If the holiday season has left you feeling more fatigued than festive, it’s time to embrace those New Year’s resolutions and start 2018 as you mean to go on. And while resolving to simply hit the gym more often may be the most obvious place to start, it’s also far from the most tempting prospect… especially after a few weeks of living the good life! We take a look at some inspiring, exciting and pampering ways to whip you into shape this year – and there’s not a treadmill in sight!
Run The World
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, we’re all for going big or going home – and sporting achievements don’t get much bigger than completing one of the six world marathon majors. Even though the ballot has already closed for the Berlin Marathon (held on 16 September 2018), Flight Centre can still help you get your mitts on tickets for what is renowned as the world’s fastest course – so there’s no excuse to not be on that starting line!
If you can’t wait until September to lace up those trainers, aim for the New York Marathon instead. Held on 11 April 2018, this much-loved marathon gives you the chance to soak up the unique Big Apple atmosphere with a course that starts on Staten Island, taking you through NYC’s five boroughs and landmark bridges, before ending in the iconic Central Park. If visiting NYC has been on your bucket list for a while, what better way to tick it off than by participating in the race of a lifetime?
Stretch It Out
If you plan to make 2018 the year you finally learn your vinyasa from your savasana, then a full-immersion yoga retreat is the way to do it – and where better to learn this ancient practice than its birthplace? Ananda in the Himalayas is a destination spa and wellness resort that specialises in traditional yoga based on the renowned Bihar School of Yoga – no gimmicks or #instayogis here.
Away from the mat, Ananda’s position in the tranquil Himalayan foothills, overlooking the nearby Sal forest and meandering River Ganges, makes it the perfect spot to unplug and unwind; meanwhile, its luxurious rooms, suites and private villas ensure you have plenty of time for quiet contemplation in ultimate comfort.
Climb Every Mountain
At the top of every climbing enthusiast’s bucket list sits the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania’s most famous landmark and Africa’s highest mountain, at a dizzying 5,895 metres above sea level. This dormant volcano lures climbers from around the world to its slopes, which take anywhere between five and nine days to ascend and descend, depending on the route chosen.
Of course, there’s more to Kilimanjaro’s appeal than simply scaling the summit; the mountain’s rugged scenery has moved many a photographer, the light pollution-free skies offer unparalleled stargazing and, due to its relative inaccessibility, Kilimanjaro’s well-conserved native wildlife is unlike anything you’ll encounter elsewhere. But for most climbers, the real motivation – and the reason for braving the intense physical toll, harsh climate and altitude sickness that come with such a climb – is the profound sense of achievement that they feel after completing their trek, far above the clouds.
A Sporting Chance
If you’re looking to get a head start on your training in 2018, Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort is the place to be. This incredible 23-hectare complex is home to some of South East Asia’s best sports facilities and coaching experts –essentially an athlete’s paradise, surrounded by Phuket’s stunning wildlife for good measure.
You name it, Thanyapura has got it, including (deep breath) two Olympic standard swimming pools, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, athletics tracks, fitness studios, a Muay Thai stadium, spinning studio, bootcamp and assault course, and Mind Centre for meditation and yoga. The resort is especially renowned for their world-class triathlon training, with experienced coaches on-hand to help push you to your limits, alongside onsite dieticians and advisors who can tailor wellness programmes especially for your needs – including plenty of therapeutic spa massages as a reward for all that hard work!
Clean Up Your Act
If you’re still feeling the effects of all that festive overindulgence, a deluxe detox at Kamalaya might be just what the doctor ordered. This relaxing retreat in Koh Samui has everything you need to help cleanse the mind, body and soul in style, with structured programmes that expertly balance medical science with holistic therapies.
Combining delicious healthy cuisine with a range of detoxifying treatments like chi nei tsang (a type of Taoist abdominal massage), far infrared therapy and lymphatic drainage massage – plus your choice of other optional wellness activities like outdoor yoga, or herbal steam cavern sessions followed by dips in the plunge pool – you can expect to feel brighter, lighter and blissfully rejuvenated after a stay here. In fact, the biggest challenge at Kamalaya may well be having to leave!
A million miles from a straight-up bootcamp, Chosen Experiences curate a range of physical, social, intellectual and emotional activities into a series of transformative, week-long experiences held in global locations, including Guatemala, New Zealand and Iceland. Designed to challenge and push people out of their comfort zone, the end goal is that participants will leave healthier, stronger and happier than when they arrived.
A little closer to home, Chosen’s upcoming programme of “Lifestyle Optimisation” experiences takes place on a private property in Canggu, Bali, and features pro-athlete-led workout sessions, organic menus, experiential learning adventures and mindfulness exercises. There are spa and relaxation sessions to help you wind down at the end of the day, and accommodation is in one of just seven plush private villas. If you’re looking for an escape that combines wellness and travel, choose Chosen.
By Rachel Read & Kate Farr
This article originally appeared on Flight Centre Hong Kong website.