This series is sponsored by Project Best Life. Buffalo Rising and Project Best Life have teamed up to produce a series on wellness inspiration and advice to direct readers to the people, places, and experiences in Buffalo and beyond that will help them fulfill their health, nutrition, and wellness goals. For more information on how you can live your best life, subscribe to the Project Best Life newsletter.
Most of us have taken the 190 thruway more times than we can count. This drive may be infamous for traffic back ups, but the view somehow makes it all worth it with the city skyline on one side, and the vast open lake on the other- a perfect picture of the Queen city. While the lake might be beautiful to view, it is also a hub for summer activities. The team at #projectbestlife sat down with experts on the water to show just how beneficial water activities really can be.
Imagine taking your sailboat across the sea to the tropical islands of Hawaii and living the much more glamorous version of Gilligan’s Island. Well, for Seven Seas Sailing instructor Captain Ed Quinlan, this was his reality for much of his life before moving back to Buffalo 12 years ago.
Seven Seas Sailing opened in Buffalo in 1970 and offers both rentals as well as sailing lessons. According to Captain Ed, sailing is a basic skill that almost everyone should know. While it may be intimidating for some, at places like Seven Seas Sailing safety is the first priority.
“Safety is our number one priority. If you’re doing a charter with us it’s going to be with a licensed captain. We wear life jackets or personal flotation devices anytime we’re on the boat and most importantly we watch the weather.”
Once out on the water, it’s smooth sailing from there (well, most of the time). For many, leaving the land behind also means leaving everyday stresses and worry.
“Most people will say that sailing is therapeutic. I think that’s true because while you’re on the boat, you’re also involved in the operation of the boat. You’re no longer on land. You can leave your phone below deck and just focus on watching the boat move and do what you can to improve it. That can be a great sport! It’s also a good family sport- something that kids of all ages can get involved with. There is a big sailing community here and everyone tends to help each other out.”
For more information on how to set sail visit their website.
Sometimes steering a boat can be intimidating, but something like a kayak or paddleboard is much more manageable and doesn’t require a captain’s help. For a relaxing afternoon on the water visit BFLO Harbor Kayak right at Canalside. Owner and operator Jason Schwinger started this business after returning to Buffalo from Southern California with the hopes of providing a way for Buffalonians to easily access the lake without a boat.
“The kayaks and paddleboards we have are all very introductory, recreational boats and boards. People aren’t going to be whitewater rafting or hit anything rough! It’s just stuff to play with on a relatively flat body of water. You know, we essentially stay to Canalside and then go up the river a bit. It’s a great place to learn because there’s not a lot of current.”
Whether by yourself or with some friends, kayaking or paddle boarding offers fun in the sun that is safe and has a multitude of benefits both mentally and physically.
“I think once you get on the water, whether you’re in a kayak or paddleboard it is a truly different way to connect with nature. I think if you’re standing on the edge of the lake, you look out at this vast unknown. Sometimes you can see Canada or sometimes you see the windmills depending on where you’re looking out from, but you realize everything in front of you is just out there and it’s easy and simple. When you look back then you see the congestion, the city, the traffic, the job, so getting out on the water allows you, for a moment, to quite literally clear your head, focus on what you’re doing and enjoy the unbound simplicity.”
For more information on how to plan your next adventure click here.
Maybe being on the water is something you’re still a little hesitant about. Luckily for you, there are still options for fun this beach season. One of those things being beach volleyball! Getting out on the sand for a little friendly competition offers a chance to make connections while also working out your body!
KAV Volleyball and Events focuses on developing a community of athletes and like-minded individuals who can come together in social situations with a focus on developing a community around volleyball. Brothers Jake and Kenny Waszak owners and operators of the KAV were able to speak about the mission behind the volleyball club.
“I think that using volleyball as kind of a catalyst to bring people together to not only develop their physical well-being, but their mental wellbeing was really the focus of the KAV eight years ago. And since its beginning in 2013, we’ve grown our facility to host over 148 teams each summer. And we’re really proud to be able to provide a venue where people can come together and develop relationships and better themselves,” says Jake.
With the short lived months of summer, taking advantage of the sun while we can is essential for a Buffalonian.
“The summer is a nice opportunity to get out in the sun. Get a little bit of tan, get our vitamin D and connect with other individuals. People are bringing lawn chairs, they’re tailgating and hanging out. Apart from the sports aspect, these are the friendships that are created that we’re attending weddings for now, you know! It’s an unbelievable experience that we didn’t even realize we were getting into initially,” says Kenny.
To get involved with the KAV visit their website.
Finish the summer off right, and take advantage of the resources available right here in Buffalo. Being outside this season will keep you happy, healthy and diving into living your best life.
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In tough times, our efforts to maintain fitness, healthy nutrition, and personal wellness can fall by the wayside as we direct all our energy into navigating our individual storm. Yet, in the face of what’s happening in the world around us, it is essential to make space for self-care and experiences that fortify our physical and mental wellbeing.
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Trying to manage a proper work-life balance, saving for your future while paying all your bills, all while keeping strong relationships with friends and family… We know that life can get pretty stressful, and it’s easy to forget what’s best for your health both physically and mentally. Project Best Life is here to help with our podcast: Happy and Healthy. We provide tips from experts and share stories that will inspire you to live your best life, whatever that means to you. Listen now on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google
Written and Hosted by Liberty Darr
Photography and Editing by Vin Berbano
Produced by Jessica Marinelli