Report: Cape May Among Worst New Jersey Counties for Kids’ Health, Wellbeing

A new report by the Newark-based nonprofit Advocates for Children of New Jersey puts three South Jersey counties at the bottom of a ranking that examines the state of children’s health and wellbeing in New Jersey. The biggest bit of news? Cape May County dropped five slots between 2015 and 2016, from 14th to 19th. That puts Cape May third from the bottom of the 21-county list; it ranks higher than Cumberland (21st) and Atlantic (20th) counties, but falls three spots below Camden County, which ranks at 16th.  Read more »

Cecily Tynan’s Official Weather Forecast for Be Well Philly Boot Camp

An outdoor pop-up workout at Be Well Philly Boot Camp

An outdoor pop-up workout at Be Well Philly Boot Camp

It probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that every year, when we begin planning Be Well Philly Boot Camp, we have a conversation about the weather — the what ifs, the backup plans, the what-the-heck-will-we-dos when it comes to planning an event, half of which takes place outside, on an early summer weekend.

It also probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that each and every year, our conclusion to this conversation is, Eh, screw it. And so, we take our chances, plowing ahead with our best-laid plans.

What this means is for the week leading up to the big day, we all sit around secretly checking our weather apps and obsessing over each and every bit of weather-related minutiae. We’ve been enormously blessed with perfect weather each and every year for this event, but I have to say, this spring’s wet-and-wild ride has left more than a few of us biting our nails. (Read: me.)

That’s why I reached out to 6 ABC weather guru Cecily Tynan yesterday to ask her straight-up what we can expect on Saturday from good ol’ Mother Nature. I was secretly hoping she’d tell me it would all be sunshine and rainbows.

Well, guess what, friends. It’s pretty darn close.  Read more »

Be Well Philly Boot Camp: Everything You Need to Know to Have an Awesome Time

A pop-up workout at Be Well Philly Boot Camp | Photo by JPG Photography

A pop-up workout at Be Well Philly Boot Camp | Photo by JPG Photography

I want you to do something for me. Close your eyes, ignore the gloom and rain outside, and picture yourself having a freaking blast at Be Well Philly Boot Camp tomorrow. Now, aren’t you psyched?

We’re pretty much bursting with anticipation over here, as we gear up for our 5th (!!!) annual Be Well Philly Boot Camp, Philly’s biggest, baddest fitness event for women of all ages and fitness levels. We’re amped to be back at the Drexel Recreation Center this year with a whole new lineup of fitness classes, speakers, chefs and marketplace vendors, all of whom we’re preeeeeetty sure will knock your socks off.  Read more »

How Running Ultramarathons Changed My Life

Rebecca Barber, running with her signature braided pigtails.

Rebecca Barber, running with her signature braided pigtails.

I’ve run 5Ks before, a few Broad Streets, and even a handful of half marathons, but I’ve never approached anything close to the mileage local ultramarathoner Rebecca Barber logs on, say, a rainy Tuesday.

She’s the founder of the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run and a 17-time ultramarathoner and, man, let me tell you, this gal has stories. In fact, one of her stories, about what it was like completing a 100-mile trail race earlier this year in Florida, is what prompted me to invite her to speak at this year’s Be Well Philly Boot Camp, coming up on June 4th. Her topic? How running crazy-long distances has challenged her and changed her life in some pretty radical and unexpected ways.

Below, I chatted with Rebecca about some of what she’ll share at her Boot Camp session to give you a taste of the awesomeness she has planned. But you can hear her speak and pick her brain at the 10:30 a.m. session in our Speakers’ Lounge. Check out the full lineup of Boot Camp fun here, and snag a ticket while you still canRead more »

How to Eat Clean and Lose Weight: The Un-diet Diet

Ah, the word “diet” — perhaps the most fraught and misunderstood word in the health-and-wellness dictionary.

And it’s no wonder: A quick Google search for the word diet turns up over 450 million results, from top 10 lists to diet myths to articles showcasing experts from every conceivable side of the debate. Diets are good. Diets are bad. Diets are super effective. Oh, wait — no they’re not.

We here at Be Well are sick of all the back-and-forth, the questions and the confusion surrounding this most hotly debated topic. So we wanted the straight truth, the facts to help us decide what makes for a really good, long-term diet — in the least diet-y sense of the word. Read more »

How Philadelphia Fitness Studios Are Changing Our City — And What It Means for Philly Gyms

Philadelphia Fitness Studis illustration by Gluekit; cycling photo courtesy of Soulcycle; city fitness photo courtesy of Palette Group

Illustration by Gluekit; cycling photo courtesy of Soulcycle; city fitness photo courtesy of Palette Group

When I trained for my first Broad Street Run in 2010, I easily logged more than 150 miles on a treadmill in a musty basement gym with exactly one tiny window and a row of half-functioning TVs. I was happy as an Asics-wearing clam. But over the past six years, I’ve done a complete 180. It’s not that I’ve given up on fitness. Quite the opposite; I’ve since run three more Broad Streets, plus a couple of half-marathons. It’s just that I’ve given up on gyms.

Read more »

Why Your Pelvic Floor Is the Secret to a Stronger Core and Better Sex

Christina Stoltz at Be Well Philly Boot Camp 2013 | Photo by JPG Photography

Christina Stoltz at Be Well Philly Boot Camp 2013 | Photo by JPG Photography

This year is seriously flying by, you guys. I mean, it’s almost May, for goodness’ sake, which means we’re just over a month out from the fifth annual Be Well Philly Boot Camp, our massive day of fitness and wellness just for women. It’s a day of positivity, empowerment and motivation, and a celebration of all-around female badassery, with amped-up fitness classes, inspiring speakers, top local chefs and lots more. In a nutshell, it is awesome.

Over the next month, we’ll be previewing some of what’s in store for this year’s Be Well Philly Boot Camp participants. First up, we chatted with Christina Stoltz, owner of the Pilates-based Northern Liberties fitness studio, Ploome. We’re huge fans of Christina around these parts, and if you’ve been to Boot Camp before, you probably remember her oh-so-fabulous outdoor fitness classes. This year, she’ll be leading a new-to-Boot Camp class called Stripp’d: Cardio-Core Workout in our outdoor fitness tent, but she’ll also be pulling double duty as a featured speaker in our Speakers’ Lounge.  Read more »

This Is Why I Haven’t Been Sleeping Lately — How About You?

This is Noah, the tiny human who is sort of responsible for my lack of sleep. (At least he's cute.)

This is Noah, the tiny human who is sort of responsible for my lack of sleep. (At least he’s cute.)

I’m writing this post to distract myself from the fact that my second pot of coffee isn’t quite done brewing yet. I’m pretty much operating on a hope and a prayer here that any of the sentences I’m typing actually make a tiny bit of sense.

You still with me? Good. Because that primal need, my friends, for a steady drip of caffeine basically sums up the state of affairs as it pertains to my sleeping habits lately — and by “lately,” I mean for nearly the past year, since bringing my first child, Noah, home from the hospital.  Read more »

Field Guide: 8 Hikes Near Philadelphia With Waterfalls and Gorgeous Views

Hikes Near Philadelphia With Waterfalls and Gorgeous Views: Hawk Falls at Hickory Run State Park | Photo by Flickr user lousyfocus

Hawk Falls at Hickory Run State Park | Photo by Flickr user lousyfocus

We survived another winter, Philly. Now that the thaw-out is officially setting in, it’s time to shed some layers, head outdoors and hit the trails.

“There are two things I look for in a hike: vistas and waterfalls,” says Carl Ewald, the original founder of TerraMar Adventures, a local club for outdoor enthusiasts, and author of a forthcoming hiking guide for our area. “We’ve got plenty of both right in our backyard.”

If you’re looking for hiking intel that goes beyond the Wissahickon, you’re in luck: We got Ewald to share his spots for a springtime hike near Philadelphia—some with bubbling waterfalls, some with sweeping views, and some with both. Fresh air is a given.  Read more »

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