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More Than a Massage: 5 Unbeatable Reasons To Visit a Spa Today

More Than a Massage: 5 Unbeatable Reasons To Visit a Spa Today

In our fast-paced lifestyles, looking busy has become the norm.

You’re applauded if you lack sleep. Working overtime means you’re committed to your job. And not taking holidays is seen as being productive. You come home tired and chores are waiting for you. Before you go to sleep there are emails to be answered. On the first crack of dawn, you’re rushing out the door to avoid traffic during commute. It’s not surprising that many of us look AND feel exhausted all the time. Keep it up and you’re bound to find yourself asleep on your desk, or losing that important client deal.

Playing multiple roles everyday can take its toll – even on the strongest amongst us.

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In times of economic crisis, investing in rest and relaxation (R&R) can feel ridiculous. This is especially true if you’re on a tight budget. But think about it: in whatever industry you work in, wouldn’t it be nice to look AND feel your best? Not only is this a great confidence booster; but being at your best also means that you get to take care of your loved ones better because you’re not tired all the time.

Here’s where a spa visit comes in. You may argue that it’s costly or just a form of luxury. But in recent years, the spa industry has grown – along with its number of male patrons. According to the International Spa Association (ISPA), the number of male spa-goers went up from 31 percent to 47 percent. This means ANYONE can finally get a much-needed R&R, thanks to modern customized treatments and other conveniences.

Here are five unbeatable reasons to drop by your local spa sometime soon:

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1. Most spa treatments are good for your health

Spas nowadays offer a wide range of services that include massages, facial treatments, grooming, and body therapies, to name a few. For beginners, a good ol’ massage is a nice starting point. Experts recommend a hot stone massage to encourage blood flow in the body, relieving body pain and promoting deep relaxation.

A foot massage is also a good idea, especially for men who are hard on their feet. This type of massage helps prevent foot and ankle injuries, reduces headaches, and lowers blood pressure. Mineral baths on the other hand, have purported benefits for those suffering from low back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis, according to family doctor Kim Foster. Even something as simple as aromatherapy has been reported to improve depression and insomnia.

2. It’s great for grooming

There’s no shame in wanting to look your best. After all, there’s nothing like a clean, well-groomed face to catch a good date, land that coveted promotion, or strike a business deal. Spas have all kinds of facials to keep you looking fresh. From simple exfoliation to targeted laser treatment to take care of acne scars and blemishes, men and women will step out of the spa with a renewed kind of confidence.

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3. De-stress after work and play

Millennials make up the largest population in the workforce today. With about 53 million millennials trying to balance work and life, it’s no wonder this generation is usually stretched to their limits. So what do you do on days when everything just feels like they’re against you? Relax. Treat yourself to the serenity and pampering of a local spa near you.

Korean spas for example, have been on the rise in recent years thanks to their unique services. Unlike other establishments, these places offer super quiet atmospheres, deluxe amenities (gold-covered saunas, movie theatres, etc.), and amazing food. In fact, Koreans are known to visit spas frequently due to their overworked lifestyles. It’s not just singles and workers who are patrons: families, friends, and couples come not only to relax, but also to retain their beauty.

4. Great for dates

Let’s face it: it can sometimes feel daunting to come up with marvelous date ideas to wow your significant other. Watching movies is cute, until you can’t decide on a good film. Picnics usually take plenty of prep work and a good venue, while candlelight dinners seem overrated.

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But if there’s one thing couples can agree on, it’s that both won’t say no to a day of pampering. Imagine a sauna for two, or full body massages with sumptuous dinner and lots of candles. Although you and your partner won’t be saying much during your spa visit, both of you will definitely come out feeling better than ever. What better way to say ‘I love you’ than spoiling them?

5. Spas can help you lose weight

Aside from spa amenities that encourage activity (table tennis areas, swimming pools, etc.), there are also spa treatments that can push you in the right lifestyle direction. Want to shave off a few inches in a certain area? Techniques like cool sculpting can remove love handles or stomach rolls by freezing fat cells. Accompanied with regular exercise and a healthy diet, it’s possible to keep your new shape.

As more and more people realize how important self-care is, spas are becoming one of the go-to destinations for health and relaxation. Don’t be put off by gossip or media. Educate yourself about what local spas have to offer for you. Maintain an open mind and you might just find an experience unlike any other.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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