By Maggie Winzeler of WellnessWinz.com
When it comes to travel, planning can get overwhelming. These days, the options seem endless. All-inclusive or pay-as-you-go? Four star or five star? By land or by sea? All of these choices, coupled with figuring out how to squeeze exercise into your itinerary, can leave many travel-thirsty individuals in decision paralysis.To make things just a little bit easier, I’ve dug my way through top travel agendas for fitness fans of all varieties. So whether you like hiking, running, scuba diving, wellness retreats, yoga or straight up adventure, this short list covers all the bases. It has a little something for everyone, and you may even find a little inspiration to try something brand new. I applaud you! Especially if you bring me back a picture of a whale shark…
Outdoor Fitness Adventure:
Sol Fitness Adventures is “where luxury and fitness rendezvous.” Years ago, long-time personal trainer Melanie Webb packed up her dumbbells and left the east coast of the U.S. to start this outdoor adventure company. Her goal is to help more people enjoy outdoor exploring and the western states’ mountain culture.Melanie takes individuals and groups on customized experiences that may include backpacking, paddle boarding, climbing, rafting, biking, yoga and more. You may just find yourself in glorious Zion National Park, Utah enjoying the early spring or fall air, or you may opt to explore Colorado in the winter. Bundle up! The best part about Sol Fitness is that it allows you to reconnect with nature while also meeting your fitness goals.
Wellness, Fitness & Pampering:
Ibiza is an island located about 50 miles off the coast of Spain. One side of the island is notorious for late night dancing, while the other side is quickly becoming well-known for yoga, meditation and wellness retreats. One of these retreats, held at the Can Dream villa, is the increasingly popular Fit and Fly Girl Ibiza fitness retreat.Thanks to its gorgeous setting, this retreat boasts a wide offering of fitness activities including daily classes in nutrition, health and inspirational coaching led by personal trainer Kiya Knight. Other activities include yoga, cooking classes, a complimentary massage, kayaking tours, mud baths, hiking, sailing, snorkeling, waterskiing, surfing, parasailing, scuba diving, and kiteboarding. Need I go on? Oh yes, Moroccan “glamping” is on the table as well.
Trailblazer Bucket List:
Are you ready for one of the world’s greatest hiking trails? Don’t take it from me, take this advice from Peter Potterfield, an author and hiker who has covered over 10,000 miles across six continents on…you guessed it, just his own two feet. The Fitz Roy Trek, Patagonia, Argentina makes his list of Classic Hikes of the World. This is a 36-mile trip that takes about four to seven days.The Fitz Roy Massif is an iconic ridge with views that get even better at sunrise. Apparently, you’re also in for stunning granite monoliths, beech forests, glaciers sitting in open plains, and waterfalls. Potterfield recommends going in February-March to avoid crowds and infamous winds.
Once-in-a-Lifetime Road Race:
If you’re one to check off site-seeing and road races from your itinerary in a single breath, then this road race is for you! The Great Wall of China Marathon is held in May and offers three distances: a marathon, half marathon and an 8.5K fun run, so no matter what your endurance level is, you can charge up and down the steep ascents of this world wonder like you were born for it.In a trailer video on the race’s website, the New York Times is quoted as saying that this is “more than just a road race.” No kidding! What makes this such an awesome race is the views but in order to enjoy them, you must accept the challenge of climbing up and down the wall’s steps. If the idea of crawling up steps hunched over when your legs are gassed is appealing to you, then I suggest you book your flight now! This race will certainly take even the best athletes a longer-than-average amount of time to complete, but man, if you can finish it, you have official bragging rights forever!
This is where I make my request; please bring me back a picture of a whale shark. If you decide to go scuba diving at Gladden Spit, Belize between March-June, you’re almost certain to spot one of these gentle giants…in fact, it would be hard to miss one! Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world, and their gaping mouths and ginormous bodies are definitely intimidating. Fortunately for divers, they’re not interested in turning you into a snack. Like many sharks, these guys might make a pass at you by swimming closely to investigate your tiny-by-comparison body, but they won’t try to guzzle you down. So if you like the cheap thrill of a close encounter, with the assurance of safety (roller coasters, anyone?), this is a must for your list of places to dive!
Looking to lower your heart rate after reading about all the aforementioned adventures? I don’t blame you. Discover yoga straight from its origins; India. Three of the Five Best Yoga Retreats in India are situated close to the foothills of the Himalayas; 1) Vana, Malsi Estate, 2) Ananda Spa, and 3) The Oberoi Wildflower Hall. Take it from someone who has studied yoga in India before…you won’t regret the effort or expense.These retreats are not only situated in peaceful and beautiful surroundings, but they offer a wide-range of programs to choose from. At Oberoi Wildflower Hall, you may decide to interweave trekking with gentle yoga while at Ananda Spa you may choose the “Advanced Pranayama” (i.e. advanced breathing) program. At Vana, Malsi Estate, guests may opt for Tibetan healing and spa treatments. The options are incredible and they don’t stop there! Most importantly, at any location, you will unite your mind and body. Namaste…For more fitness travel tips, subscribe to our newsletter!
Chase, A. (2014, August 18). 10 Best Underwater Adventures in the World. Retrieved August 6, 2015, from http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/10-best-underwater-adventures-in-the-world#!4-swim-with-whale-sharksGreat Wall Marathon. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2015, from http://great-wall-marathon.com/Ibiza Fitness Retreat. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2015, from http://www.fitandflygirl.com/ibiza-fitness-retreat/The Five Best Yoga Retreats in India. (2014, April 28). Retrieved August 6, 2015, from http://www.greavesindia.co.uk/blog/posts/2014/april/the-five-best-yoga-retreats-in-india/ Webb, M. (n.d.). Sol Fitness Adventures. Retrieved August 6, 2015, from http://solfitnessadventures.com/ World's Best Hikes: 15 Classic Trails. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2015, from http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/best-trails/world-hikes/#/fitz-roy-argentina_35786_600x450.jpg