Expert Travel and Wellness Tips

I may be the only person not looking for a beach holiday, but where can I go snow skiing or boarding during the northern hemisphere’s summer?

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I may be the only person not looking for a beach holiday, but where can I go snow skiing or boarding during the northern hemisphere’s summer?

There is nothing like the snowy beauty, crisp fresh air and adrenalin burst of taking to the slopes. If you can’t wait for winter to strap on the skis or the board, you have two options: glacier skiing or southern hemisphere slopes.

Glacier skiing could take you to France to the Grande Motte Glacier (1,550-3,450m altitude; near Tignes, which opens mid-June to early September, or to Austria’s Hintertux (1,500-3,250m altitude; open 365 days a year. Further afield there is also Whistler, BC’s Horstman Glacier ( and Timberline Lodge Oregon’s Palmer Snowfield ( in the US.

Alternatively head south for winter in New Zealand and Queenstown’s famous Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Treble Cone among others ( Australia’s Perisher ( offers the largest ski resort in the southern hemisphere. While over in South America try Argentina’s Cerro Castor (, the most reliable and popular for locals, and the southernmost resort in the world, or Chile’s Valle Nevado ( near Santiago.

I’ve been looking for a waterproof fitness gadget so I don’t have to take it off to shower or for a dip in the pool, what can you recommend?

Waterproof fitness trackers have been bizarrely slow to market. Even the hugely popular Fitbit Charge HR or Jawbone Up 3 aren’t reliably shower proof. If you want to wear your tracker 24/7 or track your swimming fitness and can’t wait any longer, while none of the below come with blemish-free reviews, they are worth trying. We checked to get their ratings:

The Polar Loop 2 tracks your activity, monitors your goals, tracks calories burnt, shows your heart rate and even gives you fitness advice. Wearable rating: 3

The Garmin Vivosmart HR is a waterresistant tracker with an LCD screen showing active and inactive stats plus goal updates, calories burnt, distance and heart rate throughout the day and sleep at night. Wearable rating: 3.5

Moov Now is the update of Moov, the original running, cycling, boxing and swimming tracking with audible coaching now with daily step and sleep tracking. Wearable rating: 4.5

I keep reading about gong baths – what are they like and what are the benefits?

In Hong Kong, Martha Collard leads regular gong baths, for an hour or two, or even overnight, at Red Door Studio in Wong Chuck Hang. An incredible experience, she responds to the energy in the room while playing her 14 gongs, which can feel like being in the middle of an intense and wonderful storm of sound. Sound therapy has been practised by ancient cultures for ages but what does it actually do?

“Sound travels through water five times faster than through air,” explains Collard, “and as the body is at least 70 per cent water, the sound travels through every cell, releasing tensions and energetic blockages, resulting in relaxed muscles and fewer worry lines on your face!”

Collard adds that every body, in fact every tissue, organ and bone in your body, has a different resonant frequency, which decreases when you are sick. The body tries to synchronise to the higher frequencies of the gongs during a gong bath, leaving you feeling energised and healed. You will likely drift from relaxed alpha brainwaves to subconcious theta or even deep sleep delta frequencies, which give your body a rest and optimise self-healing. “For truly transformational results, set an intention and the sound waves will go where they are directed,” she says. “This is the essence of energy healing.”

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