As 2013 drew to a close, you might have thought to yourself: “This is my final cup of eggnog”; “one more canapé couldn’t hurt”; or “no one will ask about the whereabouts of that last Christmas cookie.” We’ve all been there but with the New Year, we’re embracing a healthier attitude and really tapping into what it means to take care of yourself.
Here to provide some pep talks for 2014 are some pretty inspirational wellness experts who work their magic at various Kimpton hotels across the country. They know it can be unrealistic to squeeze in burpees between business meetings and parent/teacher conferences but believe a few simple tips go a long way in terms of overall well-being.
At the Hotel Monaco Portland, there’s a powerhouse duo that provides killer conference services and engineering prowess by day and then also moonlight as a local yoga expert and half marathoner.
Emily Dalsfoist is the hotel’s conference services manager and local yogi. She’s been teaching vinyasa flow yoga for four years and her training includes hot yoga and yoga sculpt (yoga with hand weights). Twice a month, she leads complimentary classes for all hotel guests, employees and friends. At 7:30 a.m., classes are held in a meeting room or (Pacific Northwest weather permitting) on the front lawn by the waterfront.
Emily’s Tip: “Drink more water! I never underestimate the power of water. It’s energizing and rejuvenating. Plus it suppresses unnecessary sugar or food cravings. To start small, try replacing one or two of your daily beverages (coffee, soda, energy drink, etc.) with a glass of water. To spice it up, I like to add essential oils and peels of oranges and lemon or slices of cucumber and strawberries.”
George Heiskell is the hotel’s chief engineer and resident running guru. In 2013, he ran six half-marathons and enjoys leading a guided 3.5-mile bridge loop for guests and employees every Thursday morning at 6 a.m. around the picturesque Willamette River and Portland waterfront.
George’s Tip: “Get on your feet and start moving; your body will thank you! Walk or run, especially if the weather is cooperating. But even just using the stairs now and then will make a notable difference.”
At Manhattan’s Ink48, guests can take their fitness to the next level with the hotel’s dedicated “fitness curator,” aka Danielle Harrison. Born and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, Danielle is a certified trainer in Zumba, group fitness and TRX who holds a certification with the National Academy of Sports Medicine and has also completed two NYC half marathons. By appointment, hotel guests can receive a variety of services including personalized training tips, fitness assessments, running guides, seven-day nutrition plans and private in-room sessions as well as group and corporate fitness breaks. (Services start at $95 and appointments must be made at least 24 hours in advance through Ink48.)
Danielle’s Tip: “After the holidays, everyone’s initial reaction is to try and make up for their transgressions in a week, which can just lead to injury and exhaustion. Ease yourself back into the saddle by starting with an hour’s worth of exercise (not three!). Also take a stab at planning out your meals to help you stay on track. By planning ahead, you can help avoid falling back on the easiest — and oftentimes the unhealthiest — options.”
The Hotel Monaco Philadelphia is in a town that’s famous for a certain fictitious boxing champ. Which is why we’re thrilled that the hotel’s very own doorman, Thomas “T” Govens, has that fearless fighting spirit that just can’t be denied. He shares his years of boxing expertise with guests by providing a heart-pounding “Total Knockout with T” cardio workout every Thursday morning at 6:30 a.m. The complimentary class challenges the body and mind to tighten and tone participants into fearless road warriors.
T’s Tip: “Always make time for breakfast. Beforehand, I also give myself a few minutes to do at least five pushups and five sit ups. If you get into the routine, you’ll be able to increase this number to jump start your mornings.”
— Faith Yi