Pondhawk Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke

Take a Walk on the Wild Side on National Trails Day

Pondhawk Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke

Pondhawk Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke

The American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is Saturday, June 3. And to celebrate, the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) is hosting a hike at the Hungryland Slough Natural Area, in our very own Palm Beach County.

Hungryland Slough is one of the County’s largest restoration projects. The nature area’s more than 3,000 acres features eight distinct ecosystems ranging from prairie to swamp, and tons of wildlife like hawks, otters, butterflies and more. 
If you can’t make it Saturday’s guided hike, don’t fret. Palm Beach County has lots to offer when it comes to hiking, according to Jacey Biery, environmental analyst with the ERM.

“Palm Beach County has 33 natural areas to explore from Boca Raton to Jupiter,” Biery says. The local system of natural areas has 31,000 acres with more 160 miles of trails—just waiting to be explored. Hiking trails of different lengths and varying degrees of difficulty offer something for anyone wanting to see nature up close and personal, according to Biery. There are concrete walking trails that are less than 1/2 a mile long, and local dirt hiking trails range from 1/4 mile to 3 miles in length.

Loxahatchee Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke.

Loxahatchee Natural Area. Photo by Lee Lietzke.

“If you are looking for more of a challenge, some trails become inundated in the wet season. Join [ERM] staff for events like the Bike and Hike, August 12, for a 10-mile bike ride and a 1/3-mile hike through ankle deep water!” she says. The 1/3 mile hike takes an hour, according to the Facebook event for that adventure.

“The natural areas are a place to unwind and witness some of nature’s most beautiful events,” Biery says. Whether exploring the local trails by kayak, on foot or on a bike, it’s always best to go early in the morning or late in the evening to see the native wildlife or take in an amazing sunrise or sunset, Biery said.

Royal Palm Beach Pines Natural Area. Photo by   Ann Mathews.

Royal Palm Beach Pines Natural Area. Photo by
Ann Mathews.

Hungryland Slough Natural Area is at 12385 Seminole Pratt Whitney Road in Palm Beach Gardens. The hike starts Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Hikers should wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, closed-toed shoes and hats, as well as bring bug spray, snacks and plenty of water.

If you’re not up for the trek to Palm Beach Gardens, here are some natural areas in our neck of the woods (literally):

  • Leon M. Weeks Natural Area, 2800 Albatross Rd, Delray Beach
  • Delray Oaks Natural Area, 2021 SW 29th St, Delray Beach
  • Yamato Scrub Natural Area, 701-767 Clint Moore Rd, Boca Raton
  • Pondhawk Natural Area, NW, 1501 Spanish River Blvd, Boca Raton

For more about our local walks on the wild side, go to the ERM’s website. For more about the American Hiking Society, go to nationaltrailsday.americanhiking.org.

Frenchmans Forest Natural Area. Photo by   Ann Mathews.

Frenchmans Forest Natural Area. Photo by
Ann Mathews.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
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Burn Boot Camp Opens in West Boca

Session at Burn Boot Camp

Session at Burn Boot Camp

Girls run the world at Burn Boot Camp West Boca. The national fitness franchise opened its second Florida location on Monday, thanks to Jen Sawtell-Day and her husband Ryan. Jen, a Boca native, is super excited to have an empowering, female-only gym in her hometown. The couple opened its first Burn Boot Camp location in Naples almost two years ago and plans to open between eight and 10 locations in Palm Beach and Broward County over the next 3 to 4 years.

I attended Burn Boot Camp West Boca on Tuesday (the second day of camp), and it was intense—in the best sort of way. The 45-minute class focused on five different circuits (repeated three times each) and two ab exercises (with two repetitions and a finisher, which was bicycle abs for various intervals). My class included about 30-40 women between the ages of 20 and 50. Some brought kids, others brought their friends. But everyone had a common goal: to burn fat and build muscle. And boy, did we burn: abs, triceps, shoulders, and more abs.

Owners Jen and Ryan and head trainer Brittany

Owners Jen and Ryan and head trainer Brittany

Jen and Ryan kindly shared a bit of their Burn story with me. Here’s a recap:

Boca Mag (BM): How did you become associated with Burn? 

Jen Sawtell-Day (JSD): As a client. There was a Groupon. I started working out in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the headquarters location. It 100 percent changed my life. I had put on 90 pounds during my pregnancy with twins, and I had 45 pounds to lose. Free childcare [at Burn boot camp] was a big draw, and it was women only. It’s absolutely fantastic. One year after the Groupon, the CEO, Devan Kline, decided to franchise. It was Ryan’s idea to look into franchising. He had the dream of opening eight to 10 locations in Florida. Ryan had a finance background and I was a paralegal for 20 years. Both sets of our parents ran small businesses when we were kids. We talked to them and asked if it was crazy to leave our safe corporate jobs to open a gym in Boca—there are gyms everywhere. They said yes, to do it. Devan suggested opening the first location in Naples. It was my dream to bring Burn to Boca, which is my hometown.

BM: What makes Burn different from other gyms?

JSD: Burn [boot camp] made me a fitness junkie. I lost more than 40 pounds, and I’m in better shape at 42 than I was at 22 or 32. It’s so much more than a gym. It’s not cliquey or judgmental. It’s a 45-minute sweat session that empowers women. There’s free childcare, which is a draw for moms. There’s nutrition focus meetings every three weeks to help with coaching and meal plans, to look at fat/carb intake. Regardless of your health or fitness goals, we can tailor [plans] to meet goals in a reasonable amount of time. But I tell people it’s a lifestyle change. You have to commit to fitness and eating better. But the common thread is a sense of community.

BM: Who designs workouts? 

JSD: Headquarters [in Charlotte] determines group workouts. So Tuesday was arms and upper body at all the locations. But trainers at each location decide the exercises. So in West Boca, Brittany writes them, and Ryan and I weigh in.

BM: What’s your favorite healthy meal? 

JSD: I’m a simple cook: grilled chicken, corn, quinoa and black beans. I top it with salsa. I make big quantities and have it for lunch or dinner throughout the week. Meal prep is definitely important.

RD: Mine is a staple Burn recipe: egg, ground turkey, sweet potato and vegetable casserole. It’s great for breakfast. You can throw any veggies in there: peas, broccoli, carrots. The Burn Nutrition Facebook page has more videos, tips and recipes.

BM: What motivates you to keep going? 

JSD: For me it’s two things. I feel good—I sleep better, I have more energy. I don’t want to backslide. And seeing how it changes other people’s lives. To see the look on their face of, “I just did it!” and being surrounded by that for seven boot camps every day is amazing.

RD: I gravitate toward being on the floor. To help someone realize a goal, that’s what drives me every day.


To learn more about Burn Boot Camp West Boca (11411 A West Palmetto Park Road), visit its website.

Allison Lewis is the associate editor at Boca Raton Magazine and a native St. Louisan. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. In her spare time, Allison enjoys cooking, playing Ultimate frisbee, reading, traveling and watching sports.
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Fitness Firsts: Cycling at Flywheel Sports

JCC_8076My fitness go-to’s lately include Frisbee, lifting weights and logging miles on the treadmill, but not cycling. (Yes, I know, who the heck likes to run on the treadmill?) I try to exercise at least five times each week, and some days, the treadmill or the weight machine just doesn’t cut it. On weekends, I’ll change things up: a bike ride, the driving range or something else. I’m more of a leisurely cyclist, and I prefer to keep my biking outdoors on the Lake Trail in Palm Beach.

But when I found out about Flywheel Sports in Boca, I decided to try an indoor cycling class—my first one ever. Most classes are between 45 and 60 minutes long, and there’s a few different instructors that teach throughout the week. Instructor Nicole Hoskens points out the tech pack on each Flywheel bike, which shows the rider the RPMs, resistance (torque), power and calories burned throughout the ride. Riders can also compare their stats to those of their peers on a screen in the cycling stadium.

I got there on time and found myself facing a crowded parking lot. Pro tip: arrive early just for parking’s sake. Flywheel is not in the biggest of spaces, but everything is compact and set up well. A small lounge area is directly across from a row of cubbyholes, and lockers and changing rooms are in the back. Oh, and there’s a Flywheel merch wall, if you’re so inclined.

I checked in, grabbed a towel and slipped into a pair of cycling shoes provided by Flywheel. Another pro tip: wear flip flops and bring socks, unless you own a pair of cycling shoes. Mine fit pretty well and felt comfortable during the ride.

Once in the stadium, I locked my feet into the pedals, set my towel on the handle bars and pedaled slowly. I looked around the room. About 50 or 60 stationary bikes were full of women (and about 10 men) between the ages of 25 and 50. The lights dimmed, and the instructor, Angela Lutin, appeared at the front of the room and got on her own bike.

Stadium Shot 4

Together, everyone warmed up while a remix with loud beats played in the background. We started the ride shortly after, and I could feel my legs starting to burn. I adjusted the resistance knob so that my torque was at about 15 or 16 initially. Lutin led the class through 30-second sprints with torque at 20 and RPMs of 90 or higher. I upped my torque to 17 and my RPMs between 70 and 75, at least the first half of class. Indoor cycling requires a rhythm, and I was finding mine.

I rode a few different hills, which required leaving the saddle, or bike seat. I could feel the burn in my thighs increase and the sweat glistening on my arms and face. About halfway through, Lutin said: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I think it was her motivational mantra because she repeated it a few times more the second half of class.

“We want to empower members and clients,” Hoskens says.

I was pleasantly surprised when Lutin told us to reach for the weighted bars on the side of the bike. We used them for some light upper body strength conditioning, while continuing to pedal, albeit more slowly and with less torque. The class finished with another small hill, a couple more sprints, and then a strong finish.

The lights came on, and we all did a few minutes of stretching before leaving the stadium. I noticed little puddles on the floor around most of the bikes. Guess I wasn’t the only one who had been working up a sweat. I left the stadium, put on my flip flops, threw my shoes and towel into the bin for cleaning, and walked out exhausted but feeling stronger.

Allison Lewis is the associate editor at Boca Raton Magazine and a native St. Louisan. She earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. In her spare time, Allison enjoys cooking, playing Ultimate frisbee, reading, traveling and watching sports.
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Take Advantage of the Weather and Go Moonlight Paddleboarding

Go moon bathing for a change

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Island Water Sports in Deerfield Beach is offering stand-up full moon paddle tours. The 3.5-mile scenic route takes paddlers along the multimillion dollar homes on the Intracoastal, just in time for sunset.

Upcoming dates for the full moon paddles are in February (on the 10 and 11) and each month through December. The tours, which are considered easy paddles but require some endurance, start at 5:30 p.m. from Island Water Sports at 1985 NE 2nd Street, where people joining the tour will be carpooled to the launch.

Registration is limited. The cost is $30 a person, which includes a board rental and a tour guide. Those who bring their own boards, paddles and life vests pay $10. Those who have their own boards should also bring a whistle and white flashlight, but can rent those from Island Water Sports, if needed.

The paddle takes about 1.5 hours.

For more information, go to Island Camps’ website, email info@islandcamps.com or call 954/427-4929.


For more sports, recreation and outdoors, visit our fashion & wellness page, or subscribe for the best coverage of Boca and Delray. 

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
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Jingle Bell Jog is Coming to Town

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Registration is open for the Saturday, December 17, 2016 Delray Beach Jingle Bell Jog 5K.

As event promoters say: This is the annual running event that “champions all things associated with the festive winter holidays… Jingle Bells, Santa, Mistletoe, Eggnog, Reindeer, Elves!”

When else can you sign up for a race and get a Santa suit and bells for your running shoes?

It’s the time of year when Santas and their jingling bells take over A1A in Delray Beach. So, get ready to get your jingle on.

The 3.1-mile race starts at 7:30 a.m. at Anchor Park, 340 South Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach. There’s also a Little Elf Dash at 8:30a.m.

Cost to enter is $35. Click here to register.

Or find out more at http://jinglebelljog.net/event-info-delray-beach/.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
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Walk to Fight Breast Cancer in October

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There’s plenty of time to get a team together, join a team or sign up to walk as an individual for the upcoming American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K (3.1-mile) walk in Boca Raton. The walk raises money and awareness for breast cancer.

The noncompetitive event starts at Mizner Park Amphitheater (590 Plaza Real) at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 22.

The Making Strides of South Palm Beach walk celebrates survivors and raises money for breast cancer research, education and patient services. Participants who raise $100 will receive a 2016 Commemorative Making Strides t-shirt.

Making Strides has been making its impact on fundraising to end breast cancer for decades. Since 1993, more than 12 million walkers nationwide have raised more than $750 million to help fight breast cancer at Making Strides events, according to the American Cancer Society.

To sign up for the local walk or donate to Making Strides, go to the event website. For more information, contact Katie Mixon, SouthPalmBeachFLStrides@cancer.org, 561/650-0119.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.
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Upcoming Devil Dog 5k Benefits Local Wounded Military

Photos provided by the Evolution Fitness Foundation

The Devil Dog 5K, with proceeds that will benefit the local Wounded Warriors of South Florida charity, is less than a month away. The Sunday, Oct. 16, race starts at 7:30 a.m. at South County Regional Park, 12551 Glades Road, Boca Raton.

The cost to participate is $35.

The Evolution Fitness Foundation, which is part of Evolution Fitness Boca (9793 Glades Rd.), is putting on the family friendly event with live music, which is designed to raise awareness about the needs of wounded service members. A Lake Park, Fla.-based not-for-profit, which not affiliated with the national Wounded Warriors Project, will benefit from the race.

The Devil Dog 5K was established by a marine in partnership with the Evolution Fitness Foundation.

“Marines have been nicknamed ‘Devil Dogs’ since the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918 when German soldiers coined the term to describe the U.S. marines who were likened to ‘Dogs from Hell’ because of their ferocious fighting in the battle,” according to Monica Prado, of the Evolution Fitness Foundation. “This nickname is still used to motivate and inspire our great marines. The Wounded Warriors of South Florida is a local praiseworthy organization that serves to honor and empower both physically and mentally wounded soldiers.”

To register for the Devil Dog 5K, go to: http://www.devildog5k.com or check out the event’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/devildog5krun/?fref=ts.

 

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About Lisette

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.

Win a Lifetime Membership to the YMCA

Don’t miss the chance to win a Lifetime Membership to the YMCA of South Palm Beach County.

The Boca Raton and Boynton Beach YMCA locations are offering “Around the Y in 80 Ways,” a program that allows nonmembers and members to experience some of the new classes and features available at the “Y” locations in South Florida. As a bonus, it provides participants an opportunity to win the grand prize, which is a Lifetime Membership to the YMCA of South Palm Beach County.

To get involved, simply pick up a passport at the front desk of either the Boca or Boynton Beach locations beginning Monday, September 19. Then, complete a minimum 10 out of 80 tasks and experiences available to participants throughout the YMCA. For example, take a Zumba, yoga or water aerobics class, try the new outdoor performance training space, or spend a few minutes unwinding in the steam room.

“When people actually have the chance to experience the YMCA, more often than not they want to become a part of it and become members. That’s why we are hosting this fun event to showcase many of the unique features of our Boca and Boynton facilities. We look forward to showing off the compelling culture of the YMCA,” says Jason Hagensick, president and CEO at YMCA of South Palm Beach County.

The event starts Friday, September 23 and ends Sunday, September 25, at both locations. For more information please visit www.ymcaspbc.org/80ways

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Palm Beach County Announces ‘Adventure Awaits’ Series

Ever wonder what it’s like to hike, bike or kayak the natural areas in Palm Beach County, but you don’t feel confident about the adventure without a guide? Well, Palm Beach County has announced its fall 2016 “Adventure Awaits” event series, and it’s full of free opportunities to explore largely unexplored areas of Palm Beach County with experienced naturalists.

The next event on tap: September 17, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., there’s a 1.5 mile hike through the Cypress Creek Natural Area, at 10035 West Indiantown Road, Jupiter. Here’s your invitation to slog through the South Florida wetlands, with a group of like-minded adventurers. All you have to do is be prepared for some knee-deep water and bring a towel and some dry clothes and shoes for after the hike. The County’s Department of Environmental Resources Management provides the expertise, water, cups, hiking sticks and a fruit snack for hikers.

That’s one example. There’s are many more chances to experience our natural areas’ wild beauty.

The Adventure Awaits series is in its third season, featuring 15 events (some have already happened) from September through November. Other events include naturalist-led cycling and paddling tours, an opportunity to learn nature photography skills and a butterfly adventure. Returning this season is the popular stargazing event and Growing Up Wild events, which inspire children and their parents to connect with nature.

Another great thing about this series is anyone—from beginner outdoors’ person to advanced adventurer—can attend.

For the complete schedule and descriptions of the events, go tohttps://www.facebook.com/PBCERM/events or www.pbcerm.eventbrite.com.

Space is limited and registration is required for all of these free events. For more information on Palm Beach County’s natural areas, call (561) 233-2400, visit www.pbcgov.com/erm/, or follow the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management on Facebook and Instagram @PBCERM.

 

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About Lisette

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.

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Cycle for the American Heart Association

The Ride for the American Heart Association is Saturday, Sept. 10. Pedals up at 7:30 a.m. at the Old School Square Park, 51 N. Swinton Ave, Delray Beach.

There are two routes to choose: a 60-mile and a 30-mile bike ride. The 60-mile event offers an 18-mph to 21-mph option, and a faster 22- to-24 mph group. The same with the 30-mile ride. Experienced riders will have an 18- to 21-mph option, while people who want to cruise at slower speeds can ride with the 15- to 17-mph group.

zMotion, which is the organization putting on the ride, announced the event will have police, on-route support vehicles and fully stocked rest stops.

Stay after the ride for food and fun (including a kids’ zone).

To enter, cyclists pay $50 each ($30 for zMotion members), and 100 percent of the proceeds go to the American Heart Association, according to zMotion’s Facebook announcement.

To sign up, go to www.zmotion.org. And for more about the event, click here.

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About Lisette

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.

Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has had the luxury of reporting on health, fitness and other hot topics for more than 23 years. The longtime Boca Raton resident, University of Florida graduate and fitness buff writes for local, regional and national publications and websites. Find out more on wordscomealive.com.