Forget about what you think you know about weight loss camps. Back when you were growing up, you may have believed that they were just for kids, and maybe you even called them fat farms. A lot has changed.
These days, wellness camps are increasingly popular with adults, and weight loss may be only one of many goals for their participants. If you want to return from vacation with something more meaningful than sunburn and a few photographs, use these tips to shape up at a fitness camp.
- Watch your budget. If you’re willing to forgo glamorous destinations and fancy amenities, you can find affordable options. Since obesity is now an accepted medical condition, you may also be able to obtain a doctor’s referral so your insurance may cover your camp expenses or you can deduct them from your taxes.
- Pamper yourself. On the other hand, you may want to live it up. Pick a resort with spa treatments and a gourmet chef.
- Test your limits. Is boot camp your idea of a rewarding challenge? Ensure you understand the fitness requirements before you sign up.
- Connect with nature. If you’re dreaming of a wilderness adventure, weight loss may just be a happy side effect. Go camping,hiking, or whitewater rafting.
- Consider medical conditions. It’s important to check that your fitness camp has relevant experts on hand providing supervision and input into program design. That’s especially true if you’re losing significant amounts of weight or managing a chronic condition. Ask your physician or local hospital about possible resources.
- Check the itinerary. Whatever you see in the advertising claims, read through the daily itineraries so you know what to expect. You can find them on camp websites or ask the staff.
- Follow the program. Wellness camp is like the rest of life. You get out what you put in. Stick to the recommendations instead of skipping exercise classes or sneaking out for ice cream.
- Think long term. Ensure the camp is teaching you lessons that you’ll be able to use when you return home. Will you be able to exercise without special equipment? Are the meals based on ingredients that are easy to find and prepare?
- Sleep well. Sleep and rest are essential for losing weight and maintaining your health. That’s especially true if you’re increasing your activity level. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Measure your progress. You may find it easier to stay motivated if you keep track of your progress. Set interim goals and wear a fitness band so you can celebrate each milestone.
- Share support. Some camps even screen attendees to develop a compatible group and help you bond with other campers. Talk about your struggles and aspirations. Encourage each other to keep going and take pleasure in each other’s victories.
- Give it time. It usually takes at least a few weeks to see results and solidify new habits. If possible, arrange to stay at camp for a full month or make detailed plans about how you’ll continue the program at home.
A good wellness camp will help you make lasting changes by teaching you habits that you can continue using when you resume your daily routines. Whether you opt for a luxury resort that caters to celebrities or a more rustic experience, your days at camp can be the start of longer and healthier life.