Forget setting another New Year’s resolution that you give up on by February first. Jumpstart your weight loss or meet your fitness goals by immersing yourself in an environment that helps you achieve your goals. And that may be achieved by going to a fitness or weight loss resort. But which one? Here’s how to choose a fitness or weight loss resort.

Know Your Goals

Before you visit a site like Vacayou, know what you want to get out of the fitness or weight loss resort. Is your goal to start eating healthy, something that may result in weight loss but not necessarily do so? Is your goal to increase your activity level? Is your goal to take your fitness level to the next level? Each one of the paths requires a different set of activities, and it may determine which resort or vacation destination you choose. Furthermore, a resort that’s intended for one population may not have many suitable options if you’re not a fit. For example, if your goal is to increase your fitness level, a de facto fat camp that limits calories and teaching healthy living may not have much to do beyond running on a treadmill. And you can do that at home.

Fitness resort

Know Your Limits

It is dangerous for someone who is out of shape to try to go on a ten-mile hike. Your body isn’t ready for it. You could have cardiovascular problems or cause musculoskeletal problems. If you aren’t prepared for it, doing advanced yoga can damage your body, as well. Know your limits. Know how many minutes of hard exercise you can do before you sign up for a program that exceeds them on a daily basis. Know your medical limitations, and make sure the facility and any trainers there know about them. For example, they should know if you have back problems, so they don’t push you into a yoga pose that will land you in the hospital. They need to know if you have asthma or other respiratory problems so they don’t put you in a room with healing sage smoke that could result in difficulty breathing. Do you have dietary limits? Let them know that you’ll get ill if you eat soy or are ethically opposed to eating red meat before they serve stew containing it.

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Determine Your Priorities

Remember that trade-offs are part of life, so you can’t get everything you want. Instead, create a priority list. What matters more, medical supervision or time spent at the facility? What matters more, vegan food or the vacation destination? What do you value more, the teachers or the amenities? How much does privacy matter to you? Would you be willing to share a room with a friend rather than have a private room? Would you rather have a smaller room or more time at the venue? Would you like to have the money to go on local tours or more money for shopping during your down time? Once you have this priority list and know your budget, you can quickly identify which resort literally fits the bill.

Set a Budget.

It is counter-productive to go into debt to attend a weight-loss resort and then revert to stress eating when you get the bill. If you have to spend so much money on the fitness resort that you have to work overtime and not have time to maintain the fitness regimen, you don’t see the benefits you hoped for. This is why you should set a budget before you even start searching for a fitness or weight loss resort. The budgeted amount should include all associated costs such as travel, food, and activity fees in addition to the resort’s bill. Odds are that taxes will be tacked onto the bill.

If you have a budget, you can choose a facility that fits your end goals and budget. You might have to trade off time spent at the resort with travel costs. For example, you may be able to afford that luxury destination if you don’t stay as long. Don’t forget to research off-season travel, if the resort’s amenities don’t depend on it. For example, you may be able to pay for a two week stay at a luxury beach resort if you don’t mind just enjoying the view rather than soaking up the sun.  You might be able to drive rather than fly to a domestic resort, but then you have to budget your time, and you may need to take an additional day off work. You may be able to save money by booking your own travel and booking the resort of your choice, too.

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Pick a Few Potential Time Windows

When would you like to go on the wellness retreat? It may be easier to get away from work over a holiday weekend, but you might be fighting the crowds, too. Identify several potential time windows, in case the perfect resort doesn’t have any spots when you’d like to go.

Go to a Good Travel Site to Evaluate the Options

Only use reputable sites like Vacayou to find good health and fitness resorts based on your interests, your needs and your budget. Use the filters to narrow down the list to the only realistic options. Then you can use your criteria to identify the top three or four contenders.

Once you’ve identified the best health and wellness resorts, see if they’re available during the time windows you’ve selected. You might have to shift your arrival and departure dates a day or two to save money, but that’s easier to manage than going in a totally different month. Enter the tentative dates into each resort’s site to verify their availability as well as the total cost. Then you can choose the one that has the best combination of amenities and price. When you book the resort, give yourself a day or so at both the start and end of your trip, though this condition could be met by returning on a weekend. This will significantly reduce your stress, since you don’t have to hope that you arrive home in time to get ready for work the next day.