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SpaFinder Wellness Week is Here!

Written on March 13, 2013 at 11:05 am , by

SpaFinder Yoga Girl

Image courtesy of SpaFinder

Who doesn’t love a good deal on fitness classes and spa treatments, right? Which is why we’re pretty psyched it’s Wellness Week over at SpaFinder Wellness *right now.* What this means: Well, what’s most enticing is that if you buy a $25 gift card, you get an extra one to use this week. (Sounds like a good girls’ date to us!)

But it also means that throughout the week, leading wellness experts, chefs, and celeb trainers from the nation’s top gyms, spas, and wellness providers have been sharing their tips, tricks, recipes, and tools. If you check out the SpaFinder Wellness site, you can find some of the free events, open houses, workshops, consultations, and more.

FITNESS is headed to a special event in NYC tonight to check out product demos from some of the nation’s top beauty, skin-care, and wellness companies. Click on over to @FITNESSColleen’s Twitter feed later tonight or tomorrow to see how it went! 

Give the Gift of Bliss (Plus a Reader Discount!)

Written on November 26, 2012 at 9:00 am , by

Last-minute gift problems can be solved in just a few clicks. (Photo courtesy of Spa Week)

Thanksgiving is like the starting line to the holiday marathon. Now that it’s over, you’re already being inundated with ads, flash sales and more holiday shopping stress than necessary before December. Here at FITNESS, we believe in a healthy body and mind–which is hard to achieve in mobs of shoppers and rude cashiers. So let’s make life a little easier, shall we? Whether you need a gift for a party hostess (she has enough wine, trust us), a co-worker or the ladies in your morning jogging group try a different route this year with a Spa & Wellness Gift card from Spa Week. Valid year-round at over 7,500 spa and wellness facilities in the U.S., you can help a friend treat themselves to a massage, facial or whatever else they need to decompress.

As if the idea with crossing off half of your shopping list isn’t enticing enough, Spa Week is giving FITNESS readers an exclusive discount! Just go to spaweek.com/fitness for 15 percent off on all gift card denominations ($25, $50 or $100). Offer ends December 31, 2012, giving you just enough time for those last-minute items. Happy shopping!

More from FITNESS: The FITNESS Gift Guide

Fun, Fit Getaway: W Retreat and Spa, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico (As Seen on The Bachelor!)

Written on January 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm , by

The amazing beach at the W Retreat & Spa - Vieques where bachelor Ben and Courtney enjoyed their date. (Photo courtesy of W Hotels)

Tonight on The Bachelor, Ben and his eligible bachelorettes take their love show on the road, jetting to gorgeous Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, where they stay at the W Retreat & Spa. Apparently the romantic, tropical locale has contestant and former FITNESS cover girl Courtney feeling frisky: She leads Ben to the W Beach for a late-night swim (skinny dip, perhaps?), the show’s promo teases.

We can’t wait to watch—to catch all the drama and the beautiful Vieques backdrop.

FITNESS was recently invited to stay at the laid-back luxe retreat (alas, not while Ben was there) and explore Vieques. We found a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation—an ideal destination for a fun, fit couples trip or an active girlfriend getaway. If you go, check out these top hits on our Fit List:

  • Morning yoga: Start each day with a 90-minute traditional morning yoga class on the outdoor deck behind the W’s SWEAT fitness center. (The class sometimes takes place on the beach when weather allows.) Non-yogis: Work out on the brand new cardio machines and weights in the fitness center or hit some balls at the nearby SWING tennis courts.
  • Hiking and kayaking adventure: Black Beard Sports, located next to SWEAT, offers several custom guided tours of the island. We hiked to a nearby breathtaking vista and then kayaked to Red Beach for a gourmet picnic. See if Mark is available to be your guide.
  • Biking: You can also rent a bike at Black Beard. For a scenic and moderately challenging four-mile spin*, take a right on the road (Route 200) from the retreat and head past the airport to Starfish Beach, where you may spy bright red starfishes on the sand. On your way back, hang a left to ride out to the end of the mile-long Mosquito Pier for a stunning look back at the island. You’ll pass dozens of the island’s free roaming horses along your route. (*The folks at Black Beard can provide detailed directions.)
  • Bioluminescent bay tour: Don’t leave Vieques without taking a nighttime kayak tour on the magical bio bay, which is filled with microscopic organisms that release a chemical whenever there’s movement in the water, making it glow. Every paddle stroke creates a trail of light. The W can arrange your outing with a company such as Abe’s Snorkeling & Bio Bay Tours. Request a tour with Abe himself, if he’s available. He’s a total trip and excuse enough to visit Vieques.

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5 Ways to Relax and Recharge in 15 Minutes

Written on January 20, 2012 at 11:47 am , by

Now that the holiday decorations are down and our daily routines are back to normal, it’s easy to get caught up in our hectic schedules. Which is why when we heard about Aura Cacia’s plan to have a 15-minute “National Moment of Chill” at noon this Monday, January 23, we let out a sigh of relief.

You don't even need a bathtub to do these blissful treatments! (Photo by David Tsay)

You don’t need to hit up a spa to give yourself some zen. Try these five DIY recommendations from Aura Cacia to recharge inside and out.

Energize with: Peppermint Essential Oil
Apply three or four drops into your socks to achieve that extra pep in your step.
Other energizing recommendations: Energize Aromatherapy Body Oil, Peppermint Aromatherapy Stick

Feel balanced with: Rose Absolute Essential Oil
Diffused Rose Absolute at your desk creates a stabilizing atmosphere during times of stress.
Other balancing recommendations: Geranium Essential Oils, Clary Sage Essential Oils, Renewing Rose Aromatherapy Spritz

Meditate with: Neroli blended with Jojoba
Massage tension points—such as your temples—to alleviate stress and negativity.
Other meditative recommendations: Purifying Sandalwood Soak, Frankincense Essential Oil

Soothe away stress with: Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Rinse off the day with an after work steam shower boosted by four drops of eucalyptus on the shower floor.
Other purifying recommendations: Cleansing Tea Tree Stick, First Response Essential Oils

Relax with: Lavender Essential Oil
Combine 18 drops of Lavender with 1 ounce of water in a mister. Spray four times on your pillow a few minutes before bedtime to carry you off to sleep.
Other relaxing recommendations: Lavender Harvest Aromatherapy Bath, Chamomile Roman Essential Oil, Pillow Potion Mist

You can also join Aura Cacia on Facebook to pledge to take the time to chill out and invite your stressed-out friends to take part.

Tell us: What are your tips and tricks to de-stress?