Ah, summer. The time to take some time off work or school, wear nothing but a layer of clothing, and soak up vitamin D. Summer is also the time to get out, enjoy outdoor sports, and get our share of fresh air.
This means one thing: It is time to get yourself sunscreen and start layering it on your skin. Today, we will go over the five best products on the market that work well and protect your body's largest organ - the skin. But first: A few things to consider
If you are unfamiliar, it might seem like just any sunscreen would do. After all, they are all designed to protect your skin from the harmful UV sun rays, right? Well, it is a bit more complicated than that - but also not too complicated.
For one, the face and lip region might need a special type of cream. This often applies to people with sensitive skin.
Second, if you plan to go in the water, be sure to use a water-resistant sunscreen for proper protection. If you are doing an extensive outdoor activity, choose at least an SPF of 30 or higher to ensure you stay protected,
Third, are you going to get a creme or spray? It appears that lotions offer better protection in most cases. Plus, sprays might not provide enough material to protect your skin, and you could accidentally spray it in your (or someone else's) face or mouth. When in doubt, choose creme/lotions.
Fourth, what about a reef-friendly label? If your sunscreen does not have the Hawaiian Label, you could get fined in countries and regions such as Hawaii. Of course, not all countries require them yet, but you may also want to think ahead and be environmentally friendly. Don't you?
Finally, though sunscreens are beneficial, you should always consider additional protection when possible. This includes wearing a hat and shirt or rashguard when exposed to the sun for longer. This is especially recommended when you plan to be active at the beach or in the water, like kite surfing or playing beach volleyball. The top 5 Sunscreens for Outdoor Sports 1. Skinnies CONQUER Sunscreen
Skinnies is the new rockstar under the sunscreens. It dries in just two minutes and forms a thin, barely there layer of protection. The New Zealand brand made a sunscreen that is not water-based. It is more concentrated, so you need less. A pea-size amount covers your face, neck & ears.
It will not sweat off, sting eyes, and is water resistance for up to 40 minutes. Skinnies also comply with Hawaii Sunscreen Bill 2021 (coral reef safe) and have not been tested on animals. No wonder this sunscreen got various awards from running magazines.
If SPF 30 is not enough protection, Skinnies Conquer SPF 50 gives you protection for up to four (4) hours. Skinnies gets an 91% top allergen-free rating on SkinSafeProducts.com. 2. Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen Lotion by La Roche-Posay
The facial area often requires a different kind of sunscreen, especially for folks with more sensitive skin. The face sunscreen by La Roche-Posay is a fantastic option because it offers maximum protection, preserves the skin from free radicals, and absorbs well.
Their sweat-proof can prevent "real" pain, should sweat run into your eyes. The formula is also resistant to water for up to 80 minutes. La Roche-Posay Anthelios gets an 91% top allergen-free rating on SkinSafeProducts.com. 3. Mineral Body Sunscreen Lotion by Bare Republic
The mineral SPF 50 body sunscreen lotion by Bare Republic is another fantastic option, especially for people with lighter or more sensitive skin. The product offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB coverage and stays on the skin for at least 80 minutes.
Just make sure to re-apply it at least once every two hours and after drying yourself with a towel. Bare Republic gets an 91% top allergen-free rating on SkinSafeProducts.com. 4. Coppertone SPORT CLEAR Sunscreen
Coppertone is well known for its affordable sports sunscreen. The cream has to stay on if we want it to work. The problem is, sweat and water activities wash out most creams in an instant, but not with Coppertone - because it comes with one simple promise: It stays on your skin and protects it for 80 minutes.
This clear gel lotion feels cool when you apply it and rubs on easily. Do not use this one for your face though, during a sweaty run this could cause some stinging for the next hour or so. Coppertone gets an 73% top allergen-free rating on SkinSafeProducts.com. 5. Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Lotion
The Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Spray is one of our favorites. This sunscreen will protect you from the sun with its expert-approved, broad-spectrum formulation. It is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It is made without the chemical ingredients that the FDA and other studies have warned us to avoid. Hawaiian Tropcial Sunscreen gets an 91% top allergen-free rating on SkinSafeProducts.com.
Despite the reference to Hawaii, this sunscreen, unfortunately, is not necessarily reef-safe. But at least you will avoid two of the chemicals with the most evidence of their potential environmental damage. What happened to Netrogena CoolDry?
Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport aerosol spray had previously been on our list of recommended sunscreens. But we had to remove it due to the recall by its manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. Also Bana Boat is affected, but it was not clear to CNN if these products got recalled too. However, to get some clarity, we added an indicator from SkinSafeProducts.com who provides better insights on the ingredients used. Which SPF Rating should I choose?
Ever wondered what these SPF ratings stand for? The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a sunscreen label that goes as high as 100. The number is a relative measurement for the amount of time the sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet (UV) rays. In other words, it refers to the product's ability to screen or block out the sun's harmful rays.
As often with labels/ratings, the higher, the better but there is also a limit. With the use of an SPF 10 product, you can be in the sun 10-times longer without burning your skin as you would without any sunscreen. Depending on your skin, the intensity of the sun, and other factors, you might need different protection. You might want to check asunbathing calculator to get some indicators. plan. travel. workout.
Every skin is different, you might want to test different products to find the one which works best for you. The platform SkinSafeProducts.com provides great insights and helps you to discover products that are unique to your needs.
Just remember, whatever you buy it is recommended to re-apply sunscreen every two hours for optimal protection. Read More
With the summer season among us, many people are eager to take vacations, away from work and responsibilities. But vacations can sometimes derail us from our health and fitness goals. When staying away from home, being on the road, there are lots of temptations.
As a result, many people let loose and forget about their healthy habits. To that end, we have put together this list of seven easy, practical, and pleasurable eating tips to keep you lean and fit. Let us dive in. 1. More Fruit, less Candy
Fruit is amazing. It tastes great, provides many essential micronutrients, and is full of fiber. Plus, it curbs your sweet tooth without adding many calories to your daily intake.
So, whenever possible, go for fresh fruit instead of candy bars and such. Apples, pears, pineapple, watermelon, peaches, and cherries are all excellent choices. Be mindful with processed fruits though, a smoothie is maybe not as healthy as it looks and still contains a lot of sugar. 2. More Salads and Vegetables
Like fruits, salads are also fantastic. They are refreshing, tasty, and highly satiating. And the best part is, they barely add any calories to your daily intake. The same goes for vegetables, always the healthier choice than pasta or french fries.
Besides that, both provide you with much-needed fiber and various vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. But when choosing salads or vegetables, be careful not to add too many calorie-dense options like dressings, cheese, and similar. 3. Go for sugar-free Drinks
Sugary drinks can easily add hundreds, even thousands of extra calories to your daily intake. This is especially true during the summer season when many people go from one drink to the next, trying to keep thirst at bay.
Instead of telling you to cut soda out, we recommend you go with sugar-free versions. Most taste just as great, keep you fresh, and save you all those calories. Might you want to try sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon? This might be tasty, refreshing, and healthy all in one. 4. When in doubt, go for Protein
Having a meal outside can be stressful because there are so many foods to choose from. The good news is, whenever you are in doubt and cannot make up your mind, go for protein. Fantastic options include:
- Lean meats
- Cottage cheese
These foods are typically low in calories and highly satiating, making your outdoor meals satisfying and beneficial. As for vegetables, be careful with adding too many calorie-dense toppings. 5. Drink lots of Water
While technically not an eating tip, it is essential to discuss it. It should even be number one on this list. But how much water should you drink a day? A general rule of thumb for healthy people is to drink two to three cups of water per hour or more if you are sweating heavily.
Research also shows that drinking water, especially before meals, is essential for satiety. By drinking enough fluids, you fill your stomach up and feel fuller between meals. An excellent way to start is by drinking a glass of water shortly before a meal. This will fill you up and allow you to reach satiety by eating fewer calories. 6. Pack Snacks for the beach
The beach is where most people give into temptation. A cold beer, ice cream, and all sorts of other treats catch the eye. To prevent this from happening, prepare effectively. Bring healthy sandwiches, pack nuts, have lots of water, and take fresh fruit. Then, as you get hungry, enjoy your healthy foods.
To ward off dehydration, drink fluids gradually throughout the day. And just in case, alcohol intake should be limited to one drink per day for women and 1-2 drinks per day for men. 7. Push your Breakfast back
Vacation time is perfect for skipping the seemingly important morning meal and starting your day a bit later. Since most people sleep in, it is good to push eating back a bit and break your fast around noon.
This is a great way to naturally reduce your calorie intake and still enjoy plenty of food from noon until the evening. Read More
Let us ask you something: Have you ever looked for a good and simple fitness app to track your progress, keep you accountable, and help you stay motivated? Like most fitness enthusiasts, you probably have. After all, most apps seem great and are relatively simple to set up. The problem is, in almost all cases, they fall short. They are either overly complicated to use or simple but lacking essential features.
Today, we will be taking a look at one application - the Strong App. We will go over what you can expect from using it and why we consider it great. Let us dive in. Strong App - Organize and simplify your training
As you go to their website, you are met with a simple message: Think less. Lift more.
We could not have put it better ourselves. Too many people today obsess so much over their programming, exercise selection, how long to rest between sets, and other details that they forget to do the actual work. As a result, they feel more overwhelmed without having much to show for their efforts.
Many people love the Strong App precisely because of its simplicity and effectiveness. The interface is clean, simple, and does what it has to do without bells and whistles. Your workout areas include nothing but the essentials, like the exercises, target weight, and target repetition range. All you have to do is look at it, do it, mark it as complete, and work down your list.
You also get easy access to all previous workouts, which you can share, review, and monitor to see how you are progressing. Plus, it can be enriching to look at your profile and know that you have completed dozens, even hundreds of workouts. It almost feels like making progress on a video game. Put together Workouts in Seconds
The Strong App is fantastic precisely because putting together workouts takes no more than a minute. After you downloaded (Google Store, Apple App Store) and installed the app, all you have to do is:
1. Step 1: Create a new workout
2. Step 2: Give it a name
3. Step 3: Fill in the exercises you want to do
And you are good to go. You can then start training and mark off exercises as you complete them. The number of sets per exercise and target weights can be defined during the workout. The new information will be written to the template when the training is finished (if you choose to do so). By tapping the large green button that says "Finish", the app will mark the workout as complete and store it to review whenever you would like.
You can also adjust workouts on the fly by adding or removing sets and exercises and switching their positions on the fly. For example, if you want to bench first and row second but decide to swap them, the app allows you to do that easily. Feeling great and want to do more than your planned three sets of squats? No problem - simply tap the '+Add set' button, and you are good to go.
For each workout, you can also add notes, extra thoughts, and other helpful information. For example, you can add a message that says, "I felt great that day." As you later review it, you will know why you performed unusually well. You can also add reminders or warnings for yourself. For example, if you are actively trying to improve your squat depth, you can write, "Make sure to squat to parallel!" As you start the workout, the reminder will appear and keep you in check. About the Dollars
Ah, yes, about that - the price. How much would the app cost you? The benefits it offers seem impressive, but can you afford it? Well, here is the kicker:
The application is free. That is right. You get all of these benefits and conveniences without having to pay anything for it - no purchase price and no subscription cost. How cool is that?
Of course, there are some in-app purchases you can make if you want to. These range from $0.99 to $6.99 but are entirely optional, and you do not have to get any of them to use the app effectively. How to get started with Strong App
Getting started with the Strong App is quite simple. All you have to do is install it, create a profile, and go about building your workouts. You will see a screen with a button, "Start an empty Workout," that allows you to build various workouts from scratch. There, you can add exercises, weight, warm-up sets, sets, repetition goals, notes, suggestions, and more.
Once you have built your weekly workout list, the app will now store your data and allow you to go back, review your performance, and see what you can improve. If you do not feel like building workouts from scratch, you can also pick from various proven programs like:
- Wendler's 5/3/1
- Bigger Leaner Stronger
- JE Intermediate Program
- and more. plan. travel. workout.
If you work out in your (home) gym regularly and can rely on the equipment, the Strong App is great. If you need to adjust it frequently because of your travels or changing gym rooms, this might get a bit of a hassle. For this scenario, we also recommend the Fitbod app, which is great for automatically creating various workouts. Have a look here. Read More
Have you ever stopped to consider what makes a training program genuinely effective? For example, do you use the right combination of exercises? What if none of these things matter as much as we believe, and other factors determine the effectiveness of our training program?
Effective training has been the subject of much debate over the years. Go to any forum today, and you are bound to come across countless arguments between people. Everyone has their unique take on the subject, and people defend their preferred style of training with great fury. But what is the essence of practical training? What makes one program good and another program useless?
We have put together this guide to help you understand the principles behind effective training. By knowing and recognizing them, you can have effective workouts anywhere you go. Of course, this is not the only working guide - you should pick (and stick) to the one which resonates most with you. Let us dive in. It begins with a fundamental shift…
Many people focus on a single thing and consider it to be most important for success. I believe that the problem often comes from market saturation and an ever-growing population of gurus. Allow me to elaborate.
You see, many people today aspire to build a presence in the fitness industry. But the competition is fierce, and doing that can be difficult. For example, one person bases their presence around intensity, another focuses on a single exercise, and a third promotes a specific type of equipment. Unfortunately, people who follow such individuals often believe that their singular focus on fitness makes it effective.
In reality, no single factor outshines the rest. Sound fitness is about the successful integration of several important factors, which we will look at below. The moment you internalize this, you will be able to put together effective workouts, no matter your circumstances. Do what you can with what you have.
How many times have you heard that you need to do a specific exercise, train in a particular way, or use a special kind of gym equipment to make the most of your workouts?
Many people today preach the importance of something specific - an exercise, style, or piece of equipment. Granted, most of these claims hold validity. But, in truth, fitness is amazing precisely because it is fluid. There are dozens of ways to train, thousands of exercises to pick from, and you do not have to marry a single approach. So, when training in less than optimal circumstances (perhaps you are on the road), remember this: You can have effective workouts, so long as you do what you can with what you have.
For example, if you have no equipment, do bodyweight exercises: squats, push-ups, and similar. If you have nothing but dumbbells, do rows, presses, curls, extensions, and similar. On this topic, you might want to check out our recent blog post with the option to use the Fitbod app.
No question, the more equipment you have, the greater your options. But none of this is to say that you can not have great workouts with no equipment. Perform each exercise with proper technique
No matter where you are training and what your goals are, the most important thing you need to keep in mind is proper exercise technique. We tend to feel unmotivated when training in less than ideal circumstances. As a result, we pay less attention to the critical details that determine our training quality: exercise selection, training volume, intensity, effort, and form. In other words, we rush to finish, so we do not have to endure the disappointment any longer than we should.
The good news is, once you change the mindset you carry toward training, you will not see workouts as ideal and bad. Instead, you will gain an appreciation for every workout. In addition, you will see each bout as an opportunity to improve yourself in some capacity - strength, endurance, explosiveness, or something else.
But to reap benefits from your training – whether you are in one of the best gyms on the planet or in a hotel room – you need to respect each exercise. You need to be conscious of what you are doing, and you need to take the time to do each repetition with a purpose - to better yourself.
In doing so, you will be able to get more from each repetition. But, more importantly, you will learn to train effectively, regardless of your circumstances. Begin each workout with a proper warm-up
While many people frown at warming up, taking the time to prepare your body for physical work is vital. A good warm-up prepares your body, puts you in the mindset for training, boosts your performance, and decreases your risk of getting injured. The goal is to raise your core body temperature, warm up your muscles and joints, and prevent undue friction or stress.
To achieve these effects, you should go about warming up in two phases: 1. Do a general warm-up.
The goal of the general warm-up is to get you going and raise your core body temperature. This activates your muscles, warms up the enzymes responsible for energy production, and gets you in the mindset of training.
Some light cardio and a full-body dynamic warm-up routine will be enough to get you going. 2. Follow up with specific mobilization.
The goal of specific warm-ups is to practice the activities you are about to do with less intensity. For example, if you plan on bench pressing as a first exercise, start with low weight for more repetitions. This helps get you in the groove and allows you to detect any potential pain points or discomforts with light enough weight.
Do not overthink this point. What matters most is that you start with an incredibly lightweight and make reasonable jumps until you reach your working weight. Avoid pushing yourself too hard - you do not want to be tired by the time you start your workout. The Ritual
There is a third less popular benefit of warming up well: it can become a ritual and make the act of initiating workouts easier.
Contrary to what many believe, once you get started, finishing a workout is not that challenging. Starting is often the biggest hurdle. You can overcome this challenge with ease by establishing a simple ritual like warming up.
As time goes on, you will begin to associate the unique warm-up moves with the act of working out. Read More
Recall as a kid when running was the norm? Running all the time without rest and not knowing the benefits of the runs was the child thing you did. As an adult now, you are fully aware of the health benefits running comes with. Running brings a load of health goodies to your body like weight control, wherein a run as 60 kg (132 lbs) person 445 calories are burnt hourly on jogging. Running will also make sure your heart health is equal to your mental health.
Deciding to run will be accompanied by the decision to run on a treadmill or in the open air. Julio Cardona has created a great article that goes through the pros and cons of each and explains how it is possible to do both. Running on a Treadmill.
Julio writes about the comfort and excitement of working out from indoors since you can do this at home since it removes the barriers of lousy weather accompanied by outdoor running. To enhance the benefits of using a treadmill, there will be other advantages like:
- Fair Surface. The treadmill's surface is purely flat and does not feature bumps and ditches that could lead to injuries during workouts.
- Control. The treadmill is customized, and the user can set the warm-up pace, incline, and cool-down pace they want to use, making it convenient.
- Fitness Analysis. Treadmills monitor the heart rate, distance and helps show the progress attained in the workout. Running Outdoors
Some people may prefer outdoor running over the treadmill, although running comes with similar benefits regardless of the environment. Outdoor running seems more fun since it gives dynamic terrain. It is cheap (besides a good pair of running shoes). One can run while attending to a particular issue, enjoying the natural view of a new place, and enjoying the weather. These characteristics of the environment could be encouraging for a runner.
Although it has the goodness of nature, outdoor running can be accompanied by dangers of; insecurity, injury in the bumpy grounds, bad weather that could affect your health, and the weather that could make it impossible to run. plan. travel. workout.
Julio provides a lot of great insights in the article referenced above. It does not matter which option you choose, generally running helps with a lot of things: improved moods, improved physical fitness, and psychological and mental well-being. At HotelGyms.com, we support the importance of running and have released a treadmill workout, created by our Personal Trainer Christian Roberts. Additionally, we are working on an integration of recommended running routes around hotels – so you can enjoy your outdoor and indoor sports wherever you are. Stay tuned, more exiciting things are coming soon. Read More
Sometimes you just need to disconnect from work, close your laptop and take a break. So, my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip to Mexico. We chose this part of the world, as it is home to several ancient and historical places. It is also an excellent spot for kite surfing, which is one of my greatest passions.
We spent most of our time in Isla Holbox and a few days in Tulum. There are plenty of blogs talking you through the experience in Yucatán, so I do not want to repeat what others said already. In this post, I share the experience we had to stay fit during our two weeks in Mexico.
Holbox, pronounced hol-BOSH, an island located on the north coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, is home to flamingos, pelicans, and other rich birdlife. No wonder as 75 percent of the island is a jungle of wild mangroves and empty beaches. Fun fact, electricity has only reached the island in 1987, and still, internet and cell signals are rare. Also, transportation is different in Holbox. Most holboxeños get around the car-free island by bike or a golf car. This sounds like a fantastic location for a relaxing beach vacation to me, huh? What?! No Hotel Gym?
One of the potential problems with traveling is to keep on top of a fitness regime. Unfortunately, many of the hotels in the area we wanted to stay in did not have gyms. But this does not mean we could not work out. The most obvious way of exercising in a hotel without a gym is to do lots of bodyweight exercises. For me, thinking of new bodyweight exercises can sometimes be tricky. And it is important mixing up these workouts to keep them interesting.
While I use the Strong app at home to keep track of my workouts, I really enjoyed using the Fitbod app during this period. The app created a new bodyweight workout for every day. I only had to decide if I want to do an upper/lower body split or full-body workout. Side note: if you travel to a place with limited internet connection, plan to download the exercise gifs (just enable the "Offline Exercise Gifs" in the settings).
Check with the hotel if they have some yoga mats. Or even better if you can get your own. Place it on your balcony and use the Fitbod app to get a good start each morning. And our hotel room had a stunning view of the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, which was a real treat during the training.
I found it was best to get my training done early before it got too hot and humid. During our stay in Mexico, we were buying lots of bottled water. We figured the big 5l (170oz) bottles are perfect for a workout, as you can use them as extra weights. You can even fill them with sand from the beach once you have drunk the water. How to find external gyms?
If you are desperate to use a real gym, you may be able to find one with the "External Gym" locator on HotelGyms.com. You could join one of the bootcamps they are running at the beach. A day pass is around MEX 100, which means USD 5. Just remember, payments in Holbox are in cash only. Cross-Training and other Activities
The things you can do at a travel destination make the trip. As mentioned, we stayed most of our vacation in Isla Holbox, which has a lot to offer. Its stunning coastline is ideal for seeing nature during a kayak tour or from a paddleboard. These are excellent ways to stay active while experiencing the local wildlife and sights.
But the highlight for me was that I could do as much kite surfing as possible. Just be aware, the official kite surfing season ends in May, as the winds start to get unpredictable. So, you do not want to go much later than that. Even you might be lucky with some good kite surfing conditions in June, or even later, the schools will be closed. I highly recommend the Holbox kiteboarding school if you are looking for lessons or supervision. These guys have been teaching kitesurfing in the area since 2009. Their instructors come from all over the world and can teach kite surfers of all levels and in different languages. Where to Stay?
There is a good chance you want to stay at the beach when going to Isla Holbox. However, most hotels do not have a gym or provide just the very basics. I would definitely give the location a priority. Check-out Casa Las Tortugas, which is very close to the center and restaurant and is basically next to the kite school. On the other end of the island, you can find Villa Flamingos, which is in walking distance (meaning less than 5 minutes) from the kite spot. Both are great options, although very different.
If a gym is at the top of your list for a hotel, you could stay at the Mystique Holbox by Royalton. This is a nice hotel, with a gym which is okay. Staying Fuelled
For us, a big part of traveling is to eat well. This is especially important when your trip is as active as our visit to Mexico. We found some excellent places to eat in Holbox. Barba Negra is a superb and modern-style restaurant. Here you can expect mountains of tacos piled high featuring a delicious mix of ingredients and drizzled salsas. If you love seafood, you need to try the Maya-style fish taco, palm heart aguachile, or ceviches.
Roots is the place to go for Pizza on Isla Holbox. Their signature Lobster Pizza is excellent, but selecting wood-fired pizzas on offer means there is something for everyone. Roots has a unique and colorful Pizza parlor and an authentic Mexican bar with a superb range of cocktails mixed with local liquors - they made really great Margaritas.
Our favorite place to eat in Holbox was Luuma. This fabulous restaurant is located near the beach (next to the kite school), within a natural walled garden, making it an extraordinary atmosphere. You can expect a diverse menu of different tapas-style dishes and platters - give the Shrimp Kebab a try. Do not miss out on the History
Of course, a must-do activity in the Riviera Maya is exploring the cenotes. These are natural sinkholes and caves. You either climb down or abseil into the crystal-clear underground rivers. There are many tours to choose from in the area that takes you through these incredible cave systems.
Suppose you want to experience some local history. In that case, you really need to visit the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. A visit here is very eye-opening, especially when you realize how old this feat of engineering is. There are some other ruins in Tulum, but you should not miss out on this one. And you can combine this nicely with hiking, biking, swimming in the cenotes or other activities. plan. travel. workout.
By staying active while you travel, you can keep your fitness levels up and enjoy the local food and drinks. Also, by doing all the things available to you locally, you can get a workout while experiencing something new. There are often lots of things to do that allow you to see the area in unique ways. With a bit of research, you can get the most out of your trip and create lasting memories. Just remember two things when planning a trip to Holbox:
1. check the season in case you want to kite
2. even in 2021, payment is made 95% of the time in cash (MEX, not USD). Read More
The prevalence of fitness centers, weight rooms, and spa facilities in hotels, both luxury and practical, are more popular than ever, and for a good reason. Health and wellness have become a priority for millions of individuals these days. They even are at the forefront of many people's live, driving purpose, intent, and direction to where people want to spend their time, money, and attention. No wonder hotels are claiming their chunk of the pie!
In all seriousness, the expansion of gyms in the hotel industry was inevitable from both a practical and profitable standpoint. The better the service, the more in demand they become. You may recall an older blog post here about a survey conducted by Accor on this topic: The healthy Lifestyle, how People plan their Travel
However, while hotels may be catching on to this long-lasting trend, a large number of hotel chains are doing a poor job in execution. Sure, they may now have a "gym" facility. But the quality and effectiveness of these facilities are typically not the best. And this is one of the reasons we started HotelGyms.com with its GymFactor label to give you an indication of what you can expect ;-)
Ready for a lesson in the hotel industry? Then keep reading! Let's jump into it. Wellness Tourism NOT a Trend
Whether you look at the stats and the studies, the wellness industry, and more specifically, wellness tourism, is an ever-growing industry that has no plans of slowing down.
Take a typical vacation, for example. Why do people travel? To release stress, to improve mental well-being, to enjoy life, to come back revitalized. Sadly, many realized that you tend to feel worse upon return from such a classic vacation than when you left. It might also be related to other factors where one parties until they drop, eat until they implode, and virtually let loose in the purest sense of the word.
For that reason and more, many are beginning to convert to a more wellness-based vacation - to experience a total reset of the mind and body. An experience that facilitates growth, through yoga, meditation, fitness, and nutrition. This is where hotel gyms come into play! Location, Location, Location
That is what they say in real estate, right?! Location is the most important factor of a property... Well, while we may not be talking about real estate, the location of many chain hotels are rural in nature and largely distant from the closest (external) gym. Add the fact that many travelers are of the mind to exercise and remain healthy and fit, and the idea of gyms in hotels was born! Ok, maybe it was not that simple, but you get the point!
Let us take a closer look at business travel; those travelers often reside in hotels outside of the city, near the airport, and distant from locations where (external) gyms are traditionally located. Hotels located close to well-equipped gyms may simply offer their guests a free pass to that gym instead. For the others, it made to have a hotel gym; it is practical, profitable, and at the end of the day, who can argue that it does not beef-up the total packaged experience?! plan. travel. workout.
Hotels have gyms so guests can continue their workout routines while traveling. And some hotels have invested a lot to build a great gym experience. The hotel industry finally understood people who work out every day will not stay in a hotel that forces them to miss a workout. And we believe you should not have to make compromises. There are plenty of great options available in almost every city #NeverSkipAWorkout. To find what hotels have the best gyms check out our GymFactor label on HotelGyms.com! Read More
Go to any sports website or YouTube channel. If it has any content on diving, you will see it: “Diving is a sport that...” Well, okay. That is fair. Diving certainly is a way to do physical activity. But does it truly deserve the title of a sport? Bodybuilding is also considered a sport, but many people scoff at that claim.
So what makes diving deserve that title? Let us take a look... What is diving, anyway?
Officially, diving is a water sport with a long history. The basic premise of the sport is for an athlete to jump into a deep body of water from a board or other high surface. Under official competition rules, judges observe each dive, rate it based on its performance and beauty, and the best-scoring divers win the medals.
It has become quite popular, and many athletes choose to practice it. Diving is also a sport in the Summer Olympics, having been first introduced way back in 1904. The US leads in the number of medals won with 49 gold, 44 silver, and 45 bronze. But what are Sports any why is diving considered one?
To get down to the core of today’s question, we feel it is essential first to understand what a sport is. After that, we can conclude whether or not we consider diving to deserve the title. The dictionary defines sport as follows: An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.
So far, so good. Unless competitors have to do something once they land in water, diving should maybe not really be considered a sport. But here is another thing worth nothing from the dictionary: Entertainment; fun.
Ah, we almost had ruled it out, didn’t we? Though some may not want to admit it, diving is a sport because it covers some of the official criteria outlined above. Specifically, people or teams compete against one another for the entertainment of others.
Of course, nothing stops you from referring to diving as a sport (by modern definitions), but know that some people might take issue with that. How can diving become more sporty?
The act of diving itself is not that intense or energetically costly, why most probably would have assumed diving is no sport. Even professional divers burn a handful of calories in official competitions.
With that said, becoming a good diver is not just about the act of jumping into a body of water. You also need to take care of your overall athleticism and capabilities. You need to train well, warm-up before workouts and competitions, and cool down effectively. All of these contribute to the overall dynamic of diving and push it closer to sport status.
For instance, a full-body dynamic warm-up routine is vital for diving training because the activity involves a range of muscle groups. Fantastic movements include jumping jacks, jump squats, leg swings, arm circles, torso twists, and more.
Traditional strength training can also benefit divers because it strengthens the entire body and teaches different muscle groups how to work together. Strength training is particularly beneficial for the core - the muscle group that plays a considerable role in whole-body balance, coordination, and strength. Read More
We all feel it now and then: the dreaded muscle pain. It comes seemingly out of nowhere and often goes away before we know it. But what about those instances where it lingers for days, even weeks? What do we do then? Do we ignore it and hope it goes away? Or do we try something to alleviate it?
This post will take an in-depth look at muscle pain, what it means, how we can avoid it, and what we can do about it. Let us dive in. What is Muscle Pain, and what causes it?
You are going about your day, doing things as usual, and then it hits you: muscle pain. It can be dull, sharp, pulsating, or feeling like a muscle spasm. Whatever it is, you notice it. If you are in the middle of a workout, it can prevent you from going further.
The good news is that most muscle aches are nothing to worry about and typically occur due to regular exercise. The bad news is, they tend to be quite common and sometimes stay with us for days.
The most common causes are:
- Overworking a muscle group while exercising or doing manual labor;
- Injuring the muscle, with the most common type being a pulled muscle.
Muscle injuries are typically acute. In other words, you feel it immediately and know when it occurs. Pain from overworking a muscle typically comes later and is commonly dull, pulsating, or feeling like a spasm. Three habits you should adopt to prevent muscle pain from occurring 1. Warm-up well
We wrote about the importance of warming up previously, and you can read that post here. The fact is, warming up well before physical activity is essential for your well-being, performance, and safety. A good warm-up routine prepares your muscles for the work you are about to do. Specifically, it raises their temperature, improves their elastic properties, and warms up the enzymes responsible for energy production. As a result, you can train better and drastically reduce the risk of muscle injuries like strains.
The best part is, your warm-up does not have to be anything special. As little as five to ten minutes of activity can be more than enough. For instance, do a few minutes of cardio, a couple of minutes of a dynamic warm-up routine, and a few more minutes on warm-up sets. 2. Train Moderately
Causing too much stress to our muscles is a significant reason for muscle pain. Think back to when you were a child, and you spent the entire day outside, running and playing with friends. You might not remember it all too well, but your legs probably had this dull ache in the evening as you were trying to fall asleep. This makes sense, intuitively. The more we stress our muscles, the more damage and metabolic stress we cause. At some point, the disruption can get so significant that we start feeling physical pain. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with us. It is simply a natural bodily reaction.
One of the best habits you can adopt is to train moderately. Your goal should be to cause just enough stress to see steady improvements over the months. How much training you need will be individual and depend on your recoverability, athleticism, age, stress outside the gym, and more.
But it is worth experimenting to see what works better for you. Who knows? You might find yourself making the same progress without dealing with muscle pain all the time. 3. Stay Hydrated
According to research, our muscles are a whopping 79 percent water. Meaning, each kilogram of muscle consists of 790 milliliters of water.
Staying hydrated is vital because it allows the body to function normally and can prevent muscle pain and spasms. This is especially important when working out and if you sweat a lot.
Recommendations are to drink between two (2) and three (3) liters of water daily. Water, not coffee - beer - soda... Should you do something when you have Muscle Pain?
What you decide to do should mostly depend on the severity of muscle pain you are experiencing. For most people in most situations, muscle pain will go away in no more than a few days, so there is not anything special you should do. In such a case, you can also go about your training as you usually do. It might even offer active recovery benefits and help you get rid of the pain quicker.
But, should you find yourself experiencing more severe muscle pain that only gets worse with exercise, there is nothing wrong with taking a temporary break. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something might be wrong. For example, if you’re dealing with some tissue inflammation, it’s best to let it heal before stressing it again.
You can try some light stretching and low-intensity movement (like dynamic stretching, walking, and similar). You should also make sure you’re eating healthily and staying hydrated. These things will provide your body with everything it needs to repair itself. Do any supplements help with Muscle Pain?
The supplements industry is notorious for its many overhyped products that do not do anything for us. As far as muscle pain is concerned, some products appear beneficial, but only under specific circumstances.
Most notably, supplements can help us deal with muscle soreness, but mostly if we are not getting enough of the nutrients they offer. For example, electrolytes can help us resolve muscle soreness and keep cramps away. But, if you stay hydrated and get plenty of electrolytes through good nutrition, these supplements won’t offer extra benefits.
Whey protein can also help us deal with soreness and pain. But, again, if we get enough protein through good nutrition, it w will not offer extra benefits.
The only three exceptions here would be taurine, caffeine, and omega-3 fatty acids. These supplements appear to help us deal with pain, but that typically means relieving muscle soreness. If the pain you experience is of a different kind, these supplements might not be beneficial. Read More
Take a moment and see yourself having achieved all your fitness and physical goals. How do you feel? What is running through your head? Chances are, you feel on top of the world, and rightfully so: Conquering ourselves and getting fit is an overlooked but deeply satisfying thing we can do.
This leads to the question, why still do so many people fail on their fitness quests? The answer is not far, one word, mindset. Mindset has different definitions, so let us dive in and better understand how you can develop a fitness mindset yourself. What is a Mindset?
As just mentioned before, mindset has different definitions. Perhaps the most accurate would be this one:
The mindset is the combination of our beliefs and thoughts, a frame of mind. The mindset is what dictates how we see the world and ourselves. Ten different people can see the same news on TV, and each of them could perceive it differently, precisely because we carry different mindsets.
For example, if news breaks that a high school teacher has lost 100 pounds, one person might think, "Well, they probably have good genetics and have found the right diet" where another would conclude, "Healthy nutrition, a good training program, and consistency will get you there."
Notice how differently two people can see the same news. This is all thanks to the mindsets they carry. The first person likely believes that fitness is about having good genetics and the proper diet. The second person knows better: fitness is about effort, consistency, and a decent enough plan of action.
The goal, of course, is to start thinking like the second person. Which leads to the question, how to develop a fitness mindset? Let us dive in and check out the 4 crucial steps you need to take. 1. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.
It is often said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. If your average company is that of fit and active people, you are likely to become one, too. If your company is that of sedentary and overweight folks who believe that some ancient Chinese secret is the key to fitness, guess what: You are bound to become like them.
One of the best ways to elevate your mindset is to surround yourself with people who have achieved what you want to have one day. That way, you will pick up ideas, feel motivated, and slowly realize that improvements are entirely possible. 2. Push yourself past your perceived limitations.
The mind is often the most limiting factor. We typically perceive ourselves as tired and unable to keep going, but this is far from the truth.
The mind suggests that we can not do it anymore, and we believe it. Here is an experiment you can do the next time you exercise:
Push yourself to your perceived limit and note how you feel. Chances are, you will be exhausted. Now, push a bit further. If you are running, do another 100 yards. If you are lifting weights, do another three reps.
More than likely, you will be able to do that, and it will not be the end of the world. Pushing yourself a bit too hard occasionally can be beneficial because it teaches you that you can do more than you think. 3. Treat failures like a scientist would.
As Thomas Edison once said, "I have not failed. I have just found 10'000 ways that will not work." The truth is many people feel petrified of failure. They need to find the perfect diet and training plan, or they do not bother.
But here is the thing: Nobody can predict how you will react to a given training program or diet – figuring that out comes down to trial and error. As you expose yourself to different approaches, you develop an understanding of what works better for you. More importantly, you also develop a fitness mindset because you see that change is possible, and different approaches can work for you. It is a journey, and you can also move forward step by step. 4. Set SMART goals.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example:
Lose 10 pounds of fat in the next eight weeks. Setting such goals is vital because it makes it easier for you to create an actionable plan and break it down into smaller objectives. Plus, even if you do not achieve the goal as written, you will still make good progress. You might want to consider that you might not lose weight when you work out as you build muscle. Additionally, you might want to use a measure-band to track your actual progress.
Seeing success (especially early on) is vital for morale, and it is one of the first steps toward developing a fitness mindset. Read More