Fitness bootcamp vacations have become an increasingly popular activity in the last decade or so. In fact it is impossible to watch TV without seeing either an ad for a fitness bootcamp, or a program featuring people actually participating, and the idea has become one of the hottest trends not only in the fitness industry, but in the travel industry as well. So is the idea just a fad or marketing ploy, or are there serious benefits to attending one of these camps?
First of all it is necessary to be clear what fitness bootcamp vacations actually are. The idea of bootcamps has become so popular that nowadays the term can be applied to any exercise program even if it just takes place at weekends or in the evening. However, to qualify, they involve spending a couple of weeks at least – the average camp lasts for four weeks – in a location some distance away from your home, which will necessarily separate you from your normal activities, including your TV. This is seen as an essential psychological preparation for focussing totally on your goals. The camps are often held in coastal or mountain destinations, but there is a growing trend for using exotic locations such as Thailand.
Fitness bootcamp vacations are usually led by a qualified trainer or instructor, and if they are well run they should start with a personal interview and assessment. This is to determine both your personal goals and aspirations for the camp, and also your level of health and fitness, so you can be assigned to the correct section. The trainer will set the participants tasks – physical, psychological and tasks in teams – which increase in difficulty as the camp progresses. The regime in fitness bootcamp vacations is likely to be strict, with penalties for failure to complete the tasks, such as forfeiting treats or having to do chores. On the other hand there will be rewards for success, such as sightseeing trips.
Obviously, the main benefit is to force you out of your comfort zone and make it virtually impossible to continue in your unhealthy habits for the duration of the fitness bootcamp. In addition, the intensity of the fitness bootcamp workouts and other physical tasks mean a rapid weight loss which over a period of four weeks can make a noticeable difference. This will give you a much greater incentive to continue with a healthy lifestyle in the future. Along with this, go the psychological benefits including stress reduction, thanks to the release of endorphins. Achieving these results on your own is difficult if not impossible – you really need the strict regime, plus the motivation and encouragement from the group. The exciting locations help to ensure the activities are associated in your mind with pleasure instead of pain.
Of course, it is necessary to prepare properly for these camps, in order to get the most out of them. You need to do warm up exercises for a period before you go, and start eating a suitable diet well in advance. Fitness bootcamp vacations are not a magical solution to your unfit lifestyle, and you have to be ready for real effort and commitment. If you go with the right attitude, you can look forward to a big change in your life.
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