When you lead an active lifestyle, it makes sense that you want to keep the momentum going when traveling. But being away from the comforts of home, the gym, or your favorite yoga studio can make a regular fitness regimen hard to maintain. But the right hotel can make staying fit a breeze. From complimentary personal training sessions to yoga on the beach, find out what amenities to ask about before making any hotel booking.
Is There an On-Site Gym?
While it may seem like a no-brainer, many hotels do not have a fitness center. Or, the ones they do have are subpar. Beyond asking if there is a gym on premises, ask if there is an extra fee to use the facilities and what its operating hours are. While some hotels offer free 24-hour access, other hotel gyms may charge for the extra amenity or close in the early evening. If there isn’t a description online, then ask about the gym’s equipment, too. You’d be surprised how many places consider a fitness center to be a single treadmill shoved in a stuffy room.
Are There Any Fitness Classes?
More and more hotels and resorts - especially in the four-star accommodations and above – offer fitness classes to its guests. Yoga is an ever-popular choice, but I’ve recently seen more Pilates, water aerobics, and boot camp-style workouts popping up on many hotels’ activity rosters. Make sure to ask if the classes are included in your daily rate or if there will be an extra fee to participate. Most places will require you to sign up for a class in advance, and if there aren’t enough students registered, then there is a chance that the class may be canceled. I have been lucky enough, however, to get a one-on-one yoga instruction at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa because I was the only hotel guest to sign up for class that day.
With the recent release of the 2012 Sunscreen Guide from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), you might be confused as to how to choose the right sunscreen and whether or not the bottle you own now is safe and effective. Buying sunscreen shouldn’t cause you to break out in a cold sweat, so here are a few simple yet important things to look for when it comes to sunscreen.
The number on your bottle stands for sun protection factor, and believe it or not, a higher number doesn’t equal more protection. The EWG recommends purchasing sunscreens with SPFs higher than 15 but no greater than 50. Studies show that sunscreens with an SPF higher than 50 don’t offer greater protection, and many doctors argue that a higher number makes many people think a sunscreen lasts longer than one with a lower SPF, causing them to reapply less often, so they’re more at risk for burns.
UVB rays are responsible for burning as well as tanning your skin and are the main culprit responsible for skin cancer. And while UVA rays won’t cause a sunburn, they penetrate your skin more deeply, leading to signs of aging including wrinkles, saggy and leathery skin, and sun spots. It’s important to protect yourself from both types of UV rays, so look for bottles that say “broad spectrum” or “broad spectrum UVA/UVB.”
If your sunshiny adventures include water or sweating a lot, definitely choose a sunscreen that’s water-resistant. Know that these aren’t waterproof – they’ll only protect you about 40 to 80 minutes in the water, so you’ll need to reapply each time you take a dip.
Keep reading to learn which chemicals to avoid and to see a list of the safest, most effective sunscreens.
If sunny days have inspired you to move your run outdoors, why not step it up even more and hit the trails instead of the sidewalk? Before you go, here’s what you should know about how to start trail running.
When starting: You can’t just make the leap from a flat, paved course to a rocky, uphill climb without a few guidelines. First, start slow, and adjust your stride to pick up your feet higher, which helps avoid tripping. Also, remind yourself that it’s OK to stop, walk, or turn around if things get too rocky or steep. Find out more important beginning trail running tips here.
Be safe: Trail running can be fun and relaxing, but there are a few things you need to watch for. Running alone can have its own set of possible dangers, for one, so make sure you leave a plan with a loved one of where you’re going and how long you expect to be gone. And once you’re on the trail, keep your gaze focused ahead of you as you run so you avoid slippery leaves, jagged rocks, or branches that can trip you. Read more tips on staying safe during your trail run here.
The right gear: It’s all about protecting yourself from the elements. Make sure you wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from UV rays and invest in a pair of shoes made for the elements. Check out our picks for waterproof trail running shoes here, and learn more about the safest sunscreens to protect your skin here.
Once you’ve hit your stride and settled into running trails confidently, you’ll be rewarded with toned legs and melting fat! Try these hill repeats to start.
We spend about a third of our lives in slumberland, but many people complain of not sleeping well. If you have a tough time falling asleep or you toss and turn in the middle of the night, try exercising during the day and limiting alcohol and caffeine a few hours before bedtime. But if you are doing this already and still have troubles, here are three things to do immediately before hitting the hay to calm your body and mind and help you get the restful night of sleep you crave.
The Power of Water
Twenty minutes before bedtime, dim the lights in the bathroom, turn on some relaxing tunes on your iPhone and take a warm shower or bath. The heat soothes achy muscles, and the steam clears your sinuses, which is essential if allergy symptoms prevent you from sleeping well at night. It’s also a great way to wash away germs and prevent you from getting sick, which can also make it difficult to sleep.
After your 10-minute warm bath or shower, slip into your PJs and do five minutes of stretching to ease any pains that prevent you from sleeping. Lower back pain is common for many, so if yours bothers you, here’s a yoga sequence to offer back pain relief. If a sore neck and shoulders are your woe, do these soothing stretches. A little self-massage can also ease muscle tension, or apply a heating pad or one of those rice pillows you warm up in the microwave to sore areas.
Now slip into bed, not with a riveting, can’t-put-it-down book, but one that has a dull, monotonous, stale topic that’s bound to have your eyelids drooping in minutes. Be sure to read from an actual book, not a laptop or iPad, as the lights cue your brain to wake up.
The dress is bought, the closing fitting has took place – the previous factor you want is to truly feel puffy and bloated as you wander down the aisle. Although you could have kept up with your currently-healthy diet plan and life-style in the months major up to the wedding, there are specified foods acknowledged to leave us feeling a minor swollen about the seams. A great rule of thumb is to adhere to a standard elimination diet program during the two weeks ahead of the wedding ceremony, but if that’s also considerably to ask, consider slicing out the next ten foods prior to your huge day.
I know that exercising in the early a.m. before you head to work can be a real challenge. If you aren’t a morning person, missing out on sleep can seem very unappealing, but here are some reasons you may want to set your alarm for an early morning workout.
- It’s usually a peaceful, quiet time of day, so it can be a great opportunity to think and get some time alone.
- Exercising in the morning wakes up your brain, clears your mind, and helps you organize your thoughts or your mental to-do list, preparing you for the day ahead.
- If you get it done first thing, then you won’t have to worry about trying to squeeze it in to your busy schedule, especially if you have kids. Plus, studies have shown morning exercisers are more consistent.
- Exercising helps get things moving, digestively speaking, so working out early can prevent getting backed up later on in the day.
- Since working out on an empty stomach can cause you to lose muscle, morning workouts will encourage you to eat breakfast, which has been proven to boost your metabolism, which helps to burn calories.
With bikini season coming up, many of us are trying to lose those last stubborn pounds. Here are four things you can do before lunchtime to increase your calorie burn.
- Eat first thing in the morning: Skipping breakfast may seem like a great way to save calories, but your body actually holds onto fat because it’s being starved. Make sure to eat breakfast each morning to jump-start your metabolism. Don’t just grab anything; be sure to include protein to give you sustained energy and fiber to fill you up for hours. Here are some breakfast ideas to help you lose weight.
- Work out soon after you wake up: Research has shown that morning exercisers tend to work out harder and longer than afternoon or evening exercisers, which translates to extra calories burned. Those who sweat in the a.m. are also more likely to stick with a routine, helping to lose those unwanted pounds. If you choose to exercise as soon as you wake up, eat something small beforehand, and then enjoy a full breakfast afterward.
- Snack on fiber: A midmorning snack helps satiate hunger, meaning you won’t chow down on way more food at lunch than you normally would. Make sure it’s fiber-packed and low in calories like these snacks.
- Sip water all morning: Keep that reusable bottle close by so you can periodically drink water until lunchtime. Water is a low-calorie way to fill you up, and sipping keeps your mouth busy if you tend to be a mindless nosher.
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