When you imagine a fitness retreat, what do you see? Likely one of two things: sweaty athletes doing sprints and drinking protein shakes, or, out-of-shape people eating only celery and struggling to keep up with a fitness class. Neither sounds particularly appealing, right? So what is a fitness retreat really like?
We spoke with Tina Green of Evolve Retreats Co., a Western Canada-based retreat company that organizes wellness retreats for people from all walks of life. From what she says? A fitness retreat is fantastic for anyone who truly wants to engage in nurturing their body from the inside out.
“Evolve Retreat Co. is for anybody who wants to take the time to take care of themselves. Regardless of your fitness level or age, you can be healthy. With our support, anybody can make a difference in their own health and wellness. Every guest can expect to leave here more fit than when they arrived. They will learn tricks for fitness, nutrition, yoga, motivation and just really focus on putting themselves first,” says Tina.
You won’t find a one-size-fits-all program at this kind of retreat. Evolve’s highly-trained team of wellness and healthcare professionals tailor the entire program, including dietary choices, to each participant’s health and lifestyle so that the changes and wellbeing are sustainable once you return home.
“We pride ourselves on not only giving people tools and helping them create tangible goals, but also how to continue that work once they get home. That’s where the real magic happens.” In essence, Tina and her staff value more than just the difference each participant feels while they are actively at the retreat -- really, it’s more about the long-term gains. “Every guest comes to the retreat with their own individual biochemistry and their own potential imbalances in their body. It’s great to be on site and available to them to answer their questions as they come up. We give them guidelines to go forward after the retreat to feed their bodies in ways that will optimize their health and wellness.”
“For example… we had a 23-year-old and a 74-year-old on our last retreat. We had somebody come with three broken ribs, somebody come who had just finished chemo, a woman who was 6 months pregnant, we had couples that were coming for their anniversary. It’s such a dynamic group. It’s not young or old, it’s everyone that wants to learn more about how to make better choices for themselves. This support and education allows people to create the magic at home.” Create the magic at home. Tina doesn’t see wellness as work, but as an opportunity to create magic. For her, these retreats are about empowerment and setting each client up for his or her greatest success.
This is all possible, Tina explains, because they have a committed and collaborative wellness team: “We set people up for success. We know each guest well before they arrive. We’re able to work as a team to make sure that nobody ends up feeling deflated, that they couldn’t do it. For example, we have 2 guides on our hikes to ensure no one falls back, someone stays with them, and then they do something different, whether it’s yoga, etc. So, instead of turning into ‘I couldn’t accomplish it’, they turn it into something more beautiful: a unique experience for that individual.” A personal touch that goes the extra mile.
And that is exactly what Tina emphasizes about the fitness and wellness retreats her company runs: whatever your personal goals, whatever your current physical ability, there is something of value to help improve your quality of life sustainably, one step at a time.
"If you open your heart and mind, you open to the flow of life and you can do anything. We often put limitations on ourselves for all sorts of reasons when, with a little help, guests are surprised at what they can achieve on their journey to wellness."
Tina Green is the Retreat Coordinator at Evolve Retreat & Co. She is directly in contact with guests and organizes details for fitness & wellness retreats. Visit the center's Retreat Guru page or their website here.