Vacation doesn’t have to be a beer and Buffalo wing binge-fest. (Or a Champagne and oyster extravaganza, depending on your taste.) Vacation destinations like Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires and The Lodge at Woodloch in the Poconos offer a meditative natural setting that will transform cynical urbanites into mellow, mantra-chanting tree-huggers, and also help you lose some pounds along the way.
While fitness vacation packages can be found across the country and even the globe, you don’t need to travel that far. If you’d like to spend your getaway hiking, canoeing on a lake, cycling or doing Sun Salutations, there are options nearby and even right here in the city.
Canyon Ranch, Lenox, Mass.
There are several Canyon Ranch locations, but only the Canyon Ranch Lenox outpost nestled in the wooded Berkshires of Western Massachusetts has bucolic New England charm. This luxury camp for adults offers more than 40 daily fitness classes, including dance, indoor cycling, cardio tennis, outdoor sports like tennis and zip-lining and an award-winning healthy, gourmet cuisine. To encourage Canyon Ranch guests to live healthfully beyond their vacation, patrons can get a full physical evaluation, as well as a complete range of diagnostic services for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic disorders, sleep disorders and genomics testing with a top board-certified physician at its state-of-the-art Integrative Health Center.
Healthy Deal: Through Sept. 30 first-time guests can save 20% on all-inclusive packages.
Getting there: Canyon Ranch Lenox is a scenic three-hour drive from the city. For guests traveling from Albany, Canyon Ranch provides complimentary transportation to and from the airport and Amtrak station. Canyonranch.com/lenox
The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Penn.
The handsome wood-and-stone Lodge at Woodloch is located on more than 150 private wooded acres in the lake region of northeast Pennsylvania. Three large chakra bowls at the main entrance set the tone for a stay in this serene setting, which guests will find ideal for a range of health and fitness activities — from reflective forest walks and interactive cooking demonstrations to kayaking, night hikes and an assortment of group fitness classes. To unwind, the award-winning Lodge offers blissful, balancing spa treatments in its beautiful 40,000-square-foot spa.
Healthy deal: New for 2013, fitness buffs can participate in “The 12 Week Tune-Up” program, where guests who commit to four separate sessions (each session is three, five or seven nights), will receive up to 30% off.
Getting there: The Lodge at Woodloch is a two-hour drive from the city through the Poconos. For a fee, the Lodge offers door-to-door shuttle service for Manhattan guests staying a minimum of two nights. Thelodgeatwoodloch.com
The Yoga Loft at Bedford Post Inn, Bedford, NY
You don’t have to be a guest at the luxury, eight-room Bedford Post Inn, co-owned by actor Richard Gere and his wife Carey Lowell, to take classes at The Yoga Loft, but you should definitely stay at this gem of an inn. The sun-drenched studio is located above the casual and delicious locavore restaurant, The Barn, and is peacefully immersed among 15 acres of lush landscape. Visitors and Westchester locals flock to The Yoga Loft for its 35 classes per week, specialized workshops, beginner meditation classes and the popular six-week Yoga 101 Evening Series.
Healthy deal: For new students, The Yoga Loft offers two weeks of unlimited yoga for $50. The pass expires 14 days from the first use.
Getting there: The Inn is an hour drive from the city and is accessible by Metro-North. Bedfordpostinn.com/yoga-loft/
Smart Workout Fitness Vacation, NYC
With this package — based out of a boutique gym — you can go on a healthy retreat without ever leaving the city. An all-inclusive two- to seven-night package includes four small daily group exercise classes (limited to six participants) including indoor rowing, Zumba, kickboxing and TRX Suspension Training. Smart Workout’s activity-packed fitness vacation also includes three low calorie meals each day, guided fitness excursions to sights like the Highline and The New York Botanical Garden, nutritional talks, dance outings, spa treatments and hotel accommodations.
Healthy Deal: Sign up online for a free personal training session or two small group classes.
Getting there: 124 E. 40th St., Suite 603. Smartworkout.net
Forgot your workout gear? Don’t fret.
Hotels across the country offer fitness incentives that will help you shape up during your next getaway. Here are a couple:
-- Westin Hotels & Resorts formed a global partnership with New Balance that offers fitness gear (sneakers with disposable insoles, tanks, pants and more) to guests through a $5 lending program. Westin’s Running Concierges can also take guests on guided 3-mile group runs, highlighting local hot spots along the way.
-- At Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, guests can request a complimentary “Gym-In-A-Bag” that includes a workout book with exercises, a yoga mat, resistance band, massage stick and foam roller. Thanks to the partnership with Core Performance, Sheraton guests also have in-room access to on-demand fitness videos and online training programs. Starwoodhotels.com.