Fitness in the Caribbean

sonestaMany of the fitness professionals we work with participate in programs that allow them to offer their specialty skills throughout the Caribbean.  You can take advantage of those programs to ensure you have the perfect get-a-way.

Robin Resorts offers the perfect assistance to help you make that blend.

Robin narrows your best resort options based on #1-What wellness/fitness modality is a priority for you and #2-What country you want to visit, between Mexico, Dominican Republic and Jamaica. #3 Narrows you down to perfect resort offerings and puts you in contact with Robin to receive a price quote.

Check them out today and if you are looking for a fitness or mind/body professional to be a part of your groups get-a-way, contact us to make that business or personal retreat a perfect tropical vacation.

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Electric Muscle Stimulation Pros and Cons


The Contour Ab Belt is one of a few abdominal toning devices that use electrical pulses to tone the muscles of the abdomen. Known variously as Electric Muscle Stimulation or EMS, this technology is receiving more and more attention, which is not surprising given that the method has been utilized in rehabilitative medicine for decades. The EMS technology offered by the Contour Ab Belt has actually been cleared by the FDA, even though it technically does not require such clearance before hitting the market. Furthermore, the Contour Belt is versatile enough that it can be used on areas of the body other than the abdomen. It also comes with a diet and exercise guide and is supported by a two year warranty program.


While there are some clear advantages to the Contour Ab Belt there are also some distinct disadvantages. For one thing, the device appears to be too bulky to be worn discreetly, especially given the size of its remote controller. Thus, users might need to forget about undergoing a toning program while at work or in public. It also requires 4 AAA batteries, unlike some other belts. Plus, the device is not specifically backed by any third party clinical trials, as some other EMS devices are. With a satisfaction guarantee period of only one month, people do not have a very long a time period to make a final decision about the apparatus. Finally, the vendor does not ship outside the U.S and charges customers outside of the continental U.S. extra shipping costs.

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Classic Fragrance of Lavendar

Apis mellifera & Lavandula angustifolia in...
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The scent of lavendar has the power to recreate long lost memories for nearly everyone. It’s classic fragrance has long been used for centuries. The latin word lavendar translates “to wash” and both the Romans and Greeks used the herb.

There is some confusion with lavendar as the common form is lavandula angustifolia and is a bushy shrub with small lavender purple flowers. Lavender (cotton) which is called santolina chamecyparissus is a shrubby plant with yellow flowers.

The common form is native only to the Mediterranean region and was thought to be the herb of love. Oddly enough as the quality of aphrodisiac was thought by some, others thought to sprinkle lavendar water on a person’s head would keep them chaste.

It is thought to strengthen the stomach and free the liver and spleen from obstruction. Although today the largest percentage of blooms is used in the fragrance industry leading way to the aromatic health benefits. It not only keeps moths away but is thought to soothe the nerves.

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Keeping Fit in the Winter

As seasons change, so do our workouts.  In some parts of the country there isn’t the drastic difference in temperatures, but there is still a change.  If you are not a gym goer and don’t want to trek out into the snow and cold and like to stay comfortable in your own home, below are some new ideas to try out as the seasons change.

1)    Yoga/Pilates

Take one day a week or if you can’t find the time for that, a few times a month to center yourself.  There are all shorts of resources on yoga; check on the internet, go to the bookstore, buy a dvd, whichever your preference is.  Take some time to balance your life, do some yoga and stretching in your own home, in a quiet room. 

2)    Indoor Spinning

If you already have a stationary bike, or a workout bike then all you need to do is hop on that seat!  If you don’t already have an exercise bike, look into purchasing one, or even turning your mountain bike into one.   Simply purchase an indoor trainer for your bike, mount it on there and you are ready to begin your own spinning class at home.  A workout of 30 minutes is always a good place to start.

3)     Eliiptical/Treadmill

Running on your own elliptical or treadmill is quite simple, you can even multi-task.  While running or walking; read a book or study for a test.  If those activities don’t work for you watch some tv, or your favorite show. As you start to get in more shape run for longer, and increase the resistance or incline.   See if you can challenge yourself to watch a full hour show!

4)    Workout DVDS

If you are a busy working mom (or dad I suppose!), pick a night(s) a week to get together with a few friends.  Discuss between the few of you what kind of workout video you would be most interested in.  Go out a buy the DVD and start motivating each other to get a great workout in!  After you’ve gotten a good sweat in don’t forget to eat a healthy meal.  In the winter we tend to snack a lot more, and not eat as healthy.  Remember the key to staying in great shape is to still be eating the right foods.    

Start cooking more and finding healthy recipes.  Plus it’s more comfortable to stay home then venture out into the cold weather

5)     Circuit Training

Circuit training has become more popular in the last few years.  If you are real cramped for time and just don’t have time and energy to go to the gym, circuits are a great way to keep your body in shape.  It can help your mobility, flexibility, strength and toning of your overall muscles in as short as 5 mins.  You can pick out different circuits to do each day for however long you feel your body needs and can handle.  An average time for any given circuit is 5 to 10 minutes.  Below are some ideas for circuits.  Search online to find ones that you think will be best suited for you.

–          Ab Circuit

–          Cardio Circuit

–          Exercise Ball Circuit

–          Resistant Band Circuit

–          Various Circuits

Megan Gates is an outreach representative for Gym Source ( – a leading retailer of home gyms and various other fitness and exercise equipment.  Megan contributes written work to the blogosphere related to health and fitness.

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Yoga Class Etiquette

I remember how intimidated I felt the first time a friend of mine invited me to take a yogayoga mat class with her. It was all so mysterious to me. I was sure I would look foolish trying to twist myself into a variety of shapes and configurations.

My ego and I imagined all sorts of ridiculous scenarios. Being a rather shy personality type, I was worried I would commit a horrible faux pas and stick out like a sore thumb or offend someone. I had no idea of what to expect, what was expected of me, or what the proper etiquette was for taking a yoga class.

As I look back on all the insecurities I had, it’s a wonder I ever made it through the door to my first class. Thankfully, I did. That was many years and many yoga classes ago. Over time and several different yoga teachers, I truly fell in love with yoga and wanted to share it with everyone I could. I became a certified yoga instructor and opened my own studio, Lights of Yoga, in 2000.

Yoga is a beautiful practice unlike any other form of fitness program I have ever tried. I encourage anyone thinking about including it in their life to find a yoga class ASAP.

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Not Losing Weight

There are many benefits to exercise that go beyond the burning of calories and the loss of fat weight. While these advantages of physical activity have been hailed for many years and from many corners of society, it does not seem to resonate with most people. Again this year the overall number of U.S. overweight and obese has increased. It seems the more people try to lose weight, the more they fail to lose weight… they gain weight.

So, what is the issue?

The issue is that exercise does not fix all (at least not alone), especially in the calorie and fat loss game. It has been said that the exercise component in weight loss accounts for only 20-40% of the equation. This small percentage has to do with the calorie expenditure due to exercise, and does not address the larger percentage in a weight loss program, caloric intake, which is due toHealthy Diet Meals what we shove in our face from food and drink.

It is a fairly simple equation, but seems to be a bit too difficult for the majority of humanity to comprehend. What you put in your mouth greatly affects your ability to lose weight, whether or not exercise is involved. That one small candy bar will introduce 500 calories into your body in a matter of minutes. It will take most of you nearly an hour to lose that 500 calories via exercise.

3 Keys to Controlling Your Food Intake:

  • Take responsibility for yourself. No more blaming your time, family, job, stress, whatever. People spend more time making excuses for their eating habits than they do making a simple plan to control them. Accept the fact that you alone are in control of your dietary habits.
  • Enlist help of others #1. The help you are looking for here is primarily from those who are living with you. Going it alone is difficult and you can only control yourself. Setting out with those closest to you will assist in keeping the food selection most appropriate for your diet plan.
  • Get a plan. A couple of tough realities you will have to face at this point. 1) Very few people establish and actually follow a balanced dietary program. 2) Odds are pretty high that you, nor your friend, nor the magazine you are reading, not even your mother can truly put together that balanced dietary program that will assist you in gradually losing the excess weight that is dragging you down.

Controlling your food intake is a tough road, but it is the necessary road. Take responsibility of what you put in your mouth. Because establishing and following a plan is technical and rarely accomplished, utilize the services of a professional dietician or by purchasing home delivered meal bundles. Either of these solutions will take your thinking and will power out of the equation and the home delivery options add convenience with little added expense to your monthly food purchases. Whatever option you chose to help you down the dietary path is fine as long as you choose one, choose it soon, and have enough determination and back bone to stick with it.

Make it a Healthy Day!

Tom Bomar is a health and wellness professional, certified as a strength and conditioning specialist and member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He provides Fitness Professional business, education, and travel opportunities through FIT Launch, Inc.

You can view quality related weight loss, conditioning, and nutritional products through Healthy Gatherings website.

Tom Bomar - EzineArticles Expert Author


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Memory Function Supplements

With the increased attention over the past two decades of alzheimer’s, dementia, and reduced brain function causing diseases, anxiety levels have increased for many. The World Health Organization estimates there are 18 million people currently suffering from various forms of dementia and that number is expected to double over the next 17 years. These staggering numbers and an aging population have brought a great deal of interest in finding solutions to Memory Function / Dysfunction.
natural memory function

Dr. Andrew Weil is a leading expert in the fields of Natural Health and Natural Medicine. Of the subjects he has interviewed he finds that the majority are dealing primarily with a fear of reduced brain & memory function. ‘In my experience this fear is more of a problem than memory loss itself.’ (1) The fear and anxiety of an aging population does not mean it is all in our heads. There is still a large number of the population who will be stricken with brain function disease and intelligent attempts at prevention may be the best option for all.

There are many aspects to a healthy lifestyle such as following a balanced diet, regular exercise, and stress reducing activities. Additionally, wearing your seat belt, practicing safe sex, regular mental activity, getting plenty of rest, etc. will assist in your longevity and protect your brain function. There are some specific steps we can take that will not only better our brain function, but will also improve our over all vascular system.. anti-oxidant mix and gingko supplementation.

Your anti-oxidant supplement mix work to reduce oxidation, which will in turn reduce the number of free radicals that can potentially damage DNA. The potential damage can cause many forms of cancer and disease many of which will directly affect brain and memory function. Look for a mix or combination of supplements that contain Beta-carotene, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Selenium. Another supplement that targets the health of the brain and the memory function is.. Ginkgo or otherwise known as Ginkgo Biloba.

Ginkgo as a supplement is harvested and produced from the ginkgo tree. This supplement has been used for centuries in the Orient for complaints associated with aging. While it is fairly new to western cultures studies have shown measurable improvement in mental function in as little as 8 weeks. It is generally considered that use of this supplement for less than a 8 week period is too little for marked improvement to be realized. Studies have shown a quality Ginkgo product with 24% ginkgo flavones at 60mg per day to be a beneficial supplement.

Ginkgo appears to promote vascular efficiency (blood flow) to the brain and beyond. This not only helps the functions of memory, but also assists the bodies vascular system throughout. If improvement of memory and/or dementia related disease protection is your goal, the supplementation of Ginkgo appears to have the greatest amount of support for your health.

** Be sure to check with your physician if you are currently taking any prescription medications, are pregnant, nursing, or suffer from chronic disease before taking these or any additional supplements.

(1)Weil, Andrew. Natural Health, Natural Medicine. 1998. Houghton & Mifflin. Pg 316

Tom is a health and wellness professional, certified as a strength and conditioning specialist and member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He provides Fitness Professional business, education, and travel opportunities through FIT Launch, Inc.

Find quality Ginkgo Biloba, Anti-Oxidant, and related Herbal Remedies

You can view quality related weight loss, conditioning, and nutritional products through the Healthy Gatherings website.

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Spa Skin

The Luxury of a Spa in Your Own Home

Rhassoul clay has been used for 1400 years to ensure flawless skin. The nobility of ancient Rome and Egypt used these products to pamper themselves and keep their skin looking beautiful. Arabic countries have understood the rejuivinating effects of this purely natural gentle skin caremineral clay for generations. Today it is a favourite in luxury spas and health resorts throughout the globe because of its therapeutic properties that engender that natural glow.

The unusual name “Rhassoul” has its own little story: “Rhassoul” comes from the Arabic word “Ghassoul” which is a type of Moroccan clay or cleansing mud. “Ghassoul”, on the other hand, stems from the Arabic word “ghassale”, which basically means “to wash”.

Clinically Proven for Skin Vitality

Two different research laboratories in the United States have conducted clinical studies to evaluate Rhassoul for skin conditions. The results are staggering.

Just a single application created an improvement in skin quality

  • Reduces dryness (79%)
  • Reduces flakiness (41%)
  • Improves skin clarity (68%)
  • Improves skin elasticity / firmness (24%)
  • Improves skin texture (106%)
  • Removes surface oil and oil from the inside
  • Removes dead skin layers, resulting in a general smoothing of the surface skin

Healing Clay from the Depths of the Earth

This remarkable reddish brown clay comes from under the Atlas Mountains in Eastern Morocco. The clay deposits come from deep within the earth, which make them difficult to obtain.

This depth of the clay is also what makes the clay rich in trace minerals. It contains higher amounts of Silica, Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Potassium and Sodium than any other known clay. These minerals detoxify the skin by exchanging themselves for a variety of compounds including toxic metals and oils that create problem skin.

Silica is particularly known as the beauty mineral, and is a main ingredient in many skin, hair, and nail formulas. As we age, the supply of Silica in our bodies becomes depleted, resulting in wrinkled, dry skin, lackluster hair and brittle nails and bones. Alva’s Rhassoul range replenishes these minerals into the skin to combat ageing.

In addition, the Rhassoul clay is a smectic, meaning that it swells with the addition of water. This creates a powerfully absorbing effect so cleansing, detoxification and skin treatment is particularly thorough.

Say Goodbye to Problematic Skin

The new Alva Rhassoul Series was especially developed for problematic skin. The ingredients were specially chosen for the needs of impure, oily skin.

These high-quality products are often recommended by dermatologists and can also be used for the therapeutic treatment skin conditions. Because it removes surface oil and oil from inside and around comedones (blackheads and whiteheads, it is a superb cleanser for those prone to acne.

They contain no synthetic, surface-active agents and are therefore excellently suited for those allergic to such agents. Mineral oils or paraffin are never used in any of Alva’s products. All of the other ingredients are carefully selected from controlled organic farms or straight from Mother Nature.

There are absolutely no known side effects of Rhassoul. Even the most sensitive skin will flourish with these products. Many people’s chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis have cleared up when using this clay because it is so mild and free of pollutants.

Sheryl Walters is an experienced holistic health expert.

Her blog combines the world’s most up to date scientific research on how to stay young naturally in both mind and body with a heartfelt, personal touch. When we have the right information and take some dedicated action, we can be in charge of our health and our aging process.

Sheryl Walters - EzineArticles Expert Author
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Obesity and Emotional Challenges

Many are aware that being extremely overweight and obese increases the risk of developing serious illnesses such as heart ailments, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even some forms of cancer. Experts believe that the 76% rise in the incidence of Type II diabetes in adults aged between 30 and 40 since 1990 can be directly linked to the surge in the number of overweight and obese adults in the country. At present, there are 3 million morbidly obese, 40 million obese and about 58 million overweight people all across the US.

Aside from physical ailments, however, obesity can also affect the emotional and social health of people suffering from it. In a country where skinny, even to the point of being anorexic, is being lauded and praised, it is not surprising that individuals who are plump, fat or rotund are getting depressed, angry, resentment and tremendously shy. In fact, many documentaries showed on television have depicted how overweight and obese adults are being laughed at, mistreated and even harassed.

Here are some of the common emotional and social problems that severely overweight individuals are suffering from:

Lack Of Self-confidence

Try observing the way that individuals who are horizontally challenged walk. You will notice that many of them are not holding their heads up high. Instead, they usually walk with their heads bowed down. This gesture is an indication of lack of self-confidence.

If you were overweight ever since you were a child, there is a big chance that you have suffered ridicule, insults and even practical jokes that could really put your self-esteem down. As a result, you will feel inadequate and ugly as an adult. Thus, even if you are really beautiful inside and out, you tend to shy away from people, relationships, and social gathering.


A lot of overweight people also experience depression. The ironic part is that many depend on food to help ease or alleviate their condition. As a result, some become fatter and unhealthier because they drown their depression in boxes of chocolates, cans of alcoholic beverages, and barrels of fried chicken.

Depression is a serious emotional problem because it can lead to dangerous tendencies, such as self-infliction of pain and suicide. More often than not, weight problems cause depression because of failure in achieving weight loss, experiencing unrequited love, or inability to fit in the crowd.

Another reason behind the bouts of depression associated with obesity is the high risk of getting serious illnesses. A 40-year old person with a body mass index of over 30 is usually suffering from one or more health complications. People who are sick with dangerous diseases, such as breast cancer, diabetes, stroke and hypertension have a big tendency of becoming depressed because of the physical condition itself or the huge amount of money associated with treating the condition.

Feeling Of Helplessness

The feeling of helplessness is actually more common in people who are obese to morbidly obese. When you are extremely overweight, there are some activities that you can no longer perform, like mountain climbing. In fact, being severely fat also hinders you from performing sexual activities with your partner.

Some overweight individuals also feel helpless with regard to losing the fat. Exercising and dieting is so hard that many just give up and accept the fact that they will be fat all their lives and there is really nothing that can be done about it.

If you can identify with the emotions mentioned above, then it is high time for you to seek medical help. You need to start getting a grip on your emotions and also on your physical well being. If it is hard for you to diet or exercise, you can probably undergo surgical procedures that can help jumpstart the weight loss process. If you are not keen about going under the knife, you can always take weight-loss supplements like Phenocal which can assist in curbing appetite and boosting metabolism. But before you take any weight-loss product, be sure to consult with your physician. To know more about this supplement, just visit

Janet Martin is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine

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Skinny on Fat

Do you know the difference between sources of fat, or their affects on your body when eaten? Not all fats are created equal and it is important to comprehend what your body needs vs. doesn’t need. Fat isn’t a resident evil, rather it is a requisite of a properly balanced diet and should make up some form of your daily feedings to support your body’s physiological needs. We use fat to help synthesize vitamins, give our body insulation and cushioning, and we couldn’t survive those long exercise sessions without its rich energy supply. We need it, but how much, what kind, what is good and what is bad?

Essentially there are two kinds of fat- saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats usually appear solid at room temperature and are found in butter, coconut oil, and palm oil. A diet with large amounts of saturated fat promotes heart disease and high cholesterol. In fact, saturated fat is the most potent LDL (bad) cholesterol raising substance, while a diet comprised of unsaturated fat is more heart healthy and has shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease- all good qualities in supporting human function.

Unsaturated fats are found mostly in plant oils, nuts, seeds and fish. Whether they are monounsaturated (olive oil, canola oil, almonds, avocado) or polyunsaturated (safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, or corn oil) they are beneficial in the diet, especially when they replace saturated fat. Of special note, the omega-3 rich unsaturated fatty acids found in flaxseeds, salmon, tuna and mackerel will reduce inflammation, help to strengthen the immune system, help keep the arteries more flexible and reduce the potential for blood clots-plenty of reason to include them in your diet…………………… Omega 3 Supplements Encouraged

Another source of fats that has been getting much attention in the food market these days are trans fat. Trans-fat are derived from vegetable oils, which are liquid in their natural state, but by adding hydrogen to their structure (called hydrogenation) these fats become partially solidified and make things like peanut butter and margarine easier to spread, and extend the shelf-life of pre-packaged foods. These types of fat are considered a threat to public health because they are not only found in countless processed foods and baked goods but they also raise LDL cholesterol, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and have been linked to inflammation of the blood vessels- all of which contribute to poor health and vitality.

Taking all this into consideration can be overwhelming to the food consumer, so we’ve created a list of fat strategies to follow to assist you in keeping your dietary fat at optimal levels, from preferred resources and keep your body in the best health.


  • Make monounsaturated fats the main fat in your diet- olive, canola oils
  • Eat nuts daily- almonds especially *one serving is 1/4 cup
  • Limit total fat intake to less than 30% of total daily caloric intake
  • Limit saturated fat to less than 7% of your total daily caloric intake- <15 g of saturated fat per 2,000 calories *NOTE- a fast food double quarter pound burger contains 19 g of saturated fat; 4 g more than daily maximum
  • Keep all sources of trans fat/hydrogenated oils out of diet- less than 1% of total calories * Read food labels for trans fats and/or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils of any kind.
  • Avoid all deep-fried fast foods- large resource of saturated and trans fats
  • Eat oily fish 2-3 days per week; 3-4 oz serving
  • Consume no more than 200 mg of cholesterol per day if trying to lower LDL *Shellfish, organ meats, and egg yolks are high in cholesterol
  • Consider taking an Omega-3 supplement

Now you’ve got the skinny on dietary fat and can keep these strategies in mind when eating out, walking up and down the aisles of the grocery store, reading your food labels, and preparing your daily meal plans. Take into consideration the sources of your fat, how they can affect your body in the long run, and keep it on the thin side when it comes to saturated and trans fat intake.

Remember the right kind of fat can do the body good, and the wrong can do the body harm. If not sure that you can maintain a quality diet, consider Omega supplementation Make good choices and your health will thank you for it!

Amy is the NW Regional Trainer for Resist-A-Ball, Inc. and Faculty Trainer for the American Council on Exercise. Her Bachelor of Science was attained in Holistic Nutrition and is certified as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and yoga instructor. She also offers workshops, lectures and trainings for fitness professionals through her company FIT Launch, as well as providing personal training services locally.

To learn more and review health, wellness, and fitness products or learn how to receive free wellness information for your entire family, visit the Healthy Gatherings web site

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