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Health

Healthy aspects of an active lifestyle

Thursday, April 07, 2016

BodyScience at St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday

I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Barnard last night at an event in Boston. His family has owned the BodyHoliday and Rendezvous resorts on St. Lucia for 50 years. Barnard, an endurance runner, was experiencing gastrointestinal problems on his runs until he consulted a doctor at BodyHoliday who did a detailed analysis of his health, only to discover that he had a severe allergy to eggs. Avoiding eggs these past two years, Barnard told me that he feels better than ever. Now he’s helping his guests. In 2014, BodyHoliday implemented a BodyScience program that combines western medicine with the Indian practices of Ayurveda. Complete a detailed questionnaire at home and send it back to BodyHolday along with DNA samples. Once onsite, each BodyScience guest consults one-on-one with a physician who tests heart rate, blood pressure, body fat, lung capacity, sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, cardio and arterial fitness, hormone levels, and food allergens. Based on the results, BodyScience doctors will provide a unique nutrition and lifestyle plan to help the body handle stress and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Already a leader in the field of active lifestyle resorts, it seems like BodyHoliday is now setting the bar even higher with this wellness initiative. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/07/16 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Faith-Based Travel Story in Crux

Earlier this month, my family was in Cappadocia, Turkey, visiting the fascinating underground cities Christians built in the 2nd century to avoid persecution from the Romans. Tunnels were carved into the soft volcanic rock that venture a mind-boggling 7 and 8 levels underground. They lead to rooms that were used to sleep, eat, pray, along with advanced ventilation systems and a well to retrieve water. Cappadocia is one of the many inspirational locales I mentioned in a recent article for Crux, a special publication the Boston Globe publishes. I also included the rock churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia; the island of Patmos, Greece where St. John the Divine was banished; the Tuscan hill town of Assisi, best known as the home of St. Francis and the Franciscan monks; and the legendary Spanish hiking route known as the Way of St. James. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/28/15 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bring Your Yoga Mat and an Open Heart

New England is known for its abundant number of private retreats where you and your group of friends can rent out the entire enclave for a weekend of yoga, meditation, and hiking and biking in the outdoors. Yet, the list of these retreats can be overwhelming so it helps to have friends who do the research for you. I was excited to be included on the guest list for a momentous birthday this past weekend at Spirit Fire Retreat Center in the remote hills of Leyden, Massachusetts, just north of Greenfield. What a find! We were hosted by Steve, a talented cook who served us tasty organic meals like a hot and sour soup with turkey sausage, leek frittatas, salads topped with ripe avocadoes and tomatoes, and much more. We ate meals around a large wooden table. Sunlight and the sound of wind poured into the large meditation room (can fit up to 16 people), only enhancing the poignant words and direction of our cherished yoga and meditation instructor, Checka Antifonario. When we ventured outside, we were treated to an hour-long hiking trail in remote woods, wine and cheese along a raging river, and seeing the twinkling night sky around a fire pit while roasting marshmallows. Do your body and mind a favor and splurge on a weekend here. You’ll thank me for the recommendation. Better yet, hire Checka to come along! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/14/15 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marijuana Tours Start to Bud in America

In the November election, residents of Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, DC, all voted to legalize marijuana. Excited to hear that news were a growing number of travel companies from Colorado and Washington that are already offering tours to cannabis lovers, comparable to visiting wineries or craft breweries. Kush Tourism offers the Colorado Highlife Tours and Washington Evergreen Tours, where clientele visit the local marijuana growers, discuss the varietals, delve into the medicinal qualities of the cannabis, even visit glass blowers that specialize in bongs and glass pipes. Cannabus is a mobile marijuana lounge stationed in Seattle and likely to hit the road to Portland, once pot stores open in Oregon in 2016. TravelTHC compiles a list of pot-friendly homes and apartments where you can spark up no problem. With the Denver Post hiring a marijuana critic to taste all the varietals (recently profiled in this New York Times story), pot is no longer a joke reserved for Cheech and Chong. It’s serious business and I see more active travel companies like Backroads joining the fray, similar to their Napa or Loire Valley trips. A culinary tour would be agreeable to older, high-end travelers who wouldn’t mind getting stoned, then feasting on a four-course Oregon farm-to-table dinner. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/18/14 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Soaking in the Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is Iceland’s version of climbing the Eiffel Tower or taking the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building, a site primarily reserved for tourists. Icelanders will simply go to their local pool to lounge in the hot tub at a fraction of the price. That’s not to say I would blow off the Blue Lagoon. Several of the writers I went with to check out the place made a second stop at this geothermal spa before their outgoing flight, since the lagoon is located near the airport. Step into the warm, milky waters, engulfed in a cloud of hazy steam, and your travel weary body instantly feels relieved. You can grab a drink at the bar or apply a white mask of silica mud to your face, known to exfoliate and energize your skin. I initially blew off the silicon mud portion, until some Icelandic babe wandered over to me and asked if I wanted to try. “Sure, why not?” I said as she applied the creamy concoction to my face. After the silicon mud dried and I washed it off in the water, she gave me the royal treatment by then applying an algae mask, an anti-aging cream. Now you understand why my friends wanted to return to the Blue Lagoon. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/23/14 at 10:00 AM
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

R&R in the Adirondacks

Even during my honeymoon 20 years ago, I was writing notes, researching for travel stories. Since the tape in my trusty microcassette recorder melted during an assignment backpacking through the Mojave Desert over a decade ago, I’ve always carried notebooks around during my travels. But there’s one trip each year that I don’t bring any notebooks or pens and can truly relax on vacation. That’s my annual jaunt to Bolton Landing on Lake George to see my family over Labor Day Weekend. We each grab a room at the Bonnie View, with exceptional views of the mountains on the opposite shores. Then I head down to the Adirondack chairs on the dock and chill with a copy of my boyhood paper, the Schenectady Gazette, in hand. I’ve written numerous stories on the Adirondacks, but not lately, resulting in much needed down time. 
 
Have a great Labor Day Weekend! I’ll be back next week with my favorite Vermont picks in autumn. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/29/12 at 12:00 PM
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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Don’t Swim After a Rainstorm

Even if the sun is shining and the sky is blue, if it rained recently, water quality at your favorite beach might have a high bacteria rate due to stormwater runoff. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, storm runoff is the main reason American beaches saw a 29% increase in closings last summer. Last week, the NRDC came out with its water quality ratings for 200 of the country’s most popular beaches. They include four beaches that have been given “Superstar Beach” status due to perfect test results the past three years. Those beaches are Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Dewey Beach, Delaware, and Park Point Lafayette Community Club Beach in Minnesota.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/06/11 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healthy Parks Healthy People US

Last week in San Francisco, the National Park Service brought together more than 100 leaders in health care and the environment to host a forum called Healthy Parks Healthy People US. America is following a successful Australian initiative to promote the positive connection between the health of the natural world and the health of humans. By introducing more people to America’s state and national parks, the National Park Service hopes to instill a healthier lifestyle that leads to reduced health care costs. The NPS is expanding First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program to create Let’s Move Outside Junior Rangers and is also introducing other health-conscious programs like Food for the Parks and my favorite title, No Child Left Inside. Any program that helps reconnect people with nature is a winner in my eyes, whether it’s for physical or mental health reasons or simply the chance to be lost in a stunning locale.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/13/11 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Get In Shape for Your Wedding

 

New York’s

Physical Advantage

is best known for getting professional athletes and Broadway casts in shape. Now the fitness center is honing in on the lucrative bridal trade. They have just introduced “The Bridal Body Shop,” a boot camp designed to prepare brides-to-be and their wedding party for the big day and beyond. The program allows future brides to train in their own home with one of Physical Advantage’s personal trainers. Workout sessions are comprised of cardio activity, free weights, floor work, and kettle balls, depending on the individual. The Bridal Body Shop also has workouts designed for the soon-to-be groom and his wedding party.

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/16/11 at 02:00 PM
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Keep Up the Speed

This seems rather intuitive but researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found a correlation between walking at a brisk pace and living longer. Studying data from nine studies involving some 35,000 people, they found that only 35 percent of the slowest walking 75 year-old women made it to their 85th birthday. Males did even worse, with only 19 percent of slowest walking men reaching 85.  Bottom line: try your best to maintain a good brisk pace throughout life.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/13/11 at 02:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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