Four Reasons Fitness Retreats Are The New Mommy Therapy: A Guide to Resetting Your Life Balance
All across the country, a new type of ‘therapy’ for moms is starting to gain traction. It used to be spas and passive wellness retreats had all the action, and (when one could), a mom would sneak away for a week in order to get pampered, drink funny tasting lime water, and (in general) apply mud to various (and sometimes intrusive) parts of her body. Six days later, mommy gets back home only slightly more relaxed, gets caught up in the grind in an instant, and quickly falls victim to the same habits and social pressures that produced burnout and unhealthy weight/health issues in the first place. Fail. But wait! Not all is lost!
Enter the new era of the fitness retreat. If you’ve only read casually about what a fitness retreat does on some fly-by-night aggregator blog out there, then chances are you’re not getting a fully accurate picture. It’s no secret that fitness retreats are quickly becoming all the rage, but most of time, fitness retreats themselves aren’t described correctly or (themselves) fail in articulating their programs’ worth in their messaging, motivations and (ultimately) their mommy-helping mission. Many in the media describe them as being a place where you simply go to diet and work out all the time. They’re often misconstrued as a boot camp where you have to renege on what you eat or do, all the while having someone screaming fat-shame in your face under the guise of ‘motivational mantras’.
The truth is that quality, well-crafted, and data-driven fitness retreats aren’t like this at all. Instead, a professional fitness retreat ecosystem works at multiple levels beyond improving health, including wellness, therapeutic massage and life coaching resources in order to fully support lifelong psychological and mental changes that underpin sustainable results. They also help bring life balance by bringing specific challenges forward for some clients, while adapting a more nurturing approach to other,… largely based on experience levels, health and fitness metrics, and ongoing measurement of changes in body chemistry and physical fitness milestones. These are elements of a more holistic approach to weight loss and wellness, and when executed properly, they hit upon many of the ‘sore spots’ (no pun intended) that plague moms across the country today (and we’re not just talking about soles of your feet!)
The magic of this type of programmatic, thoughtful, residential fitness approach happens only when bad habits begin eroding naturally into good behaviors,… typically over the course of multiple breakdown-breakthrough moments, while resetting minds and senses of time throughout the duration of a program. Now, if you’re a mom, and you’re reading this, you’re probably asking yourself, “How can I get into something like this RIGHT now?” – and you’re not alone. But before you go all internet-crazy and begin burning through site after site’s worth of vague promises and aspirational marketing jargon designed to separate you from your hard-earned dollars, take a pause with us and examine these four reasons the RIGHT fitness retreat can get you exactly where you want to be.
1. Disconnecting From Technology
If your one of the 94% of women who own a cellular or smartphone device then you may already be suffering from what we affectionately refer to as the Blech Of Tech. Oh sure, you might unplug or go off the grid when going on vacation. However, as a busy working mother, how much do you ‘walk this back’ and end up re-syncing with your cell phone or tablet anyway? It happens all the time. Even on holiday or girls night. Our mobile devices are so much more than phone calls nowadays – they’re links to our lives. Email. Texts. Scheduling. Even home security and social apps… it all lives in our hands now. The problem is this,… that little black box? It’s NOT our lives. And too often we see that our actual sense of connection is gradually diminished as we sacrifice more meaningful relationship interactions for the instantaneous thrill of noisy digital icons masquerading as real communication with alerts of all kinds,… shades of importance cloaked in the mask of convenience.
These become such habitual actions, they can even start to affect how well we take care of ourselves. This faux reality in the digital space is no reality to hang to when you consider winding down for a while, and actually taking the time to reconnect with your own body and mind,… as well as other humans you meet in the fitness retreat social environment. A professional fitness ‘farm’ helps get you away from technology for a while to focus more on your health in a private, distraction-free environment, where the connections you make have nothing to do with the WiFi.
This issue has become such a hotbed, that Huffington Post wrote a piece on the health aspects to unplugging earlier this year. They featured statistics showing just how much technology disrupts our life. It can affect sleep patterns and impede mental tasks. As a result, this snowballs into a bevy of unwanted nuisance (and even more serious) health issues, and affects your metabolism on top of it. And we all know that soon after the onset of these minor irritants, it leads to overeating or taking time to catch up on sleep rather than exercising… or even worse yet, simply not sleeping ENOUGH,… all of which further slow down your body chemistry, cause inflammation and (in general) make your body’s systems slow down so that you’re no longer burning calories efficiently.
2. Resetting Life’s Pace By Measuring,… Then Challenging Your Body
As much as we moms might hate to admit it, sometimes we have to shock our body into resetting itself so we can finally end all those bad health habits we can’t seem to quit, and re-normalize a lot of the body’s internal processes and energy mechanisms. Over the years, many authors (and mom bloggers) have debated on exactly how to do this and what program and intensity achieves the best results, but the one thing they all agree on is this – What’s most important is to reset your RMR, otherwise known as your Resting Metabolic Rate.
Now, for you moms new to understanding your RMR, this is a good opportunity to separate out the truths from the myths. A lot of untruths and half-truths have been spread around out there on the vast and seemingly trustworthy internet about which exercises you should do so you can reset your RMR. But a real RMR reset isn’t the result of one broad swoop of activity – rather, it’s a process that is staged across multiple, high intensity, and high-nutrition events. The good news, is that at a professional fitness retreat with a team of certified trainers, you’ll get a full education on what this does to help you be able to eat well, feel great while working out, yet still lose weight. RMR, you see, is not simply a one-size-fits all approach to data-driven weight loss. It requires weekly, and sometimes daily testing and the adaptation of nutritional plans along the way to really hone in on your maximum performance zone that will produce the results you want in the mirror. This, along with a series of other, trainer-led professional testing (such as cutting edge 3D body scanning) designed to get the most out of what you put into the program.
Once you’ve successfully onboarded (if the camp you attend is doing its job), then the team of trainers goes to work behind the scenes, crafting the ideal program within the group training environment to keep your body challenged and ‘in the zone’ needed to produce this ‘reset’. Some camps call it ‘in the zone’ training, while at Fit Farm, we like to SWEAT (Significant Workout Events Adaptively Tuned), which is probably why you’ll often hear us say ‘Get Sweaty!’ or ‘Get Whippy With It!’ at least a hundred times during your time with us! And after the first week (which we like to call Whippy Week), you’ll begin to notice a few things happening…
3. Resetting Your Sense of Time and Function
One of the first things most moms notice is a swift and sudden resetting of sleep cycles so your metabolism begins to work well again in sync with your circadian rhythms. To put it succinctly, “Girl, you gonna be tired. In a good way.” – This dynamic helps to stabilize your endocrine levels and overall body chemistry as you get deeper into the program, and begins to feedback new health and fitness data metrics to your trainers via FitBit (which, if a camp knows what it’s doing, should be a MUST for all guests to wear throughout the duration of their program). Professionals working within the fitness retreat environment carefully monitor your nutritional balance while creating a fitness program fitting your exact needs. But this is only half of the equation… you’ll be able to reset all of the above for maximum performance while at camp, but what makes it last when you go home is the exit program work and information provided to help you take forward your life change, and everything you’ve ‘reprogrammed’ your body and mind for along the way. You see, our mommy brains have often fallen into a rut when it comes to time and function. We move through tasks and timed events, but without mindful prioritization of significant wellness and fitness events pre-populated into our daily deliverables, we often fall victim to the cult of the ‘tired trudgery’ – which is when you haven’t really done anything THAT taxing all day, but for some reason, at the end of the day, you’re completely wiped out.
This aspect of fitness retreat therapy, if nothing else,… is the real key to long term success, and it helps you to develop and entirely new world view about how and where you spend your efforts and time at home, at work, and in recreation – as well as which activities you choose to engage in going forward, and how to keep your body functioning at its highest potential. We all know from Einstein that time is relative, but when you’re a crazily busy mom, time can move too fast. You may think right NOW that you have no time to take care of yourself through proper eating or creating a workout plan. But trust me when I say that a well-designed fitness retreat program will give you a ‘light year’ head start on helping to give you a better sense of time (especially after the program), so you can get away from family and career pressures that so often compromise proper time management. A professional health team teaches you how to rearrange your life so you can still eat right and exercise without making it a burden to you and those you love, another key take away that sets the stage for success in both the short and long term!
4. Eating What You Want Frequently! With Proper Portion Control
Alright. Let’s get to the heart of the matter: Food. One thing (perhaps) keeping you away from fitness retreat ‘therapy’ is that fact that you’re worried you can’t eat the foods you like. And you know what? It’s not a surprise. The proliferation of short gain, long-fail fat camps that have sprung up and (then subsequently) gone out of business in the U.S. over the past 5 years alone is staggering – camps promising the world, selling a ‘skinny’ version of the truth when in reality, the only thing they’re actually selling is you,… short. Most of these camps simply restrict your calorie intake by touting their own supplements, vitamins and (at best) cafeteria level gruel (I’d be charitable if I started calling it food) which fails to satisfy and is (in most cases) is meaded out in such sparse quantity that even an anorexic gazelle would soon go ‘over the cliff’ mentally into a ravenous, zombie-fever, ‘I’ll eat anything’ hunger mode. This is where the proof literally is in the ‘pudding’ and you can see which camps actually HAVE certified nutritionists and chefs working for them behind the scenes, and which ones have retired quick-service counter workers.
At Fit Farm, for example, our Kitchen Labs emphasize a ‘Real Food For Real Life’ approach to eating well and naturally, but without the procedural overhead of you having to shop at the most obscure organic, non-GMO, type boutique shopping markets just for the privilege of buy 12 eggs for $10 when you get home, just to be able to recreate the food you at on the farm. The truth is, some of the produce we serve at Fit Farm is from our garden (seasonally), generously portioned food – and it is the same food you’re used to eating at restaurants and at home. It’s simply prepared in balance with your specific nutritional and health metrics (remember we talked about those before?) in order to make the most of the needed proteins and carbohydrates your body so desperately needs during a professionally crafted training program. And the last piece of the nutritional equation is (of course) frequency. How many times are you eating per day? Chances are, it’s too few. Here at Fit Farm we have three (3) meals per day along with two (2) healthy snacks to keep you going, and get your body in ‘burning engine’ mode. It’s always amazing to us when guests of ours talk about prior camp experiences that didn’t work out, only to find that they’re eating more at the farm, eating (principally) what they want, but losing more weight and feeling better than they ever did before.
Bottom line, any fitness retreat worth its salt, knows that the salt of life is FOOD, and fighting with food isn’t the answer to healthy living. Finding real food in the right amount and frequency is.
Last Thoughts: Is It Time To Retreat? Or Fitness Retreat?
The travel and lifestyle landscape today is virtually peppered with options, all of them touting the full spectrum of experience to enlightenment, and most of them alluding to some kind of opaquely veiled results that purport to restore the body, mind and soul. To be sure, we all need a break to get off the soles of our feet, but sometimes the best way to find yourself again is to achieve some monumental feats for your soul. Retreating to a spa or purely passive environment might have been the past decade’s answer to the existential question of motherhood malaise, but does it ‘cut the mustard’ now? Only you can answer this question for yourself, and at its absolutely core, it boils down to this question: What’s more important to your health and wellness? A thinly marketed quasi-experience for body, mind and soul? Or a REAL break-through change in life momentum for your body, mind and GOALS.
So before you consider going to a spa or passive wellness retreat where the maximum body reset you’ll achieve will be applying aloe to sunburned shoulders and binging on Kardashian-cable in a hotel room, ask yourself how you want to FEEL when you get home. If the answer to this question is, “Hey, I want to actually FEEL better and PERFORM better and BE happier in my day-to-day, both at the retreat and going forward into the future,” then ultimately, a well-managed fitness retreat is the type of mommy therapy you really need.
Visit us at the Fit Farm Whippy Blog today and learn how our all-inclusive fitness retreat and boot camp program in the beautiful hills of Nashville, Tennessee making moms better and changing lives. And just know this – we’re here for all you busy moms who need some guidance to get your life back on track. Body, Mind and Goals. 😉