Fitness & Activities

Aerobics

Many spas offer aerobics classes in an on-site studio equipped with sprung floors and air-conditioning. Aerobic exercise is a popular way for spa guests to raise their heart rate through choreographed group movements, usually set to energetic music. Spas can differ widely in their sign-up policies, so be sure to contact a spa staff member if you are unsure of how to register. Also, be sure to register for classes that suit your current experience and fitness level. Classes can range from beginner to advanced.

Boxing

A high-impact cardiovascular exercise routine based on boxing principles.

Dancing

There are as many kinds of dance fitness classes as there are styles of dance. Classes like CardioFunk, jazz, tap, hip-hop, salsa, and even belly dancing allow participants to combine elements of aerobics and body-sculpting exercise with the freedom and pleasure of dance. Dance/exercise hybrids such as BalletPilates are gaining in popularity. Dance fitness exercise is said to increase agility and coordination as well as general health and well-being. Spas can differ widely in their sign-up policies, so be sure to contact a spa staff member if you are unsure of how to register. Also, be sure to register for classes that suit your current experience and fitness level.

Fishing

Meditation and fishing have a lot in common. Both involve sitting quietly and concentrating on just one thing (or more often than not, nothing at all). Although at the end of a day spent fishing you won't find spiritual enlightenment, you may have a tasty dinner. All of the spas below regularly organize trips or can accommodate fishermen (and women) who enjoy all types of fishing—fly, deep-sea, or line.

Golf

Many resorts provide extraordinary experiences on the links as well as in the spa, allowing partners to pursue separate interests. Choose tee time or teatime; manicured fairways or paraffin manicures. Check out these resorts with spas and 18-hole, world-class golf courses on premises.

Hiking

Hiking combines physical exercise and sensational settings. These spas offer diverse hiking programs and at least ten miles of trails that will allow you to reach new heights.

Horseback Riding

A special bond exists between horse and rider. These spas offer on-site stables, access to trails of varying degrees of difficulty, and riding lessons both for novices and advanced students.

Personal Training

Structured group classes are a great way to get in the habit of exercising regularly, but some prefer the individualized support and motivation supplied by a certified personal trainer. Personal trainers are themselves highly trained, having been certified by one or several professional organizations such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Trainers will work with the client to create an individualized regimen to meet the client’s personal fitness goals. This regimen may include diet and lifestyle alteration in addition to exercise guidance. Trainers stress the importance of physical fitness rather than mere cosmetic change. Personal trainers are available for those with special situations, e.g., cancer recovery, pre- or post-pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, etc.

Pilates with Reformer

Pilates is one of the fastest growing fitness systems in the country. Developed by Joseph H. Pilates more than 70 years ago, it helps participants develop strong, lean bodies by using their own body weight and core strength. This exercise technique combines elements of yoga, boxing, gymnastics, and tai chi. Pilates has been recommended for those suffering from chronic muscle pain or undergoing rehabilitation for an injury. Classes range from beginner and intermediate mat sessions to more advanced workouts that include Reformer equipment, which introduces resistance and assistance to various degrees. Spas can differ widely in their sign-up policies, so be sure to contact a spa staff member if you are unsure of how to register. Also, be sure to register for classes that suit your current experience and fitness level.

Pilates with Mat

Exercise where the mat serves as a safe, stable foundation for a series of controlled movements to improve flexibility and core strength.

Qigong

Qigong is a discipline that originated in ancient China. "Qi" is a Chinese word meaning life-essence or life-force, while the skill of self-discipline. Proponents of qigong believe that its practitioners learn to control their internal energy flow in order to improve inner and outer health. Qigong combines a number of techniques, including movement, meditation, mind/body exercises, and breathing exercises. More than 3,000 schools and styles of qigong are extant. Qigong is thought to have therapeutic benefits for clients suffering from disparate ailments such as high blood pressure, digestive problems, and chronic anxiety.

Scuba/Snorkeling

Coral reefs, colorful fish, and warm water with 100 feet of visibility. After an eye-opening dive, relax with an afternoon massage. These spas have scuba and snorkeling programs, and some offer certification.

Spinning

Spinning is an increasingly popular group cycling program that is well known as a way to burn calories and increase muscle strength in a low-impact environment. Advocates of spinning point to its adaptability to all fitness levels and its effectiveness as aerobic exercise. The program is designed to replicate the actual physical conditions associated with outdoor cycling, incorporating both seated and standing positions and a stationary "climbing" function. The cycles themselves can be adjusted to provide resistance to various muscle groups. Spinning workshops feature motivational elements such as upbeat music and a trained instructor. Spas can differ widely in their sign-up policies, so be sure to contact a spa staff member if you are unsure of how to register. Also, be sure to register for classes that suit your current experience and fitness level.

Tennis

Sunshine, fresh air, and physical fitness. Enjoy a variety of benefits when you play tennis. All these properties have tennis programs with on-site courts, professional instruction, and, in many cases, organized tournaments.

Tai Chi

Tai chi originated in ancient China as an "internal martial art." In the West, however, it is better known as a technique that promotes health and vitality. Sometimes referred to as a form of "meditation in motion," tai chi is composed of a series of coordinated movements that cultivate looseness and relaxation as opposed to muscle tension. These movements are designed to counteract the stresses of daily life, encouraging unblocked circulation and energy flow. There are five main styles of traditional or orthodox Tai Chi, each of which has countless offshoots. Tai Chi has been known to positively affect patients suffering from heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure, among other ailments. Spas can differ widely in their sign-up policies, so be sure to contact a spa staff member if you are unsure of how to register. Also, be sure to register for classes that suit your current experience and fitness level.

Yoga Classes

Like many calming spa treatments, yoga is a discipline that utilizes the mind/body connection to reduce stress, increase flexibility, and enhance well-being. Traditional hatha yoga consists of asanas (physical postures) and pranayamas (breathing exercises). Spas and fitness centers offer a number of yoga modalities, ranging from kundalini, which incorporates mantras and meditation, to the strength-enhancing power yoga. Guests are encouraged to wear non-constrictive clothing during classes and to refrain from eating before taking a yoga class. Spas can differ widely in their sign-up policies, so be sure to contact a spa staff member if you are unsure of how to register. Also, be sure to register for classes that suit your current experience and fitness level. Classes can range from beginner to advanced.