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Health & Fitness

Treetop Flyers

Sixty-five feet off the ground, your toes peek over the edge of a wooden platform while your friends jostle around behind you and laugh in excited nervousness. There is a helmet fastened to your melon, and not one, but two safety lines anchoring you securely to the thick wires bound to the tree in which [...]
Jeni Ruisch



Sixty-five feet off the ground, your toes peek over the edge of a wooden platform while your friends jostle around behind you and laugh in excited nervousness. There is a helmet fastened to your melon, and not one, but two safety lines anchoring you securely to the thick wires bound to the tree in which you are all perched.

But that doesn’t stop a deep lobe of your brain from sending your stomach into backflips as you near the edge of the platform and peer down.

You keep one hand on the tree. This won’t keep you from falling, but the tree is connected to the ground… somewhere down there. And for now, that feels safe.

A guide clips you onto a thick wire by your own personal pulley, which you have been carrying around on your full torso harness.

“You’ll go faster if you yell cannonball on the way,” he smiles.

You let go of the rough bark of the tree, put your hands on your safety line, and push off from your perch, into thin air.

This is adventure in the wilderness—but just a stone’s throw from a Bob Evans.

ZipZone Outdoor Adventures seems a world away from the hustle and noise of the city streets, but the proof of its proximity is right there in its address. A woodland adventure with no buildings or traffic noise to speak of, it sits right on High Street/Route 23, just north of the city.

Canopy tours take you up into the treetops, high above the ravines and creeks below. You can slide along cables with the help of a pulley, zipping between platforms attached securely to trees. With the recent addition of their new treetop Adventure Park, people of all ages can climb through hand crafted obstacle courses at varying heights. Through hoops and loops, over hurdles and up netted walls, they start at a kid-friendly low difficulty, only a few feet from the ground. (The perfect height for a parent to walk alongside.) And they progress up to adults-only, black diamond difficulty, taking you up to a soaring height, and requiring a workout-level intensity. All the while, you’re connected safely to a continuous belay cable system

Owners Lori and Jerrod Pingle opened the obstacle course—the first of its kind in Ohio—in August. The pair spent time in Hawaii constructing zipline setups, and decided to bring it on home when they opened their own course.

Lori hails from Worthington, and is no stranger to this oasis north of the city.

“I went to a camp here on this property in the ’80s and ’90s. The ropes course really freaked me out and I basically couldn’t do it. I was really sad that something knocked me down like that. So every year when I came back, I did a little bit more and a little bit more—until I was doing the whole course blindfolded and facing every challenge, even though I was really scared and I’m afraid of heights. It really showed me how this kind of thing can teach you about life. Even though you’re scared, you can still do it if you have the right support system. There were so many lessons I learned. I feel like I can do anything if I make the right choices and move through that obstacle.”

The philosophy behind the struggle to complete the course, and keep moving through fear lends itself to the work done at Camp Mary Orton and the Godman Guild, which ZipZone partners with. The park itself sits on 20 acres of land situated on 167 acres owned by Camp Mary Orton. Pingle leases the area occupied by the adventure park.

“We’re a for-profit business that works with the camp, which is a total win-win. What we pay them goes to helping kids get GEDs, helping adults get jobs, helping to continue people’s education so that they graduate from high school. So it’s really incredible what we get to help with because we’re on their property. Also, they get a more consistent form of revenue. They don’t get any money from the government. They don’t have trusts or anything. [Each year] they have to make sure they get enough money for next year to continue operating. So any money they get through this, and other revenue based programs they do goes to their non-profit work. So us being here is a way for them to have a more secure future, which is so cool.”

By Jerrod Pingle

Nuts and Bolts:

Some brass tacks info on ziplining (from the course’s designer, Lori)

“[We] use this amazing technology called tweezles. You can only lock to a cable that has a tweezle, and once you lock onto a course, there’s no way to unlock until you reach the end. We have these amazing lowering kits to get you off the course if you don’t want to keep going. But the key thing is that you’re always hooked in, so it’s a continuous belay system. There isn’t a mistake a guest can make that will get them unclipped from the course.”

The courses are constructed carefully, with the health of the trees in mind: “We have two different construction technologies happening here. Some of them have bolts that go through the tree, some of them have wires that are wrapped around. It’s just two different applications, depending on the type of tree and some other things.”

In order to drill through the tree in some instances, a special auger is used that allows no oxygen inside the body of the tree.

The weight limit for the zipline tour is 270 pounds. This isn’t based on what the cable can hold, as these beastly wires can support literal tons of weight. The limit is due to the amount of speed that will be built up when traveling along the cable. More weight = more force in the landing zone.

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: “His” vs “Her” portions

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC



It’s not uncommon to scroll through Instagram and see beautiful plates of food labeled “his” and “hers.” Typically the “his” plate is larger in all portions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

But, this depiction of portioning is inaccurate and can be damaging to the way women satisfy their hunger.

Gender does not determine the quantity of food people “should” eat. From a science perspective, there are so many variables that affect metabolic rates that are not specific to sex, such as amount of muscle mass, fat mass, location of these deposits, physical activity, and more. 

For example, a very active, self-identified woman with high lean body mass can have significantly higher maintenance caloric needs compared to a more sedentary male identifying person.

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you that gender determines the amount you deserve to eat. Listen to your body and your hunger cues. Fuel your body for what you need!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Late night eats at Steak ‘n’ Shake

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC



Waist trainers, crash diets, colon cleanses—all things touted as the next miracle solution for weight loss. With the help of our new Registered Dietitian columnist, we’ll sort out the truth from the trash when it comes to health trends on your social media feeds, and provide healthy, sustainable alternatives for those to-good-to-be-true fixes. Welcome to Truth or Trend.

Steak ‘n’ Shake; a long-standing staple for a greasy, late night bite to eat. While "Eat This, Not That!" calls their signature items “two of the most precarious foods on the planet” on Instagram, is their fear mongering all it claims to be? Stick with me as I explore the truth behind a post by the account comparing the healthiness of two popular menu items: a Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries v. Portobello and a Swiss Steakburger.

First, the nutrition information provided for the two options shown in the post is inaccurate (click here to see more). Additionally, the caption claims most shakes are more than 500 calories and most salad options are 600 calories or less which is an incorrect generalization.

And while the Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries is the lower-calorie option like "Eat This, Not That!" says, what the post doesn’t account for are some other important nutrient factors that set the two options apart.

The Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries combination has 1380 mg sodium, which is 60% of the maximum recommended daily intake (2300 mg) in one meal, compared to just 890 in the Portobello and Swiss burger. The “Not this” option also boasts a higher protein content of 29 g compared to 17 g in the combination and about half the carbohydrates at 36 g v. 62 g.


There are pros and cons to each of the menu items here, so saying to “Eat this, not that” is painting broad strokes. If you’re a patron of fast food chains, remember to review and weigh all the nutritional facts before making a decision about which one is "healthier." Or, if you’re out for a special late night treat, choose the option that is going to satisfy you!

Becca is an Ohio native and University of Cincinnati graduate who works as a traveling consultant dietitian, currently living in Juneau, Alaska. She owns Centum Cento Fitness LLC, a company dedicated to using evidenced-based practice to help empower clients to build sustainable and healthy lifestyles through nutrition and fitness.Follow Becca on Instagram!

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Health & Fitness

Twerk it! Studio Rouge combines dance and exercise for booty-lifting benefits




Studio Rouge in Grandview isn’t your average fitness studio. Here you’ll find classes in pole dancing, aerial fitness, and exotic dancing—including the aptly-named “Twerkout” class. And it’s not just for those who want to be on stage.

The butt-lifting Twerkout class doubles as both sensuality and body positivity lessons for all. Taught by Tracy Ruby, she prides herself on being aptly coined “twerk technician,” having taken lap dance and pole dance classes at Studio Rouge before becoming a regular instructor.

“It’s so much fun to see other people who come in, not sure what’s going to happen, and find that they can do it,” Ruby says. “The idea behind Twerkout is to take ‘twerk’ and make it a workout—to give people a new dance environment where they can come and they can learn new skills. [They can] take those home or to the club or wherever they want to do their new booty-poppin’ moves.”

Photos: Stef Streb

Ruby first assesses the physical needs and limitations of the class, combining twerk moves with traditional exercises as a mash-up with the ideal butt lift.

“If you go through Instagram, you can plug in ‘twerk’ and see all these different people coming up with different moves that work really well for their bodies, but during Twerkout, there are certain moves that’ll work for one person that won’t work for another,” she says. “Our booties are all shaped differently; our bodies all work differently. When you see people on Instagram, they’ve found all these moves, put them together, and they got their booties to twerk in these magnetical, amazing ways.”

While visitors may scroll through Instagram before class to get a gauge of what they can expect from Twerkout, Ruby insists upon using repetition in areas where guests may feel they’re lacking. “You build natural muscles with, for instance, twerk, where you’re working specific calisthenics to enhance your sense of your motions,” she says. “It’s healthier. I mean you’re building your muscles. You’re not just implanting new material. We do a lot of squats in class, because that’s where you’re going to help get your leg joints, back joints and muscles in these areas to be more responsive and stronger.”

As Ruby encourages doing squats outside of Twerkout, she also stresses the importance of proper form with an extensive warm-up to match. “We do quite a bit of warming up of the spine so that your back is ready for all that we’re going to ask of it. Then we’ll go into some twerk drills, which is where the workout kind of kicks up and we’ll have some traditional exercises along with learning new twerk skills,” she says. “We will go through some core moves for twerk, that are specifically for a twerk and then we’ll start putting together some choreography […] based on those core moves, maybe adding in some new ones. Once we have our choreography built, we will run through it a few times so that you’ve got something to take with you, and then there’s a cool-down period.”

Twerkout guests may struggle during a session, but Ruby firmly assures that she won’t let her class fail. “Say one move is not working for you in class. If it’s not working for you there, keep working on it. It may just never be your move, you may not care for it. That’s fine. That happens in all kinds of classes,” she says. “Burpees, for example, [are] not everybody’s favorite. Some people are good at them and love them. Other people do not, but you can keep working at it, get better and eventually master these skills.”

Ruby indulges in plain yogurt and granola as a protein-oriented go-to snack following a session of Twerkout, and she encourages her class to enjoy any food that nourishes and energizes their bodies, er, booties. Following this downtime, she looks forward to amping her class back into gear.

“There is never a moment where I’m not encouraging you. Everybody has a moment every day when they wanna give up. My job as the instructor is to help motivate that person and everyone else to keep moving, just keep going. The studio itself is built around self-love and finding ways that you appreciate your own body and can share that with yourself and others,” she says. “Come in and see what it’s about! It’s an hour, okay? So you’re not going to spend five hours with me doing something you don’t like, and I promise you’ll have fun.”

Find out more about classes at Studio Rouge in Grandview at

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