Posts tagged ‘Jennifer Bowen’

Wine Trails and Hiking: Enjoying the Great Outdoors

 

 

This post was contributed by site supporter, Jennifer Bowen.  Jennifer used to work within the healthcare sector – working to help people with their diet, fitness and nutrition. After a short career break to become a mom she decided to turn to writing instead and now pens articles on the topics she knows most about.

 

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(Picture is a Hiking Boot Wine Bottle Holder Sculpture available from Amazon.)

 

 

Wine Trails and Hiking: Enjoying the Great Outdoors

It’s good news for wine lovers; studies show that a glass of vino can increase your heart health by increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol to guard against thickening of the arteries, as well as improving your mental health.  In moderation (as in all things), red wine can be good for you.  This really complements the idea of the wine tour, and of drinking in the glorious sunshine, surrounded by rolling hills of vines.  Wine, combined with outdoor exercise, is an ideal way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

 

Wine Vacations

A vacation centered around wine tours can actually be the perfect way to enjoy the sights and culture of a country and often combines quality tasting with solid exercise amid the verdant landscape.  As vines tend to be grown on high hillsides that offer the best drainage and sunshine, you will be walking a significant amount during your wine tour.

 

Napa Valley is an impressive region of California’s wine country, with its tiered hills and striking seasonal colors.  There is a plethora of wineries here to choose from and Calistoga is a particularly popular choice for visitors from around the world with its strong tradition of hospitality and superior wine tasting.  There are many recreational activities for wine lovers here and throughout Napa Valley, from hiking to biking and kayaking as well as hot air balloon rides.  Wine tasting and recreational activities combined create a vacation that is extremely healthy and in Napa Valley there are many towns and parks to visit to ensure you maintain that healthy workout.  The writer Robert Louis Stevenson visited the region in the 1880s and announced ‘wine is bottled poetry’.  Napa Valley is a highly respected area for wine making and this coupled with its breathtaking scenery has created a vision of wine tasting and walking in the foothills that is quite unrivalled.

 

Charlottesville, Virginia is a significant wine trail destination, as well as offering cultural history.  The Jefferson Vineyards is one of the wineries to discover, its land sold by Thomas Jefferson to an Italian viticulturist many years ago.  There are many vineyards to stroll through in this picturesque setting, where visitors absorb the heritage of the region.  The Monticello Artisan Trail connects many points of interest in the Nelson and Albemarle Counties, such as galleries, restaurants and farms against a backdrop of hazy mountains.  Monticello, the home of Jefferson, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a major attraction within Charlottesville for those exploring the region.  There are also hiking and horse riding opportunities, kayaking and rafting as well as high ropes adventures and skydiving.  The Rivanna Trail and the Appalachian Trail are ideal hikes close to Shenandoah National Park.

 

Outdoor Exercise

Hiking remains a popular outdoor activity, according to the paper Healthy Exercise for All Campaign – Physical Fitness Test for the Community.  Hiking demands a level of cardiovascular fitness, as it is a moderate aerobic exercise, and participating in 30 minutes or so of this type of physical activity each day brings health benefits to the participant.  Blood circulation is improved as well as cardiopulmonary function and heart disease, stroke, hypertension and certain cancers are reduced in risk.

 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that bone health also benefits from exercise.  Bone density and strength can be improved from exercise such as hiking, which is seen as one of the best bone building exercises as it is weight-bearing.

 

Physical activity such as hiking offers a moderate level of exercise to help you maintain a healthy weight and to increase your breathing and heart rate and thus give you a cardiovascular workout, but at a gentle pace.  Hiking can burn 185 calories in just half an hour and 370 calories in an hour.

 

Advice for Hiking through Wine Country

Walking is the most popular form of exercise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with 30% of people preferring this over running, cycling or using cardiovascular equipment.

 

Whether you opt for sunny California, cultural Virginia, mystical Oregon or perhaps further afield to Tuscany in Italy, wine country is an ideal setting for a hiking vacation.  Because the terrain among vineyards is naturally hilly, you will find yourself burning an ample amount of calories as you walk.  The wine tour experience is one to be savored and it can be a heady one too; remember to drink responsibly as you traverse through the vineyards.  You may burn off the calories you absorb, but wine should always be treated with respect and tasted rather than gulped down.  It should complement your inner strength and help you maintain that healthy lifestyle, and this is only achieved if wine is drunk in moderation, according to government advice.  The beauty of hiking while you enjoy these wine tours is that you will be exercising for recreation, rather than focusing on your workout.

 

Wine and outdoor exercise complements each other significantly and ensures that you maintain an appropriate level of physical activity during your tour through wine country.

 

Citations and Further Reading

http://napavalley.com/wineries/ accessed September 2014

http://travel.usnews.com/Napa_Valley_CA/Travel_Tips/ accessed September 2014

http://www.visitcharlottesville.org/visitors/things-to-do/outdoors/ accessed September 2014

http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/Exercise/default.asp accessed September 2014

http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hike-tips.htm accessed September 2014

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html?s_cid=govD_dnpao_006 accessed September 2014

http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2008/sports/ accessed September 2014

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23904 accessed September 2014

http://www.fitness.gov accessed September 2014

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Drink Wine For A Healthier Life

 

 

This post was contributed by site supporter, Jennifer Bowen.  Jennifer used to work within the healthcare sector – working to help people with their diet, fitness and nutrition. After a short career break to become a mom she decided to turn to writing instead and now pens articles on the topics she knows most about.

 

glasses

 

New study shows a glass of wine a day could help keep the doctor away

Wine lovers around the world just got the news they have been waiting for – a glass of wine could be just the ticket for a longer, healthier life.  New research[i] has found that both red and white wines could help protect the heart against disease, as long as moderate consumption is combined with regular exercise.  So it sounds like the recipe for reaching a ripe old age could be a glass of wine with dinner followed by a pleasant stroll – no hardship there.  The even better news is that this is not the only health benefit associated with wine- there are in fact many more.  Let’s explore in more detail how wine can help your heart and also look at some of the other medical advantages of being a regular moderate wine drinker.

 

A healthier body

Many studies have been conducted which look at the linkages between wine and heart health.  Red wine has historically been considered to offer the most positive heart health effects due to its specific ingredients which can collectively increase levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (often referred to as good cholesterol) and also guard against damage to arteries.  Research conducted on mice has suggested that a specific polyphenol (one of the antioxidants found in red wine) called resveratrol [ii]can protect the lining of the blood vessels in the heart, reduce low density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and prevent blood clots.  White wine drinkers need not despair though as it has its own antioxidant properties – tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol.  These antioxidants, which are also present in olive oil, can protect the heart just as much as those found in red wine[iii].

Another less well known benefit of moderate red wine consumption is that it has been shown to help reduce the risk of developing some forms of cancer.  Good old resveratrol is believed to help protect the body’s cells from damage that could eventually lead to cancer[iv].  One particular study into prostate cancer showed that drinking a glass of red wine every day may cut the risk of developing this form of cancer by half.  Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center [v]concluded that men who consumed 4 or more glasses of red wine each week halved their chances of getting prostate cancer and also had a 60% lower incidence of the most aggressive forms of the disease.  A separate study undertaken by scientists from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, looked at the potential of resveratrol in terms of preventing colon cancer.  They found that moderate red wine consumption could reduce the rate of bowel tumors by around 50%[vi].

 

A healthier mind

Wine is also a force for good when it comes to improving mental health and maintaining the brain’s agility as we grow older.  A team of scientists in Spain have discovered that a glass of wine a day can contribute to the fight against depression.  Their investigations established that older men and women who drank between two and seven small glasses of wine each week were 32 percent less likely to develop depression, compared with those who had no alcohol intake[vii].

Dementia is another major health challenge which it seems wine can help to address.  With an increasingly large ageing global population there has been a significant rise in the number of people developing this debilitating condition.  Researchers found that participants in a focused study who consumed 2-3 units of alcohol per day were around 30% less likely to demonstrate dementia symptoms after a three year period, compared to those who were teetotal.  Wine was considered to be particularly beneficial due to the natural antioxidants called flavanoids which it contains[viii].

Another study has suggested that physical balance in older people could also be improved through moderate red wine consumption.  Balance is a major issue for elderly people with over 1.6 million older adults every year in this country attending emergency departments for fall-related injuries[ix].  An experiment was conducted with laboratory mice in which they were fed a diet containing a high percentage of resveratrol (the antioxidant highlighted earlier in this article).  The study found that over time, the older mice developed better balance.  The researchers involved believed that this effect could be replicated in older humans.

Wine is for many something to be relished and with this array of mind and body benefits, it doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure – so drink up and reap the health rewards!

 

[i] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/11066516/Glass-of-wine-with-dinner-helps-you-live-longer-scientists-claim.html

 

[ii] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281

 

[iii] http://www.alternativemedicine.com/alcohol/case-white-wine

 

[iv] http://www.mdanderson.org/patient-and-cancer-information/cancer-information/cancer-topics/prevention-and-screening/food/redwinecancer.html

 

[v] http://www.oncologypractice.com/jso/journal/articles/0206488.pdf

 

[vi] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/253718.php

 

[vii] http://www.livescience.com/39320-drinking-wine-protect-against-depression.html

 

[viii] http://mentalhealth.about.com/library/sci/1102/blwine1102.htm

 

[ix] http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/aboutfalls/01.html

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2014 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Click here or on the “Cliff’s Wine Picks On Other Sites” link in the top right corner to see links to other sites that either have my reviews, my thoughts or other posts I have written.

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!

 

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