Health & Fitness

By Erin Brady

Pamper, tighten and tone in time for the holidays:
Exhale, the mind body spa best known for its unique spa therapies and Core Fusion™ fitness classes, recently opened its doors to its sixth NYC location, at Gansevoort Park Avenue, a full-service luxury resort on the corner of 29th Street and Park Avenue South. This new Exhale offers the full range of signature spa therapies as well as their highly acclaimed proprietary Core Fusion classes, Yoga, and Music Yoga Flow classes in a third floor studio, lined with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Park Avenue South.

Exhale at Gansevoort Park Avenue also houses three spa therapy rooms, a manicure/pedicure lounge, a rejuvenating infrared detox chamber and a mind body gym. For those like me who live on the East Side, this new location is both convenient and chic, and there’s no better time than the holidays to sign-up for a Core Fusion class to counteract those holiday cookies, or treat a loved one to an amazing spa treatment.

Also in time for the holidays guests can purchase the below Exhale sample packs for themselves or anyone that needs a little R&R this season:

• Balance: a 60-minute Fusion Massage and 1 Mind Body Class ($135)
• Indulge: a 60-minute Fusion Massage, a 60-minute True Facial, Pure Manicure and Pure Pedicure ($320)
• Evolve: a 60-minute Fusion Massage and 10 Mind Body Class pack ($430)
• Transform: a 60-minute Fusion Massage, a 60-minute True Facial, Pure Manicure, Pure Pedicure and 10 Mind Body Class pack ($620)

Located at 29th St and Park Ave South, visit http://www.exhalespa.com to learn more and for a Core Fusion/Yoga class schedule.

Get in shape without a gym membership:
It seems there’s a new DVD out every week, so it can take trial and error to find the best one for you. DVD’s are great for those like me who constantly miss classes at the gym, or for those that feel more comfortable working out at home, especially during the winter. The DVD needs to be a good workout, have a good host, be the right length of time and so on, and I’ve found one that meets those criteria. “TODAY” Show Diet and Nutrition Expert Joy Bauer has released her first weight-loss DVD, called Joy Bauer’s Slimdown Workout that contains two 20-minute workouts plus top weight-loss tips and healthy recipes. This DVD is so unique because you can use it to workout, but you can also use it to cook and eat healthy before/after your workout, which I love!

Joy and renowned trainer Lisa Wheeler demonstrate the two 20-minute cardio and strength-training segments, along with the 5-minute warm-up and cool down. You can do one when you’re short on time, or both together for even faster results. The simple moves target the entire body as they burn fat and calories. Trust me, at first I too thought the workout seemed like it was more for beginners, and Joy’s hokey words of encouragement don’t help that, but the workout really does get you moving, sweating and feeling good in a matter of minutes, so stick with it.

Available in late December on Amazon.com an AcaciaLifestyle.com

Cook meals that will keep you (and your friends & family) satisfied:
Most foodies know who James Beard is, the dean of American cookery, and he practically put everything he learned about cooking into a single magnificent and now classic cookbook. James Beard’s American Cookery includes more than fifteen hundred of his favorite and most successful recipes, as well as advice on dozens of cooking questions, from choosing meats and vegetables to preserving fruit and making real cheeseburgers. A celebration of cooking in the American style, the edition you’ll find in the bookstores today features the original text and color illustrations, and a new foreword by Tom Colicchio. This is an amazing gift for anyone who likes to cook, or even those learning to cook, as the large, elegant book is a true masterpiece that marries cooking, art and literature together in a way traditional cookbooks do not.

To purchase the book visit Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or Borders.

Celebrate the holidays with a clean and healthy home:
The Caldrea Company produces aromatherapeutic cleaning products that are kind to the earth and delightful to the senses, and this holiday season they are pleased to announce two limited edition fragrances: Peppermint Amaryllis and Balsam Figleaf.

Peppermint Amaryllis captures the unique scent of blooming Amaryllis, with bright, clean notes of Peppermint and Thyme coupled with a bouquet of Jasmine, Lily of the Valley and Winter Rose.

Balsam Figleaf: contains aromatic evergreens, fresh leaves and elegant fruits that are entwined to bring the Mediterranean to your home for the holidays. Both of these new scents come in a variety of products, including dish soap liquid, countertop cleaner, hand soap liquid, hand lotion and candles. My personal favorite is the peppermint dish soap liquid as it makes the whole house radiate a sweet minty smell as you wash the dishes after holiday meals.

There are also several delicious new seasonal soy candles that smell amazing and have a 25 hour burn time. In scents like Snicker Doodle, Nutmeg and Cinnamon Sugar, they are sure to make your house smell like a decadent dessert in no time.

For further information, please visit Caldrea.com. To purchase these products in NYC, visit Sur la Table, Gracious Home and Ricky’s, and/or their corresponding Web sites.

Don’t hibernate; get adequate sleep this winter:
Insufficient sleep can prevent dieters from losing as much body fat as they would with adequate sleep, according to a recent study* from the Annals of Internal Medicine. One way to ensure you are getting the best sleep possible is with SLEEPTRACKER Elite – the world’s first sleep monitoring watch. SLEEPTRACKER Elite detects the movements associated with a light sleep stage and gently wakes you at the optimal time with an alarm, vibration or both – during a window of time that you set. The SLEEPTRACKER also comes with software that allows you to track and upload up to 12 hours of nightly sleep data each morning to see which lifestyle factors – afternoon coffee, evening workout, late dinner, etc, may have negative effects on sleep cycles. Users can compare data and see when, where and why they are getting the best nights of quality sleep.

If you, like most people, have trouble waking up to a normal alarm clock, SLEEPTRACKER can help you break that awful cycle. A normal alarm clock can’t detect where you are in your sleep cycle: a continuous cycle from deep sleep, to brief almost-awake moments, and back to deep sleep again. Occasionally, your alarm may catch you at an optimal, almost-awake moment and you wake up feeling refreshed, but usually you grope for the snooze button waking up tired and groggy. SLEEPTRACKER will help put an end to that tired feeling. Once you set its alarm window, it monitors your body and continuously looks for your optimal waking times so it can wake you at just the right moment. Imagine not feeling tired in the morning and getting a few extra minutes out of your day.

For me, it was really interesting to see what time the alarm woke me up everyday, based on a 20-minute window that I set the night before to ensure I wouldn’t wake-up too late. I paid attention to my eating/exercise schedule, stress levels, and food intake and now have a better understanding of my sleep patterns, which helps ensure I have more hours of deep sleep and awake feeling refreshed and ready to start my day.

Get your beauty sleep with SLEEPTRACKER Elite. The Elite is available in both men’s and women’s styles and can be purchased online (http://www.sleeptracker.com).

Originally published December 2010
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