I knew this place was going to be something special when the password for the hotel Wi-Fi was “KINDNESS”. And what about the email that I received from them two months before my trip, reminding me to sit up straight, take a posture break and breathe! I’m talking about my experience at Canyon Ranch, which was total nourishment for the body, soul and mind.
A Special Place
My daughter Jessie and I flew from New York to Tucson, Arizona for four nights of pampering. Canyon Ranch also has a property in Lenox, Massachusetts. The mountain desert terrain certainly added to the serenity that surrounded us during our stay at the health resort.
There were other mother-daughter guests, many singles and even some men (although we were told this was rare). The staff (all delightful) told us that many guests make this an annual tradition and come in from all corners of the world.
Employees include many long-timers. One woman just celebrated her 35th anniversary, having been there from the start. Why wouldn’t they stay? They live the philosophy of Canyon Ranch’s founder and take advantage of the facilities to benefit themselves as well. Read Mel Zuckerman’s inspiring story about why he created the health resort. This is where I want to work when I retire!
Something for Everyone
You can avail yourself of exercise in a high-tech facility around the clock, and attend classes in yoga, Pilates, Zumba or dance. Take courses in meditation, art, foot reflexology, photography or nature. Hike, walk and cycle around the property. Have a professional guide you on cooking, nutrition or exercise. Eat the most delicious food, all while maintaining a healthy caloric intake. Everything is all-inclusive and no tipping is allowed, which means less stress for guests. And of course indulge in a massage, with varieties you never knew existed, including Shiatsu, Ayurvedic treatments or aquatic massage. Or one of many beauty or spa treatments, including a desert ritual with local products and an anti-aging ritual.
Everyone takes away something different from a health resort like this – whether it’s contemplation, serenity, a new fitness regime, healthy eating habits or just the sense of pushing oneself to new limits that you never knew were inside you. As Canyon Ranch’s tagline says, it’s about the power of possibility.
10 Life Lessons
- You can eat anything while reducing your caloric intake – it’s all about portion control (use smaller plates). And eat slowly – consciously put the fork down in between bites. You will be amazed that in this time your brain will actually tell you that you are feeling full.
- Eat a balance of carbs, protein and fat at every meal. That includes snacks, such as peanut butter on a cracker.
- Eat local or seasonal foods, which have more nutrients. That’s because it takes less time for them to get to your plate versus having something shipped to you.
- Drink plenty of water. Divide your body weight in pounds by two and that’s the amount of ounces of fluids you should drink each day. Fluids include tea and coffee – sorry, but alcohol doesn’t count (it actually dehydrates you).
- None of us gets enough fiber in our diets so add more from natural foods (not processed foods that come in a wrapper). But remember to drink lots of water with the fiber to maximize its benefit.
- Need more energy? Review your diet since it fuels your body (see tips above). Energy comes from the food you eat so make sure it’s from whole, pure and alive foods. Dead foods are processed or genetically modified.
- Push yourself to do something that you’ve always wanted, whether taking an exercise course, learning a musical instrument or taking that trip of a lifetime. You’ll revel in that sense of accomplishment.
- Whatever you want to call it – reflection, prayer, or quiet time – be aware of your body and surroundings. Live in the moment and let it control you, not the other way around.
- Exercise doesn’t have to be all about cardio. Weight resistance, stretching and balance all contribute to a healthier body, and burn calories. Whatever you do, keep active. You’ll feel better and sleep better. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete. Start small, but just start.
- Don’t stress about having the perfect body – people love you for who you are. But a strong mind and body will keep you healthy as you age.
How to Have Your Own Health Resort Experience
Want to learn these lessons firsthand? A Virtuoso travel advisor can secure you exclusive complimentary perks at any of the Canyon Ranch properties or another health resort. Contact a spa expert to create an experience you’ll cherish long after you return home.