benefits of a wellness retreat

10 Ways To Get The Benefits Of A Wellness Retreat (Without Actually Going)

Can't make it to West Coast Fitness Vacations? Reep the benefits of a wellness retreat at home with these actionable tips!

Benefits of a wellness retreat can be achieved at home with some guidance, commitment and planning. While we’d love to have you join one of our wellness retreats in B.C., if it’s not in the cards right now, this article is for you!

West Coast Fitness Vacations runs wellness retreats in B.C. for women who have 50-200 pounds to lose. It’s an integrative monthly weight loss camp similar in style to The Biggest Loser perhaps, without the cameras and drama. There are days that are really, really hard and push you out of your enjoyment zone.

There are also amazing results that are achieved as a consequence. Not everyone is ready to push themselves to their limit of potential, and not every trainer is willing to take their clients there. Our wellness retreat will push you, if you are willing and able. This level of coaching is one of the top reasons that women travel to our weight loss camp.

More than likely, joining a weight loss camp like ours will get you to your goals faster and in a more accountable way than if you DIY. Plus there’s personal attention, structure of workouts and probably faster results. This gets people on a valuable jump start towards continuing on their own at home.


wellness retreat in bcWhy weight loss camps are JUST SO GOOD…

  • Weight loss camps give you plenty of time required to learn the exercises properly. This is very helpful for safety and progression. Plus it allows you to become a life-long exerciser at home, which you might wind up preferring over the gym.
  • Health retreats allow you to train consistently with a balanced workout (that includes all the components of fitness), with full guidance. It takes time to work through power, flexibility, agility, coordination, aerobic activity and everything else you need to optimize athletic ability. Of course, our weight loss camp doesn’t intend in training you to be a top athlete. However to reach peak potential safely, all areas of fitness programming need to be integrated.
  • Personal trainer and coaching to lead your success throughout the wellness retreat experience. This is more than can be achieved in one-hour training sessions at the gym.
  • When at the fitness retreat you’ll get really good at cooking, and try out new healthy recipes in a fresh environment.
  • You get to deep clean your health habits with an outsiders perspective, with coaching to change them. One of the best parts of West Coast Fitness Vacations wellness retreats is the enlightening chats with the other guests through valuable topics.
  • There’s no quitting! The benefits of a wellness retreat include social camaraderie and professional support to keep you on target and adjust your requirements as needed. You’ll want to continue towards your wellness goals as it’ll be exciting and enjoyable. It’ll also be hard work but you know you can do it.

Let’s look at how you can take the principals from West Coast Fitness Vacations into your own DIY health retreat staycation.


hiking wellness spa retreatGet honest with how much time your workout really takes

Carving out the time for workouts sometimes takes a bit of planning. The great thing about going on a wellness retreat is that you get more done in less time.

Doing the same thing at home can be achieved with a carefully thought out strategy. For example, it’s one thing to take an hour for a yoga class in your living room. Yet if that same one hour yoga block is at a downtown studio, how much time does it really take? Calculate the average drive time, parking, getting changed for class, social time before and after class. It might be 2.5 hours needed for 1 hour exercise. What is the best way to use your time?

Could you find a different class at your gym (instead of the yoga studio) so you can go on the treadmill or something after it? Where does weight training fit into the schedule? One of the benefits of a wellness retreat is that everything is organized for you.


Hire a personal trainer at your local gym

It’s a good idea to work with a personal trainer for your weight training especially if you are new to it. They can correct your form and keep you challenged as you progress. Weight training workshops is one of my favourite classes to teach at our weight loss camps. We work through many dumb bell and bodyweight exercises to keep variety. All of our training is outside which is transferable into our guests homes when they finish the wellness retreat.

You can hire a mobile personal trainer to come to your home to workout – or of course, at the gym. There’s lots of opportunity to find the best suited workout for your preference. The best workout is one that you’ll stick to!

Trainers will motivate, encourage and guide you towards successful consistency. This is one of the benefits that guests at our wellness retreat achieve through a few weeks of training together. You’ll achieve the same benefits in a few weeks of training with a P.T. at home as well! Just make sure that your personal trainer continues to challenge you throughout your package.

With a trained expert to lay everything down for you, it saves the energy on looking for instructions and takes the headache off what workouts to do to reach your goals. In the very beginning, it’s super helpful to have a fitness professional. Not only will they motivate you as you build up strength, they’ll also design a fitness routine customized for you. This will increase likelihood that you’ll stay on track!


cat smileyFind a food plan that you enjoy

West Coast Fitness Vacations works hard to provide a health retreat menu that guests will enjoy. However sometimes the food plan doesn’t suit everyone. When this happens, there’s usually a way to adjust the ingredients.

If you enjoy cooking at home, you’ll thrive in your own kitchen using your favourite cookbooks as inspiration. Take a focused effort chunk of time to batch cook and prepare healthy meals that support your training and goals. This can be done just one day per week – often Sunday is a popular meal planning day.

Perhaps you might hire a personal chef to come into your home to prepare freezer friendly meals. Another idea is to use a food delivery service of ready-to-cook ingredients.


vegetarian lunchLearn about nutrition (so you can make good food choices)

Our health retreat meal plan includes two smoothies per day and one meal — 1,200 healthy calories per day that are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Guests improve mental clarity and focus, energy, and of course weight loss. They also find their skin becomes clearer and they have reduced cravings for unhealthy foods.

One of the reasons why these results happen is from careful research and recipe creation. I didn’t just design the health retreat menu based on taste (although it certainly does taste great!). Wellness retreat guests cook all their own meals, so we use recipes that don’t take too long to prepare. They’re tired from the day of weight loss camp fitness activities in the evening!

The meals focus on alkaline foods that rebalance the body while maintaining pH levels. It’s rich in chlorophyll-rich foods every day, which helps to purify the blood and boost immunity. Throughout the wellness retreat, there are workshops on nutrition science. This allows our guests to gain knowledge and confidence in how to eat.

After the health retreat they can easily continue with healthy dietary decisions based on their own tastes and preferences.

Watch video stories of our wellness retreat alumni have kept up their good habits!

Take a good look at your habits

Health retreat programs overhaul our workout habits and get us moving in the right direction towards change. They’re a great way to accelerate your health goals and get the personal attention you need to improve.

How much water are you drinking? At our weight loss retreats in Canada we drink approximately 4 litres per day, depending on activity levels. This really is a great way to detox and achieve optimal energy. It also makes you less hungry. We stay ahead of our hydration needs but don’t drink water beyond the stage that is comfortable.

You might find that 2 or 3 litres is right for you, and commit to water goals for one month at home.

Other habits that you may want to look at is spending less time on digital devices. West Coast Fitness Vacations runs daily from 9-2. Taking this time away from the computer or television is a good habit to get into at home, if your commitments allow. Getting outside in nature will most definitely be enjoyable in this time frame instead! Find a park near you, a nice place to walk. Grab a friend and start making a routine of getting out and walking.


wellness spa retreatFocus on following a consistent sleep schedule.

Sleep is a key factor in your wellness, so getting focused about this will make you feel healthier. Many wellness retreat guests find significant improvements in their sleep while here. It’s definitely a side effect of doing more exercise! Catching a good night’s sleep does more than make you feel rested and energized.

Other benefits of good sleeping patterns include:

  • Beyond the benefits of a wellness retreat are the lessons that you retain into living healthier at home. Sleeping well improves your ability to learn new tasks and remember what you have learned. A lack of sleep can cause us to make decisions much slower; also these decisions tend to become more risk taking.
  • Many guests at our weight loss camps feel an increase of relaxation, even though their activity is strenuous. This is because sleep reduces stress and health complications. A lack of sleep places the body under stress and may trigger the release of stress-related hormones. These can cause unwanted increase in resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Some studies have also shown that people who chronically lack sleep have higher blood levels of C-reactive protein. Higher levels of this protein may suggest a greater risk of developing hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

READ: Poor sleep linked to atherosclerosis

  • West Coast Fitness Vacations guests work hard in their daily fitness workouts. Sleeping well helps their ability to repair muscles, damaged cells and tissues. This is because deep sleep triggers more release of human growth hormone.
  • Sleep strengthens the immune system, which helps fight off common infections. Sleep is also a powerful regulator of appetite and weight control.

hotel in vancouver island weight loss campCoordinate workouts with a friend

West Coast Fitness Vacations has a maximum of 4 women all with similar starting points and weight loss retreat goals. This makes the experience fun, social and in some ways, lighter in spirit. People take their weight loss goals really seriously and personally sometimes focusing on the outcome to the point that it stresses them.

Having friends around to keep an eye on your perspective – who are going through the same experience with you – is definitely one of the benefits of a wellness retreat.

Recreate the social factor of our weight loss camp by finding a friend to join you. Ease gradually into exercise together, even if they’re slower at times. Dogs make the best training partners because everything is pure joy! But if you don’t have a dog, grab a friend or neighbour and get moving.


grocery shopping at weight loss campGet your family involved

Shaping up will have a huge impact on the way your kids view their own health. When they see their mom working hard to take care of herself, they’ll recognize the importance of self-control and conscious activity. And it’s the same for your husband as it can motivate him to get in healthier shape.

By setting a good example, you’re helping them live free of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other obesity-related diseases. Unhealthy habits can trickle down through generations, but it only takes one person to break the pattern! At West Coast Fitness Vacations, we’ve heard from guests ourselves that their experience has inspired their families to make healthier choices.


Taking the first steps towards wellness

It’s fabulous that you’re wanting to get back into shape and feel healthier. Yet before doing anything, book a medical evaluation to get clearance. They will measure both your heart rate and blood pressure to determine the state of your cardiovascular system and will check your family history to know if exercise will place you at risk.

Prepare gradually to achieve anatomical adaptation. This is a process that prepares connective tissues (ligaments and tendons) for the increased tension that shaping up will place on them.

When you get in shape, you also strengthen your connective tissues. This will decrease the risk of injury and prepare you for unrestricted training and maximum results once you are physically ready.


weight loss camp weightsRemember why you want to shape up

Somewhere in your fitness beginnings, things will get hard and you’ll be looking for motivation to stop! This is what you may have previously done the other times that things got hard. When you’re at a wellness retreat or weight loss camp like West Coast Fitness Vacations), quitting will be harder to do.

When you’ve paid for an inclusive health retreat, you’re probably going to give it your best each day – in a way that at-home training doesn’t motivate you to do. For many, this is the greatest driving motivation behind packing up your life for a month or so, and going to a health retreat.

Exercise will control your weight, reduce risk of heart disease, and manage insulin levels among other benefits. It’ll help you to quit smoking, drink less alcohol and reduce cravings. Withdrawal symptoms will also be reduced.

During a workout, the body releases ‘feel good’ chemicals that boost mood and help you deal with stress. This can reduce your risk of depression and help you manage it, if you have it. You’ll strengthen your bones and muscles, while maintaining great posture and flexibility. This is very helpful and empowering to all areas of your life.

hiking retreat girlsMake working out as fun as it is at our weight loss camp!

West Coast Fitness Vacations prioritizes the fun part of working out, even though we work hard. While achieving daily targets are important, not every part of the activities are serious! Relax your goals every once in a while and have some good moments. Associating shaping up with a positive social environment is an empowering way to stay on track.

Exercise can be a hard slog, but it’s also fun once you get into it. Find the enjoyment by changing your perspective and looking for the positive parts of the experience. Enjoy music while you move, be active with friends who make you laugh, use a fitness tracker that motivates you. Join a social club or sport like tennis, golf, pickle ball.

Find your training zones by subtracting your age from 220, then multiply by 60%, 75% or 85%. For most people, training at 85% is best done in moderation – perhaps 2-3 times per week for 30 minutes each time.

Be patient….

Patience is your best friend! However there’s a balance between being over-cautious with your ability which may reduce results significantly.

One of the benefits of a wellness retreat is that we know when to push and when to hold back. This is because our trainers manage the entire schedule that you are following, so we know how hard you worked this morning, for example.

With getting a trainer at the gym, they don’t really know if you pushed this morning at golf and that is why you can’t move faster for them. You can easily just tell them that, and they’ll go easy on you! With our weight loss boot camp, we’ll know if your training is on target with other activities that you’ve done today. And you’ll be pushed accordingly – or encouraged to reduce intensity – depending on what is best.

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