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Health & Fitness Blog

Workout Variety

It’s very easy to get caught in the same routine and find yourself becoming stagnant in your fitness programme. We are creatures of habit and once we start something we like it is unlikely that we stray very far from that routine. However, it’s very important that you add some workout variety and try something different every now and then.

So why should you vary your workout routine? Well, there are a couple reasons. The first is to avoid boredom. Sometimes we lose interest and stop exercising because we have become bored with our routine. That’s why it is crucial to keep things interesting. A second reason is that we have to create overload, meaning that we should be challenging ourselves and doing more than the body is used to. If we are not creating overload we will not progress towards our goals. Finally, a great reason to switch your routine might be to discover a new programme or workout that you have never tried.

That is why The BodyHoliday is such a great place to try an activity that you have never done before. Need an idea or workout to switch up your routine? Try this 100 workout that features 10 different exercises with 10 repetitions of each performed right here at The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia.


See Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Should You Stretch?

Some experts say “yes” and others may tell you, “it’s a waste of time.” So what’s the real answer? As with anything, it depends. It depends on what your goals are. I will give you some examples for both sides of the argument.

If your goal is to increase overall flexibility then you will need to hold static stretches. Static meaning that you will hold a specific stretch anywhere from 20 seconds onwards to stretch the muscle and increase flexibility. However, not everyone cares about increasing their flexibility.

So should everyone stretch? Not necessarily.

If your goal is to increase overall strength studies have shown that holding static stretches before a weight training session can actually decrease your performance. Same with doing static stretches in-between sets of your exercises. When stretching was done between sets a decrease in performance was noted.

Surely everyone should stretch after their workout, right? Well, again it depends. I would suggest that everyone take at least 5 minutes at the very end of their workout to hold some stretches. If nothing else it allows you to bring your heart rate back down to a resting level before ending your workout. Also, the muscles will be warm and have significant blood flow to them which will allow you to get the most out of your stretching.

So you’re saying I should quit my Yoga class? NO! Stretching can be very rewarding and can help you improve posture and perform everyday tasks much easier. Unfortunately there are no one size fits all answers when it comes to fitness or nutrition. Many time the answer is, “it depends.” However, if your goal is to increase flexibility check out some of our stretches performed right here at The BodyHoliday and subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Don’t forget to see Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant for more personalised  advice when you are with us!

Are You Following Fundamental Training Principles?

I’m not sure where I heard this saying before but it has always stuck with me. “Methods are many, principles are few, methods often change, but principles never do.” If we apply this to fitness training there are many different methods in order for us to achieve our goals. For instance if we are doing Cross Fit, powerlifting, taking a group fitness class, or just doing our own workout in the gym, these are all methods of training. The saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” holds true in the fitness world as there are many methods of training.

However, what doesn’t change are the principles to training. Unlike methods these do not change and hold true for no matter what type of training you are currently using.

  • Progression – You must be progressing yourself towards your fitness goal. For instance if your goal is to get lean tone muscular arms, then using 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets for your entire program will not get you the results you want. Why? Because you violated the principle of progression. You did not progress. For instance you could start with 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets but then progress to 4 sets, 5 sets, and then heavier weights such as 8lbs. or 10 lbs. A good way to ensure progression is to start with the end in mind and then work backwards from there.
  • Specificity – Is just a fancy word for being specific about your training. If your goal is to become a better swimmer then your training is not going to be running on a treadmill. Cross training is okay, but your main focus must be placed on the discipline or targeted on the area you are trying to improve.
  • Overload – You must challenge yourself to more than you are accustomed to. If you are weight training you need to overload the muscles in order for them to grow and come back stronger. If we go back to the example of obtaining lean tone muscular arms and we have decided to use 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets of 50 repetitions we are violating the principle of overload. In this instance if you can complete the exercise for 50 repetitions the weight you are using is too light and will not create an overload in the muscle. As a general rule if you can complete more than 15 repetitions with any given weight, the weight you are using is too light and needs to be adjusted.

So there you have it! Make sure no matter what training you are doing does not violate these 3 principles. Also, if your goal is to have lean tone muscular arms like mentioned in the example above check out our Strong Arms workout right here at The Body Holiday and subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Don’t forget to see Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant for more personalised life changing advice when you are with us!


Treatment for Osteoarthritis – Age Related Changes

Arthritis is a common and painful condition of joint inflammation, a result of age related changes leading to degeneration of the material that cushions the joint, called cartilage.  This causes the bones to rub against each other causing stiffness, pain and loss of joint movement.

This brief article outlines the causes of osteoarthrits and the treatment for osteoarthritis at The BodyHoliday.

Pre-disposing factors and causes of Osteoarthritis include:

  •  Age
  • Hyper mobility
  • Obesity
  • Previous injury
  • Biomechanical compromise
  • Vascular insufficiency
  • Hormonal imbalance

This ultimately leads to progressive softening and cartilage degeneration.  Osteoarthritis is mainly present in weight bearing joints, such as the hips and the knees.

There is no simple answer for osteoarthrits, however the combination of exercise, nutrition (supplements and herbs) and complimentary therapies are all natural treatments here at The BodyHoliday, which can reduce your symptoms and improve quality of life.

The team has a great deal  of experience in the treatment of arthritis here at The BodyHoliday.  It is our aim to reduce surgical interventions with osteopathic treatment aimed at maintaining arthritic joint mobility and promoting dynamic stablity.  This is done by addressing any weakness of the particular involved joints, biomechanical dysfunctions, mobilising and stretching joint capsules, associated with fibrotic changes (scar tissue) and improving blood supply, venous return (blood flow back to the heart) and lymphatic drainage (to help decrease swelling of the joint).  It is also our aim to provide specific motor training exercises that allow joints to become more stable in efforts to reduce the rate of further pain and dysfunction.

For further details or to pre-book your Osteopathic treatment, please ask for Lucy when you are here with us.

Put your Love to the Fitness!

Valentines Day is just around the corner and what better way to spend time with your significant other than being physically active together. There are so many ways to stay in shape but having a partner to work out with is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Not sure what to do? Check out our short partner workout performed here at The BodyHoliday.

Just in case you need a few other reasons why it’s beneficial to have a workout partner we have listed some below.

Fun Factor – Working out by yourself can become boring and lack excitement. With a partner you have someone to interact with which can keep you engaged in your exercise program. There are so many different options when it comes to partner workouts and the great thing is that many of them are a lot of fun. In addition to the fun workouts, it can be enjoyable to talk and joke with your partner during your rest periods between exercises. Before you know it you will have completed your workout and it may feel like the time has just flown by. Exercise should be fun and enjoyable. You shouldn’t be going to the gym and dreading your exercise session. If you do then it’s time to switch it up, and by incorporating a workout with a partner is an easy method to do so.

Friendly Competition – This is a great way to push the intensity and set small goals for yourself. There are countless ways to incorporate some friendly competition into your routine. It could be something as simple as a race with your partner to see who can complete 50 crunches, or a run on the treadmill to see who can complete the fastest mile. Be creative! However, keep in mind that you want to make sure you are doing things safely. This is why it’s also important that you and your partner are around the same fitness level. If you have an advanced fitness partner and you are just a beginner you may have trouble keeping up in a safe and effective manner.

Keep Good Form – It’s always good to make sure you are performing any given exercise with appropriate form. Having a partner makes it that much easier. This way you have an outside sets of eyes looking at you and making sure you are doing the movements effectively. It also allows your partner to help you with your weaker movements. Let’s say you aren’t the greatest at completing pushups but that is one of your partner’s strengths. Your partner can then give you suggestions and tips to improve your form. Such as hips down, elbows closer to your sides, or whatever improvement you may need to your form for that specific exercise.

So that’s it! Grab a partner and get busy sprucing up your exercise routine! There’s nothing more romantic than two people who care about each other spending time exercising together. Ok, maybe I may have exaggerated a little. But don’t spend this Valentine’s day only focused on flowers and chocolates. Attention to your partner’s health is one of the best ways to show you care for them. Happy Valentines Day everyone!

For more personalised life changing advice,  see Michael, our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us.


Are You Still on Track?

Believe it or not we’re halfway through January of 2014 and hopefully if you made health and fitness one of your goals to start the New Year you are still on track. There are so many ways to go about getting in shape that sometimes it’s difficult to sift through all of the information that’s out there. So in hopes of adding some clarity here are 3 simple tips so that you can give yourself the best chance of reaching your health and fitness goals.

  • Just Move! Many times we’re led to believe that fitness needs to be complicated. What are the best exercises, how many reps, how many sets, etc. While these details can be important, the main focus should remain on just moving and being active. Don’t suffer from paralysis by analysis. Any exercise programme followed consistently will yield results. Need some direction and help to get started? Click here for a Full Body Blast Workout performed here at The BodyHoliday.

  • Nutrition Reigns Supreme. Maybe you are one of the many that has a goal of weight loss in the New Year. Understand that your main focus should be on making the best nutritional choices possible. You might be exercising and doing everything right in the gym, but if you are eating poor food choices your results will be less than desirable. Your nutrition really is the key to having the body composition that you desire. Focus on mainly unprocessed foods and a diet high in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Need an idea for a healthy meal? Click here for our very own chef preparing a healthy Trout Salad.

  •  Results Take Time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and if up until this point you haven’t been looking after your health it’s going to take some patience to turn things around. The promises of ripped abs and bulging muscles in just 90 seconds a day or other similar miraculous health claims are not possible. If it sounds too good to be true it really probably is. Invest your money wisely in nutritious foods to stock your refrigerator and a gym membership. Understand that real results take time and that consistency is the key to your success.

In need of more assistance? Check out BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos. Don’t forget to see Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant for more personalised life changing advice when you are with us!

Are You Bench Pressing Correctly?

Remember that Bench Pressing is a full body movement. The technique remains the same whether or not you have 5 pounds or 500 pounds on the bar. The primary muscles used in this exercise are pec major (chest), triceps (back part of your arm), and anterior deltoid (front part of your shoulder).Follow these tips and start pressing correctly.


  • Make yourself small on the bench (pull shoulder blades together and rotate down)
  • Correct your elbows so they don’t flair out (wrists and elbows should be in a straight line)
  • Crush the bar and pull it apart while lowering to your chest
  • Drive your heels into the floor
  • Press to full extension

Common Mistakes:

  • Not setting up on the bench properly
  • Not lowering the bar all the way to your chest
  • Letting the weight fall to the chest
  • Letting your elbows flair out to the sides (very tough on your shoulders)
  • Bar is too far towards your neck
  • Feet come off of the floor

To ensure that you are working out correctly, have a one on one session with Michael or Felix when you join us.

6 Questions to Kickstart LIFE Transformation

Getting the most from your holiday may include taking time out to re-assess how you’re doing in your life, as in are you achieving your dreams. Do you even have dreams? Many people are so burnt out that they’ve forgotten to dream, and to dream big!

You deserve to achieve your dreams!

The quality of the questions you ask yourself is the key determinant in unlocking, inspiring and activating change. Do you want a better life for yourself and your loved ones?

People don’t ask enough questions of themselves, and it takes an outside professional to give them the objective insights that will kickstart a life transformation. For instance, a simple question for a person with a bad habit, is “why do you do that”. The follow up is key – “can you think of other ways of handling that?” I believe people do have the answers inside them. They just need to be asked the right questions and then find the leverage with which to make the desired change they want.

Your hopes and dreams are there for a reason. You may have ignored them your whole life, yet,  now is the time to give them some energy.

Most people who consult with me are seeking increased happiness or more fulfillment. Some have achieved financial wealth, yet yearn for spiritual wealth. Some do yoga but can’t seem to get ahead in their careers.

I’m sure you’ve heard before – there is no success or failure – only feedback.

Perhaps you’re in a “bad” situation and instead of seeing it as a learning point, or stimulus for making a change, you’re stuck in the perceived shock or drama of it.

If a relationship or job ends, it is not the end of the world even though it may feel that way. Some of the greatest leaders have suffered spectacular failures.

These are SIX quality questions that will kickstart you on the path to achieving your dreams:

1. What do I dream of doing and how can I be paid to do it?

2. What is the ONE action step I can take today to get me closer to achieving my dreams?

3.  How can I learn from this?

4.  How have I chosen this, and when will I start taking complete responsibility for everything that happens in my life…?

5. What am I truly grateful for?

6. How can I start sharing my dreams with others in a way that empowers myself and my dream, and empowers others too?

Take advantage of the opportunity to book a personal consultation with David G Arenson ND, who is our visiting Specialist for a  LIFE TRANSFORMATION session.

Is Your Sleep Pattern Making You Fat?

So I’ve talked a lot over the past few months about food and exercise and their impact on not just weight management but overall health and wellbeing, so I thought this time I would mix it up a little and look at the importance of sleep.

I’m not talking about just getting an early night to make sure you wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed for the next day, I’m sure we are all well aware of the impact a poor night’s sleep has on our mood and productivity.

Let’s look at the good stuff, how does sleep affect our weight!  There have been numerous studies looking at the association of sleep and obesity and they have shown that short sleep duration is significantly associated with more body fat. Yikes, that’s worrying when the National Sleep Foundation reports that many people only sleep for 5-6 hours a night.

Let’s add to that now with more studies that show acute sleep deprivation appears to increase hunger, it has been found that the region of the brain stimulated by food is increasingly activated when sleep is restricted, basically meaning that you are more likely to over eat when you are tired!

I don’t know about you but that’s all I need to hear to convince me that a good night’s sleep is a must when it comes to weight management. So what can we do to promote a better night’s sleep?

  • Firstly get comfortable, your bedroom needs to be somewhere you actually want to be! If your bed is uncomfortable or the room is too hot or cold then getting to sleep is going to be more difficult.
  • Relax! Watching television may seem like a way to unwind at the end of the day but it can actually hinder your sleep as it stimulates the brain and the same can be said for being on the computer or mobile phone, so turn off the soaps and don’t be tempted to answer any emails. Taking a bath before bed is a great way to relax and unwind!
  • Get regular exercise! Ok so I had to get exercise into the blog somewhere! But exercising during the day can actually promote better sleep just don’t do it right before bed as this might inhibit you from falling asleep.

Hopefully you have some top tips for a peaceful night sleep tonight and for more personalised life changing advice when you are with us see Rachel, our resident nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant.

Stretch at your Desk

So we know that being slumped over a desk all day is not good for our posture and can cause tension in the neck and upper back, if you’ve ever had a sports massage from Billie here at the resort you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, she can find those spots in a flash!

But it is what it is right, you work at a desk and there is nothing you can do about it, you have to suffer the pain until the next massage.  No it’s not the case, I’m here yet again with some simple tips on how to stretch at your desk to ease pain, increase energy and improve circulation.

  • Shoulder stretch: Take the right arm across the front of the body, take the left arm under the right and gently pull in closer to stretch out the right shoulder. Repeat on the left side. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, take a deep breath in as you breathe out gently try and increase the stretch for another 30 seconds.
  • Scapula retraction: Sit with both feet flat on the floor and place your hands on your hips. Set your shoulder blades back and down and squeeze together hold for about 15 seconds, relax and repeat.
  • Chest stretch: Sitting or standing place both hands on the small of your back and stretch the chest forward, aim to get your elbows as close together as you can! Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, take a deep breath in as you breathe out gently try and increase the stretch for another 30 seconds.
  • Chin Tuck: Sit with both feet flat on the floor and place your arms at your sides. Face straight ahead and gently lower your chin to your chest, hold for 30 seconds then relax slowly to the starting position and repeat.
  • Side stretch: Sit with both feet flat on the floor, take your arms above your head and interlock your fingers, keeping your hips in place stretch your arms up to the ceiling and lean over to one side. Hold the stretch for 30 before you take a deep breath and increase the stretch further. Repeat on the other side.
  • Back stretch: Place your hands at the edge of your desk and slowly push your chair backwards away from the desk so your head is between your arms facing the floor , hold for 30 seconds then relax slowly to the starting position and repeat.

Just taking a few minutes a day to complete these stretches may help relieve stress, increase concentration and productivity and generally make you feel a whole lot better!

See Rachel, our Resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant, for more life changing advice and top tips when you are with us!

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