10 Top Fitness Destinations
Vacations are a time to rest, relax and rejuvenate. But when you’re off your training schedule, it can be tempting to overindulge and skip exercise altogether. Too many days off your game and you could end up feeling lousy by the end of your trip. Your commitment for fitness doesn’t have to end when you board that plane or cruise ship. Try these ten healthy destinations to forward your fitness-quest while you enjoy yourself.
Vegas, Baby! Las Vegas…is there anything wholesome to do in Sin City? Yes! Check out the Venetian’s 134,000 square-foot Canyon Ranch spa and fitness center. A $40 one-day pass gives you use of the fitness center, group classes and access to the 40-foot rock wall. And when it’s time to recover from your workout, try the Aquavena — a suite of thermal spa cabins, tubs, and showers — or treat yourself to a massage or any of the spa services.
Alsace, France Put down that croissant, rent a bicycle and live your own Tour de France fantasy. You’ll find designated bike routes throughout France’s Alsace region, near the Swiss and German borders. You’ll ride beside the beautiful Vosges Mountains and through the fantastic vineyards that lie along the 106-mile long Route des Vins. New to cycling? Consider Suzi Madron’s ‘Cycling for Softies’ holiday tours. C’est Magnifique!
At Sea Though cruise ships have the reputation of being floating ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffets, some cruise lines that aim to buck that trend. Crystal Cruises offers wellness-themed cruises to the Mexican Riviera, Alaska and the Panama Canal. They offer a state-of-the-art gym with yoga and Pilates classes. Or, enjoy great ocean views while you run laps along the open-air Promenade Deck. Plus, the ship offers healthy meals to keep you refueled for each workout. And if you love the idea of cruising, but want to keep up your cycling training, check out Thomson’s UK-based cruise line. Enjoy your time on the ship, but sign up for cycling tours of all levels at each port-of-call. Each tour comes with an expert guide, and all the equipment you’ll need — bikes, helmets, backpacks, and water bottles.
Scottsdale Arizona If you like to rock climb, golf and cycle you can’t go wrong with this ‘oasis in the desert.’ Check out The Boulders, a Waldorf Astoria resort. Nutrition and fitness coaches are always on-hand, and rock climbing classes are geared toward beginners and seasonal hikes highlight wildlife and cultural sights. You can also enjoy the great outdoors at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. Book the 2-night Experience More package – you’ll enjoy a guided nature hike through Pinnacle Peak Park, a Healing Hiker’s massage at the spa, and finally retire to your 5 star guestroom and recover in style.
The Caribbean The Caribbean is full of mega-resorts with all-inclusive packages that entice you to overindulge. But Dominica is an unspoiled Caribbean island with an abundance of healthy activities for you. In fact, the main attractions on this island involve rain forest hikes and swimming in natural thermal pools. Check out the Jungle Spa Adventure Package at the Jungle Bay Resort & Spa. You’ll enjoy organic meals, daily spa treatments, yoga classes, and excursions like hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking.
Killington, Vermont It’s no surprise that Killington Resort is a phenomenal place to ski in the winter, but Killington, Vermont, is still a great fitness destination without the snow. Check out the New Life Hiking Spa, open from May to September, where hikers of all levels can experience the rugged and beautiful terrain of the Green Mountains. Challenging hikes, yoga, Pilates, weight training, and swimming are all part of the program, as are healthy cuisine, wellness workshops, and cooking classes designed to keep you on-track.
Hawaii Surfing looks fun, but it’s not easy. Keeping balanced on that board requires great strength and agility. Of course, there are many opportunities to learn to surf on a Hawaiian vacation. Check out Surf Hawaii Surf School on Oahu’s North Shore, home to the epic waves of Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline. For a ‘ladies only’ trip, look into SwellWomen, a surf and yoga resort on Maui’s Kaanapali Beach. Their packages include surf lessons, yoga classes, nutritious meals, and accommodations. Or you may want to book a lesson with Hawaiian Fire – a surfing school owned and operated by Honolulu City firemen.
Hua Hin, Thailand For an ‘East Meets West’ experience, Thailand’s Chiva-Som retreat offers an whole body approach to fitness on a beautiful beach setting on the Gulf of Thailand. Chiva-Som is about learning to live, enjoy and appreciate every moment, and in so doing, creating a personal path to health and wellness. You have many options, from a 3-night spa, fitness, and physiotherapy program to an intense 4-week detoxification complete with a juice fast and colonics. All programs feature personalized fitness and nutritional counseling, spa cuisine, and activities like Thai boxing, weight training, aqua aerobics, biking, and yoga.
Watamu, Kenya For a ‘bucket list’ fitness vacation that you’ll remember forever, experience the Wildfitness retreat program in Watamu Kenya! You’ll enjoy the stunning beauty of Kenya’s natural surroundings while you train. These intense, all-inclusive retreats offer boxing sessions in an open-air Dojo, running workshops on gorgeous white sand beaches, and challenging sea swims. You’ll recover with daily deep-tissue massages and delicious meals. But it’s not all work and no play – you’ll get to take those sore muscles on safari, and get a look at the amazing African wildlife.
A Whole New You If you want to jump-start a weight loss program, check out one of the three “Biggest Loser” resort locations in New York, Utah and California. You’ll get all of the head-to-toe transformation – with no televised weigh-ins! This 7-day program puts you under the supervision of certified trainers and nutritionists. You’ll experience group-oriented workouts with a healthy, calorie-controlled diet. This is a great way to learn some healthy habits and kick-start your own weight loss plan.
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