Welcome to Smith Mountain Lake

smithmountainlake_r4_c1At Smith Mountain Lake, you’ll find wonderful places and people. Our area’s great natural beauty–from the waters and woods to the Blue Ridge Mountains–is the perfect destination for your very own style of fun, whether you seek days full of activities or just plain relaxing. 

Vacationers come from all over to fish, enjoy the water sports and play on the 500 miles of shoreline. They usually end up discovering many unexpected delights. Friendly people and genuine hospitality make everyone feel welcome and there’s always something new to do. World-class historical sites, unique shopping opportunities from antiques to art galleries, the latest fashions, fantastic dining and entertainment options, and simply sitting back and enjoying the glorious scenery make everyday complete. Sound too good to be true? Just wait until you see our beautiful sunsets.

Be forewarned though….once you visit, you may not want to leave. In fact, our little community of 18,000 has grown in large part to the many vacationers who have decided to relocate permanently. The weather, our central location and a small town atmosphere make Smith Mountain Lake an excellent place to raise a family, start a business, or retire. 

Best Practices for a Healthier You

A lot of people think that to live a healthy lifestyle is a big challenge. It seems impossible to have that super fit and sexy body that stereotypes healthy people. For normal human beings, 6 pack abs and longevity is but a dream.

In reality, to achieve those high levels of fitness and health requires a great amount of discipline like engaging in health-giving behaviours on a routine basis. Every little healthy habit may be small in itself but in time the effects accumulate and makes a great impact on your wellbeing. The technique is to focus on making that healthy option at any moment instead of looking at all those things you should do in the long term. With this mindset, list all the habits and behaviours you can do that will lead to a healthy lifestyle.


People see diet as a temporary thing. It doesn’t last very long and the tendency is just to go back the same old eating habits. Think of dieting as a style of eating healthy instead of a horrible ordeal just to make it easy for you. If you are going on a diet, do it gradually. It’s difficult to adjust to new kinds of food, cutting the normal volume of food intake and even the frequency of eating. So be kind to yourself and do it gradually until your body system gets used to eating less and eating certain kinds of food.

Physical Exercise and Behaviours

Physical exercise is not just to achieve a healthier life but to have a longer life as well. Doing some exercise on a regular basis helps in preventing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, hypertension, premature death and depression.

Most people who are not used to exercising do not know where to begin. It may be intimidating to go to a gym to exercise once you see all the bodybuilders there. But you have to stop making excuses and start by squeezing in a few minutes of stretching or any form of exercise into your busy schedule. Start by doing 20-minute exercises or less every day until it becomes a regular habit, just like brushing your teeth. You can even try Zumba. Make the exercises short but intense. Samples of short but high-intensity exercises are jump rope workouts, circuit training and sprinting.

High-intensity interval training is proven to be more effective than the other types of training. Its key principle is to alternate the short period of maximum effort with less intense recovery periods.

Other forms of simple exercises you can do are so easy that you can barely notice you are already doing them every day, like walking a block or two to your destination. Or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Doing housework chores is an intense physical activity. Do exercises during commercial breaks.

If you aren’t the type of person who regularly exercises, that would be a very big challenge. Find yourself a workout partner who can help motivate you to go to the gym or do some workouts.

Mental Health

What people often overlook is the status of their mental health. Being totally healthy also means you are in good mental health. There is research that proves that positive feeling and being happy is connected to being healthy. One way happiness can improve health is through psychosocial factors like better relationships, more practical and emotional support and better coping mechanisms to stress.

Having a better well-being is associated with reduced risks of coronary heart disease as well as lowered risk of all and natural causes of mortality. Happiness is also associated with excellent health because you have a better immune system, improved sleep and better cardiovascular functions. These lifestyle diseases are results of negative feelings like depression, anxiety and stress.

To rid yourself of these negative factors there are a lot of homoeopathic ways. You can do some exercises to develop happy hormones like endorphins. You can apply or use some essential oils to create a more relaxed environment. You can choose the best oil for oil cleansing methods to reduce the negative vibes in your body system as well as in your surroundings. Also, change your outlook on life and practise the art of gratitude. Being thankful for what you have is the best and simplest way to becoming a happier person.

Getting Into Zumba – What I Learnt

Getting Into Zumba - What I LearntThe average person probably finds it very difficult to fit an exercise plan into their daily routine. Let’s face facts. Some exercise programs are just too boring. Lifting weights in the gym or riding a stationary bicycle for an hour might turn some people off exercising. However, Zumba is something that really makes a workout feel like great fun. It is basically a Latin inspired fitness program that is perfect for the man or woman that would like to get in shape to the rhythm of a Latin beat. Zumba has influenced numerous people to continue toward their fitness goals.

What Is Zumba?

Zumba is a Latin based fitness program and it is also a wonderful aerobic workout. Students learn to move their body to choreographed dance steps, while Latin music plays in the background. Many health experts state that an aerobic workout is great for the heart. Aerobic workouts tone the muscles and burn a tremendous amount of calories too. It really gets the heart rate going. The workout also burns fat, strengthens bones, strengthens muscles, reduces blood pressure, while improving the cardio-vascular system. In addition, moving your body to the Latin beat is just plain fun. Zumba is a world-wide phenomena that just keeps growing.

Getting Into Zumba

There are several ways to get started with a Zumba fitness plan. Of course, the easiest way is to go out and purchase an instructional DVD. Review the DVD at home and try a few of the moves. It is extremely important to decide at this stage if this workout plan is for you. Do the routines make you dizzy or make your head spin? Well, take it down a notch. This happens all the time to people that have not exercised in a long time.

Thinking about taking Zumba classes? Remember, those muscles in the body have to get warmed up and familiar with the movements. Footwear is also important. Practice your moves in a pair of exercise shoes that are comfortable, designed for dancing, and fully support the feet. There are several Zumba dance shoes that are on the market and come at different price points. You will be sure to find one that fits your budget.

What I Learned

Here is what I learned. Zumba is a very intense workout. Make sure that you are in a healthy condition before taking a class. The classes are high energy and last for up to an hour. Don’t drink too much water before the work out, but keep a water bottle and towel nearby for short breaks during class. Too much water before the workout will send you running to the ladies room in the middle of the workout. Instructors will keep your heart in the intense target zone. Therefore, make sure that you are able to keep up with the moves. Things get hot and heavy in Zumba classes fast. Clearly, it is a good idea to wear loose fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe. Wear supportive, light weight sneakers to make those sudden moves or you might end up on our backside.

Also read: Tips on how to use a Rowing Machine effectively

What is the Quality of Water Like in Smith Mountain Lake?

Smith Mountain Lake is situated in south western Virginia, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This lake is a 40 mile long, 20600 acre man made beauty with a 500 mile shoreline. The damming of the rivers Blackwater and Roanoke led to the creation of this lake. It took almost two and a half years for the reservoir to fill up and today it is one of the region’s main attractions.

The General Water Quality

The water quality in and around the region is generally very good. It is clean and potable. However, a variety of factors at times do make the water hard. Mainly, the availability of rocks with high Calcium Carbonate or chalk is responsible for the hardness of the water.

What should you do if you’ve to deal with Hard Water?

Though hard water in no way does any harm to the human body, however, it can create problems when it comes to using kitchen utensils and electrical appliances like a washing machine.

Why Should You Be Careful About Using Hard Water?

While hard water is not harmful to the human body and is absolutely fit to drink, over time, it creates layers of calcium in pipes or scales on sinks and even within the inner linings of washing machines. These do create malfunctions after a long period of usage.

  • Clothes in general cannot withstand hard water washes. That is because soil and dirt combine with the salt in water to form insoluble salts which further damage the fibres.
  • Experiments with hard water washing has shown that the life of clothing decrease by a whopping 40 percent after extensive and continuous washing. Now that is something you would want to avoid.
  • A great example of hard water effect is limescale build up in swimming pool heating systems. Solar heating systems are used to heat pools and there is every chance that hard water messes up their internal systems.

What can be done to overcome it?

Slight changes in the way things are done can go a long way in checking the gradual degradation of kitchen utensils and appliances. For example, using strainers to filter water before filling up the washing machine and the tub or using a tea pot instead of a mug while making tea are slight changes that can be useful and effective.

So how does hard water get fixed?

While some users may not like the idea of water softening, but if done the correct way, water softening goes a long way in extending the life of kitchen utensils and appliances.

You need ion exchange happening right at the molecular level. A mechanical device is plumbed into your home’s water system and small polysterene beads called resins or zeolite are let loose. They remove the sodium using a solution of brine, which is created by the usage of common salt. Hence, if there is too much of softening, the water might taste salty. But this only means that the water softening unit isn’t setup correctly. You can head on to www.unifiedwater.com for more information on water softeners.

There are quite a few institutions and organisations that look after the water quality of the region. While the overall quality of the water pumped and transported is excellent, hardness cannot be ruled out, it being a natural phenomena.

Riding Around The Countryside On A Hoverboard

riding Around The Countryside On A HoverboardIf you’ve watch Back to the Future, you’d know that according to the movie, a hoverboard is a special board that is used for levitating off the ground surface or over water. A few years ago, no one would have thought that hoverboards could exist. In reality, Dr. Emmett Brown’s version of the hoverboard still doesn’t. However, you can now see kids (and adults) zooming around in what looks like one. These aren’t really the kind hoverboard you see in the movie. Rather, they’re self-balancing scooters that are designed to look like a hoverboard… except with wheels. The best part? You don’t need to be friends with a mad scientist to own one. You can now easily purchase a hoverboard online or at your local toy or sports shop.

Riding a hoverboard on the country side can be the most satisfying experience. It’s just like riding a bike except you don’t have to pedal or standing on a walkalator and enjoying the countryside view. However, there are a few things you need to remember before you take your hoverboard out on a ride on the countryside.

First, make sure that you carry enough batteries to power it. The batteries of hoverboards only lasts for a short amount of time. Some only have enough power to operate the board for about 20 minutes of continued use. To ensure that your countryside ride doesn’t get cut off, make sure you have an alternative source of power like extra batteries or perhaps a portable generator so you can charge your board when its battery dies down.

Next, you need to be careful when riding the countryside with a hoverboard because accidents are bound to occur. You may end up knocking pedestrians or bystanders. To prevent this, avoid riding your hoverboard in a densely populated area in the countryside. Look for open places that have less people and trees. For your safety, make sure to wear protective gear like knee and elbow pads and a helmet.

One might really be wondering how a hoverboard works. How does one not fall off while riding it especially since there’s nothing to hold on to? Well, the term ‘hoverboard’ is a nickname to what this device is really called – a self-balancing scooter. It is equipped with an automatic balancing mechanism which moves the board according to the rider’s stance or movement. In effect, it balances the rider thus preventing falls.

Don’t get too confident though. It takes a bit of practice before one can get used to riding a hoverboard. Falls are common for beginners but once you get the hang of it, it’s just like riding a bike.

In conclusion, the future of hoverboards is great. Much is being anticipated as research continues to increase into production of perfect hoverboards. One aspect that needs to be worked on is battery life. Longer battery life will allow owners to enjoy longer hours riding their boards. Another is added safety features especially for those who intend to ride their hoverboards on the countryside as current versions aren’t really suitable for use in uneven surfaces like the woods. Nevertheless, riding a hoverboard  should definitely be considered if you’re looking for fun things to do in the countryside.

Why you should Invest in a Good Mattress for your Health

sleep-healthSleep and health are intrinsically linked. Bad sleep and poor health go hand in hand in ways you never knew. Here are some reasons why you should invest in a good quality mattress (reviews here) for a better night’s sleep and improved health.

Healthy Skin

One study showed that getting good sleep was linked to quicker recovery from ultraviolet light exposure, faster recovery from trauma to the skin. and fewer signs of aging.

Prevents Colds

Poor sleep results in a weakened immune system, which in turn makes you more susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold. Research shows that those who slept less than seven hours nightly were three times more likely to catch a cold.

Prevents Migraines and Headaches

Although the mechanism behind this is still unknown, studies show that poor quality of sleep is highly correlated with migraines. Other research shows that those who suffer from sleep apnea have a 36 to 58% chance of suffering from headaches.

Prevents Weight Gain

Research show that not getting enough sleep slows your metabolism down, thereby putting weight on your frame. Avoid gaining extra pounds by getting enough sleep every night.

Building Muscle

Studies show that if you don’t sleep enough or sleep well, your body won’t be able to build muscle. During sleep, your body releases a growth hormone to heal the cells and tissues that you used while you were awake. On the flip side, lack of sleep has been associated with loss of muscle, or muscle atrophy.

Lower Risk of Heart Issues

One study showed that those who slept less than five hours nightly had a 45% increased risk of suffering from a heart attack.

Lower Risk of Diabetes

Studies show that those who sleep less than seven hours a night are more likely to develop diabetes. Why? When you don’t get enough sleep, you aren’t as effective at controlling your blood sugar which may result in Type 2 diabetes. Long-term effects of diabetes include organ damage, blindness, amputations and strokes.

Lower Risk of Cancer

Research has shown that those who work night shifts, thereby disrupting their natural sleep-wake cycle, are more likely to develop breast and colon cancer.

Live Longer

Those who sleep too little tend to have shorter lifespans. One study showed that more deaths occurred in women between the ages of 50 and 79 who had less than five hours of sleep per night.

And there you have it! Nine excellent reasons to go out and get a good quality mattress so you can sleep soundly and have better health!

Tips on how to use a Rowing Machine effectively

Rowing machines can provide an excellent workout of both the upper and lower body but not knowing how to use a rowing machine properly can actually cause more harm than good. It may seem as though it would be an easy enough activity to perform, but there are many commonly experienced mistakes made by beginners. It is important to learn the proper method of rowing in order to achieve the best results from this beneficial exercise.

Where to buy

There are many options available when choosing to purchase a rowing machine, and there is one to suit everyone’s budget. You will have to consider what your goals are before buying and it is a good idea to read plenty of rowing machine reviews before parting with your money. You must also think about practical things like how much space you have in your home and whether you need an advanced performance monitor to keep track of your progress. Some even come with a strap which you place on your chest to check your heart rate whilst working out.

Rowing can be a powerful strength building exercise, but it is also one that improves cardiovascular health. It is an excellent activity for anyone who has problems with their joints, as there is no weight bearing strain on these parts of the body. Offering a full body workout, rowing machines are an excellent way to become fit and healthy for a wide variety of people. They are, that is, when they are used correctly. There are some common errors made by people who are not trained in the usage of rowers, running the very real risk of back injury. The lower back is the most frequently injured site by improper rowing techniques, with stress being placed on the area.

How to learn

The best way to learn the proper way to use a rowing machine is to observe and practice. This can be done through working with a trainer for a few sessions to obtain the best form and techniques. Because rowing is such a strenuous exercise, it is recommended for novices to begin slowly; working out on the rower for 10 to 15 minutes on the first day and then increasing time gradually on consecutive days. It is equally important to keep resistance on the rowing machine low initially, building up resistance slowly so as not to overwork the muscles.

Rhythmic and flowing movements are the key components to rowing. Excessive movements such as leaning too far forwards or backwards, jerking the arms or using the lower back instead of the legs are the danger, leading to strained and stressed back muscles that will inhibit further workout periods, and lessen the aerobic benefit of the exercise.

Starting a new exercise requires research on the best techniques, and this is true with learning how to use a rowing machine as well. Performing the rowing exercises properly will lead the body into a beneficial aerobic and strength training activity, which in turn will lead to great health and fitness.

Fun Things To Do

Make a splash or be a landlubber. While Smith Mountain Lake is famous for all kinds of boating, water sports, swimming, fishing and other water related activities, on shore you will find plenty to occupy your time as well. Golf, tennis, hiking and horseback riding are perfect for the athletic type while adventure seekers can even find thrills like parasailing and skydiving. Relax by sunbathing, play for a day by enjoying our bumper boats, go carts and fun games at amusement arcades, or learn more with a visit to the Smith Mountain Lake Dam. And best of all, the lake is a convenient and central base for touring nearby wineries, historical sites or a day of sightseeing along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.