasks like putting toothpaste on her brush, setting out his socks and shoes, or scraping off their car on a wintery day will make their world so much brighter…even if just for a few hours.

Have a love language night

Most couples have at least heard of Gary Chapman’s famous book, “The Five Love Languages.” The book is a self-guided tour for you and your spouse on determining, and supporting, one another’s key love languages, i.e. the way you communicate or express love. The types of love Chapman lists out are quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, and acts of service. If you’re unfamiliar with this ideology take an evening to do the quiz together and discuss the various topics. Or if you are old pros at the big 5, take a night to do something themed around your partner’s primary love language. The simple act of creating awareness for the others’ thought and emotional process will draw you so much closer.

 

Hide a love note for him/her somewhere unexpected

Last, but certainly not least on our list is a challenge to explore the power of written word. Throughout the centuries, this form of affection has been a powerful tool…from Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais to Johnny Cash and June Carter, many times one simple letter has transformed history. Transform your marriage with this same tactic and put down on paper not just that you love your partner, but also how and why and where and for how long.  This will be a keepsake for them, and another physical reminder of gratitude and charity for you. Make it extra fun by hiding it in a place they wouldn’t anticipate and let you be surprised as well when they finally find it.  Our favorite ideas include: a coat pocket, their shaving kit, or the visor in their car—get creative!

I love myself because…

By | All Posts, DIY, Health & Fitness, Inspiration

In this first full week of February we’re focusing on YOU focusing on YOURSELF. We often give so much of ourselves to others and focus on all the other positive things about others, while neglecting to treat ourselves the same way we treat our BFF.

To start this off, we’ve got a printable for you! Pick which size you’d like (4×6″ or 5×7″), pick the design you want, print it out, cut it out, put it in your favorite frame and write yourself a message each day on the glass using a dry erase marker. That way you’ve got a daily love note to yourself of why you’re seriously amazing.

Download the 4×6″ printable

Download the 5×7″ printable

And if you feel like it — share it with us by using #slwslovesme2

Examples below:

Sending Greetings (Printable Postcard)

By | All Posts, DIY, Inspiration

It’s always a good idea to send a good message. For that friend you haven’t seen in months, or the one you saw this afternoon, print out the Hello postcard and send a positive message about why you love them their way! Click this link to print. (If you don’t want to mail it, you could even just save the image and attach to an email or message.)

And ask them if they want to come with you to the Salt Lake Women’s Show while you’re at it 😉

Making your resolutions become a reality

By | All Posts, Inspiration

Happy new year!

 

Now that all the holiday craziness is over (anyone else exhausted, but also sad that the lights are starting to come down?), you may be feeling like it’s the right time to reflect, refocus and reevaluate for 2018.

 

 

New Year’s resolutions can be daunting. Full of hope and promise at the start, and then you miss a workout in the morning because you realize you’ve only been getting four hours of sleep. Eating is practically exercising, right?

 

Well, we’re here to help create realistic, achievable goals – and provide the plan to lay it out.

 

When making a goal, it’s best to be SMART about it. “SMART” meaning:

  • Specific – What do you want to improve? Be specific.
  • Measurable – Make a goal that you can easily measure your progress.
  • Assignable – Who will do what task in this goal? Probably you!
  • Realistic – Be realistic about the goals and the results that will be achieved.
  • Time-related – Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to acheive these goals. 

SMART goals go way back — they’re attributed to a November 1981 issue of Management Review that contained the article There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management’s goals and objectives, by George T. Doran — and continue to be effective today beyond the business world.

Additional tips:

Write it down.

Or type it up. But, at least record your goals somewhere that is easily seen every day. By writing down your goals, you can both reference and be accountable for them.

 

 

Be detailed.

Want to “be healthier”? What does that mean to you? How will you be healthier? If that means more exercise, where will you exercise and when? And, for how long? What’s something measurable that you can include to help you to know you’re achieving your goal?

 

 

Categorize/Prioritize

Split your goals into categories or priorities such as education, fitness, health, relationships, spiritual or adventures/travel.

 

 

Try to focus on one at a time.

So you want to learn a new language, exercise five days a week for 30 minutes, go for a hike once a week, drink one smoothie per day, finish grad school, travel to three foreign countries, read for an hour a day, and spend more time with your friends and family? You totally have our support! But try to pace yourself. Attempting to achieve all goals in the first month of the year might result in a burn-out or a feeling of defeat where you give up on all of them.

 

 

Next day focus.

You made a resolution to work out five days a week, but this week you only worked out four. Give up while you still can? No! You’ve got a new day, another week ahead. Just refocus and do your best to reach your goal.

 

Do seasonal check-ins.

We recommend after setting your goals to make calendar reminders each season to check them and adjust what may be needed.

 

Involve others.

You don’t need to do this alone. Have your family and friends join in by making their own resolutions, and make some goals together. It’s always good to have something to work toward together.

See yourself achieving.

Imagine what it would feel like to achieve your goal at the different stages you’ve set. See it, believe it, want it, achieve it.

 

To help you out, follow this link to download a printout for all your new year’s goal-setting needs.

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