Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Stirling Advice On Sticking With Fitness

Eight weeks. That is how long the average person sticks with a fitness program.

"The most common reason is that many participants tend to burn themselves out instead of approaching their fitness program in moderation," explains Maria DiMarco, director of spa and fitness at The Stirling Club. "Then they find excuses, complaining about the time commitment, muscle soreness, fatigue, and the lack of immediate results."

DiMarco's timeline corresponds to expectation cycles. Typically, new fitness participants experience excitement and elation within the first few weeks of a new fitness program, driven by inflated expectations. Unfortunately, unfulfilled expectations crash after eight weeks, before realistic exceptions take hold and fitness becomes part of their routine.

To get beyond the dip, DiMarco recommends the aid of a fitness trainer or an experienced friend. Not only does partnering with someone encourage motivation, but trainers are usually experienced in setting long-term goals that help people build into a successful program.

"At The Stirling Club, members can schedule a fitness consultation that is inclusive of a complete health and fitness assessment," we use these assessments to create a program designed to help people reach specific goals based on their physical abilities."

While each fitness program is customized based on those parameters, there are some programs that DiMarco says are especially worthwhile for beginners. One of them is Pilates, a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by gymnast Joseph Pilates in Germany. Pilates focuses on the core postural muscles (abdominal, pelvic, and lower back), which help keep the body balanced and provide support for the spine.

"It is especially beneficial because it can be included in a program for any fitness level," DiMarco said. "While Pilates is often used as part of rehabilitation programs, it can improve posture, strength, and flexibility for anyone."

The system was initially designed as part of a rehabilitation program for the many returning veterans. However, Pilates exercises also teach awareness of breath and alignment, which strengthen the deep torso muscles, and the importance of proper breathing, isolating muscle groups, and emphasizing form over heavy lifting.

The Stirling Club offers individual private instruction, using specific equipment designed for Pilates. Members may also take advantage of complimentary group classes with approval from a private instructor. The Stirling Club also maintains regular yoga, body sculpting, abs, indoor cycling, and Zumba classes.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stirling Tips For Cigar Lovers In Las Vegas

Most people know that Christopher Columbus is credited with the introduction of tobacco to Europe after his crew encountered tobacco on San Salvador in 1492 and again in Cuba. But there is much more to the story of the cigar.

The same can be said for choosing the right cigar. Most people know cigars are rated. But while scores under 70 are generally best avoided and scores over 90 are considered outstanding or even classic, the four components in scoring — appearance/construction, flavor, smoking characteristics, and overall impression — tend to favor the experienced smoker. So what should the beginner look for?

Eight Tips For Choosing A Cigar.

• Inspection. Squeeze the cigar. Good cigars give, but are not too soft. They don't have lumps, soft spots, looseness, or cracks. Smaller veins are sometimes an indicator of smoother smoke.

• Wrapper color. The color of the wrapper is usually a flavor indicator, with darker wrappers providing a more full-bodied, sweeter cigar. The reason is simple enough. The longer a leaf stays on the plant, the more sunlight it receives and the darker it will be.

• Cigar size. Most beginners choose smaller cigars, such as a carolina, before moving up to a corona, which generally burns evenly and has a better draw. A cervante tends to be the best above a corona.

• Ring gauges. While the most common length of cigars is 5 to 6 inches, the ring gauge (diameter) is a often a better indicator of a fuller flavor. They also tend to smoke slower and heat up slower. In general, 52 is the largest diameter (although a few cigars are larger).

• Country of origin. Much like wine, the flavor of the tobacco is influenced by soil and climate. In the United States, most people prefer Dominican cigars or Honduran cigars. The latter's tobacco tends to be robust. Cigar Aficionado has also added several Nicaraguan cigars to its top list.

• Cigar age. Almost all handmade cigars age before being released to the public (as long as two years). Some experts believe more cigars peak after six to ten years. However, this assumes the cigar is kept in ideal conditions.

• Time of day. There is something to be said for accompaniment. A smaller, milder cigar tends to be preferred in the morning whereas experienced smokers prefer big, full-bodied cigars after a heavy meal or late at night.

• The taste. For beginners forget about the undertones and complexities. If the experience is pleasurable, enjoy it. Dominican cigars are generally full-bodied with complex flavors, Nicaraguan cigars spicier, Ecuadorian cigars milder, and Jamaican cigars the mildest.

At The Stirling Club, members can always ask for help too. The club features a grand selection of cigars and pipe tobacco in the Cigar Bar. The room also includes a billiards table and the finest cognacs, cordials, beers, and ports available. Some members store their cigars on site.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Stirling Engagement With Human Nature

Every now and again, Las Vegas becomes home to an unexpected hit show that leaves the audience breathless, on their feet, and applauding for more. "Smokey Robinson Presents Australia's Human Nature – The Ultimate Celebration of Motown" certainly qualifies.

"When an act gets the room shaking -- for real -- does it really matter what a reviewer says?" Mike Weatherford, reviewer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, asked when the show opened last year, before it went on to being named the best new show on the Las Vegas Strip.

Human Nature — featuring Toby Allen, Phil Burton, Andrew Tierney and Michael Tierney — is best known as a popular Motown vocal group in Australia after gaining ground as a support act for Michael Jackson and CĂ©line Dion for their Australian and European tours in the late 1990's. By 2000, the band released a hit single that reached the Top 20 in the U.K. and a second best-selling single in Australia. Combined, they have 70 Top 40 hits and five Top 10 hits on the Australian pop charts.

In 2009, Smokey Robinson convinced them to come to Las Vegas, where they continue to rally audiences by word-of-mouth and stellar reviews. Find a sneak peek here.

This Feb. 18, Stirling Club members are invited to an exclusive engagement with Human Nature. The event begins with a champagne reception reception at The Stirling Club before being transported to the newly remodeled showroom at the Imperial Palace.

"I will be the host for the musical event you won't want to miss," said Kelly Clinton, entertainer and entertainment director. "I saw the show and I can't wait to see it again."

Immediately following the 7:30 p.m. performance, The Stirling Club has arranged a meet and greet with the talented quartet. It is a rare opportunity to shake hands, ask questions, get request autographs with these talented entertainers.

The meet and greet will not be the only opportunity to rub elbows with the group. They have a long history of hopping off the stage as they sing memorable renditions of songs, ranging from The Temptations to The Supremes.

While there are rumors the group will remain in Las Vegas for another two years while entertaining plans for a new album and tour toward the end of 2010, this is the best chance to see a live performance in Las Vegas with friends. Reservations for the event are required. The event is $40 per person (tickets are typically $60-$70).
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Valentine's Day In Las Vegas

Las Vegas doesn't always come to mind when most editors create their top ten romantic city lists, but it could make the cut with the right imagination and attention to detail. Included below are four custom-created experiences for couples to enjoy on Valentine's Day in Las Vegas. Enjoy.

Four Delights For Valetine's Day In Las Vegas.

1. The Stirling Club Valentine's Day Experience.

• Share an experience with a loved at one of the top ten spas in Las Vegas. The Stirling Club's Valentine's Day Sweetheart Spa Package includes an aromatic essence massage, with a custom blend of sensual and passionate oils. Following the massage, retire to a private candlelit room for champagne and a rose bath. $200 for members (Feb. 1 to Feb. 21).

• Enjoy a small gathering of members for a Valentine's Day dinner dance, featuring a five-course menu prepared by Charlie Palmer executive chefs and opening with Ronnie Rose, who has performed for Presidents and first ladies. $75 per person. (Feb. 13).

• Following Ronnie Rose, Kelly Clinton and friends will take the intimate stage. Clinton frequently shares the stage with special guests who are visiting Las Vegas, including Elisa Fiorillo. Free for members.

2. A Sweetheart Adventure At Red Rock Canyon.

• Take a short ride west of the Las Vegas Strip to Red Rock Canyon, which includes a scenic 13-mile drive with picnic areas and hiking trails along the dramatic backdrop of red sandstone. The scenic drive is open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Feb. 28. Admission is $5.

• Pack a picnic lunch (8 a.m. until dusk) and share it beneath the colorful cliffs of the magnificent Wilson Range at Spring Mountain Ranch Nevada State Park. The main ranch house is open daily from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., where visitors can find information about the surrounding area.

• For a memorable wild west-style adventure, choose one of the area's horseback riding tours from Vegas Horseback Tours. The tour operators feature several rides with breakfast, lunch, or dinner included. Most tours are approximately four hours long. Prices range from $109 to $139 per person.

3. A French Connection On The Las Vegas Strip.

• Secure reservations at Mon Ami Gabi, a classic French bistro created by Chef Gabino Sotelino, located at Paris Las Vegas Resort & Casino. In addition to a regular menu, Chef Terry Lynch has prepared a Valetine's dinner, which includes a choice of filet of beef for two, grilled lamb porterhouse, or pan-seared petrale sole. (Entrees range from $25 to $60).

• After dinner, take the elevator ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower for a breathtaking panoramic view, including the Bellagio fountains. Between Feb. 13 and Feb. 15, the Eiffel Tower Ride is offering a special package with champagne and souvenir photos. ($60 per couple.)

• Finish the evening with crepes in the faux streets of Paris. La Creperie is consistently considered one of the hottest spots for this quintessential French delicacy. All ingredients are fresh and prepared while patrons watch. (Approx. $10 to $20.)

4. Rediscover Each Other At Wynn Las Vegas.

• If anyone is still undecided where to stay, Wynn Las Vegas features a two-night package that includes a round of golf on a Tom Fazio/Steve Wynn 18-hole golf course, and lunch for two at the Country Club (starting at $625 per night).

• While there, enjoy a romantic walk through the botanical gardens and bright atrium at Wynn. Along with the gardens, take some time to enjoy the Lake of Dreams, one of the most unforgettable complimentary attractions on the Las Vegas Strip. (Free.)

• Le Reve, which is one of the top shows on the Strip, also has a Valentine's Day special. It includes VIP seating, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and truffles, and complimentary entrance at Blush or Tyrst. ($179 per person.)

As a bonus suggestion for the perfect Valetine's Day in Las Vegas, make an early date on Feb. 13 at the Creative Cooking School of Las Vegas. The proposed gourmet menu, which couples can cook together, includes maple glazed Cornish game hen with a morel cherry sauce. ($99 per person.)

For more Valetine's Day creations or assistance with reservations, members may call The Stirling Club concierge. Men might also be surprised to find that while every woman is unique, most prefer a shared experience over gifts.

Members visiting from other cities are encouraged to make reservations this week. Some choices above may also have a dress code.
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