Fitness isn’t just about exercise and external health. A great deal of true fitness is what you put in your body. Good food and clean water play a massive role in determining your overall health. Which is why I’m currently in love with the nkd Pod+ water bottle.
If you’re looking for an effective workout that tones you up without hurting your joints, then HydroFit is what you need. Check out what this fun fitness routine is all about!
If you’ve been working out with me for a while, you’re probably as achy as I am on a regular basis. Like I mentioned in my post on DOMS, there are several ways to deal with muscle soreness. But what I’ve never tried so far has been massages — and I’m not talking just the gentle, relaxing massages. I mean a real, intense sports massage — one that’s designed to release deep tissue knots and improve circulation. So when Bodycraft invited me to try their Sports Massage Therapy, I couldn’t refuse!
I headed over to their Lavelle Road outlet after what was a particular sore week. Between workouts and long hours on my laptop, my muscles certainly needed some release.
Now before I continue, let me tell you that I’ve been a Bodycraft loyalist for over 4 years now. There are few places I trust so implicitly to take care of me. Ladies of Bangalore, if you’re looking for a haircut, head to the Bodycraft at Lavelle Road and ask for Kesang. I literally trust nobody else in Bangalore to touch my hair!
Back to the spa experience. The Bodycraft Spa and Salon at Lavelle Road is a gorgeous one, with warm, luxe decor. The waiting area has large leather sofas and ceiling-to-floor windows that light it up with warm sunlight.
The salon section is just as luxurious, with plenty of natural sunlight and a clever use of light and mirrors. The entire space looks warm, bright, and luxe.
I was greeted with a cup of coffee, and a quick consultation form where I needed to list details of any medical conditions that may be affected by a spa treatment. I sipped on my coffee as I gave them the information they needed, then waited in the lounge while my therapist prepared my treatments.
Oh, did I mention the ceiling is mirrored too?
In a few minutes, I was greeted by my therapist Joyna, who led me to the spa section. This part of Bodycraft feels more relaxing. The sounds and smells are markedly different here — the salon has fun, peppy music while the spa has soothing chants and sounds of the forest.
I was led into a lovely therapy room, with bright white walls and massage beds dressed in turquoise and brass. An interesting combination, it manages to feel both energetic and calming at the same time.
Once in the room, I was proffered a dressing gown and disposable underwear, and left to ready myself for my massage treatment. The room already had spare slippers for me, and coat hangers for me to set my clothes aside.
When I was ready, my therapist started with a stone wash for my feet and an aromatic camphor smoke inhalation to begin the session.
Before the Sports Massage, I was also treated to Bodycraft’s Coffee Anti-Cellulite Scrub. The scrub used is one designed by their MD, Dr. Manjul Gupta, and is prepared in-house. It doesn’t look too great in pictures, but let me tell you, it smells divine! The aroma of coffee, with hints of clove and cinnamon, was intoxicating.
The Anti-Cellulite Scrub works largely on two principles. Firstly, caffeine is a great ingredient for battling cellulite. It improves circulation and promotes lymphatic drainage, which helps minimise the dreaded orange-peel skin that so many of us know all too well. Secondly, the massaging/scrubbing action is concentrated in an upward direction, that is, towards the heart. This is the ideal massage pattern to help drain cellulite. In fact, even when using your loofah or body brush at home, ensure you brush in the direction of the heart.
After being scrubbed clean (literally!), I was directed to shower and get all the scrub off me before the Sports Massage session. The therapy room has an attached shower, stocked with shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner. The scrub took a while to rinse clean, but I could immediately feel how much softer and smoother my skin was. Bangalore winters had not been kind, and I had visible flakes on my arms and legs when I came in. All gone!
By the time I stepped out of the shower, Joyna had already replaced the liners and sheets on the massage bed, and prepared the oils and potlis for my Sports Massage. Per her recommendation, I opted for the use of Ayurvedic oil for my massage, but you also have the option of olive oil, almond oil, and cream.
Awaiting me were a large bowl of the oil, two large potlis (muslin bags filled with sand and herbs), and a plate of hot coals. She worked me over in sections, starting with my legs, then arms, and then torso. She started by slathering me with warm oil and kneading me like a bhatura worthy of an emperor! Now I must clarify, a Sports Massage is supposed to hurt. If you’re looking for pampering and relaxation, this is not the therapy for you. This is specifically designed for deep tissue release, and to increase circulation and promote new muscle growth.
My therapist is clearly a pro. She adjusted pressure as she felt different muscles, giving my tight shoulders special attention, and kneading them until they gave in. As she finished massaging each limb with oil, she followed it up by using the coal-heated potlis as hot compresses. The heat of the potlis, combined with the massaging action, allows the oils to penetrate deeper, and also increases blood flow to the muscles. You can literally feel the tension melt away.
By the time my massage was finished, I felt like a puddle of custard. Muscles that had ached for weeks had suddenly called a ceasefire, and I felt incredibly relaxed. While I would have loved to just lay there and snooze for a bit, it was time to get up and take another shower to get all the oil off me.
When I stepped back into the room after my second shower, I was greeted by a tray of lotions, cleansers, cotton wipes, and earbuds. Incredibly thoughtful of them, and a lovely touch.
I thought that was the end of the pampering, but nope. As I stepped into the reception area, Joyna awaited me with a glass of refreshing lemonade. This wasn’t just thoughtful, but also necessary. After nearly two hours on a massage table, one tends to get rather dehydrated. The lemonade refreshes and energizes you before you get ready to return to the bustle of the city.
And so I returned to the maddening honking, the crawling traffic, and the non-stop cellphone notifications. But all that is infinitely easier to deal with when your muscles are all gooey and relaxed. Sigh.
Book your own Sports Massage at Bodycraft Spa & Salon, Lavelle Road. Call +91-80-4890 3312 . Tell them Chitra sent you 😉
Merry Christmas, FitFam! I hope you all celebrate the day surrounded by love, joy, and good food. I certainly will be.
This post might be a tad late, but I’m hoping to help ease some of the stresses that the holiday season can bring, especially if you’re working to get fit. After all, you’re surrounded by rich food, you’re going to parties, meeting family… how on earth do you not undo a year’s worth of hard work in one week?
Read on for my tips on staying fit during the festive season.
What Can I Eat?
Umm… everything! This is literally what I’ve been eating the past few days while on vacation.
Yes, I’ve been eating dosas loaded with ghee, rich Christmas cakes, filter coffee, and tonnes of fried fish (not photographed because I was too busy gobbling them up before anyone else did, so I’ve used this image from yummraj.com). Also Mysore pak and laddoos and other delectable Indian sweets were eaten, after several months of being sugar-free.
The key is moderation. Unless you’re disallowed from eating something because of medical/religious/any other such non-negotiable reasons, there’s no reason to deny yourself delicious holiday food. Have a slice or two of cake, a couple of pieces of chocolate… and don’t beat yourself up about it. In fact, even if you don’t eat in moderation and decide to binge a little, that’s okay! Enjoy the food, enjoy the vacation… a few days of eating what you enjoy will not undo a year of hard work. And while it’s important to stay fit, it’s just as important to cherish vacations, and moments you spend with loved ones.
How Do I Exercise While On Vacation?
This can be tricky, depending on what kind of vacation you’re on. If you’re doing a hotel/resort trip, you’re likely to have access to a great gym and/or pool. Sweat it out for 30-45 min everyday, or do a few laps — exercise sorted!
If however, you’re going to be on the move, or at your family home, then you might want to plan ahead. Carry your running/workout shoes, for starters. A lot of times, just the fact that you’ve carried them creates a psychological trigger to use them. Head out for a jog/run, or roll out a yoga mat and do a quick HIIT or yoga routine. You can get a LOT done in 30 minutes, with no equipment.
Can’t do that either? Or forgot to carry your gear? No problem, baby! Grab a sturdy chair and do a series of tricep dips, pistol squats, leg raises… again, so much you can do with one piece of furniture. In fact, here’s a video to make it easier!
What about if you don’t manage to do any of these? Well, take a deep breath, sip on some mulled wine (or whatever your poison may be), and relax. Every day needn’t revolve around your fitness efforts, and it’s totally okay to just switch off and enjoy the holidays.
Things You Absolutely MUST Do!
- Drink plenty of water — especially if you’re also sipping cocktails during the day.
- Wear sunscreen. Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.
- Try the local cuisine.
- Take plenty of pictures for you to cherish once the vacation is over.
- Enjoy yourself.
Have a great vacation, my lovelies! Here’s wishing you love, health, and happiness, whatever those words may mean to you.