What are kettlebells? What are the benefits of using kettlebells? How do you use kettlebells?

While the name may remind you of cows, kettlebells in fact have nothing to do with farm life! They are the cast iron weights with a single rounded handle on top, thus resembling a kettle, that you have most likely seen lying around your gym. Kettlebells originated in Greece centuries ago and have been used in Russian gyms for decades. More recently they have gained popularity in the west and have become extremely popular in American fitness classes and gyms.

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Why be Lazy when you can be Crazy? The Crazy Fit Challenge May 18, 2013

For most college students a typical crazy weekend entails staying out late, partying all night, and letting loose after a long week of class, homework, midterms, and papers. However, this particular weekend presented a different type of crazy. This past Saturday, May 18th I experienced a new kind of crazy when I participated in The Crazy Fit Challenge. As Santa Barbara’s only obstacle course race, the Crazy Fit Challenge is composed of a 1.5-mile obstacle course complete with a variety of challenging obstacles that are kept secret until the day of the event. Runners may complete anywhere from one to four laps of the course depending on their personal fitness level and goals. The difficulty of the Crazy Fit Challenge is further enhanced, as participants must conquer not only obstacles, but also the challenging natural terrain offered by Elings Park where the race is held.

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Organic Ordeal

Buying and eating organic foods is an increasingly popular trend throughout America and while organic items used to only be found in health food stores, they are now readily available in almost all supermarkets. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in charge of establishing the qualifications that foods need to meet to be considered organic and has created strict production and labeling guidelines that production companies must abide by. To be labeled “organic”, foods must be minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation, which have all been shown to have detrimental effects on one’s health. Additionally, the farming of these foods must maintain and replenish soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides, nitrates, and fertilizers.

Organic products are constantly being marketed as the healthier, tastier, and more nutritious choice, yet they cost more than their non-organic counterparts, leaving many consumers wondering whether or not buying organic is worth it. As it turns out, according to the Organic Consumers Association, organic foods, especially raw or non-processed, are in fact 25% more nutritious in terms of vitamins and minerals than the foods derived from industrial agriculture. They contain higher levels of beta-carotene, vitamins C, D, and E, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and chromium that are all severely depleted in foods grown using fertilizer high in pesticides and nitrates.

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The Fitness Benefits of Tennis and Where to Find a Game in Santa Barbara

Blessed with near perfect weather almost 365 days of the year, Santa Barbara is a fitness lover’s paradise. With no snowy storms or freezing temperatures to discourage you from hitting the great outdoors, it’s no wonder that Santa Barbara residents always seem to be out and about engaging in some sort of activity. Whether it’s a hike, a jog, or just a stroll down beautiful State Street, Santa Barbara residents are among some of the most active people in the

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Building Your Body

Achieving your ideal body comes only after weeks of extreme dedication and hard work. You might commonly hear exercise and diet being the key to health, weight loss, and muscle building, but you may be unsure about the benefits of certain kinds of workouts. Beginning an exercise program can be difficult without the right facts. This article will give you the basic tools you will need to start your strength training regimen, and will supplement your goals to live a healthy, strong, and injury-free lifestyle.

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Tips for Combating the Late Night Snack Attack

It’s 10pm; you’ve retired to your comfiest sweats and a cozy spot on the couch when out of no where you find yourself under siege by the late night snack attack. It’s a tricky dilemma that most everyone has experienced at some point or another. Whether it be a daily desire that occurs frequently, or a rare craving that strikes without warning, there is something about late night cravings that are especially hard to combat. That after-hours yearning for sweet treat or a salty snack can be overwhelmingly powerful and while a small, nutritious nibble before bed won’t derail your efforts towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle, bedtime binges can add an unbelievable amount of unnecessary calories to your daily intake. Multiple late-night trips to the kitchen can result in mindless munching and before you know it you have undone all of the hard work and healthy eating efforts you put forth earlier in the day.

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Yoga Styles With a Local Twist

It is not uncommon to see yoga as a top ranking activity on many people’s to-do lists. Yoga is something that people say they will do, “eventually,” “another day,” or “when they are back in shape.” What these very capable individuals do not realize is that now is the time to do yoga. Waiting only decreases your chances of being physically able to participate in the future. People make many excuses to do yoga, but “the best excuse not to go to yoga is that you just got back” (lululemon athletica).

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Workouts for the Trail for Hikers of All Levels

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, there is no question as to why hiking is a beneficial workout. Hiking is a breath of fresh air from crowded gyms, intense and busy work days, and the overall fast-paced lifestyle in which most of us live today. From the fresh air, the trees, and great views, hiking presents new challenges and experiences and exposes you to your local environment. Hiking can also improve physical and mental health, and can be a fun social activity for you and our friends or workout buddies. 

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Inspiration of the Week

Today is the day to inspire and be inspired.

Inspiration. It’s the motivation that drives us and the little push that convinces us to make that leap. We are always in need of a little inspiration, whether that is through words that speak to your soul, a transfromational story, or an image that speaks for itself. At Santa Barbara Fitness Magazine we want you to be inspired so that you may also be the inspiration to others. We are dedicated to bringing you new things that inspire us and you each week. Go further to find this week’s inspiration.

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