Friday, August 8, 2014

Fitness Friday: The Rise of Wellness Travel

Vacation is becoming less about just taking a trip somewhere and more about the bettering of oneself through travel. It's not just about getting away for a week or two, relaxing on the beach and taking a break from the stress of every day life–though it is healthy to do that every once and a while. Now, people are taking active steps to wellness while simultaneously enjoying a different destination.


Fitness and wellbeing trips are on the rise, as more and more people take advantage of their time off to get in some much needed exercise. The fact is, most people want to work out, be active, relax, detox, but schedules are so packed with work, social events, family obligations, there's really no time in our everyday lives to get in that well deserved massage or five-mile run (unless you only want to get three hours of sleep).

Vacations provide a set amount of uninterrupted time that you can use to your hearts content, and many people want to maximize it so they can come back feeling rejuvenated. This trend will continue as increasing numbers of people adopt wellness lifestyles that they will want to incorporate into travel. No matter what your intentions–weight loss, stress management, getting in touch with nature, improved levels of fitness or just reconnecting with yourself or your family–there are places and tour packages out there, and many more will be popping up.

Many hotels already offer elements that cater to wellness travelers, such as fitness centers and spa treatments. But recently, major hotel brands have created themed hotels designed specifically for this kind of travel, such as InterContinental Hotel Group's EVEN Hotels, which just launched this year.

A number of start up tour companies have come onto the scene, ready to provide you with one-of-a-kind experiences that will not only get you moving, but will also introduce you to a variety of destinations. If you're looking for a heart-pumping adventure, you can try Discover Fitness and Travel, which takes travelers on bike tours through exotic locations. The tours make stops at local villages, where riders can enjoy city markets and discover the local culture.

As this kind of travel becomes more popular, people will begin to seek out new and exciting locales for their vacations. Yes, you can still have a wellness trip in California or Florida or along the shores of New England and in the deserts of Arizona. Those are all great places for those looking for a budget friendly option. But Gen Xers and aging baby boomers who have more disposable income are eager to go places that really get them away from it all. If you want a place where you can completely unwind, head to Oman, where you can relax and get in touch with nature in the mountains or along the sparkling beaches. Want to detox or enjoy some great yoga? Check out Thailand. Ever considered a trip to the Himalayas or Malaysia? Maybe you should, since these are great places known for their healing practices and connection to nature.

Wellness travel has become more than just a temporary fix, it's turning into a long-term solution to living sedimentary lives. They are no longer a quick weekend trip to the spa or a hiking adventure in the mountains. These trips are turning into annual, week-long excursions where travelers can truly better their bodies and minds, and come back with results that will last much longer than the tans they would have gotten lying on the beach.

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