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By: Dylan Elliott

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Thursday, 6-Sep-2012 07:06 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Benefits of Walking

All the experts agree; walking is one of the most important and healthy exercises people can do. Whether you are overweight, underweight, young, or old, the simple art of walking does wonders for the mind, body, and soul. If you happen to be looking for the best cardio for weight loss exercises, a daily brisk walk will help immensely with your fitness goals, but should be an addition to your cardio routine, not the primary exercise.

No equipment or training necessary

Walking does not require fancy machines, a gym membership, or a course in technique. Walking is simple, safe, effective, and can be done no matter where you are in your weight loss journey. Even in poor weather, walking can be done if you have the proper gear. No other exercise is as accessible.

Walking helps to ease you into higher fitness goals

Though the best cardio for weight loss is not walking, a daily walk will warm up your body and stretch your muscles so that you can take on harder and harder exercises. If you have been in a routine for a while, you can easily increase your distance, your speed, or the elevation of your walking to add more intensity to your workout.

Walking is a multi-tasking exercise

One of the most common excuses for not exercising is, “But I don’t have the time!” Walking can be combined with other activities such as bonding with your children or walking your dog. Perhaps you have a letter you have to mail and the post office is a couple of miles away. Go ahead and walk! You will find you can combine lots of other necessary activities with walking, so that you are, “Killing two birds with one stone.”

Walking is easy on the body

If you have a history of injuries, walking should not aggravate any sensitive muscles. In fact, a slow gentle walk with the proper footwear might be part of your doctor’s prescription to healing those weak areas!

How to get started

If you are just starting a fitness routine, the key is to gradually add intensity to your workout. Start walking for 30 minutes a day at a pace that will make you slightly winded by the time you are done. Gradually increase your intensity over the first two weeks, alternating between longer distances and a faster pace.

Stay motivated

When the weather is bad or life gets crazy, it is easy to lose your desire to walk. Arrange to walk with a friend and reward yourself with a cup of coffee at the end. Try to set goals that you can accomplish. The satisfaction will give you an endorphin kick that’ll motivate you to keep going.

Once walking becomes a routine, you will find that your day feels incomplete without a chance to get outside. Your body will thank you for the investment in healthy living.

Friday, 10-Aug-2012 06:02 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Circuit Karting: The Options

Circuit karting is a brilliant form of entry level motor racing. All the thrills and excitement of F1, but at an accessible level. Of course, some people take their karting very seriously and spend years honing their skills. It’s even become a popular proving ground for future stars of F1; Ayerton Senna and Louis Hamilton both began their careers in circuit karting. But it’s not just as simple as jumping in your kart and racing off. There are karting circuits all around the UK and each offers a selection of different racing options.

Track Drive Experience

Perhaps you’re new to the world of karting and just want to try it out for fun. Track drive experience does what it says on the tin; it allows up to 10 karts to go out on the track for no other reason than to drive. No racing, no trophies, no competition. If you do have a bit more experience behind the wheel, then track drive experience sessions are a great opportunity to get some practice in without having to worry about your position or form.
Track Race Experience

The next step up. Track race experience makes for a short, sharp race with a limited number of competitors (generally around 10 karts). They’re the perfect place for novice drivers to begin, whilst more experienced karting enthusiasts will enjoy the more intense driving experience they offer. Don’t worry if you lack confidence, each race only lasts for around 15 minutes – that’s 40 laps plus a 10 lap qualifying session. Trophies go the three top placed drivers and every competitor gets a precise printout of their lap times.

Endurance Circuit Karting

The Le Mans of the karting world – in fact, an annual 24 hour endurance race is held at Le Mans every year. For those of us booking a place at our local karting circuit, however, the average endurance race is unlikely to last quite that long.

Endurance circuit karting races are available in both solo and team configurations. Solo races will generally last somewhere between 40 and 100 laps with an additional 10 lap practice session to get your grid positions. The scoring is simple; the first three finishers get the trophies. Team endurance circuit karting sessions will be longer, around 60-120 laps (or 1-2 hours). Here, team mates will hot seat in relay fashion, driving the same car in an effort to secure the best times. In team circuit karting, the aim isn’t necessarily to finish first, but to complete the most circuits in the time allowed. Just like Le Mans. Most karting circuits will offer a range of race lengths and will likely have a minimum age requirement.

So, whether you’re a novice or an expert, you’ll find the circuit karting experience to suit you. Find your nearest local karting circuit and book your first (or seventy-ninth) race today.

Cannon Raceway is a leading karting circuit in the West Midlands. They offer a range of karting options, including track drive experience, track race experience and endurance karting. Book now, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.

Tuesday, 31-Jul-2012 00:24 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Luxury Algarve Villas to Rent: Region and Style

The southern coast of Portugal is a popular destination for holiday makers. There is no shortage of Algrave villas to rent in the Algarve, but before booking you may wish to consider what it is each of the region’s different areas has to offer.

The Algarve is the area of Portugal along the country’s south coast. It is well known for its warm climate, stunning coastal landscapes, and rich and varied heritage and culture. The Algarve has long been popular with holidaymakers and has a large number of luxury Algarve villas available to rent. If you want to enjoy white sandy beaches, and rugged, rural landscape, then you’ll want to look at luxury villas on Portugal’s south coast.

The Algarve gets 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. Whilst that’s obviously going to be a major attraction to all the sun lovers out there, you’ll also want somewhere to cool off. Happily, there are plenty of Algarve villas with pools. It is, however, always worth checking with your tour operator before booking as to whether or not there will be an additional charge to have the pool heated. If so, the charge is likely to be at least £100, but if you’re going to be using the pool regularly, then it’s a price which is well worth paying. Similar charges may also apply to air conditioning, where available.

There are a number of luxury Algarve villas to rent in the resort of Quinta do Lago which is built around 72 holes of Europe’s best golf. All the villas in this area are comfortable, spacious and well equipped, ideal for group holidays or large families. They make for ideal accommodation if you’re in the Algarve to watch one of the many world professional championship events on the courses in Quinta do Lago and Vale de Lobo. Each luxury villa boasts at least one master double bedroom, with accompanying doubles and twins for additional occupants. The golf course borders the Ria Formoso estuary, and the luxury villas may be as little as 10 minutes from the beach.

But whilst Quinta do Lago may have the fashion, the Lagos area to the west has affordability. Rental costs – and the prices you will pay in restaurants and shops - are much lower; charming luxury villas here can be rented for as little as £990 a week off season. And for that cost you get enough space to sleep up to 8 people, a large garden, satellite television and a swimming pool. Lower costs needn’t mean lower standards, either. Many tour operators will attest to the fact that the staff at the luxury villas in the western Algarve are, if anything, friendlier and better than their counterparts elsewhere.

There is no shortage of great luxury villas in the Algarve, it’s just a case of finding the one that’s right for you. Whether you’re looking for sophisticated and stylish or quiet and affordable, specialist tour operators will have something in their catalogue for you.

Specialist tour operators Palmer & Parker Villa Holidays have been organising luxury villa holidays since 1971. Their catalogue includes villas across the Algarve, as well as additional properties in the South of France and the Costa del Sol.

Monday, 30-Jul-2012 04:22 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Group holiday deals to Italy: the perfect getaway with family an

Get together with family and friends, and treat yourself to an exciting group holiday. Italy is the ideal group holiday destination - celebrate a special occasion in style on the Amalfi Coast, or enjoy a hen or stag weekend in Rome.

Group Holiday Deals
Believe it or not, booking a group holiday Italy can actually save you a small fortune. Years ago, it was always the family and couples holidays with the best offers, but group holidays are becoming more and more popular, and if you book with the right company, you can bag a great deal.

Location, Location, Location
Can’t decide where to go? Choosing the perfect holiday destination is no easy task, particularly if you are travelling with a large group of people, all with different tastes and opinions.

Why not book a group multi-centre holiday? Multi-centre holidays to Italy feature a range of incredible locations, including Rome, Capri, Florence, Perugia, Sienna, Milan and many more. Custom make your very own multi-centre holiday to suit all group members. Treat yourselves to a two week holiday, or spend a few days in Rome before setting up camp around an Italian lake. Many travel agents specialise in holidays to Italy and will tailor make a group holiday to suit your needs and requirements.

Group Holiday Accommodation
Once you have chosen your destination, the next box to tick is accommodation. If you’re staying in Rome and like your holidays with a touch of luxury, the Hotel Boscolo Exedra is the perfect option. This high end hotel is conveniently located in the centre of Rome, ideal for sightseeing. You’ll feel like a movie star in this magnificent piazza with ancient Roman ruins and a stately white marble palazzo. The Exedra also has two exclusive restaurants, and a marble roof top terrace with spa, pool and wellness centre, helping you kick back and relax.

Those stopping in Venice will adore the Venice Hotel Locanda Vivaldi. This hotel truly captures the magic of ancient Venice and is within close proximity to St Mark’s Square and the Venice lagoon. The Locanda Vivaldi is also ideal for corporate visitors, with its large meeting room complete with Plasma screen and audio-visual system. Spend your evenings relaxing with a glass of Italian wine on the terrace overlooking the Basin of St Mark.

Italy Tours and Trips
Tours and trips are a great way of seeing some of Italy’s most famous historical sites and landmarks. Be organised and make sure your group holiday is the trip of a lifetime by booking a range of trips and activities before you travel.

If you’re visiting Rome, the Vatican museums are a must see. Many trips combine these museums with the Sistine chapel and gallery of the Tapestries. The majority of tours are just 3 hours long, meaning you’ve still got plenty of time to relax in your hotel, go shopping or enjoy another trip.

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, stag or hen do, wedding or just want to escape for a few days with your loved ones, Italy group holidays are the perfect solution.

Bellarome specialise in providing unique, tailor made holidays to Italy. Visit their website to view their fantastic packages.

Monday, 30-Jul-2012 03:11 Email | Share | | Bookmark
South of France Villas to Rent: Luxury and History

There are luxury villas to rent all along the coast of Southern France. It’s a place that has been popular with authors, film stars and royalties. Whether you’re booking into La Chenoiserie or Les Nenuphars, you’ll be stepping into the footsteps of giants.

The South of France villa has one of the most famous coastlines in the world. The tall yellow stone, plunging into the crystal blue of the Mediterranean has been the epitome of sophisticated luxury for at least the past fifty years. There are villas to rent all along the coast of southern France, from eighteenth century farmhouses in the chestnut forests of the St Clement valley to villas with views of the famous historical village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

The South of France was a popular destination for some of the greatest creative talent of the first half of the twentieth century. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote most of The Great Gatsby whilst staying at Saint Raphael in Var with his wife Zelda. Even today, visitors to the area can experience the same atmosphere which would have served as inspiration to the author. There are South of France villas to rent across the area. La Chenoiserie, near St Tropez, has been recently refurbished. The result is a villa in stunning surroundings – it offers spectacular views across the bay to St Tropez – which blends the traditional design elements of the area with a contemporary aesthetic and modern facilities. Staff are on hand in a adjacent accommodation to tend to your cooking, driving and general care.

The area also played a significant part in the latter stages of the Second World War. On 15th August 1944, an assault by the American and Free French – Operation Dragoon - drove the Germans out of Southern France and back as far as the Vosges Mountains. The American forces landed at the beaches of La Croix-Valmer and today the name of one of those beaches - Plage du Débarquement (“Landing Beach”) – pay tribute to the part the area played in Operation Dragoon. Villas are available just a short distance from these historic beaches. Les Nenuphars sleeps up to seven in a wonderfully secluded part of the French countryside. All bedrooms open onto terraces overlooking the large, solar-heated infinity pool. The Gulf of St Tropeze is a short 10 mile drive away.

The town of Antibes is situated between the famous resorts of Cannes and Nice, and offers a brilliant midway point between the two – close enough to enjoy their benefits, but distant enough to escape when you want to. Antibes has played host to many a personality over the years. This was the favourite haunt of Gerald and Sara Murphy; the very Americans credited with turning the French Riviera into the place to be in the very first place. Graham Greene spent the later years of his life living there. The town was also home to Greene’s fellow novelist Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek. Here too, you’ll find plenty of villas to rent. Des Roches in Cap d’Antibes is only 400 metres from the beach. There are restaurants to suit every pallet within easy walking or driving distance of the villa.

In short, wherever you choose to look for villas in the South of France, you can’t help but find history. Whether stepping in the footsteps of great authors, or looking out over a beach that changed the course of a war, your villa will offer you more than just a great night’s sleep.

Palmer & Parker Villa Holidays are specialists in offering luxury villa holidays. They have a whole host of villas to rent in the South of France, including all those mentioned above. To see their full range of villas to rent in the South of France and other popular destinations, visit their website today.

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