Posts tagged weekend getaway
Wine country's hidden gem, Solvang

     California never  ceases to amaze me. With so many climate changes, landscapes  and tucked away charming town's, I had the pleasure to spend time in Solvang this past weekend. This idyllic small town is located in Southern California's Santa Ynez Valley with a populaiton of roughly 5,800 people . The drive through the countryside will set the tone for your trip: picturesque views of the roaming mountains, bright gold hills and blue skies.

   The town originally founded in 1911, built with love by Danish Americans to offer culture, history and more so community.  Along with many wineries and delicious wine tasting rooms, it's known for it's Danish style architecture. You'll feel like you stepped into a fairy tale, where time slows down as you stroll through the streets taking in the colorful shops and horse-lead trollies. Suddenly, I was back to my 11 year old self  living in Germany with my aunt and uncle. If your looking for a unique, nostalgic getaway,  just head  45 min north of Santa Barbra and Solvang awaits you!

I suggest a crisp glass of rosé while basking in the sun taking in the views!


photo credit: Aubrey Danielle/ Ashiko Westguard

Fitness on the go, things to take with you

   Just because you're going away for the weekend doesn't mean you can't take a few things with you to help  give you an  effective workout. It's always nice having the option to workout should you get that burst of energy, inspiration or maybe you're just feeling really guilty after eating that cake and more... Weekend getaways are for you and that means coming back to work feeling refreshed and energized. A few things I love traveling with are my mat, jump rope and set of 5 lb weights.  Whether you use the mat for low impact workouts, stretching or meditating its always nice to have. Here's what I did this weekend while staying in the high desert where the air is thick, and the sun is hot.

Dynamic Stretching works best for the pre workout: Movements in-between gently warming up the muscles while keeping the body in motion.

Static Stretches work best with warmed up muscles/post workout: Hold each stretch for 20-30 sec. To get the ultimate benefits of lengthening muscle fibers and felxibilty it's important to hold no less the 20 sec with each stretch. 

Jump Rope for 30 min. Get to know your body and see where you're at. Rest when needed. And remember to engage your core muscles using as a stabilization.

Now using your 5 lb weights here are a few exercises I love.

Ab Twist: This my favorite! You can also modify it to give yourself an even deeper workout. Sit on your mat with your knees bent and your feet flat. Make sure your tail bone is tucked under to prevent injuries and slightly lean back to a 45- angle. Holding one weight with both your left and right hand slowly twist to each side engaging those abs. I like to do 3 set's of 30-40 reps. If your a beginner start with 3 set's of 15 reps.

Modify: You can raise legs to table top position. Engage the core muscles even more.

Modify: You can add a hold and lift in the center before twisting to each side. Take your time between each action holding 2 sec.  If you feel any strain to your back or neck, stop and adjust! 

Shoulder Press: Feet planted hip length apart slight bend in the knee to prevent over extension. Take set of dumbbells held straight above your head. Slowly bend your elbows and lower weights until they are in line with your shoulders. Without stopping continue back in starting position. I like to do 3 sets of 20-25 reps. 

Modify: You can add another step bringing the weights down to your chest. Creating a larger motion. Remember to tuck your pelvis under not putting pressure on your lower back. 


Have fun! Health and wellness always first. Have great weekend!


- Ashiko