Nothing is more epic than a sweat-soaked workout – period. But you already know that. It doesn’t matter whether you’re lacing up for a run, heading to the gym, doing yoga in the living room or attending one of our bootcamps, you know that exercising will boost your fitness, burn off some fat, improve your endurance, cement healthy habits, get you into the great outdoors, help you live longer, make you look better and help you smash your fitness goals, whatever they are. And yet there are times when all these positive changes aren’t enough to drag you away from the sofa as you slip into another Netflix rabbit hole.
But what if the benefits of exercising aren’t just physical?
Yepp. That's right. The benefits of a workout extend way beyond just your body. Exercising also relieves your mind of stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression. Translation: your mind needs a fitness overhaul just as much as your body does. That’s why our retreats have become a form of therapy for so many of our clients.
You see, when that part of your brain that wants to exercise overpowers the part of your brain that doesn’t and you start working out, your body actually releases a cocktail of endorphins and serotonin that floods your brain, improving your mood and lifting your spirit. But here’s the best bit: when you improve your mood, you’ll also find other aspects of your life improving too, such as your sleep, your weight, your happiness and your focus. It’s a win-win-win thing.
And to back this up, here are the scientifically-proven ways that a fitness retreat can can improve your mental wellbeing:
Fitness Retreats: Get You Outdoors
Our retreats aren’t just about encouraging you to step outside your comfort zones; they are about getting outside and into the fresh air. They’re about escaping to somewhere new so that you can exercise and explore the great outdoors in a way that reconnects you with nature. From our outdoor boxing gym to our woodland hikes, circuit sessions to beach workouts, we have made the outdoors a huge part of our retreats.
The reason for this is simple: our ancestral brains control a lot of our stress response. We're hardwired to need time in nature and spending as little as 20 minutes outside can significantly lower your stress hormone levels. That’s why we get you out there, taking on the trails, exploring the dunes, doing laps of our running track, exploring the wilderness on our doorstep, boxing, battle ropes, speed marches, team games and so much more.
Fitness Retreats: Boost Happiness
Chances are, you’ve heard of a little something called endorphins. These are natural chemicals that your body releases into your brain when you exercise and they are incredibly powerful in terms of your mental health. Essentially, they’re a natural drug that floods us with positive vibes, replenished energy levels and overwhelming happiness. They’re pretty incredible. And yet they’re not the only chemical reaction to be kickstarted by a workout because working up a sweat also encourages a hormone known as leptin to dramatically decrease, opening the floodgates for dopamine to pass around your brain. That’s what makes you feel so good after a workout. But here’s the best bit: according to research, it takes just 15 minutes 9 seconds of exercise to feel that positive boost.
Fitness Retreats: Reduce Anxiety
Social anxiety disorders have become a huge issue, and we get it. With everything going on in the world, there’s a lot to be anxious about, and social media only adds to the stress. That’s what makes our fitness retreats the perfect solution. They offer you a place to reset your goals, escape somewhere new, explore the coast, enjoy sweat-soaked workouts, indulge in nutritious meals and everything else in between. Essentially, our fitness retreats are designed to help reduce the body’s stress hormones, mainly adrenaline and cortisol, which then reduces those anxious feelings.
Fitness Retreats: Improve Self-Confidence
The confidence boost you get from attending a fitness retreat goes much deeper than most people realise. Not only do you get to enjoy an almost-instant hit of endorphins, but you’ll also start to feel much higher levels of self-esteem, improved moods, enhanced determination and a better resilience to stress, all of which will help you massively in your battle against depression.
There’s a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the body confidence you start to experience along your fitness journey increases dramatically as you start to reach your body goals, while the second reason has a lot to do with the way your endorphins keep your body and mind in sync. When that occurs, you begin to enjoy a sense of power and accomplishment that carries over into other areas of your life.
Fitness Retreats: Lower Stress Levels
Each of our classes are designed to help you burn calories, improve your cardiovascular fitness, leave you feeling energised and have you feeling great. From our spinning sessions to our boxing classes, giant circuits, weight training and swimming, they each encourage a bunch of feel-good chemicals and neurotransmitters (endorphins and endocannabinoids) to flood your body.
At the same time as this, our different sessions will also reduce your stress hormone levels, like cortisol, in a way that can actually remodel the brain, making your mind a calmer and more stress resistant place so that you are ready to take on the world with a zenful smile when you leave.
Fitness Retreats: Improve Sleep
Enjoying a consistent amount of sleep each night is one of the most beneficial ways to improve your mental wellbeing; something our retreats are consciously geared towards, starting off with our all-inclusive accommodation. Light, airy, comfortable and relaxing, we wanted to create a home-away-from-home that soothes your soul and re-energises your body from the moment you arrive right through to the end of your stay. Relax in front of a roaring log fire, curl up in a cosy armchair with that new book and wander around our landscaped gardens. Anything to relax you before a good night’s sleep.
The other reason our retreats are so good for improving your sleep is our seven-hours of varied exercise each day. You see, when you exercise, your body releases special chemicals during and after that actually help to relax your body and send you off into a deep sleep.
Fitness Retreats: Encourage New Friendships
Heading down to breakfast with your new bestie, taking to the exercise bikes with your trainer, running laps with your tribe of smiles, dancing between circuit stations, sharing stories on our sunset strolls to the beach, our fitness retreats are completely geared towards having the best time with the best people because social interaction is known to alleviate anxiety and depression.
We want you to step outside your comfort zone surrounded by people that motivate, inspire and help you become the best version of yourself because that’s what our retreats are all about. They’re about creating new connections, supporting each other on your different journeys and making forever friends. So while fitness might feel like it’s all about increasing your performance, losing weight and achieving new PBs, our retreats let you surround yourself with support, and that can only be good for your mental wellbeing.
Fitness Retreats: Give You A Purpose
We see it time and again that people who set themselves long-term fitness goals, such as losing weight, boosting endurance or just feeling stronger – and then meet those goals – always end up feeling more committed to their fitness journey; a positive association that has such a positive effect on their mental health.
And the goals you set can be totally tailored to you. It could be as simple as running three times a week, sticking to a healthier eating plan, fitting back into that pair of jeans you absolutely loved, anything. Once you stick to a goal, it becomes an upward spiral that keeps you motivated. Essentially, our fitness retreats are designed to make healthy living a huge part of your lifestyle moving forward, and as you keep that up, you’ll start enjoying all the mental health benefits we’ve mentioned above even more.
Thanks for reading our blog on the mental health benefits of our No1 itness retreats. For more travel inspiration, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.