ALL POSTS IN [Health and Wellness]

Photo Courtesy of Susan Chiang/E+/Getty Images

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer. That means warm weather and staying active by walking, jogging, biking and finding other ways to enjoy outdoor activities. If you’re a traveler who enjoys staying fit, then we have a list you should check out before your next trip. A new fitness report has ranked the 50 healthiest and fittest cities in the United States. And you won’t believe which city is No. 1.
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Photo by Heath Korvola/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Whether you live in a major urban city or a small country town, you all likely have something in common: You can find biker gangs everywhere. And we’re not talking about those leather-wearing guys gunning their Harleys (although they are pretty cool). We’re talking about bicycle gangs like the ones you may see going through your neighborhood on a Sunday morning or riding to work in the heart of rush hour — the everyday biker gang. READ MORE

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Johns

The summer months mark the most popular travel period of the year, with tourists flocking to all corners of the Earth to rest, relax and explore. Taking a spa day is a popular respite, but visiting the Dead Sea for a spa day is a truly unique travel experience.

Located on the borders of Israel, Jordan and the West Bank, the Dead Sea is the lowest land point in the world, at about 1,300 feet below sea level, and Highway 90, which runs along the water, is the lowest road. The area has been a popular relaxation spot since biblical times — King David visited the Dead Sea frequently, and it was even the spot of the first health resorts built by Herod the Great — and that really hasn’t changed much since.
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Photo courtesy of Baron Baptiste 

In honor of National Yoga Month, we caught up with one of leading men in the yoga world, a man who has transformed the face of modern yoga in America — Baron Baptiste. A global force on the scene for the past 2 decades, Baptiste is a yoga teacher, trainer, best-selling author and speaker. He was destined to be a yoga pioneer: His parents opened the first yoga studio in San Francisco in 1955, and he started practicing yoga at the ripe age of 12.

Founder of the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute and creator of Baptiste Yoga, he has built his own brand of power yoga — a vigorous style of yoga seeking to transform the mind as well as the body — that’s one of the most popular practices in America. From teaching war veterans to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Baptiste strives to make yoga accessible and empowering to all, without new-agey mysticism.

Find out how the busy but serene yogi became a yoga icon, how he takes his practice on the road and what he’d be doing if he weren’t a yoga teacher. Hint: It’s still just as Zen.

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Photo Courtesy of Casa Palopó

Calling all the ladies! Sept. 24 marks National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, an annual event that stresses the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women.

Celebrate the occasion — and yourself — with a jaunt to a destination devoted to better health and wellness.

Head to sexy South Beach in Miami and toast your health at the boutique hotel Sense Beach House, whose on-site restaurant, The Local House, will offer a “Healthy Hour” from 3 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 24. Specials include a limited-edition, handcrafted juice (a pineapple blend with ginger lime and a touch of cinnamon) to boost metabolism.
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Charleston's Cooper River Bridge Run

Travelers, Charlestonians and runners (or walkers) alike, prepare for a big weekend in Charleston, SC. The annual Cooper River Bridge Run  happens this Saturday, April 5. Runners and walkers will find their position on the Mt. Pleasant side of the Cooper River Bridge at 6 a.m., to start the 10K race which takes runners across the massive, 2.5-mile-long Cooper River Bridge and ends on Meeting Street, just before the popular Marion Square in Historic Downtown Charleston.

Started as a way of engaging interest and awareness of better health and cardiovascular exercise, “Bridge Run” as it’s fondly called, has become one of the most popular events to happen during the spring season in Charleston – next to its world-class weddings, of course. But before the big race kicks off, the foodies and the kids get in on the action with Taste of the Bridge Run and Kids Run & Wonderfest. READ MORE

Photography by Lake Austin Spa Resort

Set on the banks of an emerald-hued lake, just 30 minutes from bustling downtown Austin, this award-winning, top destination spa offers more than 100 spa treatments, including a Japanese Manaka Hammer ritual which taps your cares away.

 

Daily Escapes!

Yellowstone Boiling River

Yellowstone dip: Visitors enjoy the Boiling River, as bison roam nearby. (Photo: Lisa Singh)

Feeling stressed? Perhaps all you need is a spa day or 2 … maybe even a week. And sometimes Mother Nature has the best idea: a spa treatment in the great outdoors.

That’s what I found on a trip this past week into the remote winter wilds of Montana where hot springs abound, as does the added bonus of being in a state that recently cracked the top 5 in the happiest states index. Maybe being the sixth-least populated state has something to do with Big Sky Country’s “happy” distinction, along with the lack of cellphone coverage, which can’t help but turn a traveler’s attention toward the grand, majestic show all around — the expansive mountain ranges that make up this stretch of the Rocky Mountains, with stories of mountain men and Native American tribes finding reprieve from wind-bitten days in soothing, mineral-rich waters by the base of mountains.

That’s where hot springs come in, lots of them. The western third of Montana is where visitors will find the most accessible, and inviting, geothermal wonders, emerging just below the surface with temperatures anywhere from 85 to 140 degrees. READ MORE

It’s well into January, how are your resolutions faring? Did you make a commitment to be fit this year or to try something new and exhilarating? Or maybe, you wanted to make room for more meditation and tranquility? Whether you’re looking for intense relaxation or extreme adventure, here are our top picks for total renewal in 2014:

Best Fitness Boot Camps
Destination-based boot camps can be the best way to switch up your fitness routine, which you may — or may not — have kept up with so far (no judgment here!). From hiking with picturesque views of Mt. Everest to dancing along the Mayan Riviera, these are far from your ordinary 5 a.m. boot camps.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Tell cancer to take a hike

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month now in full swing, dozens of organizations nationwide are sponsoring events for survivors and supporters to get out there, have fun … and become a little more courageous. What better way than through travel?

It’s important to participate in an annual Race for the Cure — find one here – but why stop there? Adventures can come in simple treks, even a hiking trip near your home.

Diane Mapes, DoubleWhammied.com blogger, on a Seattle-area hike last October

That’s what Diane Mapes (pictured, left) found. In the weeks before this Seattle-based writer, and blogger of the very fearless (and funny) Double Whammied blog, underwent a double mastectomy in April 2011, she hiked up Tiger Mountain, a small peak just east of Seattle. After surgery, and before chemo, Mapes went to Dungeness Spit, along the Strait of Juan de Fuca (a few hours west of Seattle), and walked all the way to the end and back — 13 miles, in all, that felt pretty good.

“Getting out in nature makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger and that challenges aren’t insurmountable,” says Mapes, speaking from her Seattle home just 2 weeks after undergoing reconstructive surgery. “Travel has been really important to me,” she adds, “even the small trips.”

Beat Cancer, Have an Adventure

Dozens of organizations nationwide promote adventure travel on the road to beating cancer – and both survivors and supporters can participate. Every year, Climb Against the Odds supporters climb the nearly 15,000-foot-high Mt. Shasta in Siskiyou County, CA – sign up for the 2014 climb here. For climbing adventures abroad, check out Climb to Fight Breast Cancer.

Or grab an oar, the International Breast Cancer Paddlers’ Commission sponsors dragon boat teams. Bike up for Tour de Pink, which sponsors rides from coast to coast – next one up is in Southern California, Oct. 18-20. Love to fish? Join Casting for Recovery on a fly-fishing retreat in the great outdoors. Or catch a wave with Boarding for Breast Cancer.

Check out There is Life After Breast Cancer for more travel adventure ideas.

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