This year it seems as if we are all busier than ever. That means it is even more important to take some time for ourselves to rejuvenate our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. It can be hard to find the time even when the days are long and the weather is warm and sunny, but in January, with its cold, gray weather and short days, it’s particularly easy to curl up in front of the television rather than head out to a spa or gym. Maybe that’s why we have the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Even the ancient Romans understood the importance of a new start for the New Year. Janus, for whom the month of January is named, was the god of beginnings and endings. He was often shown with two faces — one looking back at the past, and the other looking forward to the new year.

You’ve probably made the usual New Year’s resolutions: you’re going to lose those extra pounds, exercise more, spend more time with family and friends. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track and make 2010 a healthier year.

Burn Some Calories. Yes, the best way to stay healthy is to lose a little weight, and the best way to lose weight is to exercise. While any type of exercise is better than none, if losing weight is your goal you may want to choose a program that burns the most calories. For example, on average you can burn 236 calories with an hour of bicycling, 354 calories with an hour of aerobics, and 590 with an hour of swimming. But if your hobby is cooking — and eating, don’t despair. You can still burn 148 calories while cooking your favorite foods.

Keep Walking. Walking is another great way to burn a few of those calories, and walking in cold weather can burn even more calories than walking when the temperature is warm. You use up to 50 percent more calories by walking on a cold day than on a warm one. But you do need to take some precautions if you are walking out-of-doors. Go a little slower until you warm up and make sure that you keep hydrated.

Exercise can make you sweat even if the temperature is below freezing. If the weather is just too bad to walk outside, try a treadmill, either in your home or at the gym. If yours is collecting dust in some out-of-the-way corner of your home, try moving it into a part of the house where you will use it, preferably an area with other people and a television set. Or, try one of the local malls. Many malls have organized walking programs that you can join, or bring a friend. It’s a lot more fun to exercise when you have someone with you.

Enrich Both Body and Spirit. Your New Year’s Resolution is easy to keep at CAN DO. “No other club puts it all together like we do,” says Stuart Polevoy, chairman of CAN DO Fitness Clubs, which has locations in Short Hills, Edgewater, and at Forrestal Village in Princeton. “Our goal is to help clients achieve a better quality of life.”

Polevoy understands that fitness includes both body and mind. However, he also believes in giving back to the communities CAN DO serves. That’s why CAN DO is actively engaged in working with various charities throughout the area. “It’s part of our mission to enrich both the physical and emotional well-being of both the individual and the community,” he says.

For example, in November, the club supported Communities FoodBanks of New Jersey, supplying food to hundreds of families in need. In December CAN DO raised money for The Tomorrows Children’s Fund whose mission is to “ease the pain and speed the healing of children with cancer and serious blood disorders.” CAN DO also has an alliance with Special Olympics New Jersey and will be training athletes for the Summer 2010 Special Olympics as well as running a number of fundraisers for their benefit.

The CAN DO facility was created to focus on members’ fitness goals. The atmosphere, equipment, classes, and staff all were chosen for their quality. In addition to the latest fitness equipment, there are three pools: one for lap work, one for therapy, and one for spa treatments. CAN DO offers more than a hundred group fitness classes including Pilates, yoga, aquatics, martial arts, and more. “These are not knock-off programs. Members get expert training from accomplished people,” Polevoy says.

The diverse CAN DO experience also makes this fitness club a great place to relax before or after your workout. In addition to the lounge and cafe, there’s a full retail shop stocked with designer sports active wear. The locker areas are beautifully appointed and offer body-spray showers as well as steam and sauna rooms. Upon request, for a nominal extra charge, Can Do will even clean your gym clothes and place them back in your locker.

Reward yourself after your workout. The adjacent Koi SpaSalon, whose motto is “Personal Luxury,” pampers both members and non-members alike. This experience also is top-notch with services that rival the finest spas and salons in the world.

“Our members love us because we provide both external and internal means for achieving wellness,” Polevoy says. “It’s why we enjoy one of the highest member retention rates among health centers across the nation.”

The CAN DO motto is “Prepare for Each Day.” Members may do so from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. More information is available at www.cando-online.com 121 Main Street, Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton. 609-514-0500. spolevy-@cando-online.com

Relax. Yes, exercise is important, but taking some time for relaxation is, too. If daily stress is getting you down there are many ways to relax. Try yoga or meditation. Consider a massage. Just take a half hour for yourself every day to put your feet up, unwind with a cup of tea, or read a book. It doesn’t have to take a lot of cash to find simple ways to relax and pamper yourself; buy some candles for aromatherapy, pick up some new teas or coffee flavors, add some scent to your bath. Just make sure you take some time for yourself each day.

Get Away from the Stress of Daily Life. The strength, beauty and serenity of the Koi are the inspiration for Koi SpaSalon, at Princeton Forrestal Village. The full service spa and salon offers a luxurious blend of Eastern and Western restorative techniques for the ultimate in personal luxury. The spa is composed of 14 treatment areas and includes dry saunas, steam rooms and relaxation rooms, plus the salon. “A healthy and enriching life includes good nutrition, regular exercise, and an understanding of the mind, body and spirit,” says Gina Polevoy, founder of the spa and salon, which has a second location in Edgewater.

Spa services include two hydrotherapy baths, the Bamboo Suite for couples, and the Gentlemen’s Spa, designed for men who enjoy luxurious pampering. Enliven your senses with a sensory soak or try a Salt of the Earth Seaweed Detox Wrap. A variety of skin care services and facials are available for every skin type and massages are designed to both relax and stimulate. Pilates, yoga and group fitness programs are offered and clients can meet with a nutritional coach to develop a personalized comprehensive nutrition program. The Koi Salon also offers complete hair and nail care services for both women and men and also offers special event and bridal styling. The Keratin straightening treatment has recently been added to the menu of services and has been received with enthusiasm by Koi clients.

“We select only the best of the best in the ingredients and products we use, in our equipment, and of course in our staff,” says Polevoy. The staff includes massage therapists, estheticians, nail therapists, and hair styling professionals.

A private room adjacent to the spa and salon is available for private parties. “We’ve hosted parties for every occasion from corporate reward and team building days to bridal showers,” says Polevoy. Koi SpaSalon is conveniently located adjacent to the CAN DO Fitness Club at Princeton Forrestal Village and fitness center members receive a 10 percent discount on spa services every Monday through Wednesday. In addition, parents can always relax during spa treatments knowing their children are receiving excellent, free childcare in the children’s club.

For more information on spa and salon services, or to purchase gift cards, visit the Koi SpaSalon website at www.koispa.com. 125 Main Street, Princeton Forrestal Village, Princeton 08540, 609-720-0099

Take Care of Yourself. We’ve certainly heard enough about health care in the news lately. In fact, you may have heard so much about it, you don’t even want to think about a visit to the doctor or dentist. But taking care of your health is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your family. When was the last time you scheduled a physical?

Vibrant Skin. “Facial rejuvenation requires the advanced skill and experience of a surgeon, the discriminating eye and talent of an artist, and the innovation of a scientist,” says Dr. Eugenie Brunner. Board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, she specializes in facelifts and rhinoplasty. Her Skin Rejuvenation Laser Center allows her to treat all aspects of skin rejuvenation such as spider veins, rosacea, age spots, melasma, sun damage, acne scarring, and wrinkles, with an ever-expanding number of cutting-edge lasers with innovative up-to-date technology.

“If you want to get rid of jowls or a wattle, nothing replaces a face lift,” says Dr. Brunner. But for vibrant skin she recommends a non-surgical l treatment, the Fraxel Repair fractionated CO2 laser. “There is nothing better to remove that crepe-like look on the neck or to remove sun damage or wrinkles around the eyes and mouth,” she says.

In fact, she recommends that her patients have the laser treatment either two months before or after a face lift. “I tell them it’s like getting a new suit tailored to you but using poor fabric,” she says. The difference is so noticeable that after treatment, “my patients tell me that people stop them in the street to tell them how vibrant their skin looks.”

Dr. Brunner’s office is located at 256 Bunn Drive, Princeton. For more information call her office at 609-921-9497, or check her website, www.brunnermd.com.

Set Your Goals. No matter what your resolution this year, the best way to make sure that you keep it is to set up realistic goals. Don’t get discouraged if something happens to make you miss a week or even two in your health and wellness program. Don’t get discouraged. If you fall off the fitness wagon one week, just hop right back on the next. That way, when January 2011 rolls around you’ll start the year healthier and with a sense of accomplishment.

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