Health & Fitness

By Nicole Cornella

At one point or another, most of us have had the mind-set and determination to get in shape, shed some pounds, and stay healthy – but keeping up with our goal is easier said than done. With Valentine’s Day only days away, avoid the cliché flowers and chocolate and give your significant other something they can truly put to good use!

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The Pilates: Bodies in Motion Workout Deck offers you a DVD-free workout option! All you need is a deck of cards to achieve the maximum benefits of the Pilates workout. Alycea Ungaro, a certified physical therapist and owner of one of the largest Pilates studio in the NYC area, has trained many celebrities, and is on a mission to bring Pilates to everyone regardless of fitness level, budget or location. Perfect for the on-the-go person, the deck provides 52 cards with clear and concise information, with a fresh and clean design. Help improve your posture, increase strength and build balance with 52 classic Pilates mat exercises. The Pilates Workout Deck is available at the RealPilates studio, www.realpilatesnyc.com, www.amazon.com, and wherever books are sold.

How about something to wear while testing out that new Pilates deck or to look cute at the gym? Nike offers everything from yoga pants to sports bras. The Women’s Spring in Your Step Tee, a slightly-fitted cotton/spandex tee, boasts a cute feminine heart design on the front in a rich raspberry color. Nike also offers the Yoga Seamless Long Sport Top, which is perfectly designed with adjustable straps and a built-in support bra. It comes in a variety of colors and is perfect for any yoga or Pilates pose.

To look a little classy while working out, the Ralph Lauren Pink Collection, designed to benefit breast cancer, has a great selection of workout gear and accessories for the perfectly pink Valentine’s Day gift. From tennis totes to pink pony wristband and sweat bands, accessorize yourself in style when you hit the treadmill.

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Last month, we mentioned how getting more sleep can contribute positively to one’s own health and fitness habits. Since we were young, we have been told to make sure we get our beauty sleep, but does sleep really improve beauty? Believe it or not, if you don’t get enough beauty sleep, it can affect many aspects of your day to day life including the way you look and feel, stress levels, mood, and behavior. Lack of sleep can even contribute to weight gain! Two factors that negatively affect the way one sleeps is noise and light, but this can easily be avoided by wearing a sleep mask. It may sound very princess-like, but the new Sleep Pretty in Pink Sleep Mask by Hearos helps create the total blackout experience for anyone to catch some Z’s even if it’s a daytime snoozer. This mask provides foam padding with recesses for your eyes in order to provide comfort and prevent those puffy, dark circled-eyes. It also will not interfere with the use of eye creams, eyelash extensions, or contact lenses.

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For more information, check out: www.sleepinpink.com.

If you feel like splurging and want to shell out the big bucks for equipment, check out www.amazon.com for some of the top-selling New Year’s resolution-friendly products. Top gift items range from a two-person infrared sauna, perfect for any couple, to the Fitstar V620 Vibrating Exercise Machine which offers full-body vibration often used by sports teams to aid in strength training. Visit www.amazon.com/fitness for more top-selling products.

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So, next time you are tempted to purchase the candy heart boxes for your friends and family or pick up a dozen roses on the way home from work, take the alternate route and give a gift that will give the opportunity to keep up with that resolution throughout the whole year.

Originally published February 2007
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