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Woman wearing IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro

Here's To 2020 And Making Healthier Choices

Written By: Bianca T.

As we ring in the beginning of a new year, one thing always rings true for me. It’s easy to make New Years Resolutions. It’s much harder to stick to them. As January ebbs away, I forget my promises to myself to practice clean eating, drink more water, spend less money, and exercise daily. Instead, I fall back into old habits. And I’m not the only one. In fact, only about 10% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions successfully implement lasting change. The other 90% fail.

This year, I decided to abandon the idea of New Years Resolutions and instead, concentrate on one big idea: making healthier choices. Instead of getting bogged down in laundry lists of habits I need to change and goals I need to achieve, I’ve decided to start off this new decade with only simple rule to keep in mind: if it makes me feel better in my body, mind or spirit, I’ll do it! I’m happy to report that one week into 2020, I’m still on track with my commitment.

Woman running wearing IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro

I started small on the first day of the year. Because the weather was mild and the sun was shining, I packed a pair of sneakers and a bagged lunch into my IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro and took it to work with me. When my lunch hour came, instead of turning away from my computer for a quick 20 minutes to gobble down a bag of chips and a soda, I stepped outside for a brisk walk around the block and ate a sandwich on a park bench. Not only did I feel like I had made a positive change on my very first day, this small bit of refreshing exercise stopped me from falling into my usual after-lunch midday slump. I already felt like my new year was off to a positive start!

Woman buckling front straps of the IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro

This small but important change in activity has continued throughout my entire first week of the new year. My daytime walks and healthy lunch time meals have left me feeling invigorated and more energetic, and the energy boost has even given me more strength and stamina in my gym routine. I’m glad that I didn’t make “healthier lunches” a New Years Resolution, because I’m sure feeling that obligation to a resolution would have made me give up in the first week. The open-ended idea of simply making a healthier choice has given me confidence and has allowed me to find joy in a new routine I hadn’t even planned on.

If you’re also someone who has already given up on their New Years Resolutions, or is just looking for a new activity to make your days healthier and more enjoyable, this may the approach for you. Thankfully, there a lot of tools out there to make incorporating a healthier choice into your daily routine easy and fun. For me, the IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro was the thing that cemented my new lunch time routine. Having a sleek backpack I could take to work with me on my daily commute made packing my sneakers, my lunch, and my laptop into one place simple and easy. It’s lightweight, so carrying it didn’t feel like a burden. And because it’s roomy and compartmentalized, I’ve even started packing my after-work gym clothes into it, without worrying about them becoming dirty and wrinkled. The materials are sturdy, so I can toss into my backseat and under my desk without worrying about anything inside becoming damaged.

Items inside the IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do in this new year! If you are also someone who is embarking on a journey of health and happiness, remember that finding one small but significant change may be the thing that propels you through a whole 365 days of healthy living.

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Person - Managing Holiday Stress

Managing Holiday Stress

Written by: Jenna M.

For a lot of us, the holiday season is a whirlwind of activity. Buying gifts, wrapping presents, cooking and baking, holiday parties and spending time with loved ones are joyful, but often daunting, tasks and plans. The season that brings love, cheer and togetherness can also bring a lot of stress.  In fact, over 80% of Americans report feel moderate to high levels of stress during the holidays.

Most people feel stress in their body as much as their mind. Stress can cause headaches, stomach pains, muscle fatigue and even sleep problems. Fortunately, there’s a lot that can be done to help manage stress and fight the symptoms. Mentally, it’s important to give your busy mind a break from worrying. Although it can be hard to find a few minutes to yourself during this busy time of year, it’s important to set aside time for hobbies you find enriching, like reading or listening to music.  Try mediating for 10 minutes a day and practicing deep breathing exercises when you feel tension mounting. Exercise can serve as an immediate stress reliever, as it allows the tension to leave your body. Yoga and tai chi are great because they’re low impact and emphasize the importance of deep, steady breathing.

Woman stretching on yoga mat with BLACKROLL Duoball

Bodily self-care during the holidays is the number one way to relieve the symptoms of stress. While it may be difficult to find time in between shopping and visiting loved ones, massages are shown to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increased the production of endorphins, your body natural “feel good” chemical. Fortunately, you don’t have to book an appointment at an expensive massage clinic to experience these benefits. There are a lot of great at-home massage tools to try this year.

If your feet and calves are worn out from marathon shopping trips, the HighHealer is perfect for you. It allows for both hot and cold massage using a special soap stone roller that immediately soothes overworked muscles. Created by a podiatrist, the HighHealer is specially formulated to bring relief and relaxation to tired, achy feet and calves.

HighHealer Foot Care Trainer

If you’re someone who handles stress by unconsciously clenching your jaw, neck and shoulders, the HighBaller will be just what you’re looking for to provide an at-home upper body massage. Featuring two width-adjustable balls, the HighBaller can be used on the floor or mounted on the wall. It will instantly release stress from painful trigger points in your back and neck. If you’re looking for something more light weight that can be carried in your purse or luggage, try the BLACKROLL Micro Roll. This foam roller is handheld and is exactly the right size and shape to use on your neck or jaw for a quick, 10 minute massage in your car or at your desk.

 Using the BLACKROLL Micro on jaw / TMJ for face pain relief

Finally, remember that stress can cause your sleep to go completely off-schedule. If you’re someone who lies awake at night tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep, the solution to this might be found right where you rest your weary head. Having the perfect pillow can be the simplest solution to insomnia caused by stress. The ActiveLife Pure Sleep Orthopedic Pillow has anatomical shape that supports the bend of the cervical spine. It has a "memory effect" that takes the individual form of the head and neck to gently and evenly distribute the pressure of the body while reducing tension in the muscles of the neck and back. It’s even infused with aloe to help you drift off to sleep peacefully.

Woman sleeping on the Active Life Pure Sleep Orthopedic Pillow

It can be easy to get bogged down in stress during the holidays. But remember that it truly is the season of happiness and hope. Along with your self-care routine, try to maximize the moments that bring you joy this season, whether it’s spending time with loved ones, eating delicious foods, or caroling and volunteering.  Maintaining your health will be the final step to truly enjoying and relaxing during the holiday season. Eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising when you can, and taking time for yourself will make your season complete.

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Clothing - ActiveLife Activist: Lindsey Ann Szakacs

ActiveLife Activist: Lindsey Ann Szakacs

Group Fitness Instructor & Health Coach

"Helping other anxy-introverts get their fit on!"

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your fitness background.

I am a group fitness instructor in San Diego, CA. I specialize in a class format called Core De Force which is a high intensity, butt-kicking MMA style workout! I have also been certified through the ISSA as a personal trainer for the past 4 years.

Lindsey Ann Szakacs training.

2) What has been your biggest client success story? Why do you think it was a success?

While I don’t have one huge success, I get excited for those clients who were afraid to start in the beginning and end up making those long term habits. I’ve had clients from when I first started still hanging with me today! I couldn’t be more grateful!

Lindsey Ann Szakacs teaching and training her client.

3) What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?

I would just tell myself to loosen up a little! Fitness doesn’t have to be so rigid. Just have fun with it

4) Which people or books have had the most influence on in your life and why?

The book The Slight Edge was an absolute game changer for me. It’s all about how the small things we do can create massive change as it’s compounded over time.
I also love books by Gabby Bernstein, which have helped me learn to dig into meditation.

Lindsey Ann Szakacs

5) What weekend hobbies do you enjoy? 

I love going to walk by the beach on Saturday mornings with my husband and getting coffee together. I also love getting together with some of our friends for a Saturday morning brunch that we make ourselves. 

Lindsey Ann Szakacs and husband.


6) Whats your favorite movie?

Deadpool! I’m a huge Ryan Reynolds fan, so really, anything with him in it is my favorite! But if I had to choose, definitely Deadpool!

7) Whats your favorite food?

Tough one! But lately, I’ve been digging Ramen from a local sushi restaurant called Sushi Exchange! If you’re ever in San Diego, give it a try!

Lindsey Ann szakacs 
8) What's your favorite part about being an ActiveLife Activist? 

I get to hear about innovative tools for fitness and general health that most have never heard of before and I get to guide others towards them!

Lindsey Ann Szakacs using the BLACKROLL BOOSTER SET MED.

9) Tell us about your favorite AL product and why you enjoy it so much.

I am loving the black roll and booster! It is the thing you didn’t know you needed until you have it. Going back to a standard roller is just NO WHERE NEAR the the same!
Check out Lindseys Facebook to learn more about her, here!: 
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Pc - A Gift Guide That Suits Everyone On My List

A Gift Guide That Suits Everyone On My List

Written By: Marissa Q.

IAMRUNBOX Doublepack being wrapped as a holiday gift.

It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year! I love the holidays. Celebrating with friends and family, enjoying delicious food and relaxing before it’s time to get to work on those New Years Resolutions is something I look forward to all year! But something I don’t look forward to: figuring out what to get my friends and family as gifts. Shopping can be stressful, especially this time of year with long checkout lines and heavy traffic. I try to accomplish most of my gift buying online, but that comes with its own problems. Mainly, what to choose from! And when I can’t decide what to buy, I always end up making last minute decisions and blowing right through my shopping budget! 

So, every year I look for Gift Guides. Gift Guides take the guesswork out of picking out of the perfect present for my loved ones. This year, I am happy to announce that I found a Gift Guide that suits everyone on my shopping list: activelife’s Pain Relief Gift Guide! Pain relief isn’t something I normally associate with the holidays, but then I got to thinking…it’s the end of a long year, everyone on my list seems to struggle with their own little pain point, and it’s bound to be a gift that they’ll actually get some use out of after the holidays end!

So, I started my shopping at the top of my list (and at the top of the body) with their Upper Body Pain Guide. I immediately thought of my sister, who always seems to be suffering from an achy neck and shoulders. She loves to work out and lift weights, but she complains that her tight shoulders hold her back. activelife sells the HighBaller, which seems perfect for her! It’s a massage tool she can use on the floor or mount to the wall, and its guaranteed to release her trigger points in her neck and upper back. Bingo! One person done.

 Woman using the HighBaller Adjustable Massage Ball on her neck

Moving down my list (and down the body), I got to my dad. My dad spends a lot of time on his feet, at work and at home. He loves to garden and work in the garage, and he’s not a big fan of sitting still. But, he tells me that he always seems to suffer from Charley Horses, especially after he goes to bed at night. Looking through the Lower Body Pain Gift Guide, I immediately land on the BLACKROLL BOOSTER Set. I know my dad is going to be impressed by this, because it’s a foam roller AND a massage tool that’s the perfect size for his calves. One more perfect gift picked out…

Man rolling his calves out with the BLACKROLL Booster Set

Which brings me to my best friend. She’s a true globetrotter. She loves to travel and every year I seem to be buying her a new piece of luggage as a gift. This year I wanted to do something different! She always tells me that her least favorite part of travelling is sleeping on airplanes and in hotel beds because they leave her with an aching neck and back. The Back Pain Guide leads me to the BLACKROLL Recovery Pillow and I know it’s perfect for her! It’s an ergonomic travel pillow that’s a million times better than her old airplane neck pillow.

Woman sleeping on the BLACKROLL Recovery Pillow

activelife’s Pain Relief Gift Guide has made this the most painless year of shopping yet! But I still have one person left to buy for, and it’s the toughest person on my list: my mother. What do you get for the person who deserves the best gift ever? This year, I finally have an answer, and it comes from the Foot Pain Relief Guide! It’s called the HighHealer, and it’s the solution to my mom’s high heel addiction. My mom wears high heels to the office every day and she loves them, but they leave her with blisters, heel pain and a bad case of planter fasciitis. I know she is going to LOVE the HighHealer, because it promises to relieve her foot pain in only 10 minutes a day!

Woman using the HighHealer Foot Care Trainer, a 10-Minute Solution for Plantar Fasciitis

I can’t believe how much easier this year’s holiday shopping has been after using the Pain Relief Gift Guide. I didn’t even have to leave my house! No fighting through traffic, checkout lines, and wandering around the mall wondering what to buy each person on my list. My shopping is done, I got the perfect gifts, and I stayed within my budget. Now, I can truly look forward to spending the rest of the season relaxing and enjoying the company of my loved ones! 

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Person - Charley Horses: AKA Nocturnal Leg Cramps

Charley Horses: AKA Nocturnal Leg Cramps

Written By: Jake Polly

 Man holding his calf in pain.

It’s 2 AM and I’ve just been jolted out of a deep, restful sleep by what feels like a knife sinking into my calf. After lying there for a few minutes in agonizing pain, rubbing and massaging my aching muscle, the sensation finally subsides. I’ve been visited by and nursed myself through yet another charley horse.

These nocturnal leg cramps don’t just affect me. In fact, over 60% of Americans reports having nighttime leg cramps or muscle spasms. It doesn’t always happen at night, either. You can be struck with these sometimes painful, but always annoying, leg cramps after exercise or while simply sitting at your desk. So what causes these dreadful involuntary spasms?

The pain in your calf, commonly referred to as a charley horse, is actually triggered by the spasm and balling up of your muscles. It can last from a few minutes to several hours and can leave lingering soreness and discomfort for two to three days! Unfortunately, while most of us are very familiar with the symptoms of a charley horse, doctors know little about what the exact root cause of them may be. Thankfully, we do know that there is much that can be done to prevent them.

Dehydration is a major causer of charley horses, as is electrolyte imbalance caused by exercise. Chalk this up to another reason to drink your water during the day and rehydrate your body after exercising! But there are other causes for charley horses that shouldn’t be ignored too, and sometimes guzzling H2O just won’t do it.

Man and woman drinking a bottle of water while on a run.

If you experience charley horses while being seated at your desk or on the couch, it may be your body’s way of warning you that you’ve been sitting for too long. Prolonged sitting can cause the circulation throughout your legs to go a little haywire , leading to the aforementioned balling up and spasming of your calf muscle. To alleviate charley horses from sitting, get up as often as you can and take a short walk around your living room or office to stretch your legs and get your blood circulating smoothly again.

Finally, the most effective way to alleviate and prevent nighttime charley horses has to do with daytime stretching. Taking the time to stretch your leg and foot muscles each day, including before and after exercise, can drastically reduce your chances of being visited by a nocturnal leg cramp. You can even try stretching after showering, when your muscles are most relaxed, or right before bed. There are several ways to achieve a great stretch, but the most fool proof and effective involves a foam roller.

BLACKROLL Pro Foam Roller in grey

Foam rollers help you to achieve the perfect amount of pressure and exertion when stretching your calves and feet. While foam rolling helps your muscles to loosen and relieve tightness, it’s also extremely effective in increasing your blood circulation in a nice, even manner. Remember that blood circulation is one of the major causes of charley horses. I like the BLACKROLL PRO foam roller for massaging my tight calves, because of its increased hardness and density. It ensures that the calf muscles keep their elasticity, even while your body is resting in a prone position. 

To get the best use out of the BLACKROLL PRO foam roller, try the following simple stretch after your daily exercise, and again before bed. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Place the roller under your calf. You can allow your other foot to rest on the floor, or for added pressure, try crossing the right ankle over your left foot. This can be tricky if you don’t have great balance or aren’t familiar with foam rolling, so try to work your way up to it. Then use your hands to lift your hips off the floor, just enough for you to roll from the ankle to below the knee. Rest whenever you feel your arms begin to tire. Then switch to foam rolling your opposite calf. You should feel pressure in your calf muscle, but stop rolling if you feel any sudden pain (and remember to never begin any exercise or stretching program without consulting your physician first!) Once you’ve rolled out your calf muscles, try sitting with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and using the BLACKROLL PRO foam roller under your feet. Stopping the muscles in the soles of your feet from tightening may also help in alleviating and preventing charley horses. 

Man rolling out his charley horse and calf with the BLACKROLL Pro Foam Roller

Hopefully, with the right hydration, exercise and stretching, these simple tricks will be enough to prevent those occasional charley horses. If they continue to be persistent, or are frequent or severe, you should always talk with your doctor. While most charley horses are common enough, they can be indicative of a more serious medical problem.

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Pillow - Finally, A Revitalizing Nights Sleep

Finally, A Revitalizing Nights Sleep

Written by: Laura Oakland 

Woman sleeping on the BLACKROLL Recovery Pillow

A revitalizing night’s sleep might be right under your head—or your ear, depending on your favorite sleeping position. Selecting a pillow that matches the way you sleep can dramatically improve the quality of your slumber, especially if you have special considerations like pain in your neck or back, sleep apnea, or even chronic insomnia.

As someone who has suffered with insomnia, I can tell you that it’s no walk in the park. In fact, it makes you so physically and mentally drained that the last thing you want to do when the sun comes up is walk anywhere at all. I tried everything to cure myself of insomnia, even going so far as to use over-the-counter medicines that just made me drowsy during the day. It took me a long time to realize that one of the main causes of my chronic lack of sleep was my out of date bed and pillows.

Women sleeping on a regular pillow versus the BLACKROLL Recovery Pillow

Few of us ever think about our pillow being the thing that stops us from falling into a deep, rejuvenating sleep. But in fact, supplying your body with the right cushioning is one of the most critical components to a successful rest. Nothing feels better than having the correct height and softness beneath you to rest an achy, weary, over-thinking head on. The correct pillow can even aid in alleviating painful back and neck conditions.

But how do you find the right pillow? It’s easy to walk into a store like Bed, Bath and & Beyond and just grab a new one from one of their overflowing bins of pillows. But does it suit your real needs? Is it the right level of softness or firmness, the right height, the right material? Will it cause you to sweat at night, leading to poor sleep or even acne? There are so many things to consider, it can be overwhelming.

BLACKROLL Recovery Pillow

Thankfully, I found a pillow that took the guess-work out of making the right choice. The BLACKROLL RECOVERY PILLOW is specially designed to meet a huge variety of sleeping needs. Its innovative design starts on the surface, featuring an ergonomic shape suitable for side sleepers, back sleepers, or belly sleepers. On the inside, rather than cotton filling, which loses its shape and becomes flat over time, it features breathable memory-foam that offers support to the head and neck. It even prevents you from becoming overly heated during the night, because of the many ventilation channels and the cotton cover (which can also be taken off and washed repeatedly, meaning you don’t even need a pillow case.)

BLACKROLL Recovery Pillow

One of the most beneficial features of the RECOVERY PILLOW is the fact that it’s even perfect for travel. Have you ever tried to fit your bed pillow into your carry-on? It’s almost impossible, and nothing ruins a perfectly enjoyable vacation like not being able to get a good night’s sleep on the plane or uncomfortable hotel bed. Thankfully, the RECOVERY PILLOW can actually be condensed, rolled up, and slid into its own travel bag. Just place it in your carry-on luggage and prepare to finally experience the restful sleep on your long flight that you always need.

BLACKROLL Recovery Pillow rolled up for travel use.

I’m happy to report that my insomnia is now a thing of the past. The BLACKROLL RECOVERY PILLOW has completely transformed my nighttime routine. I no longer lie in bed, tossing and turning, dreading the sun coming up. Now, my head hits the pillow, and within minutes I fall into a deep, restful sleep. I wake up the next day feeling rejuvenated, invigorated, and ready to take on whatever challenges I face that day, knowing that my comfortable bed is waiting for me that very night.

Woman sleeping on BLACKROLL Recovery Pillow

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Clothing - A Runners Recovery Plan

A Runners Recovery Plan

Written by: Jackie Leressa 

Women on running track getting ready to race.

Human beings are built to run long distances. When it comes to long distance or endurance running, humans can outrun most animals. It’s true! We’re not all built for speed, but the fact that we sweat means we stay cool when running in the heat. We have spring-like ligaments and tendons in our feet and legs that are crucial for running, and our short toes make us incredibly efficient.  In any long distance race, we could outrun most mammals in terms of longevity and distance.

This probably shocks you, because for the average modern person, running can hurt. It’s true that human beings evolved to be excellent runners, but those sure-footed ancestors of ours also didn’t have couches, wonderfully comfortable beds, or Netflix. The fact of the matter is, running uses parts of our bodies that the average person may not use much daily. Regular running, even for seasoned athletes, can cause sore ankles and feet, stiff thighs and calves, and even an aching back. Fortunately for all of us, there are ways to stop those painful side effects of a great run. It’s all about recovery.

Women on running track with an injured knee on the left hand side, rubbing her knee, and on the right hand side rolling her foot on the BLACKROLL Mini Foam Roller.

It can be easy to forget about the important relationship between running and recovery. Many runners build up extensive training plans, thinking about their goals for speed, time and distance. But not everyone remembers the equally important recovery plan. Elite runners or runners training for marathons might spend 1 to 4 hours a day on recovery!

The foundation of your recovery plan should be rehydration and refueling. You need to rehydrate your body within 10 to 15 minutes of completing your run. If you were sweating profusely, replacing your fluid loss is crucial. You also need to refuel. Even if you don’t immediately feel hungry after a run, your body is craving protein and carbohydrates. That doesn’t mean you should just reach for the closest candy bar, though. Look for foods with a good balance of carbs and protein-like a bagel with peanut butter or yogurt and granola.

Now that you have those steps down, it’s time to start thinking about your stretching and your muscles. You need to start stretching within 25 to 30 minutes of finishing your run. It’s the only way to increase your running performance and stay healthy and fit for the long term. You should focus on the major muscle groups in your lower body-your calves, hamstrings, glutes and hips. You can optimize your post-run stretching and save time by using a foam roller and a stretchy loop band. I recommend the RUNNING BOX from BLACKROLL. It’s all the tools you need for post-run recovery, packaged in one easy- to-carry bag.

Women rubbing her back in pain on the left, and using the BLACKROLL Loop Band for thigh exercises and the BLACKROLL Slim foam roller on her to roll out her glutes.

The RUNNING BOX takes the guesswork out of recovery, stretching and injury prevention. The MINI FLOW is a small textured roller, so it’s perfect for increasing blood flow and oxygenation to your muscles through rolling and massage. The SLIM is a fascia roller designed for alleviating calf and glute soreness. And the LOOP BAND makes performing post-run squats for intense muscle-building quick and easy. It also comes with training booklets and a free app that shows you detailed exercises and stretches so you can develop your own post-run recovery plan.

BLACKROLL Running Box with the BLACKROLL Slim, BLACKROLL Loop Band, and the BLACKROLL Mini foam roller, all packed in the BLACKROLL Gym Bag.

Finally, remember that a well-balanced meal two to three hours after your run is going to give your body the final push into full recovery. At this point, your body needs more than fluids and a light snack. Your muscles require something substantial, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. Always try to plan your daily runs into a timeframe allowing you to eat a hearty meal soon after.

Thankfully, your recovery plan doesn’t have be a chore. You’re a runner and that means you’re performing the work your body was made to do! After you’ve built your recovery schedule, and you’ve invested in the right BLACKROLL running tools, remember to treat yourself to something fun and relaxing. Massages, Epsom salt baths, even a luxurious nap can all help you achieve your running and exercise goals. Have fun with it!

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Person - ActiveLife Activist: Olga Henry

ActiveLife Activist: Olga Henry

Olga Henry, Slackliner, smiling at camera next to line.

Olga Henry
Slackliner, Guinness World Record Holder X2, and ActiveLife Activist

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your fitness background.

I am a slackliner and I’ve been doing this sport for about 5 years. I don’t have any additional background in fitness or gymnastics. 

Olga Henry slacklining on her back, in the air.

2) What has been your biggest client success story? Why do you think it was a success?

I am my own coach and a client.

For me personally the battle is to keep me healthy and pain free since tricklining (the kind of slacklining I do) is a high impact sport.

Doing massages and exercises besides actual training is a must. 

3) Talk about the biggest failure you've had. What did you learn from it?

In my training I get an immediate feedback whether I do a trick correctly or not. I land it or I fall and get slapped by a line.

So the biggest failure would be to get scared, not to throw a trick correctly and then deal with the circumstances.

Also, a failure would be not to throw a trick you want to learn. It actually feels like a bigger failure to me. 

Olga Henry slacklining, in the air, upside down.

4) What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?

I would be 7 years old. Yeah, in our sport kids progress like crazy.

But since I can’t change that I wouldn’t change anything. I think I’m doing as much as I can. 

5) Which people or books have had the most influence on in your life and why?

I really like discovering “Flow”. If you are not familiar you should get it.

Steven Kotler wrote a book about it. It really helps to understand how not to have fear.

For me it’s the biggest barrier I have to go through while training. 

Olga Henry standing on slack line.

6) What weekend hobbies do you enjoy? 

I pretty much don’t do anything besides slacklining.

Even if I do photo shoots or record funny videos they are all about slacklining.

Sometimes if I’m injured and I can’t train I go running if I can. I like running uphill. I

also like taking long walks or watch my boyfriend play disk golf. He is a slackliner as well but it’s one of his hobbies. 

Olga Henry balancing on a tire.

7) Whats your favorite movie?

I really like comedies or just good movies.

You know that feeling when you just watched a good movie? I watch movies on planes, it’s the only way for me to get through long flights. 

8) Whats your favorite food?

 I really like fish and sea food in general. I can eat it all day long!

9) What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I started slacklining when I was 32 years old.

People normally don’t start a new sport from ground zero at that age. I did and I’m really happy about it.

It’s never too late to find your passion and start training. That’s why I want to inspire others to do the same. I have two Guinness Records now in slacklining and I really enjoy training and progressing. 

Olga Henry holding her 2x Guinness World Record awards for slacklining.
10) What's your favorite part about being an ActiveLife Activist? 

I like to get to test different creative one of a kind things!

I love supporting my body to stay healthy and I experiment with new techniques and exercises.

So for me, getting a package from ActiveLife is like getting a new toy for a kid. 

Check out Olgas website and info, here:

Olga Henry using the BLACKROLL BOOSTER foam roller on her thigh.

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Person getting back massage.

I Remember The Very First Time I Booked A 60 Minute Massage

Written by Caren White

I remember the very first time I booked a 60 minute massage. I had started my new job a few weeks earlier, and every morning and evening I was commuting well over an hour to and from the office. I knew how long 60 minutes felt like in the car and I was more than ready to spend the same amount of time in the capable hands of a licensed massage therapist! The daily commute and eight hours in front of my computer everyday was really taking a toll on the muscles in my neck, shoulders, lower back and even my hips! Every day, I felt like I woke up with more kinks in my body than when I went to sleep. This is going to be fantastic, I thought to myself after hanging up the phone with the massage clinic.

Person getting a back massage by massage therapist

And it was! I felt so great after my 60 minute massage that I told myself it was well worth the $100 spent. I left the massage clinic feeling like I was floating to the car. I sang along to the radio the whole car ride home (which I never do during my daily commute, being way too cranky) and woke up the next morning still feeling like a hundred bucks.

But here’s where things got complicated. The next week, I was fully ready to release those bodily kinks again. I laid down another $100 and laid right back down on that massage table. And the next week…and the next. By the next month when I examined my budget and expenses, it hit me: I had spent over $500 in massages (and tips) that month.

I couldn’t help it. I was addicted to feeling those bodily aches and pains release through my weekly massage. The daily commute, too much time at my computer, and not sleeping well left my body feeling sore, tired and weakened. But there was no way I could afford to get weekly massages anymore! There has to be a better way, I told myself.

So I began to do my research about why the particular type of massage I was getting felt so good! And why the effects from my massage didn’t stop when I got off the table. I felt great for days after getting a massage. And that’s how I first learned about fascia and foam rolling.

Image of back skeletal fascia tissue in red

Fascia is the biological fabric that holds our bodies together. It’s an interconnected web of thin, strong, elastic connective tissue existing between the layers of muscle fibres, between muscles, around organs. It’s vast—covering every nerve ending, muscle and organ of the body-and it’s a MAJOR player in the way our bodies move, react and recover. I had assumed that the deep tissue massages I had gotten so addicted to were just really intense muscle rubs. But I was so wrong. Every time I got a deep tissue massage, I was actually experiencing something called Myofascial Release. This technique involves applying gentle, sustained pressure into the connective fascia. This in turn releases restricted areas of the fascia (remember those ‘kinks’ I woke up with everyday?) and increases mobility and rang of motion.

There’s a lot more to the science of fascia and Myofascial Release. But basically, I learned two things. One, my massage therapist is an incredibly gifted, talented and wonderful person and I owe her a fruit basket and a Thank You card. Two, I don’t actually need to pay $100 an hour for myofascial release. I can do it at home (every single day!) with a $40 foam roller that can be used over and over again. In fact, there are affordable foam rollers for every part of your body! And they can be used at home, in the gym—even in my office on my break.

Woman using the BLACKROLL Standard Foam Roller in black to foam roll thighs

And foam rolling is simple. It couldn’t be more inexpensive, more easy to learn or more low-tech. Let’s just talk about my lower back for a minute. My lower back hurt daily when I finished my daily commute. I just couldn’t understand why. I’m not happy to admit it, but I spend 11 to 12 of my waking hours every day just sitting down. Sitting in the car, sitting at my computer, and then usually sitting on the couch for an hour or two in the evening after hitting the gym and the grocery store. You would think that all that sitting would keep my back relaxed. But I couldn’t be more wrong. The human body isn’t made to sit all day! Our bodies are designed to live like cave men. Hunting, gathering, running and climbing for survival. When we spend the whole day sitting down, the fascia in our bodies tighten up. And as I already explained, the fascia covers everything- including your lower back. Hence, my lower back felt like a small army was walking across it daily, planting land mines of tiny, tight little fascial knots. Land mines that seemed to explode when I rolled out of bed the next morning.

Now, I’m happy to admit that not only am I not rolling out of bed in the morning, I’m springing out of it! Ok, maybe not everyday because Monday mornings are still tough. But I can tell you that after a week of using a foam roller for myofascial release, I was definitely a much more chipper morning person. The foam roller I use for my lower back in the BLACKROLL STANDARD ROLL. It’s cheaper than a massage therapist, I use it for 20 minutes a day, and my lower back has never felt better.

Woman using BLACKROLL Mini Foam Roller in black to roll her forearm at the gym

I’ve even been foam rolling in my office. I keep a BLACKROLL MINI and MICRO ROLL in my desk drawers and when I’m talking on the phone, I keep it on speaker and use them on my neck, face and shoulders. I’ve even started using them on my wrists because foam rolling may reduce your chances of getting painful cramps prolonged typing (again, it’s all about that myofascial release to keep your body limber). At first I was getting a lot of strange looks from my coworkers (I see you Debbie from Accounting) but I’m happy to report that the foam rolling trend is spreading and I’m not the only one picking up the habit!

So, if you’re like me and you spend too much time in the car, too much time at the computer, too much time sitting down—or if you’re just addicted to getting massages and spending waaaay too much money—now is the time to try foam rolling. You don’t have to spend $100 an hour anymore. You can spend $40 on one foam roller and lifetime of happiness.

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ActiveLife Activist: Justin Nucum

Person - ActiveLife Activist: Justin NucumJustin Nucum
Obstacle Course Race Enthusiast, Coach and ActiveLife Activist

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and your fitness background.

I was born and raised in Guam so I love tropical weather and being outdoors.

Growing up, I was into playing basketball and volleyball. 

After high school, I started venturing off into different sports: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Crossfit and Olympic Weight Lifting. 

During college, I was so intrigued by Ninja Warrior, which was originally from Japan, and I wanted to try these obstacles for myself.

However, at that time, I could not find a gym or a place where I would be able to train for such events.

The options that I found were to either: build my own obstacles or become a member of multiple gyms that had different types of equipment.

As my college senior project, I used this idea of putting all of these workouts and sports into one place creating a hybrid type of training for hybrid athletes.

Today, it is now known as Hardkour Performance.

Clothing - ActiveLife Activist: Justin Nucum

2) What has been your biggest client success story? Why do you think it was a success?

My biggest client success story would have to be Annaliese A., who is originally from Colorado.

She dropped into one of my intro classes at a rock climbing gym and was determined to do an obstacle course race.

Her dedication, hard work and ability to absorb and just learn everything from scratch is amazing.

With 4 months of training and trusting the process, she competed on her first ever Spartan Race and ranked in the top 10 at one of the hardest venues nationally.

Now, she will be competing at North American Championships in West Virginia in August (which is only her second race!) 

3) Talk about the biggest failure you've had. What did you learn from it?

Biggest failure would have to be losing friends in the process of growing the business.

Everyday I learn something new and it is a rollercoaster of emotions day in and day out. 

My biggest take away from this is that you start to learn who really supports you and who doesn't.

There always have been people wanting to simply benefit from either me or the business. 

Person - ActiveLife Activist: Justin Nucum

4) What would you do differently if you were starting in your industry now?

If I were starting in my industry now, I would start smaller than I did.

I would do as much as I can on my own and then expand out.

But even knowing what I know now, I would probably do the same process and learn from it.

5) Which people or books have had the most influence on in your life and why?

My mentors and listening to podcasts' of Gary Vaynerchuk and Andy Frisella have been very influential in my entrepreneurial life.

Like I mentioned in the earlier questions, it is a rollercoaster of emotions each day. You never know what will happen.

You can have 2 new clients one day and 5 clients cancel their memberships the next. 

Gary and Andy keep it raw with the realities of having your own business and I am able to relate.

Being able to apply their experiences with mine has been so valuable and it has taught me more than I have learned from anyone else or schooling. 
Person - ActiveLife Activist: Justin Nucum

6) What weekend hobbies do you enjoy? 

My newest found hobby is trail running with my clients. 

Waking up before the sun comes up (instead of sleeping in) and then climbing up to highest point of the trail with the amazing views. 

AND then being able to eat a filling breakfast with some coffee.

A weekend well spent!

Person - ActiveLife Activist: Justin Nucum

7) Whats your favorite movie?

Ah! Can't name just one but I love fighting/action movies: Jet Li, Jackie Chan, James Bond.

8) Whats your favorite food?


9) What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am a HUGE foodie! Created my own food blog before I started Hardkour Performance.

My Camera Eats First #FEEDYOURCAMERA 

Restaurant - ActiveLife Activist: Justin Nucum 
10) What's your favorite part about being an ActiveLife Activist? 

Functional and high quality product that I can get behind and promote to my clients as well as use for myself.

I have tried and used plenty of products similar to what ActiveLife offers but none come close!

11) Tell us your favorite AL product and why you enjoy it so much.

I have so many but my ABSOLUTE favorite is the HIGHBALLER.

SO unique and functional. I use it all the time and recommend it to my clients.

I even bring it to class and trainings so clients can use mine.

It gets all these hard to reach places that a regular foam roller just cannot reach or dig in.

Person - ActiveLife Activist: Justin Nucum

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Jar - Honey Chamomile Tea Latte

Honey Chamomile Tea Latte

Honey Chamomile Tea Latte 🍵🍯 

Chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy to reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety and help you to sleep better at night. It contains antioxidants that may promote tiredness, and drinking it nightly has been shown to improve overall sleep quality.
Plant - Honey Chamomile Tea Latte
We love to enjoy a cup of chamomile tea with our NORDIQ Nutrition Night Complex. The two combined creates a peaceful, rested nights sleep. Most of the timeour minds aren't ready for sleep when it's actually time to go to bed. Night Complex includes amino acid chelated Magnesium along with nutrient dense traditional botanicals and L-theanine. These are known to soothe and calm anxiety and reduce muscle spasm, thus helping facilitate relaxation and an optimal sleep state.
Diaper - Honey Chamomile Tea Latte

-8 oz water
-1 chamomile tea bag (we love Traditional Medicinals Chamomile Tea Bags)
-1/4 cup oat milk (or preferred milk of choice)
-2 tsp honey
-Cinnamon for serving
-NORDIQ Night Complex

Food - Honey Chamomile Tea Latte

1) Boil a pot of water 
2) Let the chamomile tea bag seep in boiled water for 5 minutes
3) While it's steeping, whisk together your preferred milk and honey to create froth
4) When tea is done seeping, pour in the milk and honey and top with cinnamon
5) Take 1 capsule of NORDIQ Nutrition Night Complex with your chamomile tea to enjoy a wonderful nights sleep
Bowl - Honey Chamomile Tea Latte
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Healthy Strawberry Lemonade

Healthy Strawberry Lemonade 🍓🍋 

Ah, summer! Warm weather, fresh fruits and vegetables, more daylight to get outside and get active. It's also the perfect time to hydrate in a fun and delicious way. 

Plant - Healthy Strawberry Lemonade
Magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy. It is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. The intake of magnesium is also crucial for body recovery and tissue repair. We love to add it into any food, smoothies or water for that added boost of health benefits.
Food - Healthy Strawberry Lemonade

1 glass of filtered water
1 handful of ice
1 Lemon
4 Strawberries
1 tbs NORDIQ Magnesium Powder

Plant - Healthy Strawberry Lemonade

1) Muddle the strawberries on the bottom of your glass or mason jar
2) Squeeze half of the lemon in the glass
3) Add the ice, water and NORDIQ Magnesium Powder and stir with a spoon or straw
Plant - Healthy Strawberry Lemonade
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