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Why Fitness Retreats are the Future of Health and Wellness

by Melissa Bell
6 minutes read

“Wellness” retreats have been around for more than a century, though the definition of wellness has evolved over time. Today, fitness retreats are vogue, though we’re also seeing wellness retreats go niche to attract under-served market segments. Let’s learn why fitness retreats are the future of health and wellness.

People Recognize that Lifestyle Changes Require More than an Hourly Coaching Session

They say that it takes 30 days to change a habit for life. This is why people are much more likely to lose weight if they join a weight loss group with weekly check-ins or even more frequent meetings than having a single therapy session. It is why fitness groups you could liken to a cult such as Crossfit generate spectacular results, whereas going to the gym by yourself often results in people dropping out after a few visits. You need to commit to a change for the long-term and talking to a consultant just isn’t good enough.

A good way to make the change is by attending a wellness retreat or attending a fitness “camp”. You spend anywhere from three days to three weeks immersed in the lifestyle you want to join. You connect with people who can reinforce better choices. You learn a lot of tips and tricks from dietary substitutions to ways to force yourself to be more active despite having an office job. Consider booking a fitness retreat through Vacayou to jumpstart your lifestyle change and sustain the gain.

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Health Insurers Are More Willing to Pay for It

When we talk about insurance with regard to trips, people tend to think of the trip insurance that reimburses you for the non-refundable airline tickets if bad weather results in cancelation of your flight. However, healthy living retreats and fitness retreats are increasingly covered by health insurance. This may be in part or in full, depending on the health plan and your situation. The company may consider a week at a weight loss retreat a better choice than weight loss surgery, and it is probably cheaper. You may be able to arrange for your health insurer to pay for a fitness retreat. This is especially true if they’re willing to pay for a gym membership. Ask if they’d transfer the benefit, paying $500 toward the cost of one retreat instead of $40 a month for gym membership.

If the insurer doesn’t pay for the overall cost, they may pay for portions of it. For example, they may pay for coaching sessions with a nutritionist while you’re at the wellness retreat or massages after your workout sessions. They’re very likely to pay for physical trainers if you’re recovering from an injury and want to go to the retreat to get back into form. Just take the time to ask. You have nothing to lose, and it could really pay off. And failing that, find out if you can use tax-free money from your Health Savings Account to pay for it.

It Is a Way for Friends at the Gym to Build on Their Relationships

Many people who go to the gym daily or weekly do so for the social interaction as much as they do to stay in shape. That is where their friends are. And many of us travel with our friends. Going on a fitness retreat is a great way to continue those healthy habits while doing something new.

Specialization of Retreats Means There Is Something for Everyone

There is an overall trend toward specialization in health, wellness and fitness retreats. This is why you can find retreats for single women in their 40s, couples over 70 and college students. This market segmentation makes it easier to market the event, and the promise of being at the retreat with people of a similar background is appealing. Retreats may specialize in other ways, too. A fitness retreat may promise chemical-free food, vegan food, or authentic ethnic food. You could opt for a luxury fitness retreat that serves gourmet food you won’t regret eating, too.

Instead of a classic wellness retreat or yoga, you could find a retreat that emphasizes hiking, water sports, martial arts or a particular form of yoga. Furthermore, many of these retreats cater to a given age group and fitness level. This means that you won’t have to sit by the sidelines because everyone else is doing something you can’t. And if you’re disabled in some way, you can find a retreat that will welcome you.

It Is a Safe Alternative to the Adventure Vacation

Most people spend all day stuck at their desk or working in a small space. Their definition of an escape is getting away and doing something active. While anyone can book scuba-diving, cliff diving, or mountain hikes on a vacation, it can be hard to do it safely when you’re out of shape. The alternative is booking a fitness vacation that matches your fitness level while offering the activities you want to do. This could be snorkeling, walking along rainforest paths, or horseback riding on the beach. They’ll choose activities that match your fitness level, so your vacation isn’t ruined due to an injury. Because these activities tend to happen at the resort or nearby, you have also eliminated most of the logistical concerns. For example, you don’t have to figure out how to get from your hotel to the dock in time for the parasailing lessons. Or you may spend your time in their natural hot springs or their massive infinity pool, meaning you never have to leave the fitness resort.

It Ties into the Greater Desire to Live Better

There are many jokes about people gaining 10 to 20 pounds when they go on a cruise thanks to the endless buffets. Unfortunately, that’s a problem in a society where most of us are overweight and the rest are desperately trying to avoid that fate. This is why fitness vacations are becoming popular. The retreats are designed to maximize activity, while you can choose the type of activities and the activity level. Now going on vacation is a guilt-free activity, and you may come back healthier than before.

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