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Head away to a health retreat

Try as we might, there’s no denying that looking after our physical health is becoming more and more a ‘normal’ part of everyday life. The popularity of running and cycling are at an all-time high, one in ten people in the UK are a member of a gym, but to go one step further, health retreats are on hand to enable us to focus our energy on self-care whether that’s for a few days or a week or two.

With good weather being an important factor for outdoor activity, which in turn boosts general well-being, the number of overseas health retreats is quickly growing. There’s now a huge choice available, with many specialising in different USPs – some are known for yoga, others for their intensive boot camps.

Such is their popularity that fitness fans are now using them as a ‘top up’ to the gym as well as being a great excuse to really get away from it all. So what do they have to offer over and above a good gym regime? Here are the Flexicover team thoughts on why you could pick a health retreat holiday.

The travel!

Travelling abroad for a retreat is the ultimate way in which to extract yourself from the daily grind. As the time zone and currency changes, so does your mindset, allowing you to concentrate on the most important subject: yourself. It also means that travellers can combine their primary goal with rewarding experiences in a new country, be it trying out fresh, local ingredients contained in the domestic cuisine, going on local hikes or hiring a bike and checking out their cycle trails. Much more interesting than looking at a row of treadmill runners, right?

They're more social

Gyms can be a great place to meet new people in the local area, but everything about a health retreat is geared up to foster a strong sense of community. In many, solo travellers are the norm rather than the exception (reflected in their waiving of single fees), so activities, meals and relaxation times are all chances to meet with like-minded people.

They're an opportunity to learn

By the very nature of being gym regulars, we form a handy routine of what exercise to do and when to do it. While it’s important to find out what works for us and stick to it, there’s also a benefit to shaking up the usual routine on occasion, in order to see if our regimes can be improved. In which case specialised health retreats are like college – you’ll learn tips and tricks, be exposed to a broader range of styles and exercises, dig deep into the theory behind the exercise, and walk away all the better for it.

They don't feel like a chore

One of our bugbears about the gym is that it can get so. very. boring. It simply takes the forgetting of headphones to turn a 20-minute workout into an Everest of sameness. But headphones be damned! Your perspective tends to change when you’ve an action-packed day of healthy activities that mentally and physically keep you on your toes. The variation and focus of each activity means you’ll stay stimulated throughout. If you do find them dull, it’s generally on purpose, to slow your mind down. Which brings us on to the next point…

They’re holistic

Current thinking links mental health with physical health and digestive health, and while working on one aspect is commendable, it’s only a third of your wellbeing. To help each element work optimally, all three need TLC, and that’s where health retreats really single themselves out as more beneficial than gyms. Even if your goal is purely fitness, they’re likely to include classes or talks for mental health, and the food served is designed to leave guests feeling nourished, energised and, above all, extremely virtuous.

But where should you head to try out a health retreat for yourself? Here are three suggestions worth taking a look at:

Yobaba Lounge, France: an award winning wellness retreat perfect for those looking to ‘eat clean’ and de-stress through yoga, self-reflection and meditation.

Silver Island Yoga, Greece: this ‘off grid’ eco-retreat is on a privately owned island located a few miles from the mainland where you can really get away from it all and practice Yoga in the beautiful outdoors.

Whatever type of trip you’re taking this year, whether it’s a high octane adventure or a much more chilled affair, it’s good to know that Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.