How Fitness Retreats Focus on You -- And It's Super Enticing

I'd just gotten out of an unhealthy relationship and all I wanted to do was lounge around eating fries but I knew this wasn't going to work for me. That was years ago, and luckily my typical lifestyle was based in active health that was a physiological and psychological catalyst for change. So, as is usually true when we go through something that shatters our lives, in the end we gain something more, an increase in focus, depth, or spiritual growth. In this case a reorganization of my personal health and goals to teach others. Going back to my roots of wellness tourism.

It's no surprise that more people want to play globally and embrace the "work hard play hard" mentality even on holiday. That's where Fitness Retreats come in with a focus on developing lifelong healthy habits, surrounded by beautiful views and a high level of motivation. There are numerous retreats to choose from depending on your interests and desired results. Some take on restrictive diets, fasting and detox therapies, others boast expert health coaches, sports, outdoor fitness and workshops. Most are all-inclusive and inviting to all levels of fitness. This last part is key because many people are de-motivated by comparing themselves to someone else's starting point. We all start somewhere.

As a certified group fitness and yoga instructor I knew I not only had to get out of my post-relationship funk, but stop negotiating both my mental and physical health with others. This is a personal journey, and though I already had many tools in my bag, I have an insatiable pull to seek more tools for my own lifelong health. Now another door was thrown open with transformative wellness and the next part of my life came through. I was no longer willing to negotiate.  So, I simultaneously began to set up new habits and teach others to do the same. 

What's In It For You

Frankly? A lot. First and foremost, freedom. Freedom to set new habits, seek new information, and re-focus in a healthy setting.

We are continually faced with our human limits and looking for ways to overcome them. Wellness and fitness retreats continue to rise with our desire for longevity, efficiency and immortality. There's even a calculator to determine your life expectancy based on DNA and lifestyle. Yes fitness is one of the determining factors. 

I don't believe we are hear to stay within our boundaries and self-imposed limiting thoughts. One of the fastest and most effective ways to challenge our limits is through physical "pain." Using the 'P' word can be a trigger for many because it's scary or brings up thoughts of injury or boot camp style no-personality trainers. By pain, I mean getting incrementally uncomfortable by pushing yourself. If you did 20 push up today, soon 40 will become the norm.

I always tell clients and guests they can take what they want and leave what they want. If they've decided to opt out of a early morning volcano hike as part of the fitness retreat, they can make up for it with a morning stretch or walk. I also invite them not to be afraid of pain. After all it's crucial to healing our bodies. For example, exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. But when we're looking at a few laps around the track, the pool or a yoga class that existing pain can make it feel impossible.

If I don't maintain my general fitness routine, strengthening my core and stretching, my lumbar pain is aggravated. With the CDC estimating that 50 million Americans have back pain, that's no joke. Movement is therapy. 

O.k., back to your benefits. Here are a few of the top. 

  • Learning and immersion in culture, usually held in beautiful spaces
  • Daily health itineraries resulting in more change
  • Workbooks, tools, expert coaching and journaling to take home
  • Like minded coaches and peers to motivate and support you
  • Increased knowledge of personal physical and psychological conditions
  • Mind-body connection back to mental and emotional stressors that are also "stuck" in our muscles
  • Daily workouts and nutrition to re-boot your routines

Check out my chat with fellow international retreat host, Ann Davis, co-founder of Venture With Impact, a travel company offering volunteer and retreat co-working options. She interviews me about our upcoming Mexico Charity & Culture FitAction Retreat, opinions on health, and what to expect at fitness retreats. 


Self Focused Fitness Tours

When was the last time you really took time to focus on yourself? A time that embraced whole thoughts on your goals, purpose and desires? A time when you left the "image" of yourself in the world behind and took on the real, raw you? 

We are often taught (bombarded by society) to stay stuck in busyness to avoid encounters with ourselves. That leaves us empty. I'm not the only who thinks so. According to the Global Wellness Institute the Healthy Eating, Nutrition and Weight Loss industry is valued at $702 billion, and the Fitness and Mind-Body industry at $595 billion.

So here's my advice to making your limited leisure time work for you and do it with a purpose. 

  • Combine your travel with purpose. That includes targeted goals on fitness, mental health, social impact getaways and bucket lists
  • Make dry obligations exciting by changing your routines and implementing new (more enjoyable) habits. Yes it will take a few weeks to lock it in
  • Drop strict expectations and let your body and emotions follow what feels good. Fitcations don't have to be like military training, they can be light and fun while still getting results.
  • Increase your life expectancy with movement. Even three workouts a week can extend your life by several years. A study showed that people who exercise vigorously for around 3 hours a week had DNA and cells that were 9 years younger than people who didn't workout. 
  • Increase your libido and confidence. Yes I'm an advocate for fitness, but science also tells us that cardio decreases cortisol, cortisol causes stress. Eliminating stress increases confidence. Combine that with cardio that increase blood flow and circulation making us more "hot blooded" and hornier too. 
  • Take time out of your normal environment to re-boot your health and set the stage for new goals and creativity. All fueled by increased health and new perspectives.

Forget the studies, though. What I know from personal experience is the change I see in people's happiness, health and reduced stress level when they attend Fitness and Wellness Retreats. 

Why They Are Appealing

I find people really want to be around like-minded people while traveling. Especially when going out of their comfort zones like new workouts at popular Fitness Retreats. Here are a few enhancements to improve your health and wellness getaways. 

  • Growth happens in the sweet spot of pushing your body and mind. Why would you want it all to be R & R anyway. You're not paying to sit by the pool, you're paying for results. 
  • Health and fitness is not something you have, it is something you do. For me part of the appeal for doing Fitness Retreats is changing the self-imposed limitations on our body and brain chemistry 
  • Insights into existing concerns. Sleep problems, digestion, weight changes, detox etc.While some fitness retreats may have the direction of a medical director, most are hosted by nutritionalists, yogis, fitness trainers, and other health based professionals. Many of them have knowledge of potential contraindications and that is one of their specialties.
  • Gaining a sense of ease and contentment. Really embracing the vacation mindset for everyday. It's about setting habits that happen upon returning to "life." 
  • You're in a closed environment. This includes professional support and guidance for things that often seem intimidating in your daily environment. HIIT, boxing, hiking, kayaking, and even yoga are given a sense of being more accessible (and attainable) at retreats. 

If you're considering a retreat and are looking at face value costs, most become a fairly priced lifestyle. If you break down the cost of all-inclusives: Travel, meals, accommodations, spa treatments, gift bags, fitness classes, yoga sessions, cooking courses, tours, culture, certified coaches, knowledge, and workshops, you've already saved. For example, a $3000 getaway that already includes daily fitness classes ($50 - $200 hourly or monthly membership at home) daily yoga ($20-$150 hourly or daily at home) personal coach ($100 - $800 hourly or daily at home) plus all the other details wrapped up nicely, you've already found a priceless experience.

People look to retreats for all kinds of answers to variable questions, and we invite them all. 

For more information about the FitAction Culture & Charity Wellness Retreat 2019, contact us to apply and save a spot on the limited getaway, August 22-26th.The perfect fusion of travel, health, wellness, culture, food, and even indulgence will leave you relaxed and rejuvenated. Check out the itinerary for yourself here before signing up! or click below!  Come away with us!