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Womens health

Get a Good Sleep and a Good Sweat at the 5 Best Fitness-Minded Hotels

westin gaslamp water

You know that thing where you travel and you’re left to figure out where and how and when you are going to get your workout in? Well the Westin Hotels & Resorts is changing the game!

Holly Perkins, women’s fitness expert and founder of Women’s Strength Nation, has recently paired with Westin Hotels & Resorts to kick off their “Westin Wellness Escapes,” a series of well-being retreats led by experts who want to help you achieve new goals! Throughout the WSN Live event, Westin spoiled guests with inspired meals from their SuperFoodsRX and Fresh by the Juicery menus. Westin Hotels is planning similar retreats, or Escapes, covering nutrition to yoga and running, with events being offered internationally. Next up is a triathlon recovery escape in Jekyll Island, Georgia hosted by Chris Heuisler in May.

Westin Hotels has also partnered with New Balance to provide their guests with a new Gear Lending program. Certain Westin properties will be offering New Balance shoes and clothing for a nominal fee of only $5! Whether you want to save room in your carry-on or just want to try out some new gear, or managed to forget something, this is an exciting amenity that ensures your active lifestyle won’t be forgotten when you’re far form home. Add in the hotel’s 5K events, healthier food options, relaxing spas, Holly’s exclusive workout videos available in-room, and exceptional gyms and we can’t think of a better way to vacation!

Westin isn’t alone though. Many hotels are catching on to the wellness needs of their guests and similar programs have been created at major hoteliers around the country.
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The First Women’s Strength Nation LIVE Event Motivates Women to Take Back the Weight Room

holly womens strength nation

Sunny San Diego was the backdrop for the first Women’s Strength Nation LIVE event April 10 – 12, 2015 and Diets In Review was there every step of the way. The kickoff was part of the launch of Westin Hotel and Resort’s new Westin Wellness Escapes, a series of weekend-long events devoted to helping you live your best life, even on vacation.

Hosted by celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert Holly Perkins, CSCS, the weekend was full of enlightening information to equip women with everything we need to walk into the weight room, confident and ready to work.

The mission of Women’s Strength Nation is to improve the ratio of women to men in the weight room. In order to do that, WSN provides you will all the tools you need to confidently walk into the gym and crush it every single time. Using strength training as a metaphor for building strength inside and out, we learned that in order to illicit change, you must have adversity. Like your muscles, you must be torn down before you can be built back up. When met with resistance and adversity, either in terms of weight vs. your muscles, or life vs. you, in the words of Holly Perkins herself “how you show up for this is how you show up for everything.”


Through individual and group exercises, group workouts, workshops and lectures, we learned the indisputable science that supports strength training’s affects not only on the body, but also the mind. We learned how a woman should train differently than a man, despite the fact that all the information out there is written for a man and a man’s body.

With so many takeaways from the weekend, it’s hard to choose which to highlight. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom:

Kelly Womens Strength Nation


Change, positive or negative, is the biggest stressor: marriage is stressful the same way divorce is and a promotion is as stressful as a job loss. Our bodies crave homeostasis, to keep the status quo. Everything in our beings wants us to stay the same. The purpose of fear is to maintain that homeostasis. Whether in the gym or in your life, your body will naturally resist. To overcome, just breathe, acknowledge this, and do it anyway.


The women can’t bulk myth was busted. Rejoin, easy gainers! Women can bulk (if they want!) — it just takes a very specific physiology and/or a specific type of training. It has to do with testosterone and yes, some women have more than others which gives them a propensity to bulk, so no, you aren’t crazy if you fit the bill.


That being said, you can get stronger without getting bigger (they are not synonymous) you just need proper programming. To find the best program for your body type, pick up a copy of Holly’s new book Lift to Get Lean. It’s a female-focused strength training bible, and in it Holly shares four unique programs for each body type and goal type so you can bulk (or not!) how you want.


Pulling mechanics are very important for a woman’s body, which is why you need to do three times as many pulling exercises as pushing ones. It has to do with our evolution from the days when we walked on all fours, and the muscles it takes to keep us standing upright.


In the end, we learned to let go of the excuses that have been holding us back for so long and why it’s vital, as women, not to dim our lights to make others feel comfortable, but rather it’s our responsibility to let our lights shine to motivate and inspire other women to do the same. Together, thirty perfect strangers laughed, cried, shared, and bonded — and will forever be connected. We are strong. And so are you.

stronger she became quote

Here are three things we learned from Women’s Strength Nation LIVE! that you can work into your next workout:

The 3 rules of strength training

1. Technique trumps everything

2. Manipulate your speed of movement

3. The last 2 reps should threaten #1.

The 5 form cues to make every exercise a full body exercise

1. Pull up your arches

2. Push out your knees

3. Tuck your butt

4. Brace your core

5. Anchor your shoulders

5 essential exercises for every woman

1. Leg press

2. Deadlift

3. Reverse grip pulldown

4. Chest press

5. Overhead press

Also Read:

How to Strength Train Without Weights

4 Effective Ways to Make Body Weight Exercises Harder

5 Strength Training Exercises for Runners

images by Lauren Milner Photography courtesy of Westin

Why is Lily James’ Waist in Cinderella Even a Controversy?


There is a bit of controversy surrounding Cinderella’s waist, or rather, Lily James’ waist. Many critics have spoken out about the actress’s waist size, claiming that it may have been altered to appear smaller for Disney’s new live-action Cinderella film.

James has spoken out herself, claiming that she has a naturally small waist. “On top of that I have a corset that was pulled me into the inch of my life,” she told Nightline.

She is not the first Disney star to be attacked for her small waist; in fact, most of the time, the animated monopoly comes under the wrath of critics for unrealistic proportions on women. That being said however, most of those Disney characters are animated, whereas James is most certainly not.

Speaking in James’ defense, I find it interesting that her waist has become the focus of an incredibly uplifting film. Cinderella is a re-told tale that has taken a classic story and transformed it into a cinematic wonder, with a particular focus on positivism, kindness, courage, and yes, even feminism. Cinderella puts a very generous and kind-hearted woman on the big screen, yet here we are, focusing on her body instead of her mind.
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7 Healthier Spring Weight Loss Methods That Work


We are well into the swing of 2015. How’s it going so far? Do make resolutions and then walk away? Or do you check-in with yourself? Spring break is the perfect time to reassess your progress to goal and what you can adjust to help keep you on track and see that resolution through to the end.

If you’ve tried something that didn’t work for you, maybe consider switching gears a bit. Or if you’re using spring as the impetus for making healthy changes, then you’ll need a place to start.

Here are new players on the weight loss scene — big program changes to age-old standards a few exciting new faces that deserve your attention!

The Atkins 40

Atkins revealed a new diet plan at the start of the year, a fresh take on their famous low- or no-carb way of life. The Atkins 40 is a new, revised program that focuses on sustainability and results. People are encouraged to eat from all of the major food groups, starting at 40 net grams of carbs instead of the previous 20. The program is best designed for people who have less than 40 pounds to lose.

What You Can When You Can

The #WYCWYC meme has taken the social web by storm, and this incredibly refreshing theory will be available in a book in just a few weeks. Written by Roni Noone and Carla Birnberg, the What You Can When You Can philosophy focuses on living in the moment — something that will likely appeal to everyone. The book will be released at the end of April, thanks to a hashtag that has already gone viral. If a healthy lifestyle on your own terms appeals to you, without any pressure or guilt, then it’s time to see what you can do… when you can!
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Workout Splits are Key to Creating the Physique You Really Want

workout splits

If you’re new to the gym this spring you’re quickly figuring out that fitness has a language all its own. You have the bootcamp class going for AMRAP while the guy at the squat rack is bragging about his one rep max. As you rest before attempting the next set of dips, another woman asks to “work in” on the assisted dip machine. She asks you, “Is it chest and tri day for you, too?”.

You stare at her thinking, “Are my triceps supposed to have a special day?”.

Workout splits, or how often you work a particular muscle group, can be one of the most confusing parts of a new strength training regimen. With the emphasis on high intensity programs in gyms and online training programs most people are training every muscle, every workout. The idea of a workout dedicated to just upper body or a specific muscle group seems foreign, even outdated, but making sure a muscle has adequate rest and attention is key to creating the physique you really want. Whether you’re new to the weight room or thinking about your first figure competition, there is a split that is right for you!
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