Christmas can be a nightmare for the health-conscious. Practically everything on the menu, from the pigs-in-blankets to the Christmas pudding, is designed to make you pile on the pounds. The combination of booze, chocolate, and mountains of meat can leave your waistline looking a little worse for wear.
There is, however, a solution: the health and fitness getaway. It’s the ideal environment for you to undo some of the damage done to your body over the holiday period and get back on the right track. Check the best five UK health and fitness breaks below.
Simply Healing Retreat in Horsham, West Sussex
If you happen to live in London or the southeast, Simply Healing Retreat is probably just the convenient venue you’ve been looking for. Located in a traditional country manor, the site provides the ideal spot to detox, cleanse and generally remove the excesses of the holiday period.
The retreat focuses on holistic wellness using a variety of techniques, including juicing, massage, and premium spa treatments. Also on offer are weight loss programmes of varying lengths, helping you shed the pounds while munching on plenty of delicious, whole foods.
The purpose of the spa is to help people “regain control of their health,” focusing heavily on mind, body and spirit throughout.
Our Retreat, Somerset
Our Retreat is a wellness centre based in a traditional farmhouse setting decked out to offer the very latest in detox services.
The retreat typically runs short breaks for stressed-out workers over the weekend. The main focus is on movement, with a heavy emphasis on yoga, afternoon Pilates classes, and guided walks through the beautiful local countryside.
The health and fitness getaway also focuses on nutrition too, offering private chefs who can whip up a variety of meals and snacks, all low in nasties, like sugar, fat and processed junk.
A typical schedule includes a morning warm-up routine, healthy breakfast, a chance to unwind with a book in the library, long walks, massage therapy, and evening yoga. You’re also encouraged to interact with other guests.
Photo credit: Our Retreat. www.ourretreat.co.uk
Your Ideal Fit Conscious Living Retreat, Norfolk
Many people go through life buzzing from one task to the next, never stopping to consider their wellbeing. Your Ideal Fit Conscious Living Retreat, run by teacher Lucy Mills, offers an opportunity to pause and reflect, helping to reconnect people to their physicality.
Each day starts with a gentle Pilates class, designed to “wake up the body.” You’re then served a plant-based breakfast, all in a luxury rural setting. After that, you have the opportunity to work on strength using the TRX system with fully-qualified coaches by your side. It’s the ideal opportunity to get nutritionally-balanced and delicious food while enjoying guilt-free pleasures.
Get Gut Healthy Retreat, Chichester
Researchers are increasingly coming to the view that the bacteria that we harbour in our guts are responsible for the positive health effects of diet and exercise – or at least some of them. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that wellness resorts, like Get Gut Health Retreat in Chichester, now focus on the microbiome.
The holidays can wreak havoc on the balance of flora in your digestive tract, but the Get Gut Healthy team are there to help. There are classes on fermenting, creating prebiotic-rich foods, like teff, and boosting gut flora with physical activity.
The classes are of exceptional value compared to many other retreats. On arrival, you receive a welcome fermented drink and can have as much up or downtime as you like. There’s a library stocked with books, beautiful surrounding countryside to explore, and plenty of opportunities to discuss all matters related to gut health.
Walking Retreat With Sharpham Trust, Devon
Sometimes you just need to leave the office behind and get out in nature. And that’s precisely what Sharpham Trust offers. They immerse you in the wilderness of the Dartmoor coast to reconnect you with the natural world.
At the retreat, you get guided walks along some of the UK’s wildest coats, providing incredible views of the sea, local lighthouses and the highlands of Dartmoor.
Each walk is around seven to eight miles long and relatively hilly. The organisers, therefore, recommend a good level of fitness for those who want to take part.
The Sharpham Trust is one of the highest-rated walking retreats in the country, featuring in the Guardian’s top ten best meditation retreats in the UK and the London Evening Standard. The Sunday Telegraph called the experience “soothing,” and Glamour said that the four-day retreat felt like a gift for people with burnout.