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Have you ever been sitting at your desk at work, contemplating escaping out a nearby window just so you can achieve a bit of inner zen? Yeah, us too.

Luckily for the stressed population of Dublin, free yoga classes are now running every Monday in Merrion Square this summer to encourage wellness and mindfulness.

The classes are provided by Camile takeaway in partnership with Dublin City Sport & Wellbeing Partnership, and were a massive success last year.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Camile Thai (@camilethaiirl) on

The yoga sessions will be running every Monday evening until August 19, from 6:15pm to 7pm, with certified yoga instructor Veronica Vincenzi.

Everyone from complete beginnings to yoga masters are welcome to join, and 60 mats are provided but participants are encouraged to bring their own due to demand.

Join your fellow zen-seekers at the Defence Force Memorial side of Merrion Square across from the National Gallery in Dublin, and you 100 percent won't regret it.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Camile Thai (@camilethaiirl) on

Free classes are also provided on Tuesdays in Bushy Park and Wednesdays in St Anne's Park, so anyone farther away to Merrion Square or with plans on Mondays can alternate days and location.

For more information about the classes, check out the deets on the Camile Thai Eventbrite page here.

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2019= New Year, New….Food bingeing spree?

Many of us began the year on a health and fitness kick. I say 'us', I don't actually mean ourselves included. Most people are still couch potatoes and the passing of time won't do much to change that.

80 percent of people will have abandoned their New Year's resolutions by February, which is a pretty high statistic.

The only thing that could tempt us to change our deviant ways and embrace the health kick is…luxurious travel destinations. Luckily for you gals, we've discovered the best value deals for your health-focused trips.

fail neil patrick harris GIF by bubly

Travel Republic have helped us to bring wellness to the forefront of our priorities…by having a selection of INSANELY stunning destinations to lure us towards.

Health and rejuvenation are the goal, and now it's never been easier to take a relaxing post-January break which doesn't negatively impact your lifestyle choices.

Sounds good to us, so what are the winners?

1. Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa: Killarney, Co .Kerry

The Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa is unbelievably magical, and offers unparalleled luxury overlooking the world-famous lakes of Killarney.

The spa at Aghadoe is honestly an oasis of pure serenity; the 10,000 square foot Resort Spa has 11 treatment rooms, relaxation areas, couples suites and a THERMAL SUITE.

The hotel has a fully equipped gym, conservatory-style indoor pool and outdoor terrace and some stunning local hikes and walking trails to enjoy.

If it's good enough for Gary Barlow, it's good enough for us:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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2. RedLevel at Melia Palacio de Isora – Tenerife

This is next-level privacy chic, and it's adults ONLY. The RedLevel at Melia Palacio de Isadora is located beside the Tenerife sea, where the excellent service and facilities will give you a classy, unique stay.

The destination has the elite SPA by Clarins on offer, as well as a private pool surrounded by Bali beds and a Pool Concierge service for the infinity pool. They also boast the LARGEST saltwater hotel pool in Europe, at a 5,000m2.

If you need the perfect place for relaxed rejuvenation with the best food you can buy, total seclusion and dazzling sunshine, this one's a winner. Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and embrace the wellness, if you've got the cash, that is.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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3. 137 Pillars House: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ah, our personal favourite. This destination is NEXT. LEVEL. GORGEOUSNESS.

If a far-flung and exotic setting is your biggest wish for the great escape, look no further than the beauty of Chiang Mai. The tropical Thai paradise is famed worldwide for it's calm and serene vibe, and private space.

Nestled in lush scenery, the hotel boasts a luxurious spa, yoga classes, tropical gardens, a drool-worthy pool, a gym….and Tai Chi. Wowza.

The hotel has a variety of wellness packages on offer to suit the needs of every traveller; it's the ideal health-driven retreat. There are also millions of elephant sanctuaries nestled in Chiang Mai which make the perfect tourist treat.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 4. Taj Bentota Resort & Spa – Bentota, Sri Lanka

The Golden Mile of Bentota beach is something of a gem, nestled along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka.

The setting is totally unique, with the hotel overlooking the idyllic Indian Ocean and only 40 miles south of Colombo; Sri Lanka's capital.

The relaxing resort comprises 162 rooms with sea or garden views, vistas of the Indian Ocean of the lush vegetation of the tropical shrubbery around the building. They've got two tennis courts, a health club with a steam bath and sauna and a fully-equipped gym. Oh, and don't forget about the outdoor swimming pool, a poolside snack bar and games.

Asia's most exotic sanctuary is without a doubt a great decision for those wellness and health fanatics out there to enjoy:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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5. Hotel Palazzo Montemartini: Rome, Italy

JUST LOOK AT THE POOL.

The prestigious Palazzo Montemartini is a boujée five-star hotel in central Rome, within walking distance from Termini Station, Baths of Diocletian and Michaelangelo's church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. Need we say more?

It's the ONLY hotel in Rome crossed by the Servian Walls, built way back in the sixth century BC. Wellness and holiday fans can find unique high-tech elegance in the location, with 82 rooms and suites and the ultra-exclusive Senses Restaurant & Lounge Bar

The exclusive SPA ExPure has pure unforgettable moments of relaxation. They've got massage and treatment rooms, colour therapy showers, heated swimming pools, saunas and Turkish baths. The dream.

We. Are. Drooling. It's the destination we want, but also the destination we NEED. 

There you have it, ladies and gents. The top five wellness and health destinations the world can offer, with opulent, lavish and sumptuous locations for y'all to visit.

You deserve this level of decadence, plus you'd achieve the most EXTRA of Instagram snaps.

Retreat to these magical destinations and never look back. Actually, screw that. Just don't ever leave? 

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KBC and WellFest are returning to bring Europe's largest outdoor health, fitness and wellness festival all around Ireland on a summer tour.

Which city is next on their wellness pop-up list? Cork Showgrounds, Curraheen. 

Corkonians will get a real taste of what WellFest is all about on July 6, with experts such as Karl Henry, Roz Purcell and Derval O'Rourke set to feature.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by WellFest (@wellfestirl) on

Tickets to the Cork wellness event are now on sale, and those who attend can look forward to leaving the place feeling refreshed and inspired to put health first.

The pop-up has the most incredible line-up, involving some of Ireland's biggest names in the health and fitness industry.

Bestselling cookery author, personal trainer and host of podcast Bite Back, Roz Purcell, will make an appearance. The nation's leading personal trainer, broadcaster, and host of The Real Health podcast, Karl Henry, will also be a guest.

We're so excited to see Olympian, world champion, bestselling author and coach on Ireland's Fittest Family, Derval O’Rourke on the panel. She's an absolute queen.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by WellFest (@wellfestirl) on

Tom Dalton, founder of TD Fitness, will also be on the discussion panel, as well as Damy Redmond of Platinum Pilates; The Coaching Circle; mobility expert Brian O’Loughlin of Movement 101 and yoga and meditation instructor Lee Tracey.

Some of the highlights from the day includes a wellness panel with the three line-up stars, Pilates with Damy Remond, bodyweight HIIT with Tom Dalton and a slow yoga flow and meditation with Lee Tracey to wind the day down with relaxation.

Self-care, self-belief and resilience will also be a prime focus of the day thanks to The Coaching Circle. It's guaranteed to inspire you to progress yourself, a bit like The Fab Five from Queer Eye.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by WellFest (@wellfestirl) on

The WellFest Summer Tour hosted a sold-out wellness pop-up event for 500 lucky visitors in Salthill, Galway recently.

The tickets to the Cork day are highly limited, and are available now for only €20 on wellfest.ie. Cork WellFest will occur from 10am until 3:30pm in the Cork Showgrounds.

In 2019 alone, Wellfest has attracted over 10,000 people to it's life-changing event, which promotes a healthy lifestlyle both physically and mentally. This year looks set to be the best yet.

Feature image: WellFest.ie

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It has long been claimed that flowers have a therapeutic effect on those who surround themselves with them, but science had yet to truly back it up.

Research conducted by the American Society For Horticulture Science has recently revealed that fresh flowers can have the ability to ease feelings of anxiety, and even physical pain. 

The study evaluated whether or not plants have an influence on surgical patients, and we're pretty surprised by these results. 90 participants were split into rooms with plants or without, and those with foliage feelings have different outcomes.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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According to the research, those who were exposed to flowers had lower heart rates and blood pressure, decreased ratings of fatigue, anxiety and pain, and harboured more positive feelings and higher satisfaction about their rooms.

It's now suggested that flowers should be 'complementary medicine' for recovering patients. It's time to click your fingers and insist that a crowd of men throw a bouquet at you every few minutes…for health reasons.

Flowers are often the go-to gift for celebrating milestones, or for offering messages of hope or condolences. Good old science has just given us the opportunity to buy our own blooms, for self-care.

According to a study published in Complementary Therapies In Medicine, bouquets of flowers can reduce our stress levels.

The researchers gave college-age women a fresh vase of roses for their accommodation, and the subjects felt more relaxed than they did before. Whether it's psycho-somatic, or true therapy, it seems to work.

It seems like an easy breezy way to experience multiple health benefits while keeping your home aesthetically lush. Apparently, indoor plants and gardening come with health advantages similar to gym workouts.

We like this, we like this A LOT.

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If you're a social media lover in Ireland, and addicted to beauty and cosmetic products, you have DEFINITELY heard of Niamh Cullen and Aideen Kate.

As two of the country's biggest influencers, with a following of 200,000 followers between them. they're a force to be reckoned with.

Niamh focuses more on lifstyle, health and fitness, and Aideen is the queen of make-up on Instagram. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Influencer Is A Dirty Word (@influencerisadirtyword) on

Now the pair have officially joined forces to produce a weekly podcast together, and we couldn't be more excited,

The gals captioned their first post on the new Instagram page, Influencer is a Dirty Word;

"New podcast coming Sunday. Episode 1: How To Deal With A Breakup. Grab your hunnies and some snacks (or some dranks), available on YouTube."

Image: @niamhcullenx/Instagram

The two teased their new project via their Instagram stories yesterday, saying, "How to deal with a break-up? Or how to help a friend dealing with a break-up? Go!!!" 

Niamh and Aideen suggested that their followers ask them questions, but their fans had no idea that a podcast was coming.

We're assuming that Influencer is a Dirty Word is about life as Instagram royalty, brand ambassadors and garnering a following of thousands, while looking and feeling great.

Image: @niamhcullenx/Instagram

This is major news for the influencer industry, which is growing more and more competitive.

We can't wait to hear all their gossip about their work-life, wellness tips and discussions about young women going through problems in their daily lives. 

The gals are unreal on their own, but we're delighted they've decided to come together for the magic of podcasts. It's sure to be a great one to listen to with your mates and a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

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Kissing is fun, everybody knows that. But who would have known that the act of smooching can actually give you HEALTH BENEFITS? 

Does it heal your broken heart, clear your skin and boost your immune system? You're about to find out.

Strap yourselves in ladies, here are each and every glorious health benefit of puckering up. You should probably find someone to practice on…you know, for the sake of your body. It's a temple, isn't it?

Just don't do it like this:

mr bean love GIF

According to a 2009 scientific study, when we kiss somebody, our bodies release hormones which can actually ease stress. In the case of men, it increases bonding too. We love a good bromance alert.

Oral healthcare, anyone?

Now, we're not saying that you shouldn't brush your teeth or use mouthwash, but allegedly, a good kiss marathon is great news for your teeth and gums. How? Listen up:

Andréa Demirjian, author of Kissing: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about One of Life’s Sweetest Pleasures, explains:

“When you’re kissing, you’re secreting more saliva in your mouth. That’s the mechanism that washes away the plaque on your teeth that leads to cavities.” A shift a day keeps the dental plaque away, girlos.

allison janney kiss GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

It acts as a painkiller (Seriously)

Your achy, break-y heart deserves some attention. Especially when you've got some form of cramps, like your time of the month.

Apparently, some lip action actually helps to reduce the effects of chronic pain. Some savvy scientists at Current Pharmaceutical Design conducted some research into smooching, learned that the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin is packed full of analgesic painkilling properties.

Oxytocin s released whenever you kiss and hug your partner, so do it as much as possible, we say. Blood vessel dilation after a good kissing sesh is great for reducing aches and pains, so when you're on your period, pucker up. You NEED it, right?

ryan gosling kiss GIF

Hayfever or Bae-fever?

Anyone who suffers from allergies can rejoice at this news; apparently kissing eases itchy eyes and snotty noses (ew).

Researchers at Satou Hospital in Japan investigated the protective effect of kissing against allergies, and claim that locking lips for only 30 minutes can do wonders for the immune system.

It decreases the release of histamine (the chemical which is produced in response to allergens) as it relaxes you, and also can work miracles for eczema sufferers. Is there anything a great shift can't do?

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No pressure, honeys

So apparently, kissing can even reduce your blood pressure? We've all felt butterflies in our stomachs and a weakening of the ol' knees, as well as a quickening heartbeat, and now we've figured out that kissing passionately does even more:

Demirjian explains: “It gets your heartbeat revved in a healthy way that lowers your blood pressure. It dilates the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely, taking pressure off your organs, especially your heart and brain.”

Hot Diggedy Damn, we're 100 percent HERE for this science.

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Let's talk about sex, baby, let's talk about you + me

Your sex life gets some HELLA drastic improvements from kissing; the two go together like Grace & Frankie, like women and vibrators, like Netflix and chill. You get the idea.

Kissing is also WAY more likely to increase your chances of having an orgasm. Lord knows we could use some of those…

As Carol Queen, the staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, explains;

“Kissing is a powerful type of foreplay… it helps increase the chances that both partners will have a good and pleasurable erotic experience.”

sexy nun GIF by Originals

Face the Facts

So BASICALLY, kissing involves more than 30 facial muscles, which can be given a major workout from a good kiss.

According to Demirjian, tongue wrestling can strengthen your neck and jawline – very good news, as these are particularly tricky spots to exercise on a daily basis.

“Your mouth has a number of facial muscles,” she says. “When those are engaged in kissing, you can tighten and tone them.”

Tighten and tone, you say? Sign us up.

muscles what GIF

2019 Mood

A perfectly-timed kiss can be the ideal mood booster. If scientists are saying it, then it must be true, right?

Puckering up can give your body a big-time release of happiness hormones, such as serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine. Ooh la la.

Those hormonal bad boys can help you relax, restore and revitalise your system. What more could you need?

romantic lady and the tramp GIF

NOW do you believe us about scientific research? 

Grab that lad or lassie and get your smooch on, it's for your own benefit, and theirs too.

Your doctor has officially given you one prescription to visit the LOVE shack *winks* 

Get it, gurrrlllll…

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Ah, the summer time. When our social calenders are stretched just as tight as our budgets. Between festivals, BBQ's and essential patio cocktails it can be tough to find the time, never mind the moolah, to look after our health. 

Well luckily for us the fitness fanatics at The Happy Pear are to the rescue! 

Starting from Sunday 17th of June, The Happy Pear is to run weekly exercise and wellness classes on the grounds of their gorgeous Clondalkin cafe. 

Running on Saturday and Sunday mornings throughout the summer months, the classes have something for everyone including yoga, pilates, mindfulness, essential oils, and more.

Oh, and did we mention that it's for FREE?!

The classes are taught by Irelands top wellness experts and is a follow on from last year's wildly successful free yoga classes-which saw up to a hundred people attend each week. Reckon you'll be among them this year? 

Your dedication to raising early will be rewarded with access to the cafe open for breakfast and coffee. Choose from a cup of hand-roasted coffee (essential), a selection of vegetarian and vegan breakfasts (clean eating buzz) and free organic porridge (get in my belly)! 

The series kicks off with yoga this Sunday 17th June 9.30am-10.30am and runs until 26th August.

For more information on all things free and fitness check out the Summer Wellness Series on Facebook

So gowan, show your body, soul and bank balance some love this weekend. 

 

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As the generation who grew up with a camera embedded in every portable electronic device, it's no wonder we're so snap happy. 

Whether it's a hot-dogs-or-legs snap by the holiday poolside, a candid of you and the gals necking cocktails, or that slightly blurry picture of a cute dog you saw while at a red light, we're constantly capturing the moment with our phones, Polaroid cameras and DSLRs. 

One place we cant help but share these images is social media, and this may not be a bad thing. 

One study suggests that taking a photo and posting it on social media every day is great for your wellbeing.

The team looked at the impact this had on people and found that interacting with fellow users and capturing the moment had a positive impact on the participants’ mood.

This might seem counter productive if you factor in the pressure to get likes and comments, but for people who can put that aside and just admire their digital photo album, there are benefits to reap. 

Many participants admitted that they love looking back at the moments they’ve captured, especially if they’re feeling down.

It can't hurt to remember the good time during phases of sadness, and they can serve as a realistic reminder that positivity could be just around the corner. 

We're thinking of making an album of all out favourite pictures on our phones right now…

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Whether you want to feel your best on your annual holiday or you're feeling sluggish after winter, the summer months are a great opportunity to get fit and healthy.

However, a lack of any spare cash can mean that signing up to the gym or even talking to a nutritionist are out of the question, and it can be hard to motivate yourself when you don't really know where to begin, right?

Thankfully, LloydsPharmacy, Ireland’s leading pharmacy chain, are inviting customers to get fit and stay well for the summer with the launch of its Change Your Health Direction programme. 

Exclusive to LloydsPharmacy, Change Your Health Direction is a free 8-week health and wellness programme personalised for each customer.

At sign-up, customers will receive a blood pressure and BMI screening and discuss their goals with a trained LloydsPharmacy Change Your Health Direction colleague.

After, you'll receive nutritional advice, a diary for food logging with health and wellbeing tips and a smoking cessation plan (where applicable). 

For the remainder of the programme, you'll visit your local LloydsPharmacy for a weekly weigh-in where your coach will support and track your progress and offer tips and healthy lifestyle guidance.

The programme is available in every one of LloydsPharmacy’s Irish stores, many of which have late-night and weekend opening hours.

"The Change Your Health Direction programme is about giving LloydsPharmacy customers support to take more control over their health and wellness without the need to spend huge amounts of money—or, in fact, any at all," Life Coach and Training Specialist Lisa Walsh said. 

"Over the course of eight weeks, under the specialist guidance of our colleagues, participants will learn to monitor their weight, eat healthier food, exercise more, and quit smoking. When you stick to the plan, there are fantastic results: in January, every Change Your Health Direction participant lost an average of 2kg.

"We want to demonstrate that a pharmacy is more than just a place you go to pick up a prescription. LloydsPharmacy is continuously investing in its value-add services and colleague training so that our customers stay well and healthy for longer."

For more information, click here.

The launch of Change Your Health Direction comes as LloydsPharmacy announces they are the Official Pharmacy Partner of WellFest 2018, the health, fitness and wellness festival taking place at the Royal Kilmainham Hospital this weekend, 12-13 May.

This year, the festival will feature appearances from Davina McCall, Joe Wicks, Madeleine Shaw and Deliciously Ella. 

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Got a fitness fanatic in your life?

Christmas shopping can be a difficult task even the best of times – and if your loved one isn't a fan of the last minute box of chocolates/ bottle of wine combo, the search for the perfect gift can sometimes take a little extra planning.

But never fear, we've trawled through mountains of yoga pants and protein bars to bring you the ultimate fitness gift guide. 

Here's our top picks. 

 

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