Archive for August 10th, 2011
Like a lot of women (and some men) I know, I find myself getting lazy about my workout routine as the summer winds down. After all, it’s way easier to hide a few extra pounds with a comfy sweater than it is with a bikini. Because I made a personal vow to myself not to get sucked into that pattern this year, I was particularly interested in an email I received in which health expert Sheila Cluff, the founder of The Oaks at Ojai, shares five fun and easy fitness tips to help maintain that summer shape into the fall:
• Biceps: For an effective bicep workout, hold a soup can in each hand and bring your upper arms close to the body. Bend elbows and slowly bring your hands up to your shoulders. Release and bring your hands down to your thighs, keeping your arm muscles contracted throughout the routine.
• Abs: Laughter is an amazing ab workout that exercises your diaphragm, abdominal and respiratory muscles all at the same time. It is estimated that hearty laughter can burn calories equivalent to several minutes on the rowing machine or exercise bike.
• Glutes: When shopping, working or anywhere you find stairs, take them to burn a few calories and give your fitness level an extra boost. It’s a free and easy way to get a great backside.
• Back, Shoulders & Chest: Take a 5-minute break during the day to stretch and help build strength in your upper body. While sitting in your desk chair, touch your ear to your shoulder and hold it there. For a chest opener, stretch your arms back as if you were trying to grab a pencil between your shoulder blades. Keeping muscles loose will ease tension and keep you energized throughout the workday.
• Brain: While not technically a muscle, it is important to exercise your thoughts on fitness in the same way you exercise the rest of your body. Be realistic and ready for the fall season by understanding food labels, strategically making time for exercise, and combating the urge to be lazy during the colder months.
For more tips, be sure to check out our special “Exercise in Fitness” section in our upcoming September issue of American Spa.
This past weekend, I visited Northern Quest Resort & Casino (Spokane, WA). Owned by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the property includes Current Spa, which embraces the tribe’s healing traditions. One tradition I’m especially fond of is when therapists wash their hands before beginning any treatment. My therapist at Current Spa did just that when she entered the treatment room. Although it may seem like a small thing, it’s something that always puts me at ease before a treatment. Granted, I’m a self-confessed germaphobe, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking it should be a standard practice in every spa. When I was in China last year, I had a therapist actually make a point of telling me that she was going to first wash her hands before commencing the treatment. I found it comforting to know. I’m also a fan of therapists washing their hands after touching the feet and always before touching the face. I’m sure I’m not alone in worrying that the products used during my body treatment may not be suitable for a facial massage. If they are, that’s great, but it would be nice to have that info communicated at some point. While it should go without saying that hand washing should be a given, making it part of the pre-treatment ritual can also put clients, like myself, in an even more relaxed state.
At Cosmoprof North America last week, I had the opportunity to experience the new Orly GelFX Gel Manicure System, which promises a durable, chip-free manicure that lasts for two weeks with superior shine and easy removal. The company matched GelFX to 32 of its top-selling colors ranging from neutrals to metallics to vibrant shades of blue, purple, and black. I opted for the shade In the Navy, a beautiful royal blue shade. It’s been exactly one week since I had the manicure and my nails are still shiny and chip-free. What also got my attention with this new manicure system, is that the Cleanser, Primer, and Basecoat used are all infused with vitamins to build strength and nourish the nails—antioxidant vitamins A and E help to promote healthy nails, while pro-vitamin B5 protects the structure of the natural nail. Also, Orly’s vitamin-infused Cuticle Oil is made with orange blossom and wild cherry extracts to condition and moisturize cuticles.