Silver&Fit International Classes For Travel to Punta Cana, Cabo San Lucas, & Montego Bay From Home

Disclosure: I received compensation for trying the Silver&Fit International class offerings. As always, I endorse only products and services I’ve personally used. I recommend only brands with missions based on values that align with mine. The opinions below are my own. 

Disclosure:There are Amazon Affiliate links below for which I am paid a small amount for purchases. They do not affect the buyer’s price.

 

I do love a beach. Especially now. 

Last week my city, Nashville, Tennessee was frozen for days. Ice, snow and subfreezing temperatures buried cars, stopped garbage trucks, and even cancelled (gasp) my Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods delivery orders. Meanwhile… escape artist that I am, I was beach-hopping. I took a trip to the sunny shores of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic–a country where I lived 2016-17. I traveled by way of Silver&Fit International Series– FREE to the public on Facebook and YouTube

One of the nation’s leading healthy aging and exercise programs, Silver&Fit was created for adults 50+ to live their most vibrant lives. Each daily International Class is filmed in various dream destinations. All classes–Cardio, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Flex and Balance, Mixed Format, Tai Chi– are offered at all fitness levels so my mom can exercise on virtual trips, too. 

The program combines travel, exercise, sunshine, and the ocean–all scientifically to improve mood. As a travel writer, my goal is to not only transport readers vicariously to amazing locations but also to move them–literally–to travel for physical, mental, and spiritual health. Travel can reduce long-term stress, anxiety, and the risk of heart disease. Studies at University of Surrey and Cornell show that even just planning a trip makes us happier. Taking classes from teachers in these locations of beauty can inspire planning an actual adventure there for one day. 

Silver&Fit offers many workouts– including 9 live classes streamed daily on Facebook and YouTube, 6 days per week. Recordings are posted so videos are available anytime, anywhere. Instructors are inclusive and encouraging–suggesting you use the belt of a robe or sand in a bottle if you’re on vacation or at the beach.

I did 30-minute yoga and cardio classes for my first getaways. They reduced anxiety and Covid fatigue, made it easier to keep up with daily fitness goals for 2021, and were fun. 

I enjoyed Stephanie’s International Cardio Class for building strength and endurance filmed in Huatulco, Mexico. I’m thinking my next destination abroad might be Mexico, and I’ve been curious about Oaxaca for awhile. Jump rope could be good for jump starting the morning. The shadow boxing could be great for a burst of late afternoon energy. I’d been needing a pandemic punching bag.

Jumping rope in Silver&Fit Cardio Class
Shadow boxing

I loved Jill’s International Yoga Class –one of the most popular–filmed at Montego Bay. I could blame losing my balance a couple of times on Ella, but I’ll fess up. I hadn’t done a class since last month. It was good to get back on track. Yoga is great during lunch breaks to release stress and strain from teaching and writing in front of a computer screen all day. 

International Yoga With Silver&Fit Instructor Jill on Montego Bay

Silver&Fit International Yoga Class Montego Bay
Stretching and cooling down

My knees greatly appreciated De De’s International Flexibility & Balance Class in beautiful Cabo San Lucas. A classy, career professional, she has worked with athletes and celebrities. 

Wallace J. Nichols, PhD, a marine biologist and author of Blue Mind, found that exercising near water or the ocean can relax the mind even more. I have always preferred walking or biking–really any activity–in an outdoor, beautiful setting VS a gym with blaring music or tvs. Thus, Joli’s International Yoga class, filmed in Mexico at sunrise just a few feet from the tide, was a wonderful workout and gets my Best Beach Experience Award.  

In Marrakesh I became addicted to pool days. Pretty pools are backdrops an added bonus to Kelly’s International Yoga Class in Punta Cana and Joanie’s International Flexibility & Balance class in Montego Bay and. 

Follow The Silver & Fit Facebook Page for weekly and daily schedules as well as Live Stream alerts. There you’ll find an active community that shares educational articles, fun challenges, tips, recipes, and photos. If you try a class, let me know what you think. If you know someone who would benefit from this info, please share. 

Go to ​www.SilverandFit.com​

www.facebook.com/silverandfit


www.youtube.com/silverandfit


https://www.instagram.com/silverandfit/


www.twitter.com/silverandfit


https://silverandfitathome2.splashthat.com/

#silverandfit #healthyaging #sponsored #something for everyone

Sarasota County Part 2: Where Locals and Tourists Go for Health, Wellness, and To Give Back

Disclosure: Thank you VisitSarasota.com and partners for the hospitality. As always, the opinions here are my own.

Sarasota County: Part 2

Wellness is one of many reasons U. S. News and World Report named Sarasota, FloriDa the #1 Place 2020-2021 to Retire and the #16 Best Place to Live.
LOVE LOVE LOVE Pineapple Yoga + Cycling Studio

So how are those 2021 health and fitness goals going? January 1, I kicked off  the new year making wellness a priority at Pineapple Yoga + Cycling Studio–a highlight of my Sarasota County trip

While vacationing on the west coast of Florida the previous two winters, I saw happy, fit folks of all ages everywhere. Snowbirds love this area–maybe now more than ever– because, unlike the northern parts of the state or most of the US, it’s warm enough to socially distance outdoors all year. Only an outside studio could have coaxed me into a class the morning after celebrating New Year’s Eve, but I’d missed my yoga studio in Nashville, closed due to Covid now for almost a year. I had just restarted the practice that gave me peace, joy, and community while living in Marrakesh, and though I’ve done some online classes since the pandemic started, it hasn’t been the same.  So I traded my comfortable bed at Art Ovation Hotel for one of the bikes they provide and took off on empty but sunny streets.

I enjoyed the ride through the Burns Court neighborhood. When I arrived at the studio–a haven that Claudia Baeza has created in Sarasota–I  instantly felt welcome,  energized. Something also seemed very familiar…like a Moroccan coastal yogi retreat.  

Please watch the video below to understand why, meet some amazing ladies, hear about a haven for locals and tourists…and a model for giving back.

I understand why locals love Pineapple Yoga + Cycling Studio, named in Sarasota Magazine Best New Yoga Studio 2019 and in SRQ Magazine, Best Local Yoga Studio 2020. On-demand classes, online teacher training , studio and live streaming, and here’s just a few events: history yoga classes, Dock Yoga at Marina Jack on Valentine’s Day, Poolside Yoga at the Moderns Sarasota Hotel, Moving Meditation at the Ringling Museum, Throwback 90 Outdoor Yoga Party. AND… check out other experiences offered on beach, boat or paddle board here. Take me back please!

Best of all, staying fit and having fun funds the Dharma Footprint Project so others can, too–so many incredible programs for those listed here AND their care-partners : Yoga and Cycling for Parkinson’s, Love Your Brain™ Yoga (LYBY) for those who have experienced a TBI (traumatic brain injury) or concussion, Y12SR yoga with 12-step programs for addiction recovery, Trauma Sensitive Yoga for Anxiety and Depression, Yoga for Veterans, Yoga for Differently Disabled.

I loved meeting Claudia, a kindred spirit. If you saw the end of the video, stay tuned… when the coast is clear we just may team up in Morocco for a writing and yoga retreat!

Some of Sarasota County’s many wellness opportunities, outdoor sports, adventures on the water and an unbelievable list of gorgeous beaches and parks make for a healthy 2021 body, mind, and soul.

Here’s a few I’d like to try:

Canopy Walk at Myakka River State Park 
Mangrove Tunnels

My podcast guest, Morgan Henderson, talked about the fun her boys had on this family field trip they did during remote school. 

Quick Point Nature Reserve at Longboat Key
Epic Equine Experiences
Photo Credit Epic Adventures
Turtle Beach Campground Waterfront Siesta Key
Bike Tour and Siesta Key Sunset Tour
And of course, my favorite thing about Sarasota County…. miles of beaches for walking, running, shell gathering … exercise, mental health, peace.
Siesta Key, Named #1 US Beach, Photo by VisitSarasota.com

 

 Where to Eat for Health and Wellness

After my January 1 class, I biked through a park, around the corner, and up Main Street for brunch.

 

Main Street, Sarasota, Florida

 

Sarasota has been named the Best City for Vegans in America.
My son. has been vegan for a few years and has opened my mind and tastebuds to some delicious dishes. Lila, recommended by locals, was a great choice. Pronounced Lee-lah, translated as fun, whimsical and creative, the eatery lives up to its name.

Grilled Tofu with Lila’s Dragon Sauce
Ginger Margarita, Macro Bowl with Chickpeas, Brown Rice, Fermentlicious Sauerkraut,  Avocado, Cucumber, Warm Kale, Togarashi, Tumeric-Tahini Vinaigrette. Dessert wan a cappuccino before I hit the road and biked back to the hotel.
I love that Sarasota County  is  known for  Clean Conscious Eating. Here are more suggestions.

MORE ON PINEAPPLE STUDIO and BEACHES HERESARASOTA COUNTY, FLORIDA, BEST OF ALL WORLDS: PART 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paradis Plage Perfect for Solo Travel on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast

generic
Photo by Paradis Plage

The third stop on my November beach hop along the Moroccan Atlantic Coast was Paradis Plage Surf and Spa Resort.  Owners take pride in being the first  hotel in Morocco to combine yoga and surfing—a dynamic duo since yoga  prepares and repairs the body after surfing.  The property invites guests to ride waves, climb camels, or salute the sun as it rises and sets. Here couples, families, friends, and solo travelers enjoy over 100 suites with terraces or balconies opening to pool or sea.  Recreation varies from four area golf courses and an outdoor cinema.  Located 30 minutes from Agadir and 50 minutes from an international airport connecting to European capitals via 3-hour flights, the resort is where westerners love to play.

Started by Kabbage Abbes, one of first investors in Agadir hotels,  who teamed with Francois Payot, head of Rip Curl Europe, the resort is a work of art  run by  Abbes’ daughter, Naima, and her husband, Vincent. Furnishings were created by locals and  the gorgeous green spaces and gardens are by  Spanish landscaper, Sergio Castaneda Beltran.

 

4U2A8008photo internet
Photo by Paradis Plage

Excited to learn more about surfing and to practice yoga, I was shown to a gorgeous oceanfront suite. At the Surf House beach bar while sipping my Flag (local beer) and waiting for a Mexican burger (rare in this region), I saw horses and camels waiting patiently on the sand while cats lounged in the sun. Later, everyone returned for the golden orange sunset.  See highlights of my stay below.

IMG_9614 - Version 2
Simo, instructor here and in video above, is from Rabat.  He has taught in Hawaii and on the US East Coast.  He guarantees by the end of the first lesson every student will be up on their boards.

IMG_9557

In partnership with Rip Curl, legendary Australian brand, Tarik Wahbi, surf pro from Tétouan, is ranked one of Morocco’s Top Ten surfers.  Manager of the  surf program, he leads a team of gregarious guys who hook up guests with equipment, instruction and guides to the best waves.

Photo Paradis Plage 2014-5
Photo by Pardis Plage

IMG_9543

IMG_9537

IMG_9520

IMG_9669

IMG_9534

IMG_9545

IMG_9546

IMG_9565

IMG_9511

IMG_9515

Photo Paradis Plage 2014-2
Photo by Paradis Plage

jacuzzi

Paradis Plage nurtures total wellness that fits the unique needs of each guest.  Surf and Yoga packages are available for two or five days.    Surf School Packages are available for 5 days—2 sessions per day.

Yoga and Spa packages range from two days (daily yoga course, a sensory hammam, and a massage) to five days (yoga course, two hammams, one body scrub, and two massages).

The resort shares with clients the secrets of Moroccan women’s beauty.  All cosmetics are 100% natural Taroudant Argan oil, essential oils from Marrakech gardens, pebbles from Imi Ouaddar’s beach, facial treatments using Sous Massa prickly pip, Taliouine saffron or roses of Dades Valley.

Traditional Hammams consist of a black soap scrub, Atlas ghassoul wrap, Atlantic Coast seaweed wrap, Imouzzer honey, and spice scrub.  Sensory Hammams fuse fragrances of in orange blossom and eucalyptus to relax and rejuvenate.  Managing massages and other spa services is Marie France Riera.

Important Tip:  Schedule spa services, especially massages, and yoga classes before you arrive or at check in because appointments and classes fill fast.

Photo Paradis Plage 2014-12
Photo by Paradis Plage
IMG_4725
Photo by Paradis Plage

Yoga group classes, the highlight of my getaway, are offered three times daily:

8-9:15 Sunrise Yoga (for all levels)—breathing, flexibility, strength, muscle toning, body opening

11-12:15 Easy Yoga (all levels but especially great for beginners) Asanas postures and poses; precision of body alignment, rhythm, balance

5:30-7 Sunset  Yoga (all levels)–  detoxification, relaxing based on Vinyasa flow systems

Also available are classes in Yin Yoga Therapy (gentle practice using blocks, pillows, restorative and relaxing to relieve tension in muscles and joints, relax spine and pelvis), Aerial Yoga (hammock used for suspension), Prenatal, Power Flow (ultimate workout for athletes), and 108 Greetings.  Custom sessions can be arranged by Karim Fadali.

Photo Paradis Plage 2014-3
Photo by Paradis Plage

Classes are typically held in the Yoga Shala which consists of two beach studios connected by a lotus pond and facing the sea.  Groups may rent the space for private retreats as they did during my stay so guests met in an open air space (see below).  Sara, our excellent German instructor, lives in Cairo.  Like the best teachers, she is creative, kind, soulful, and a learner herself.  She was excited about taking her first surf lesson after our yoga class.  My classmates were European as well– some there with partners and others solo. We “sent love to the flies”–pests in the  Taghazout region at times– but packing insect repellent might also be a good idea.  The small community made it possible to meet other guests in classes and connect with them at the poolside buffets or bars later.

IMG_9602

IMG_9607

IMG_9506

 

IMG_9504

IMG_9517

IMG_9513

IMG_9530

IMG_9672

IMG_5031
Photo by Paradis Plage

IMG_9665

I left feeling refreshed and restored by the beauty of nature and yoga.  I loved seeing smiles on surfers’ faces when they did what we all must do to navigate and enjoy life– conquer fear, be flexible and strong, and stand tall as we ride the waves.

Thanks to Paradis Plage for a restful retreat.  As always, the opinions are my own.