Monday, January 28, 2013

Anna's Hike up Stone Mountain

Get gear for your own hiking adventure check out Juno Active's Hiking selection. Also make sure you sift through our other options for those other activities.

Last week, I went hiking with The Trail Dames. This hike was for first timers and we climbed Stone Mountain, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Stone Mountain is a great, great mountain.

It is steep and rocky.  And just when you think the incline can’t get any worse, there are metal hand rails to get you over the last bit. It is not an easy mountain, and we were all huffing, puffing and sweating when we finally got to the top. However, once the trail evened out we looked out and saw the view.

A view that goes for miles and miles and miles…..

Each time we hike, I think “who gets to see the view from the top of a mountain? Who gets to see the view from the seat of a kayak or the chair of a ski lift?”

The woman that walked up there…that is who gets to see it. You can open books, peruse post cards and surf the web, but that is a pale comparison to the real thing. The only people who get to see what is truly out there are the ones that ignored the butterflies in their stomach, got off the couch, and went and did it.

The pay off makes all of the sweating and shortness of breath totally worth it. The next time you grab the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone, remember that you are one of the few people that get to see this view.   And be proud.

- Anna Huthmaker

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yucky, Mucky First Steps -by Kara Richardson

Yucky, Mucky First Steps

Last weekend it was supposed to be 60 degrees, a balmy mid-winter day here in New Jersey, so I decided it was time for a hike. I had been building up to this for some time. This wasn’t just any hike. This would be our first hike together as a family of four. My husband Chris and 4-year-old daughter Anna welcomed a new addition to our family – Emily Rose -- in November. This would be Emily’s first hike -- ever.

I strayed from hiking while pregnant even though it is really my favorite thing to do. I’ve hiked Kilimanjaro three times to raise money for AIDS orphans. Still, I wasn’t fond of the uneven ground and my loss of balance while carrying a baby in my belly so I stuck with prenatal water fitness, the elliptical trainer and flat walks. (Yawn).
But now as I look to new adventures, such as Crater Lake and Machu Picchu which I hope to conquer soon, it was time to get moving.

Well, it wasn’t 60 degrees on the morning of our hike. It was barely 40 with a thick fog. But I had packed a bag the night before with water, granola bars, changes of clothes and diapers (now that I’m a mother of two I feel like I’m always packing bags of some sort) and I was bound and determined to go. So we went, with Emily in the Ergo Baby carrier.

Watchung Reservation was spooky with all the fog but once we started hiking the woods welcomed us. It felt great to get out of the house after weeks of feeling shut in with the weather and being a new mom.  The mucky, yucky ground squished under my boots. My older daughter delighted in going over bridges and stepping around (and sometimes in) puddles. Emily slept through the whole thing. We were on the right path.

There is something so wonderful about taking first steps, even if they are on a cold mucky day. What kinds of first steps will you take this month?

Happy Trails!

Kara Richardson Whitely is the author of Fat Woman on the Mountain, is a plus-size adventurer. You can follow her journey, which includes three hikes up Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, at  and on Twitter @fatwmnonthemtn.

Happy Trails, Kara Richardson Whitely 

Twitter: @fatwmnonthemtn

-To get gear for your own hiking adventure check out Juno Active's Plus Size hiking selection or every day plus size clothing. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Latest Trend: The Active Commute

The Latest Trend: The Active Commute

Can’t seem to find the time to work out?  Join the club!  The club of “active commuters.”  Big cities like New York and London have long provided pleasant walking and easy access to mass transit.  But even those of us in suburbia can get in on this trend:
- Park your car at the far end of your parking area.  An extra block each way can total up over a year to over 52 miles!   And if you walk briskly to the door—even better!  And when you get to your building, start with one set of stairs and work your way up!
 One way commutes.  If you live within 3-5 miles of home, can you get a ride in to work and walk home?  Or could you take the bus or car pool home, but get off a few miles before your usual stop?  If you walk home 3 times a week for 3 miles, that could total 468 miles!
- Research by Ms. Gordon-Larsen, published two years ago in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that active commuters had lower blood pressure, body mass and triglyceride levels (fat in the blood). 
- Tips from active commuters include biking to work, keeping good walking shoes at work, using a backpack when walking, listening to music or podcasts during commute time, and keeping a basic suit jacket or sweater at work. 
- Active Commuting Clothing?  Anything goes, but layering is the best.  Junonia QuikWik items are great! Remember a cap to keep the sun out of your eyes, a waterbottle, sun screen and sun glasses.
 There is something magical about taking the time to buffer yourself between work and home with a walk.  It’s a real stress-buster!