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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

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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The Best of 2013: From Fearless Selfies to Fitness Leaders, the 26 Must-Follow Names in Wellness

I don’t know about you guys, but we had a really great year over here at We certainly felt the love — hello you named us a Top 50 Health Blog for 2013! — and tried every day to show it to you, too. Together we celebrated some tremendous weight loss successes, fitness milestones, and met so many more of you out there who make this a fun place to be in here.

Along the way, we found a few people who made the Internet a healthier place to be, even enlightening and holding us to a higher standard. They should be recognized, and you should consider following them. There’s a lot of brains, talent, and heart in this bunch of 26 brands and people in our 13 categories, covering food, fitness, and even social networks.

Without further adieu … meet our picks for the best of 2013!


kenlie alan

It was Oxford’s word of the year, you don’t think we’d pass up a legitimate chance to use it, did you? We selected two individuals who are using their selfies to better themselves and those around them. Plus, their selfies are duck-face free, so we can actually stand to look at them!

Alan Ali@Sweating_It_Off

Kenlie Tiggeman@ALLTHEWEIGH


One hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every MINUTE. It would take longer than four days to watch a single minute’s worth of new video content – and no one has time for that! So we saved you the potato couchin’ time and sorted through to find the very best new clips from this year. Honestly, you’ll put them on repeat.

Dance Walking Fitness by Ben Aaron

Prancercise on YouTube
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To Lose Weight, You Have to Build More Muscle

We all have that friend. The skinny one who eats whatever they want and never exercises. We all secretly dislike them for this trait and at the same time, wish we could be like them. New research is showing that they might be in a bad position, even worse than an overweight person who hits the gym. As scientist Bente Pedersen said this week, “It’s much better to be fit and fat, than skinny and lazy.”

Pedersen contributed along with many other professionals in Bill Gifford’s article for Outside this week. The article focused on more truths that have been revealed about fat. The report was lengthy but it highlighted some important misnomers about fat. Most know that we have “good” fat and “bad” fat, or subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. The good fat is more or less padding, while bad fat builds up in our mid-sections and can infiltrate our organs. A picture of fat invading muscles like the marbling of beef was used to describe how visceral fat can affect the inactive, not just the obese.

This bleak outlook of how fat can literally take over was explained further by Gerald Shulman, M.D., a diabetes researcher at Yale who contributed to the Outside article. Shulman explained how the amount of fat one has isn’t the problem, more so, it’s how the fat is distributed. He explained how fat build up in areas like the muscle and liver, or places it simply should not be, is when ailments like type 2 diabetes arise.
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