What is a Fitness Vacation?

Gina Ritter

A fitness vacation can be a getaway to any number of locations around the world, from an exotic island to a dude ranch. Each locale may offer a unique experience, such as as a health spa, fitness boot camp or holistic fitness retreat. Other destinations may offer an aerobics theme, a weight-loss retreat or a healthy food-themed retreat. Often these getaways elicit both mental and physical rejuvenation through nutrition, physical activities, travel, stress reduction and social outlets.

Many fitness vacations include a hike over rugged terrain.
Many fitness vacations include a hike over rugged terrain.

Depending on the location and theme of the health retreat, outdoor activities can include solo or guided hikes, obstacle course activities, biking, morning walks, beach walking, or horseback riding. Some vacationers may glean more motivation and success with group activities, while others prefer to go solo. Most destinations offer packages that include one night to several weeks, or even several months.

A vacation might include a guided hike.
A vacation might include a guided hike.

Vacationers interested in a more intense fitness vacation may find a fitness boot camp a suitable choice. Activities may include early morning cardio workouts, hikes, and kick boxing. Visitors may also join in such exercise as circuit weight training, water aerobics and a variety of team sports, such as volleyball. Some locations offer personal trainers to keep visitors motivated as well.

Kayaking may be included in a fitness vacation.
Kayaking may be included in a fitness vacation.

For those looking for a slower paced trip and some calming stress relief, a spa or holistic retreat may be best. These destinations commonly offer activities that involve stretching exercises, yoga, Pilates and meditation. Oftentimes these retreats have a strong focus on healthy eating as well—some may even offer organic food package options.

Biking could be one activity offered at a fitness retreat center.
Biking could be one activity offered at a fitness retreat center.

Some resort destinations focus on visitors with a zest for life. These locations often offer more adventure-related activities, such as kayaking, windsurfing and parasailing. If the resort is in a mountainous area, there may be opportunities to rock climb, rappel or even river raft.

If a vacation is in a mountainous area, there may be opportunities to rock climb.
If a vacation is in a mountainous area, there may be opportunities to rock climb.

For those looking for more of a weight-loss fitness vacation, there are a variety of options. Many destinations offer extensive services that include therapeutic exercises, counseling, blood work, and daily monitoring of goals. Some even offer cooking classes and instruction on how best to shop for food.

Fitness vacations can include high-intensity walks or jogs on the beach.
Fitness vacations can include high-intensity walks or jogs on the beach.

A common feature in most fitness resort vacations is the focus on nutrition and wholesome, healthful meals. Nutritionists may be on staff at any of the resort types to help each guest with individual meal plans and to oversee meal planning for the whole resort. Fitness vacation resorts generally aim to provide well-planned meals meant to optimize health and nutrition.

Fitness vacations may include skiing.
Fitness vacations may include skiing.
Some fitness retreats focus on yoga, Pilates, and meditation.
Some fitness retreats focus on yoga, Pilates, and meditation.
Horseback riding is a popular fitness vacation activity.
Horseback riding is a popular fitness vacation activity.

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