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.
I Tried SpoiledChild’s Rapid Recovery Hair Mask - This website earns commissions from qualifying purchases from posted ads. This post is not a paid advertisement for any SpoiledChild products. I fell for SpoiledChild’s Instagram ads and ordered the S24 Rapid Recovery Hair Mask. Week after week my Reels feed showed me ads of customers dipping combs into a thick, pale, creamy hair mask, until the sight of what looked like creamy goodness wore me down and I finally clicked the “Learn More” link. I have been on a hair growth journey since December 2017. The fact that I remember the month I began that journey reveals just how frustrating reaching my hair growth goal has been. In this six-year period, I tried all the mainstream products and some specialty products for natural, ethnic 4C hair (like mine). My hair hasn’t grown much, but it has strengthened, and my true pattern has finally revealed itself—after years of perms, hot iron straightening, and resisting the often-recommended big chop. My Current Hair Regimen (w/o SpoiledChild) Butter (yes, butter) – Danish Creamery Unsalted Frequency of use: 1-2x/month Application: I apply melted unsalted butter to my hair and leave it in for up to three days before washing it out. Chebeauty Chebe Hair Butter and NaturAll Sea Moss & Chebe 8.5 Oz Curl Refresher Spray for Curly Hair, Coils and Waves Frequency of use: Daily Application: I apply Chebe butter to my hair whenever I feel it is needed to add shine, shape, and relax my curls. Shiny Leaf Cold-Pressed Castor Oil Shampoo & Conditioner Frequency of use: Every two weeks or as needed with my exercise routine, which can make shampooing more necessary. Application: This product gives me the same effect as washing my hair in highly filtered water. Design Essentials Natural Coconut & Monoi Curl Defining Gelee Frequency of use: As needed Application: I’ve fallen out of using this wonderful product regularly after noticing Chebe butter products do more for my hair than this product. The above routine is finally offering me regular growth, defined curls, and comfort and confidence with my hair every single day. So, given that, I had no reason to try SpoiledChild’s Rapid Recovery Hair Mask—but as stated above, the Instagram ads got me. Still, even though I fell for the ads, I was also skeptical of the product’s effectiveness compared to the products that took me years to find and make part of my regime. My Thoughts on SpoiledChild’s Rapid Recovery Hair Mask I took the SpoiledChild welcome quiz and was recommended the S24 hair mask. I applied it post-gym to my hair and left it in for about 6 minutes (I didn’t have the 10 minutes recommended in the instructions). After rinsing out the majority of the product, I put my hair up in a bun and went about my day, and left the hair mask jar with my son to try for himself. The Results My son’s hair was noticeably looser and more defined after one use. 😍 After seeing his hair, I undid my bun and fanned out my hair. The texture was so much softer than it has ever been. My curls were defined and shiny. Even with my satisfaction with my current routine, I’ve never seen my hair look that pretty—actually “pretty.” Needless to say, I signed up for the S24 hair mask auto-subscription, and I can’t wait to see where my hair goes from here. Recommendation Give SpoiledChild a try. Even though Instagram can be full of fly-by-night companies and gimmicks, SpoiledChild does not appear to fall into that category. Improving 4C hair like mine is not easy, especially with one application of a product. But SpoiledChild’s Rapid Recovery Hair Mask accomplished that with flying colors.
Eat Well in 2024 - Eat Well in 2024! Sustainable practices are the goal at LLAFIT. If you didn’t reach your nutrition goals in 2023, it is not too late. You can start again today—in fact, you can start again with your next meal, no matter how many times you fall off track. When it comes to sustainable eating choices to stay lean and healthy for life, follow the core principles below as a foundational guideline. 🥗 Organic Prioritization: Opt for organic produce to minimize exposure to pesticides and synthetic chemicals, promoting long-term health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. 🌈 Colorful Veggie Palette: Incorporate a diverse range of colorful vegetables, each offering unique phytonutrients, antioxidants, and essential vitamins crucial for optimal cellular function. 🌾 Whole Grains Wisdom: Choose whole grains over refined counterparts to ensure a sustained release of energy, stabilize blood sugar levels, and support digestive health throughout your life. 🥑 Healthy Fats Harmony: Embrace sources of healthy fats, such as avocados and nuts, to nourish your brain, maintain cardiovascular health, and aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins over the years. 🌱 Protein Prowess: Whether plant-based or lean meats, prioritize proteins to support muscle health, immune function, and cellular repair for a resilient body across the stages of life. 🍽️ Portion Precision: Practice mindful portion control to maintain a healthy weight, optimize nutrient absorption, and prevent overeating-related health issues. 💧 Hydration Habits: Stay adequately hydrated with water and herbal teas to support bodily functions, optimize cognitive performance, and maintain skin elasticity over the course of your life. 🍽️ Mindful Eating Mastery: Cultivate the habit of slow, mindful eating, fostering a deeper connection with your food, enhanced digestion, and an overall sense of satisfaction. #nutrition #fitness #womenshealth #lifelongfitness #lifelongnutrition #EatWell2024 #SustainableEating #NutritionGoals #LLAFIT #HealthyChoices #StartAgainToday #WellnessJourney #HealthyForLife #CorePrinciples #BalancedDiet #LifelongHealth #NutritionGuidelines #fitforlife #fitmom
PODCAST TRANSCRIPT: Family Narcissism Unmasked w/ Lisa A. Romano - NOTE: below is a generated transcript from Season 2, Episode 5 of the Lifelong Health and Fitness Conversations podcast. Episode title: "Family Narcissism Unmasked w/ Lisa A. Romano" Lifelong Health and Fitness Conversations podcast features mental health expert Lisa Romano Sylvia Petro: Thank you for tuning into the mental health segment of the Lifelong Health and Fitness Conversations podcast. In this episode, I speak with Lisa A. Romano, a globally recognized life coach who specializes in assisting wounded adult children to overcome the childhood emotional trauma that keeps them stuck by repeating negative self-sabotaging patterns in their lives. Lisa is best known for her remarkable work in the area of adult children of alcoholic issues, codependency, and narcissistic abuse recovery. Lisa is also one of the most-listened-to meditation teachers on Insight Timer, and her YouTube channel has over 640,000 subscribers. Her podcast Breakdown to Breakthrough ranks in the Top 100 Podcasts on mental wellness. You can learn more about Lisa’s online courses and her seven bestselling books by visiting lisaaromano.com. And for Lisa’s full bio and links to connect with her, please see the podcast description. Now, on to our conversation. Lisa Romano is a life coach specializing in narcissistic familial relationships Sylvia Petro: So, first, Lisa, I’d like to thank you for joining me on this episode. Lisa A. Romano: Sure. Thank you so much for inviting me. Sylvia Petro: And would you like me to call you Miss Romano or Lisa? Lisa A. Romano: Oh, please, call me Lisa. Sylvia Petro: Okay. Well, I look forward to speaking about an important topic today, which is narcissistic familial relationships but first, what led you to become a life coach? Lisa A. Romano: My life path. When my life imploded and I didn’t know where to turn, life was just getting really crazy. I couldn’t go to my family. I began to realize they really couldn’t help me. They didn’t have the tools or the life skills to help me. And I went to a psychologist as a last resort, which was seen as, a no-no in my family because it meant you were weak. But I had three little kids to take care of, and I decided to go anyway, despite what they thought about it, and he diagnosed me with codependency. And as I stuck with understanding codependency. And understood my play in it, how I was contributing to the toxic dynamics in my life, I eventually learned about narcissism and began to see the many layers of narcissism in my own family. And that’s when, as crazy as it was, things started to make sense, so I decided to teach people what I was learning about codependency, because I wasn’t getting what I wanted from meetings. They’re not for everybody. I wasn’t getting what I wanted. Even sometimes out of therapy. I was getting information, but I wasn’t getting the life skills. And so, as I taught myself how to heal from codependency, that’s when I decided that I would like to do this professionally and help other people learn what helped save my life. You were born into a codependent family Sylvia Petro: Where did you develop your codependency? Lisa A. Romano: I was born into a codependent family. So, both my parents are adult children of alcoholics. Sylvia Petro: Yeah. Lisa A. Romano: My mom was highly codependent. My dad was highly narcissistic, although my mom had narcissistic traits as well, I would call her more of a codependent, and she was very heavily invested in my father’s emotions, and that was her priority, was keeping him calm, keeping him happy, and seeking his approval. It was really something to grow up watching how my mother absolutely just adored my dad, and not in a healthy way, because she was stuffing her emotions. She was sacrificing herself just to make him happy. And so, observing that as a little girl, and then also reeling from verbal abuse and emotional abuse and neglect, and learning that in order to have any sense of attachment to my mother whatsoever, I couldn’t have a self, I couldn’t have needs. I had to be completely focused on her. Which, as I gained objectivity, I began to realize that how my mother had mirrored her love for my father was, essentially, how I learned to love her, just to sacrifice myself. And that led to being a codependent teenager and being obsessed with boys, and then getting engaged at 21 and just following the pattern and thinking that if. I just love somebody, everything’s going to be great, and if they have a need, I’ll just jump in and fix it. And then after eleven or twelve years of that type of sacrificing and stuffing your emotions, I just imploded. I was near death. I developed asthma, migraine headaches. And it was during a severe asthma attack, and I didn’t even know how sick I was. Which is comma for trauma. It’s common for trauma survivors because you’re so used to neglecting yourself. That allergist said to me that if I fell asleep, I’d die. He said, if you fall asleep right now, you’re not waking up. You better listen to your body, because your body is listening to you. And it was a profound moment because it was the first time someone said look within, look within. Because I had been taught to look outside of me. Sylvia Petro: So, you did mention that your mother wasn’t as narcissistic as your father. but if you had to mold yourself to gain acceptance from her, that’s displaying some narcissistic traits. Correct? Lisa A. Romano: Correct. However, I think I just want to clarify that codependency and narcissism, there can be overlap. Sylvia Petro: Okay. Lisa A. Romano: So you could love someone who is highly codependent and is self-sacrificing, and they expect you to behave a certain way because they’re doing so much for you. Sylvia Petro: Yeah. Lisa A. Romano: So there definitely was some overlap with my mom. And this was not something that she showed anybody else. This was, doors were closed. I was her target. Absolutely. Narcissists feel entitled to exploit people emotionally, and they lack empathy Sylvia Petro: Okay, so regarding, the topic of this episode, narcissistic familial relationships, in one of your videos, you said, people might worry that they can be labeled narcissist. And I think especially nowadays, we’re inundated with videos about narcissism. And also when someone is in a situation where they’re under attack by multiple people, like, if they’re triangulated by the narcissist, they might be accused of being a narcissist because they started fighting for their lives. So what can you define as hallmarks of a narcissist? Lisa A. Romano: Well, narcissists are grandiose. They feel entitled to exploit people emotionally, and they lack empathy. And these are pervasive patterns. This isn’t your best friend has a bad day because her dog died or her boyfriend broke up with her, these are pervasive patterns of entitlement exploitation; a lack of empathy; the need to be right; the consistent lack of accountability; getting angry at you because you got angry at them for violating a boundary. And, again, these are consistent–crazy-making conversations; circular conversations to avoid accountability; triangulation; hedging their bets; making sure that in case you ever leave them, people think that you’re the crazy one; creating flying monkeys; and it’s all happening and you don’t even know what’s happening. Sylvia Petro: Right. Lisa A. Romano: You might be having, let’s say it’s–a sister who you think is highly narcissistic for whatever reason, and you’re having an argument with her, or you’re in a spat with her, and you’re just like, it’s in you, right? Like, you’re just like, “wow, I can’t believe this is going on between me and Mary, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” But you don’t know that Mary is going out of her way to talk to your boyfriend or talk to your mom, and she really is hedging her bets to get out ahead of the conversation. So, in case you open your mouth you already look like the one that is crazy, and, she comes off like the concerned sibling. Sylvia Petro: Yeah. And this is very much true. I noticed–I don’t want to speak on my issue too much; it’s mainly for listeners, but in a personal issue, where it really could be years of setting someone up as a certain character type or categorizing someone a certain way, and it might not be just directed toward you. It could be multiple family members. when they help a certain family member, that one’s needy, and I also help this one, and I help that one. And if you let them accumulate enough events of them giving you things and you accepting those things, then when they go in for a big return on that investment in you, then they already created this image of you. That is so negative as this needy, dependent person that the damage is essentially done because you did nothing to really stop it, or you didn’t think it was really that harmful. Because while it’s a relative, they make certain slights, and we make allowances for relatives to slight us. so, yeah, it seems like this long-term investment in creating, an image. Lisa A. Romano: Yeah. And I think it stems in their image of self because they’re “superior.” So I think it’s just their nature. That, well, if I’m superior to everyone, then there has to be a minion. There has to be someone that I enable, perhaps, or there has to be someone that I can play this role out with, where I am seen as the superior one, the more intelligent one, the more capable one, the more responsible one. I think it’s just part of their nature. And you’re right, it can happen all outside your conscious awareness of it and on the surface appear to be very innocent. But you’ll see it when there’s an expected payback. That’s when you’ll see it like, whoa, where’d that come from? And you will regret ever taking anything from this person. Sylvia Petro: Yeah, that’s exactly what happens. How common is familial or parental narcissism? Sylvia Petro: So how common would you say familial or parental narcissism is? Lisa A. Romano: I think it’s fairly common. I don’t know how common it is in terms of being able to diagnose someone with NPD. To be able to diagnose someone, that person has to walk into a therapist office and say, “my life is unmanageable, and please help me figure out why.” So the numbers in terms of statistics are pretty low. But just think about it. Narcissists don’t go into therapy. You go into therapy because you’re married to a narcissist or your mother’s a narcissist, your dad’s a narcissist, or you work with the narcissist. But in terms of statistics, I can’t give you those statistics. I don’t even know if those statistics exist. But what I would say is that most I believe that undiagnosed narcissistic traits. Are probably at the core of many upsetting relationship dynamics. Lisa A. Romano: But narcissist, again, they’re not self aware, and so they’re not looking at how they might be behaving in a relationship. So trying to gain those statistics is nearly impossible. But I think it’s far more common. Than a lot of people realize. Yeah. Sylvia Petro: And, as far as narcissistic parents or family authority figures, how can they affect the family unit? And when I say that, I mean it seems to spread far and wide. Can you give some information based on your practice or personal experience on that, on the role of an authority figure in a family and how that can really sway things? Lisa A. Romano: I always tell everybody it’s like one narcissist in a bunch. They say, like,...
Top 10 Reasons to Learn 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.
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 TravelToRestore.com 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 TravelToRestore.com TravelToRestore.com 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!
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
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 TripAdvisor.com. 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 TripAdvisor.com See the full list of top 20 Texas spa resorts on Expedia.com. Do you have a favorite med spa or spa resort? Drop the name in the comment section below.