Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts - This website earns commissions from qualifying purchases from posted ads. If you’re looking for a digital detox getaway, time and space to meditate, or simply a destination that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, consider Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts.  The word Zoëtry combines the Greek words “life” (Zoe) and “poetry” (artful creations) to mean the “Art of life.”  Zoëtry’s offerings are thoughtfully crafted for those seeking true focus on their well-being. And as part of the World of Hyatt Inclusive collection, one can find a Zoëtry resort in the Caribbean, Central America, and Spain. Customer reviews praise the many benefits of vacationing at stunning Zoëtry resorts. Below breaks down the most frequent features of praise customers have submitted online about Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts. Exceptional Service The staff at Zoëtry consistently receive high praise for their exceptional service. From the moment you arrive at a Zoëtry resort, you’ll feel welcomed and well-cared for by a team that is dedicated to ensuring your stay is unforgettable. One reviewer wrote, “The staff was incredibly kind, attentive, and went above and beyond to make our stay amazing.” Zoëtry’s exceptional service is by design. Every Zoëtry guest receives the World of Hyatt’s Endless Privileges package, which is the ultra-luxury inclusive package offered by the World of Hyatt Inclusive Collection. The Endless Privileges package includes perks like 24-hr concierge, stylish VIP arrival, customized and unique experiences, and more. With all those luxuries and excellent attentive staff, it’s no wonder Zoëtry resorts receives such praise from prior guests for exceptional service. Serene Atmosphere Zoëtry Resorts & Spas are designed to offer a tranquil and serene atmosphere that allows guests to fully unwind and relax. The resorts are often located in beautiful natural settings, such as on the beach or surrounded by lush tropical gardens. One reviewer described their experience at a Zoëtry property as “pure relaxation in paradise.” Some popular Zoëtry properties that enable guests to indulge in lush gardens and nature include Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun, Zoëtry Curaçao, and Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya. However, all Zoëtry locations are situated among natural beauty; there is an ideal paradise for every taste. View Zoëtry Resort Locations. Gourmet Cuisine Foodies will love the gourmet cuisine offered at Zoëtry resorts. From farm-to-table dining options to international cuisine, the properties offer a variety of dining experiences that are sure to delight your taste buds. One reviewer raved about the food at a Zoëtry resort, saying, “The food was beyond amazing! Everything was so fresh and flavorful, and the presentation was beautiful.” With Zoëtry’s Endless Privileges package, guests enjoy signature à la carte dining of authentic, gourmet cuisine made with organic ingredients. Organic beverage options are also available. Luxurious Accommodations Zoëtry resorts offer luxurious accommodations that are designed to be both comfortable and stylish. From spacious suites to private villas, the properties offer a range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs. One reviewer described their room as “absolutely stunning, with beautiful decor and all the amenities you could need.” Part of the magic of Zoëtry’s accommodations lies in the Endless Privileges package all Zoëtry guests can enjoy. 24-hr concierge and laundry service, nightly turndowns, three-times daily maid service, and an in-suite mini bar that is refreshed twice daily all enhance already outstanding room service. Other features of Zoëtry accommodations include close proximity to local communities, downtowns, shopping, and historical attractions. Some Zoëtry resorts are also attached to a golf resort, so for those who relax by swinging a club, Zoëtry has them covered. Relaxing Spa Treatments One of the highlights of a stay at a Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts is the opportunity to indulge in relaxing spa treatments. The properties offer a range of treatments designed to help guests feel rejuvenated and refreshed, from massages and facials to yoga and meditation classes. One reviewer wrote, “The spa treatments were so relaxing and rejuvenating. It was the perfect way to unwind and recharge.” Spa treatments that can be found at Zoëtry resorts include Thalassotherapy, steam rooms, aqua gyms, sports massages, and lymphatic drainage and antiaging therapies. As a World of Hyatt travel advisor and wellness destination specialist, I have been privileged to be educated on all Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts offerings. This gem within the World of Hyatt portfolio provides guests with a seamless transition into a luxurious and rejuvenating vacation experience. Numerous Zoëtry properties are AAA Diamond award-winning resorts. And as evidenced by numerous positive reviews online, guests have shared their rewarding experiences, highlighting the exceptional service, serene atmosphere, gourmet cuisine, luxurious accommodations, and relaxing spa treatments available at these resorts. Whether you’re in search of a romantic getaway or a solo retreat, a stay at a Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resort is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.
womanmiddlesplits Top 10 Reasons to Learn the Middle Splits: Flexibility, Performance, and More - This website earns commissions from qualifying purchases from posted ads. Learning the middle splits, also known as a straddle or middle split stretch, can offer several benefits. While it may not be necessary for everyone, it can be valuable for certain individuals depending on their goals and interests. Here are some reasons why people might choose to learn the middle splits: Flexibility: Middle splits are an excellent way to improve flexibility in the hip adductors (inner thigh muscles), hamstrings, and groins. Increased flexibility can lead to better range of motion in the hips and legs, which can be beneficial in various activities such as dance, martial arts, yoga, and gymnastics. Injury Prevention: Improved flexibility can help prevent injuries, especially in sports or activities that involve kicking, jumping, or sudden changes in direction. It can reduce the risk of strains, tears, and muscle imbalances. Enhanced Athletic Performance: For athletes, middle split flexibility can enhance performance in sports like martial arts, cheerleading, and acrobatics, where a wider range of motion in the hips and legs is crucial. Posture and Alignment: Middle split training can contribute to better posture and alignment by addressing imbalances in the pelvic and hip area. This can help alleviate lower back pain and improve overall body alignment. Core Strength: Maintaining proper form while working on middle splits requires engagement of the core muscles. Over time, this can lead to increased core strength and stability. Mental Discipline: Learning the middle splits requires patience and consistent effort. It can be a challenging and rewarding journey that helps develop mental discipline and perseverance. Cross-Training: Even if you’re not primarily focused on flexibility, adding middle split training to your fitness routine can be a great form of cross-training. It can complement strength training and cardiovascular workouts. Aesthetic Goals: Some individuals are motivated to learn the middle splits for aesthetic reasons. Achieving the splits can be a satisfying personal accomplishment and may enhance body confidence. Yoga and Meditation: In yoga and meditation practices, sitting in a wide-legged position similar to the middle splits is often used for grounding and meditation purposes. Learning the splits can make these practices more comfortable and accessible. Diverse Skill Set: Learning the middle splits is a skill in itself, and having a diverse set of physical skills and abilities can be personally fulfilling and open up opportunities to explore various physical disciplines. It’s important to note that achieving the middle splits takes time and effort, and it’s not necessary for everyone. Whether or not you decide to learn them should depend on your individual goals, interests, and physical abilities. If you’re considering it, it’s advisable to consult with a qualified trainer or coach who can provide guidance and help you progress safely.
A Candid Review of My First Cruise w/ Virgin Voyages - This website earns commissions from qualifying purchases from posted ads. Virgin Voyages has been making waves in the cruise industry since its launch in 2019. With a focus on creating unique experiences for travelers, Virgin Voyages offers an array of amenities on board their ships. From a tattoo parlor to a record shop, Virgin Voyages strives to offer something for everyone–as long as you’re 18+. Yes, the cruise line is adult-only, and that is one of its primary selling points. In this post, I detail the highlights of my experience aboard the Scarlet Lady, one of Virgin Voyages’ four ships. Pre-Voyage As a wellness destination planner, I was immediately drawn to Virgin Voyages gym and spa offerings. I booked my first cruise on the Scarlet Lady, which sailed directly after the Limitless Voyage curated by JLo. My son and I flew into Miami, Florida, from Texas one day before our cruise departure, which gave us extra time to explore Miami. I booked us in an upscale but affordable boutique hotel, Yotel Miami, which was about two miles away from Virgin Voyages Terminal V. The hotel was located close to the Metromover rail, city buses, and the free city trolley. The day of our sailing, my son and I made our way to Virgin Voyages cruise terminal. As a travel agent, I make it a priority to explore various ways to get around different destinations, so to get to Virgin’s Terminal V, we took the Coral Way, a free trolley in downtown Miami that stops at the cruise terminal and goes all the way to Terminal V. Virgin Voyages crew members were also on the trolley on their way to welcome “sailors” (Virgin Voyages passengers) and board the Scarlet Lady. Boarding We arrived at the terminal a little over an hour early, and while we waited to line up for boarding, the Virgin crew offered us free shuttle rides to and from Bayside, an area of the cruise port with shops and food. The shuttle accommodated around 15 adults and had room for luggage. While at Bayside, we ate at a mainstream chain restaurant and explored the mall. By the time we returned to Terminal V, we were able to get in line to board the ship. Boarding took between 30-40 minutes, and check-in was easy. Tip: Currently, Virgin Voyages requires all passengers to have a valid passport that is not within six months of expiring post-voyage. The party atmosphere Virgin Voyages is known for started the moment we got through passport checks. The crew danced and made loud, enthusiastic pep announcements before we boarded. The deck of the ship we entered on (Deck 7), led to shops and few eateries. This led to most people opting to eat at the nearest (and easiest to navigate to) restaurant, The Pizza Place. The restaurant had limited seating, and this created an awkward clustering of people minutes after stepping on board. This introductory experience was a preview of the week to come: confusion on how to navigate the ship. My Cabin Our cabin was ready after we finished eating at The Pizza Place. The moment we opened the cabin door, the curtains to the balcony opened automatically. The infotainment touch pad was handy, and the movie offerings were decent. The Band, assigned to us pre-boarding, worked like a champ when it came to accessing our cabin and making purchases. Lastly, my Ship Eats delivery was my best-tasting food on board. Real Guests vs Virgin Voyages Marketing Marketing videos and materials for Virgin Voyages show a diverse crowd of people on their ships, and that is true to life. People of all sexual orientations, ages (I’ll return to this), races, etc.,  were ready to dance, drink, get in a hot tub, and lounge in the sun or at one of the bars or hangout spots on board. As hinted at above, I ran into just one unwelcome sticking point while on board. Oddly, while Virgin Voyages caters to people 18+, if you actually look 18 or in your early twenties, you will get a lot of stares from other guests. I’m not sure why this was a thing, but after Scarlet Night (the second night of the cruise) my son, who looks about seventeen but is years above eighteen, felt very out of place and didn’t want to leave the cabin for a while. He pulled it together the following day and made the best of it for the remainder of the cruise. But how young we both look was commented on more than once; this meant at every reserved restaurant, people stared at us. Maybe people wondered how we afforded the cruise? I’m honestly at a loss as to why we stuck out like such a sore thumb. As a lifelong wellness practitioner, abstaining from alcohol and staying out of the sun is great for antiaging, but I don’t like being gawked at for it, and for being such a socially inclusive line, I was surprised by how uncomfortable my son was made to feel merely because of how young he looks. I know Virgin Voyages is not at fault for the behavior of its guests, so that was just an unfortunate experience on our sailing. Other cruise lines that aren’t adult-only have kids (actual kids) on board, and therefore seeing a young-looking person is not a big deal. Entertainment The shows on board are creative, fresh, celebrate focus on only sub or counterculture, and one popular show, Dual Reality, is a new take on the classic Romeo and Juliet. Pop-up entertainment was also around on board, which was often singers and dancing crew members. Compared to other cruise entertainment I’ve seen, Virgin Voyages is equal to or in some ways more entertaining than entertainment on other cruise lines. In addition to creative theatrical shows, great large-screen technology is also incorporated in a number of Virgin Voyages shows. Food Virgin Voyages recently won a best dining award by Cruise Critic. The week we sailed, the flavor quality was not there, however. I wish it was because I was really looking forward to a tasty meal, since the quality of food everywhere seems to have been declining lately. I’m not sure why most meals I had on board lacked flavor or in some cases lacked something as simple as salt. I like to believe my experience was a fluke because many guests continue to praise the food on Virgin Voyages. My theory is the food lacked flavor because our cruise directly followed a major celebrity sailing. Maybe they ran out of salt—and sugar, and all seasonings? Lastly, on debarkation day, the coffee was very weak, and crew members brushed it off, making it clear that they were done servicing us, even though we had not debarked yet. Duly noted. Gunbae on Scarlet Lady - Virgin Voyages - IG View this post on InstagramA post shared by Sylvia Petro & Advisors - Dream Vacations (@sylviapetroandadvisors) Destinations I booked the Fire & Sunset Soirées itinerary, which sailed to Key West then Beach Club Bimini, Bahamas, and finally returned to Miami. Key West had great excursion options and many tourist-oriented places to explore. Bimini, Bahamas, is a narrow strip of land with some excursion offerings and shops that were closed during our stop on the island. Virgin Voyages Beach Club Bimini is toward the end of Bimini island and is set up for lounging, ocean swimming, and partying in large pools. I unfortunately missed the planned bonfires because I returned to the cruise ship early. I’m sure the bonfires were beautiful. See the video below for images of Beach Club Bimini. Beach Club Bimini While the Fire & Sunset Soirées sailing was brief and within the eastern Caribbean, Virgin Voyages sails to many locations, with some exciting, bucket-list-worthy destinations. Some popular itineraries take sailors to Greece, Australia, and Dubai. See all Virgin Voyages Itineraries. Will I Sail Virgin Again? Virgin Voyages is a new cruise line aiming to fill a gap in the cruise market that will accommodate sexy, fitness- and wellness-oriented adults who love great food, group gatherings, relaxation, and drinking. To me, as a lifelong fitness-oriented person, a couple of those things don’t go together, or at least there should be more spaces to keep some things apart. I prefer activities outside of the bars and lounges I found on board the Scarlet Lady. However, for lounge and bar-goers, the ship had a gaming area as part of The Social Club for quizzes and group games. The Groupie, a karaoke lounge, was also a great feature of the ship. I enjoyed making people’s ears bleed as I sang Stricken by Disturbed and other songs far out of my range of vocal capabilities. Overall, Virgin Voyages is a great fit for bar and lounge lovers, sub and counterculture enjoyment, wellness experiences. Virgin Voyages is a new cruise line, and I know there is a lot in store for the future. Don’t let the bumpy points of my first Virgin Voyage experience stop you from trying this new cruise line. All said, I’d be happy to sail on a Virgin Voyage again. Travel can sometimes be trial and error. The fun of it lies in exploration and what the experiences teach you about yourself.
4-Step Functional Upper Body Workout - Always consult a doctor or other medical professional before starting any exercise program. This website earns commissions from qualifying purchases from posted ads. As I’ve written in earlier posts (especially during the COVID lockdown), getting and staying fit does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment. Bodyweight exercises are an effective way to improve strength, function, and overall fitness, and can be done virtually anywhere. In this post, I detail a functional bodyweight routine for the upper body, engaging the back, triceps, chest, and abdominals. The combination of all four exercises below, will challenge your upper body to build strength, function, burn calories, and help improve your overall fitness. 1. Back Exercise: Pull-Ups   Function: Strengthens multiple muscles in the upper body, including the back, shoulders, and arms. Benefits: Improves upper body strength, posture, and stability, which can help reduce the risk of injury and improve overall posture. 2. Chest Exercise: Push-Ups 3 sets | 10-20 reps | 30-45 seconds rest between sets, you can also super set with tricep dips (below). Function: Strengthens the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Benefits: Improves upper body strength and stability and can also help strengthen postural muscles, thus reducing the risk of injury.   3. Tricep Exercise: Tricep Dips   3 sets | 8-10 reps | 30-45 seconds rest between sets. Function: Strengthens the triceps, stretches the chest, and opens the shoulders. Benefits: Improves arm and shoulder stability, reduces the risk of injury, and increases upper body strength. 4. Abdominal Exercise: V-sits (optional: use a stability ball or hand weight) Function: Strengthens the muscles of the abdomen and improves core stability. Benefits: Builds and strengthens postural muscles, thus reducing the risk of both upper- and lower-body injury. Note: If the rep/set guidelines above feel too strenuous, start with a few reps of each exercise and gradually increase the number of reps and sets as you get stronger. The above combination of exercises is curated to engage multiple muscle groups for synergistic movement that will in turn help improve overall functional fitness. Remember to always perform each exercise with proper form to avoid injury and ensure you can get the most out of every rep and set.
Travel for adventure, renewal, and well-being. 4 Reasons Taking a Trip is Good for the Mind, Body, and Soul - This website earns commissions from qualifying purchases from posted ads. Travel is a popular way to experience new cultures, try new foods, and make memories that will last a lifetime. But did you know that traveling can also have a positive impact on your mental health? In this post, we’ll explore four major ways that traveling can improve your mental–and, even physical well-being, if you select the right travel vendor and location, as detailed below. Travel Reduces Stress and Increases Relaxation Traveling takes you away from the daily grind, thus reducing stress levels. Whether it’s lounging on a tropical beach or exploring a bustling city, travel provides a change of scenery and a chance to recharge. Even the act of planning a trip can bring joy and excitement to your life, which can help to reduce stress levels. Research has also shown that immersing yourself in nature has a calming effect on the mind and body, which can be achieved through activities like hiking, kayaking, or simply lounging in a natural setting, like a beach. Travel Improves Mood and Increases Happiness Traveling can also boost your mood and increase happiness levels. Experiencing new and exciting things or simply stepping outside of your comfort zone, can bring a sense of adventure and fulfillment to your life. Research has shown that engaging in new and novel experiences can stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and happiness. Furthermore, the memories you create while traveling can bring joy and happiness for years to come. Travel Promotes Self-Care and Mindfulness Traveling provides a unique opportunity to prioritize self-care and mindfulness. Gone are the days of viewing a vacation as vegsession–lying about, just soaking in the sun and doing limited physical activity. Many travelers now also want to exercise, meditate, and/or partake in spa treatments while away. People who are dedicated to a fitness lifestyle know the energy and mood boost exercise grants them, so why miss out on that while on a trip of a lifetime? The good news is, travel vendors recognize this desire from modern travelers, and many now offer the services and facilities to accommodate active, health-minded travelers. Virgin Voyages cruise line comes to mind as a forerunner in the space of play, relaxation, fitness, and wellness. Whether it’s indulging in a spa treatment, taking a yoga class, or simply taking a nap in a hammock, travel provides the time and space to focus on your physical and mental well-being. This can help you to return home feeling refreshed and recharged, with a renewed sense of purpose. Travel Provides a Sense of Accomplishment and Boosts Confidence Traveling to new destinations and overcoming any obstacles or challenges along the way can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost confidence levels. Navigating a new city, trying new foods, or simply stepping outside of your comfort zone, can help you grow and develop as a person. Furthermore, meeting new people and making connections while traveling can also enhance your sense of belonging and provide a sense of purpose. To enhance your travel experience, consider booking a trip with companies that prioritize wellness, such as Virgin Voyages, Zoëtry by AMResorts, or Sandals resorts. These companies offer exercise and spa options to help you maintain your physical and mental well-being even while traveling. Altogether, traveling can have a positive net impact on your mind, body, and soul. From reducing stress and increasing happiness to promoting self-care and boosting confidence, travel provides a unique opportunity to improve your mental well-being. If you’re looking to book a trip that prioritizes wellness, visit to explore a range of travel experiences with your mental and physical health in mind, planned and booked by a travel agent. Learn more below. About was created by Sylvia Petro & Advisors, a Dream Vacations travel agency that specializes in wellness, luxury, solo, and group travel. Coming from a twenty-year-long fitness and wellness background, Sylvia Petro & Advisors puts thoughtful wellness, solo, group, and luxury travel at the forefront of offerings. All four categories offer the option to renew, relax, regroup, and/or reenergize–by yourself, as a couple, or with friends and family. Leave the planning and booking to Sylvia Petro & Advisors, so you can fully immerse yourself in rejuvenation, relaxation, and adventure. Contact Sylvia Petro & Advisors to design your ideal getaway–on land, at sea, or both!
Master Your Core book review Book Review: Master Your Core - What exactly is “the core” and how should we strengthen it? These questions often cross the minds of the millions of people worldwide pursuing a fitter body. In Master Your Core, these questions are answered by award-winning Doctor of Physical Therapy and board-certified orthopedic specialist, Dr. Zazulak of Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale University. Much more than being a book of prescribed exercises, like most popular material about core strength, Master Your Core provides comprehensive, yet concise information about the core. Through each chapter, Dr. Zazulak explains how the core affects our movement and body function from our heads to our toes, and how activities like breathing, jumping, and balancing influence core mastery. With three decades of experience as a clinical physical therapist specializing in the study of sports injuries and gender disparities, and as a former competitive athlete, Dr. Zazulak not only expresses her academic and athletic experience, but she also provides science-based data to guide readers to understand the mechanics of the core. Why We All Should Master Our Cores “[L]ack of core stability is directly linked to injury,” Dr. Zazulak, Master Your Core A flat stomach or a six-pack are often the motive for gym-goers to hit the mat and attempt to strengthen their cores. But as readers will learn in Master Your Core, that focus, apart from being a shallow and incomplete way of developing core strength, can lead to injury. This is because, as Dr. Zazulak explains, popular exercises to achieve a flat stomach or a six-pack, such as crunches, are aesthetically focused and inadequate for all-around core development. Further, this incomprehensive approach in these short-sighted programs can lead to injury, as they often neglect to address core stability and awareness. Dr. Zazulak supports this information by detailing clinical studies she has conducted, along with providing professional and personal anecdotes. Gender Differences A feature that makes this book about the core different than others is Dr. Zazulak’s research in differences between the female and male core. Unlike popular narratives about the core that simplify core development down to exercises to get visible abs, Dr. Zazulak goes deeper, and notes things women and men can do to ensure greater core development and injury prevention. Natural Movement “Developmentally, all movement starts at our core. Central inner-core muscle pre-activation creates a stable foundation for distal movement of the arms and legs,” Dr. Zazulak, Master Your Core Core development starts from birth and the mission to have a robust core for athletic performance starts then as well. Dr. Zazulak refers to this as “natural core development,” the way the human body has evolved to move, stabilize, and operate in various environments and under different pressures. However, she explains if you have missed out on healthy core awareness and development in your childhood, it is never too late to improve. Master Your Core provides a Core BASE Guide (detailed further) to help readers begin their journey of improving their core strength, stability, awareness, and ability. Modern Sports Science “You’ll learn more about how you can positively influence your genes with simple strategies and healthy lifestyle choices later in the book,” Dr. Zazulak, Master Your Core “Your genetics is not your destiny.” This new phrase, originated by George M. Church, is rooted in modern science, and Dr. Zazulak brings this modern science to readers. In addition to citations about genetic testing and injury differences between genders and across modern sports science, Dr. Zazulak writes that, despite our genetics, we all can work to make our core do more through her book’s holistic approach, involving mind, body, and spirit. The Pelvic Floor Another area of the core that is often neglected by popular training programs is the pelvic floor. Dr. Zazulak explains that the pelvic floor is composed of stabilizer muscles that reside deep in our core. The pelvic floor muscles provide sustained support and control of our spinal vertebrae while the body is at rest or in motion. Healthy function of these muscles becomes more important as we age, but also at any age, with regard to athletic function. Dr. Zazulak offers readers ways to assess and develop awareness of their pelvic floor function and strengthen it via her Core BASE Guide. Core BASE Guide If you have spent any time on a fitness goal, you have likely heard about “the core” and seen or been offered ways to strengthen it. Generally, this “strengthening” focuses on the anterior plane of the body and is centered on the frontal abs with movements that involve rounding the back and tightening the abdominals repetitively. But as Dr. Zazulak explains in Master Your Core, the core encases our midsection and lower back 360 degrees and is composed of thirty-five muscles. This encasing includes anterior muscles: abdominals; posterior muscles: the back and glutes; and the pelvis. Therefore, considering all the muscle groups that compose the core, strengthening it is not as simple as targeting just one area of it: our mirror muscles, the center abdominals. Master Your Core’s Core BASE Guide provides a library of progressive movements for readers to test and develop their core for true strength; meaning, not just developing force, but also balance, stability, and awareness. Rating – 5 Stars LLAFIT gives Master Your Core five stars. As a website with a focus on lifelong functional fitness and athletic ability, Master Your Core stands on its own as a complete guide to understanding and developing the strength, awareness, and function of the core. LLAFIT also appreciates the evidence-based science shared with readers. As a Yale Doctor of Physical Therapy and Researcher, a practicing clinical physical therapist, and an orthopedic specialist, Dr. Zazulak is at the forefront of the latest findings and advances in sports science. She delivers her expert knowledge through accessible language, relatable stories, and easy-to-understand citations from her research. Master Your Core is not only a guide for developing current athletic performance and function, but it is also a resource for those pursuing lifelong fitness and health – mind, body, and spirit. Get Your Copy of Master Your Core Get the Audiobook
The Woodlands Resort Best Med Spas & Resorts in Texas - Below is a compilation of the best med spas and resorts in Texas, as rated by our website and As a woman who is suddenly pushing 40 (I swear it sneaked up on me!), I’ve learned that some body maintenance needs cannot be met by any amount of gym time. Collagen depletion and lower growth hormone levels that we all experience as we age, leave their mark on our faces and bodies. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m disappointed that I’ve been unable to escape dimpling on my legs after practicing muscle-building and lean body mass maintenance since before turning eighteen. Some effects of aging are just inescapable and our genetics play a big roll, which no amount of exercise can overcome. But, thankfully, we live in a time when we can still do something about cellulite formation, fine lines, and other signs of aging, if you choose to. Modern technology, the type found at med spas and high-end resorts, has given us procedures that can literally break apart and tighten dimples, erase fine lines, and create near-flawless skin. I had my first facial at 34 (I know, I’m late to the game). I was skeptical about what a topical treatment could really do. I’ve always been of the belief that you must change the body from within via sound nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management. But, after that initial treatment, I was proven to be very wrong. Some epidermal treatments can significantly improve skin quality. Following that initial facial, I’ve experimented with other skin treatments, and I can’t imagine not taking advantage of them. They are now part of my long-term body maintenance regime — which I call meeting my standards — a non-negotiable. But, since this website is about lifelong health and fitness that is affordable and sustainable, I must first mention that some face and body treatments are expensive and out of reach for those concerned about affordability, but some procedures can be undertaken in a pay-as-you go fashion while giving you the same results. One such procedure is Endymed, a laser technology that reduces fine lines and scars, which I tried last year and would recommend to anyone. San Antonio, TX – Med Spas – Recommended by LLAFIT Anyone who knows me personally, knows I go straight to the top for anything I want. I won’t go to a spa in a strip mall for any procedure when I can go to the office of a board-certified surgeon instead. Below are the top two spas I have personally received services at and would recommend to anyone for lunchtime/daytime treatments. Connie Hiers Plastic Surgery & Med Spa Get the personal treatment. When you book an appointment at Dr. Hiers office, your time slot is dedicated to you. I’ve never experienced delays in service or been met with a crowd of clients waiting for treatment. This is the primary reason I rate Dr. Hiers’ office above others on the LLAFIT list — that’s in addition to the results I’ve received from treatment. Services offered: Dermalinfusion Platinum Facial Purifying Facial/Deep Cleaning Facial Back Facial Dermaplaning Facial Chemical Peel Hydra Radiance Peel Micro Peel SecretRF Radiofrequency Microneedling Ultra Peel ‌Skinpen Microneedling w/Sculptra Non-Invasive Blepharoplasty And more Dr. Ayala Dr. Ayala is one of San Antonio’s top-rated plastic surgeons. It was at his med spa in 2020, that I had my second facial, which was much more than a standard facial, it was Endymed laser treatment. One of Ayala’s spa technicians gave me an evaluation of my concerns: a scar from a homemade brow piercing, and she advised Endymed. That treatment did far more than I expected, and I swear my face looks better than it ever did when I was younger. It’s a little change that I can’t put my finger on, but one that changed it for the better in my opinion. After this treatment, I’ve scheduled future treatments on my yearly calendar. I just can’t do without. Services offered: CoolSculpting® Laser Hair Removal Chemical Peels Dermaplaning and Vibradermabrasion Laser Skin Resurfacing IPL Therapy Erbium Laser Resurfacing Vein Removal Skin Tightening ZWave® Thread Lift BOTOX® JUVÉDERM® JUVÉDERM VOLUMA XC® PRP Facial Rejuvenation Lip Injections And more Resort Spas Across Texas – Trip Advisor’s Top 21 Resort Spas #1 – Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center 5,091 reviews on Trip Advisor #1 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #2 –Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa 179 reviews on Trip Advisor #2 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #3 – The Woodlands Resort 2,478 reviews on Trip Advisor #3 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #4 –Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine 748 reviews on Trip Advisor #4 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #5 – Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe/ Houston 118 reviews on Trip Advisor #5 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #6 – La Cantera Resort & Spa 5,705 reviews on Trip Advisor #6 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #7 –Hotel Galvez & Spa 5,236 reviews on Trip Advisor #7 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #8 – Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa 3,817 reviews on Trip Advisor #8 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #9 – Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort 789 reviews on Trip Advisor #9 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website   #10 – Lajitas Golf Resort 993 reviews on Trip Advisor #10 Best Value of 21 Spa Resorts in Texas Visit hotel website See full list on See the full list of top 20 Texas spa resorts on Do you have a favorite med spa or spa resort? 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Best workout music for 2021 Best Workout Songs of 2021 – Spotify vs Apple Music! - This website earns commissions for sharing valuable, relevant content with visitors when qualifying purchases are made from posted ads. We are now six months into 2021, and these are the top 100+ workout motivation songs of the year, according to Spotify and Apple Music. Which list do you like most?   Spotify Below is the top 10 of Spotify’s list of 109 best workout motivation songs of 2021. #1: Goosebumps – HVME #2: The Business – Tiesto #3: BED – Joel Corry, RAYE, David… #4: Youngblood – STRANGE ROVER #5: Bring The Noise – ALRT #6: Your Love(9PM) – ATB, Topics, A78 #7: On the Run – Jules Brand, Namelle #8: Not Enough – Subshock & Evangelos #9: Friday (feat. Mufasa…) – Riton, Nightcrawlers, Mu… #10: I’m Sorry – Crusy, Harttins See the full list on Spotify. Apple Music Below is the top 10 of Apple Music’s list of 40 best workout motivation songs of 2021. This list offers two hours and seven minutes of gym pump. #1: Blinding Lights – The Weeknd #2: Rain On Me – Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande #3: Breaking Me – Topic & A7S #4: Before You Go (Edessa Remix) – Lewis Capaldi #5: Circles – Post Malone #6: Diamonds (Joel Corry Remix) – Sam Smith #7: Paradise (feat. Dermot Kennedy) – Meduza #8: Don’t Need Love – 220 KID & GRACEY #9: Boyfriend (Tiesto Remix) – Mabel #10: Get Out My Head – Shane Codd See the full list on Apple Music.   Also check out Amazon Music’s many workout playlists.
Lyndon Hepner Interview Transcript – Weight Loss at Any Age: Interview w/ Lyndon Hepner - Powered by RedCircle LLAFIT 0:00 Hi, listeners, I’m on the line with Lyndon Hepner, a 6A high school football coach in Oklahoma, a history teacher, and someone who represents that it’s never too late to reach a fitness goal and change your relationship with food and exercise. You can follow Lyndon on Instagram @lynhepner, l-y-n-h-e-p-n-e-r. So, Lyndon, was there a specific event that triggered your lifestyle change? Lyndon 0:30 It was more a culmination of just, like, okay, good daily things, you know, like, clothes that wouldn’t fit, you know, you know, and like, go to the doctor and they’d say, pre-diabetes, and [I] never failed, go to a restaurant and, you know, had to eat at a table because couldn’t fit in the booth; stuff like that. LLAFIT 0:51 Was there a year that you started, or have you worked out on and off throughout your life, and then you just kind of took off on a specific year, or? Lyndon 1:00 Well, I can’t really pinpoint to a year. I coach, and that takes up a lot of time, you know, you can’t work out and watch your workout. And when, you know, 5:30, 6 o’clock in the evening that I would come home because you know, I had my kids. And so, and I’m not I’m not blaming anybody or, or the situation, it’s just that I did not take the time for myself. And that’s when there’s kind of a steady, but slow descent, you know, the scale started going up, and the clothes started getting tighter, and then got replaced and stuff like that. So I can’t really point to a time. But 2016 is when I started going back to the gym, but it was, you know, what I was used to and what I was comfortable with. So it took a couple of years to finally, you know, admit that, okay, you don’t know everything, you’re gonna have to change. And so 2018 is kind of when I point to when it you know, it took off. Something that I know is corny, but I believe this: fear stands between you and your goals. And the fear of losing one I wanted in the moment was greater than what I wanted most. And so I’d face up to that and overcome that fear. And now I apply that all the time. Like, are you serious? Are you really going to do 1000 reps a day? Won’t that hurt? Or should you be afraid of that? No, just power through it. That’s kind of underlying or overriding attitude that I have to remind myself to do, but it tends to work. LLAFIT 2:28 And that was part of the spark? Or is that what keeps you going? Lyndon 2:31 I think that’s more keeping me going? You know, because I’m always looking for, you know, I mean, I’m on Instagram, and I’m seeing yours, and I’m seeing others, and I’m getting ideas, and I’m stealing stuff. Good coaches are the biggest thieves ever, you know, will act like is ours. So just a combination of, you know, years of this, and trying to put it together, find out what works and what doesn’t. LLAFIT 2:53 Yeah, because maintaining fitness isn’t about one specific goal. After a while there, there will be a series of things and sometimes you can’t just pinpoint one answer. Lyndon 3:05 Exactly. LLAFIT 3:06 Have you found that to be true. Lyndon 3:07 Exactly. I mean, it kind of changes, you know, and just when you think, you know, people, you know, my brother said, Well, what what, you know, what are you aiming for? What is your goal and go, you know, I’m never satisfied. And I don’t like to sound, you know, like anything wrong, but like you said it’s ever changing. And then once you reach a milestone or a point, well then now that’s in the rearview mirror. Let’s go for something else. LLAFIT 3:32 Exactly. And then your new starting point is better than your previous starting point. So you’re just building on top of what you’ve already accomplished. Lyndon 3:40 Exactly. LLAFIT 3:42 So you’re a history teacher and a football coach. So have you always done both together? Or what do you focus on more prominently of the two? Lyndon 3:53 Well, I was raised on a ranch in northwestern Oklahoma. And it wasn’t for me, my dad said boy, you ought to go to college. And I did, and, so, I left the far… left the ranch and I became a teacher; I wanted to coach and the only way you can coach to get into high school coaching is that you got to teach, right. And I just, I love that. I am hired to be a teacher. Okay. And extra duty pay is coaching. Now what takes up more? The coaching part, but I love the the l love, you know, history. And so I’ve done both to answer your question. I’ve done both except for one season that I spent in Austria coaching American football there. All the other years of in combination history teacher and coach. LLAFIT 4:38 Okay, so that’s interesting. So you coached in Austria, how did that come about? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lyn Hepner (@lynhepner) Lyndon 4:45 Well, my son who had coached at southeastern Oklahoma State University as a grad assistant–we were at my daughter’s pa graduation like a meal before–she she’s a PA–and like the meal before we’re going to go to graduation, he just happened to mentioned that one of his former players wanted him to come to Germany and coach. And I said… they have football in Europe? And, so I get on a website and some Skype meetings and some emails and I’m going on to Vienna to coach American football in the spring of 2011. And, so that’s kind of how it happened once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I loved it. You know, I’d like to go back sometime. That’s kind of how it happened. LLAFIT 5:28 That’s, that’s really cool. So how in demand is American football coaching and how popular is American football in Austria? Lyndon 5:38 They have teams from Sweden to Italy. It’s–always, you know, this is not a slam or anything, but I always say, you know, football in Europe is treated kinda like soccer was in America about 20 years ago. Whereas, like, what is this… and maybe 30? You know, it depends on the area, you know, saying, but its popularity. You know, it’s it’s edged out by soccer. Most of our football games are actually played on soccer fields that had to be remarked for football. So the popularity isn’t just overwhelming. It has pockets, but great opportunity. And he was really fun. LLAFIT 6:15 Yeah, that sounds awesome. And so in our previous conversation prior to this interview, you mentioned being a 6A football coach, can you explain that to me? Sorry, I don’t follow football. Lyndon 6:27 That’s fine. Okay. There’s like 130 some high schools that play football in Oklahoma and forgive me if I don’t have that number, correct; I should know. But what they do is the biggest average daily membership schools, there’s you know, they take the top 32 largest, as far as population, schools and that’s 6A, and then they move down the next 32 or 5A and you see it just goes down like that. Now, some classes are bigger because you know, there’s just you know, they don’t have they can just put 30 on everyone. And it even goes down. There are two classes of eight-man football, you know, regular football is 11 man. And there are two classes of eight-man football. So 6A is the biggest schools, that play Oklahoma. Okay. I’ve been a Mustang High School the last couple of years. It’s an awesome school: awesome administrators, teacher, students. We got a great football program. Coach Blankenship is our head coach. So, I gotta throw in the Go Broncos! All right. LLAFIT 7:30 So were you a football player in your youth at all? Or what specifically led you to that? And does any of your training somewhat mirror football strength training or any aspects of that type of training? Lyndon 7:44 Well, I was like I said, I was raised on a ranch and I was riding horses, all my youth and then started watching football, like maybe 8, 10, 12 years old, and went out for football at Freedom High School in Freedom Oklahoma. And, so, played their eight man football. It was a small school, so we did everything played basketball, ran track, and then had an opportunity to go play football in D2 college, Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, and then transferred to Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Alva and played college there. And so that was that’s kind of been my, my sports background as far as training, you know, strength training. It’s, it’s essential in football. Now, it wasn’t when I was growing up in high school and almost in college. But now strength training is paramount in, in football and every sport–I will say that–every sport, basketball, I don’t care, baseball, strength training, conditioning is something that you cannot do without… and, you know, be successful, in my opinion. LLAFIT 8:54 You develop power… Lyndon 8:57 Power, flexibility. explosiveness… LLAFIT 9:00 Yeah. Lyndon 9:01 Injury Prevention. I mean, just… LLAFIT 9:03 Yeah. Lyndon 9:04 The list goes on. And you overcome obstacles, you know, saying. You’re not going to lift as much as you want every day. And, so that failure provides feedback, and dedication, you know, dedication and perseverance. All of those things become important, you know, in the development of athlete. So do you work out alone? Or do you have a trading partner partners? Well, I kind of, I mean, most of the time, I’m alone at the gym. I mean, but I’m at a gym. And so, you know, I ran into a guy that we trained sometimes His name’s Kevin stamper. We train a lot together. But I have a training partner. That’s also my best friend, Susan, my wife of 41 years. Lately, we’ve been training together as much as possible. So that’s really cool. LLAFIT 9:55 Yeah, that’d be awesome. To have a more permanent training partner. Lyndon 10:01 Right? LLAFIT 10:01 Such as your spouse Lyndon 10:02 Right. LLAFIT 10:02 So do you both share the same training style or… Lyndon 10:06 You know, she started out–she had knee replacement surgery–she had gone to the gym with before, but then, you know, work and everything had kind of kept her out of it. So she was motivated to get that knee back in, you know, in a workable functional situation. And so she was going to the gym to do that. And then it wasn’t long before she started adding, like upper body stuff. And now she’s got a broke down to where she does pushing one day pulling one day muscles, and then legs one day along with our stretch. And sometimes I’m going are you guys not done? Are you not done yet? Can we go? So she’s, she’s, you know, once she decides to do something, stand back because it’s going to get done. LLAFIT 10:49 So, one thing and that too–with some people who aren’t familiar with exercising regularly–they don’t understand what the draw is. And so once you actually get started, then you start adding goals, and it kind of had has a way of growing on you. Lyndon 11:03 Exactly, exactly. It can be anything you know, and what I suggested this may be off track a little bit. But so you remember those goals, it’s not a thing where it’s vanity, but take a picture, you know, take a picture at your worst–because I...
Natty or Not Greg Doucette Youtube video True Health & Fitness over Aesthetics - There’s such an emphasis on looking good in today’s fitness industry. I won’t deny that I care about looking good, but during my 19 years of dedication to lifelong fitness, the desire to feel good has always been my most reliable motivator. For many of us, reaching an aesthetic ideal can be frustrating and might never happen. By year eight of my once-aesthetics-focused regime, I reached this conclusion with disappointment. I had to contend with things out of my control, like my torso being an inch or two too short; my body naturally storing fat below my butt rather than on my butt, which forced me to keep my body fat low to minimize my pear shape; then, there are my calf muscles, which are much too high. Oh, how I wish I had a longer medial head and gastrocnemius! Describing this sounds ridiculous reading back, but I once obsessed over those features of my body. Fortunately, the act of exercising and healthful eating grew on me during that eight-year period, and I decided to press on, but with new goals: skill development and functionality. I had to set realistic goals for my physical makeup. Some aesthetic goals are out of the realm of our genetics, some athletic goals are too. We don’t all have the makeup of an Olympic athlete, despite what supplement companies will tell you. Although I’ve been rewarded for athletic performance and obtained a fitness modeling contract, there are tiers of greatness. That’s life. After sobering up to this reality, I began to value my hard-earned abilities over my image in the mirror, my strengths over my muscle size, and a healthy heart over having the best legs. I also learned to appreciate my natural gifts. Instead of focusing on things I cannot have, I began embracing what I do have. Instead of focusing on an image that wasn’t attainable for me, I began pushing my limits where growth was possible, such as addressing athletic imbalances developed during my long dedication to aesthetic training. While some might believe I created an elite physique (pictured above), there was always another level, as stated above. I faced criticism over small areas of my body, such as my rear delts (critic: “They’re kinda flat.”), or the depth of the grooves in my abs (critic: “flex harder, blow your air out!”), or my natural pattern of storing body fat (critic: “I mean, your butt is developed, but it’s shaped weird.” – me: “It’s because how my body stores fat. Wanna pay for my fat transfer surgery!?”). None of these things about me were good enough for some people. Although my body was much stronger than it had ever been at the time, those people and others who focus on aesthetics, overlooked my hard-earned skill and ability—my journey—and focused on areas of my body that are just not quite perfect compared to other people’s. Imperfections are what make your body uniquely your body. Some people take injections to pump up these areas. I have not. Some people take steroids for that extra bit of muscle growth. I have not. My goal is lifelong fitness, not to have health issues down the line because I was obsessed with perfection and the appearance of fitness. All this is to point out a major fault in the current fitness industry, more correctly, the “health” and “fitness” industry. There’s a pervasive, lopsided focus on physical appearance over actual athletic ability and physiological health. On a shoot I participated in during my stint as a fitness model, a girl who literally cried in pain while doing basic push-ups got a long-term contract with the company hosting the shoot. Meanwhile, more physically conditioned women, but less of the Western ideal of attractiveness, were overlooked. This is common in an industry that focuses on aesthetics and marketability first and foremost. Not to single out Michael B. Jordan (see “Sources & Further Reading” below), but as someone who once surrounded herself around bodybuilders and focused on aesthetics, I know Kinesiologist Greg Doucette speaks the truth about the reality of the aesthetics “fitness” world. As someone with almost 20 years of dedication to lifelong fitness—reaching goals through self-study as a single mom and on welfare some of that time—I learned to value and respect people who go after goals no matter the obstacles; people who, while disappointed with their physical limits, still refrain from taking anabolic substances that would give them an extra edge; and people who are dedicated to true health and fitness. I encourage anyone reading this to prioritize actual health as well as physical mastery when seeking fitness or nutrition information. Look for programs that have the goal of longevity built in. Oftentimes, those are the cheapest options available. Lastly, question “the shiny objects”—those celebrities and fitness models you see on TV and on the internet. Do they, unlike you, have resources available to them that make attaining their physiques easier and more attainable? What is the incentive for them to reach that level of fitness, and does that incentive drive them to take unhealthy routes to get there? In the end, the cheaters and those just scraping by burn out or fade away. Those with a lifelong vision and the sense to learn how to achieve it, are the real winners. Sources & Further Reading “Black Panther and Creed Star - Michael B. Jordan - Amazing Transformation WAS HE NATURAL ?” "Hip Dips Surgery: Procedure, Side Effects, Costs - Healthline." 24 Feb. 2020, "Hollywood's dirty diet secrets - NY Daily News - New York ...." 23 Mar. 2008, “Tom Hardy’s Steroid Cycle - Was He Natural In ‘Warrior’ Or As Bane?”


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