Fitspiration, motivational posts on health and fitness, is a huge internet trend, and the need for life-changing ideas is influencing spas in a big way.
Treatment menus have branched out from the usual facials and massages to tackle serious or long-term health and fitness issues. Therapies are increasingly being designed to boost wellness, increase fitness and restore your mental wellbeing. A range of cutting-edge, health-focused programmes, rituals and retreats combine fitspiration with education, so we can take our new lifestyle changes home.
From sleep and stress to gait, posture and gut health, there are some of the exciting, innovating programmes breathing new life – and fitspiration – into the spa world.
So much of our lives are spent hunched over a computer, slouching on the sofa or sitting down. We rarely pay enough attention to our bodies, let alone looking at our posture, gait and physical stance.
Lifehouse Spa in Essex has a series of treatments analysing the neuromusculoskeletal system, movement, gait and posture. From a posture analysis (£15 for 15 minutes) you can be walking tall again, while a 1hr personal session with the in-house physiotherapist (£60) can assist with post-injury, post-accident or repetitive strain injuries.
Upgrade to a PhysioFit session (£30 for 30 mins), or add in a session of Myotherapy (£50) which is said to be a breakthrough in relieving back pain and muscle tension. It works by combining a simple, empirical muscle testing technique called kinesiology together with deep pressure point therapy to relieve tension. All of this can be included in any overnight spa stay or longer break.
Sleep is said to be the big health issue of the decade, and Champneys Tring has created a two-night Sleep Retreat with Jason Ellis, one of the world’s leading sleep experts. A Professor in Psychology at Northumbria University and Director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research, Ellis has spent the majority of his life’s work understanding and improving people’s sleep.
The Sleep Retreat is designed to give an insight into individual sleep problems and how best to tackle them in order to get the optimum amount each night. It includes a combination of six sleep treatment sessions, an aromatherapy massage and a copy of Jason’s handbook to take home, as well as access to fitness classes, gym and spa facilities, and healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Two-night Sleep Retreat starts from £499 (includes breakfast, three-course buffet lunch and three-course dinner).
Herb House at Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest takes fitness seriously and partners with Matt Roberts, one of the UK’s top fitness experts for a series for specialist retreats. The next one takes place 11th September and includes around four hours of personal training, healthy food and downtime in the spa. There’s a forest workout and time in the gym with a session of yoga thrown in for good measure.
In your one-on-one time with Matt, he will put you through your paces and can help develop your current or future training plans. The aim? To give you a better understanding of health and fitness and to inspire you to start living differently.
At Herb House, you can book in additional treatments, use the spa facilities, or lose yourself in the woods for an hour or two of forest bathing.
Price: £325 for the day, this includes all Matt Roberts fitness sessions, a yoga/Pilates session and lunch.
If you book a spa treatment at the same time as the retreat booking you get a 25% discount. Add a night's stay to the retreat with a special Bed & Breakfast offer of £195 for a Cosy Room, based on two sharing.
While a little stress is a good thing, living life constantly in fight or flight mode has major health implications. Help is at hand with a series of one-day intensive stress management workshops at COMO Metropolitan London.
The 'Stress Free Success' workshop (June 24 and September 2, £350) is designed to improve physical and psychological wellbeing by addressing the negative effects of stress, examining how to reduce it with coping strategies, such as meditation.
The course is run by Working in Balance founder, Toby Maguire, who is trained in Clinical Hypnotherapy, Nutrition and a variety of massage, healing techniques and acupuncture. He has many years’ experience in managing stress and running corporate wellness retreats at destination spas including Chiva Som, Six Senses, and the Mandarin Oriental.
One to one sessions are also available at the COMO Metropolitan London on June 21st – July 1st, 2017. A one night break the hotel including a place on the course costs from £510 per person, based on two sharing.
When the delicate microbes in our stomachs are disturbed by medication, stress, poor diet or illness, this can have a profound impact on sleep, mood, skin, energy and weight. The Grayshott Health Regime is all about restoring gut health.
Under the direction of Doctors, Consultants and Nutritionists, the focus is primarily on food: what to eat, how and when to eat it. Meals are tailored to ease pressure on the digestion system, allowing it to rest and heal. You won’t feel deprived as the food is tasty, nutritious and filling.
The package itself includes: Health, Nutritional and Fitness Consultations, Blood Analysis and Body Composition Analysis, an eating protocol that will heal and regenerate your body, abdominal massages, hydro baths and Castor Oil Compresses to support detoxification. There are education sessions each evening on topical food issues and post-departure support, so you can carry on healing at home.
A 7 day stay costs from £1,495
If you find yourself drained of energy and inspiration, head to Yeotown in rural Devon and book in for their award-winning, five-day programme. Yeotox (from £1,870) is a healthy eating, juice-fasting bootcamp in a spectacular coastal setting, with relaxing spa treatments. Clear your mind, up your stamina, and return ready to take on the world.
Each day builds upon the previous day, so that guests are given time to increase their stamina and endurance for the more challenging hikes and activities. It’s not for the feint-hearted! A sample day could include coastal hiking, strength training, boxing workouts, Mindfulness and Meditation, cycling, nutritional chats and cookery sessions, yoga inspired stretching, massage, dry sauna, hot tub, reading, relaxing, unwinding by a roaring fire or watching the sun set in the lush gardens.
12th June 2017
Tepedariums (heated seats make my spa day); pools you can actually swim in; eucalyptus steams rooms; deep tissue massages.
Anything to do with ice or cold plunge pools; having to go outside mid-spa day; other people talking loudly; hot tubs with the bubbles on!
Behind the scenes