Stretches for Paddling

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Every sport and exercise needs stretching. It's a way to warm up and cool down your muscles as well as help with flexibility to keep you at your best. We've compiled a variety of different stretches ideal for paddling since we're in the middle of our Adventure Ready series on paddling right now. 

1. Pelvis Stretches for Paddlers -

2. Warm Ups and Stretches for Kayaking -

3. Stretching for Paddling and Longevity -

4. Yoga Poses for Kayakers -

Benefits of Paddling

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We are in the middle of our Adventure Ready series on paddling where we incorporate new skills into our pack workouts each week. 

Paddling can include a variety of different things including canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. This sport offers many benefits including: reduced risk of wear and tear on joints, increased torso and leg strength, improved cardiovascular fitness and more. 

Paddling not only improves your physical health but it is also proven to have many mental health benefits as well. The exercise gives you endorphins and reduces stress, plus being outside gives your body an extra boost of Vitamin D.

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Starting in March, we'll be launching our Paddling Adventure Ready series. This will be an 8 week series focusing on the sport of paddling. Each week we'll be teaching a new skill and integrating it into our workouts. These are the 8 paddling skills we'll be showing you:

  • Portaging
  • Shoulder/ upper back health
  • Paddling power
  • Rescue skills
  • Craft remount
  • Upper body endurance
  • Torso/ hip control
  • Balance

This is a great time to join us as a member if you've been on the fence or are curious to know what BAREfit is all about. These paddling skills will not only get you into shape but also help if you're planning any kayaking or canoeing trips this summer. 

Sign up for our Trailhead program if you're interested in trying us out!

Subbing out sugar in baking


I love to try new things when I'm baking to make the items more healthy.  I'm often tweaking recipes to try and find ways to sweeten without sugar.  Stevia, honey and maple syrup are pretty common substitutes but here are some other items that I've had success with.

1. Dates - Dates are like nature's candy. They are sweet and sometimes take on a chocolatey taste. We make a date paste at home by blending dates with warm water until smooth. Then you can use the paste to sweeten desserts, smoothies, etc. It's delicious! We make a great ice cream with date paste, cocoa powder and coconut cream.  

2. Applesauce - This is a great natural sweetener that can work in muffins, cookies, brownies, etc. I often use this in muffins or breakfast breads. You can search on the internet and find a lot of applesauce recipes. 

3. Bananas - ripe bananas are naturally sweet so they are a great way to turn a tasty treat into a healthy tasty treat. I love to put overly ripe bananas in brownies. They keep them moist and go great with the chocolate. I also make a milkshake in my Magic Bullet with an overly ripe banana, cocoa powder and almond milk.



Snacks to eat if you're craving sugar

Are you craving something sweet? Try one of these healthier alternatives instead of reaching for a sugary treat. 

1. Fresh fruit -- Slice up some apples with peanut butter or make a fruit salad. Ripe berries are naturally sweet so they make a great quick snack. If you don't want to take the time to cut your fruit, do it all in advance before the week starts. We often slice apples, peel oranges and/or make fruit salad in our home on Sunday, our meal prep day. Then, when we get a hankering for something sweet, we can just grab a container of fruit out of our fridge and it's convenient. 

2. Nuts -- Aldi sells these packages of raw mixed nuts that we like to buy. One is almond, pecans and pistachios and another is walnut, cashews and macadamia nuts. Protein is a great way to combat a sugar craving so reach for nuts instead! Maybe try coating the nuts in coconut oil then covering with cinnamon and stevia. Toast them in the oven and you've got a great slightly sweet snack. 

3. Smoothies -- make a fruit smoothie with some kefir or yogurt. The probiotics will be great for you! If you are craving chocolate, grab some banana, peanut butter, almond milk and cocoa powder. Then you've got a healthier chocolate milkshake!

4. Dried fruit -- Now you have to be careful with dried fruit because it often has added sugar or corn syrup. Raisins and dates are usually safe and both have a natural sweetness. Just make sure to check the labels first. 

5. Infused water -- Use fresh fruit, veggies and herbs to develop a variety of interesting water flavors. Watermelon and basil, cucumber and lime, strawberry and lemon, the list goes on! Make a pitcher ahead of time so you can just grab a glass when the cravings hit.