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Breaking a Sweat, Spa Style

By: Kim Peiffer
Posted: June 29, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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For example, The Lodge at Woodloch, a destination spa in Hawley, Pennsylvania, recently expanded its fitness offerings for guests in their 40s, 50s and 60s, as well as those who are just getting back into a fitness routine. One program introduced to help kick-start the offerings is chair yoga, an ideal way for less flexible individuals to ease into yoga while still reaping its benefits.

For calorie-burning fitness, The Lodge offers fun and unique activities that are more high energy and innovative. These classes include a variety of dance offerings; hula hooping; Drums Alive, a class combining aerobic dance with drum rhythms; and Geocaching, a high-tech hunt for hidden treasure with assistance from Lodge guides and a GPS, providing an interesting way to learn about navigation and overland travel while also getting exercise.

That’s one of the most wonderful features of exercise programs—their variety and adaptability. From hiking to swimming, aerobics to yoga, martial arts to meditation, fitness offerings can be designed to maximize your spa’s greatest strengths. Whether you have an esthetician who was formerly a dance instructor or a location near scenic hiking trails, you can use the elements you already have to your advantage, and then go from there.

A total connection

Exhale Spa, a spa chain with nine locations in major cities across the United States, offers treatments that aid both the mind and body, and a crucial component of those offerings is fitness. “Mind-body classes were a key factor in the concept of our brand from the very beginning, as we offer clients a journey to better their outer and inner well-being under one roof,” says Stacy Levy, spa director of Exhale Spa’s Chicago location. “Classes such as Core Fusion and Yoga help to shift energy and improve overall well-being, which is needed these days in times of such uncertainty and anxiety.”

And despite the current economy, many spas are finding their clients need fitness time more than ever. In fact, Levy says the economy has not hurt their fitness classes in the least. “The program has continued to grow despite the economic downturn. People understand the necessity to keep their bodies and minds healthy in troubled times, and Exhale’s mind-body classes offer the opportunity to do both,” she explains.