47 compelling reasons to swap the cocktails for a fitness retreat in the tropics

Are you crazy? Going on fitness holiday?

That is the typical reaction from friends and family who just don’t get that you are up for more than lifting cocktails by the pool. They really can’t imagine that it qualifies as a holiday. I was recently asked to list the benefits of a Sharing Bali Retreat to counteract this reaction. Once I started, I realised it was an endless list that goes way beyond the expected trimmed and taut body…

Forget about endless hours googling trying to find the best way to spend your time.. it's all done for you.

Forget about endless hours googling trying to find the best way to spend your time.. it’s all done for you.

  1. The holiday stress of bookings, finding a hotel, which eat-outs to go to, wading through piles of brochures in pursuit of the best activities, managing your expenses, let alone pleasing everyone in the family/group, is eliminated.
  2. Time out just for you. Cooking, cleaning, & organizing is not your job.
  3. Go home a little lighter… body fat or baggage, you can lose it if you want to.
  4. You get out of your comfort zone… and surprise yourself.
  5. Texting muscles get to rest as part of the digital detox. They are not an important muscle group.
  6. Kicking bad food habits is easy… no temptations here, just fresh food.

    functional fitness at its best

    Respect… functional fitness at work

  7. Respect for men and women, average age 70, passing you as they walk up a steep jungle path, barefoot, with a basket of grass weighing 30kgs on their head. Greater respect for doing it with graceful and seemingly effortless movements every day.
  8. Shoulders effortlessly assume rightful position, no longer hunched up around your ears in stress mode.
  9. New connections, new friends.
  10. Satisfaction, knowing that you have run, boxed, trekked, stretched and eaten the best banana pancakes in the world whilst your work mates are just making it to their desks to start their day.
  11. Pushing past self-limiting beliefs – realising that you can do more… so much more than you ever thought possible
  12. Clarity. Fitness can be simple! Our gym equipment, coconuts and rice sacks, prove it.
  13. Reveling in the “hit me with it” attitude as all sense of routine goes out the door.

    Cantik doing what he does best…

    Cantik doing what he does best…

  14. A rush of the bonding hormone oxytocin after some pats, tickles, and playful affection with Cantik, the most loveable dog in Bali. Feeling that fur can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
  15. An appreciation for simple luxuries – flowers in your bathroom, a thermos of lemongrass and ginger tea waiting for you on your balcony, drinking coconut water from a banana leaf, trekking through a river, not worrying about the shoes…..the list goes on.
  16. No judgement leaves you free to wear what you want, speak freely, just be you.
  17. The withdrawal headaches from ditching the diet soda habit are enough to reverse any desire to reach for another can ever again.


    Getting the bigger picture….

  18. Fresh perspectives gained as you look around you from the top of a volcano. The realization sinks in that you are part of a big wonderful world.
  19. Quiet moments allow you to switch off the constant internal chatter, empty the mind… get out of your own head.
  20. 8.30pm is a late night! Restful sleep that comes from pure physical tiredness.
  21. Senses are on full alert…. no urban noise going on leaving you free to connect with every sight, smell, sound, taste and touch.
  22. The realization that weight loss is not the most important goal. Eat fresh. Move more. Have fun. That’s all it takes.
  23. The post-retreat cocktails and pool time are so well-deserved. No guilt. It’s all about balance.
  24. Super hydrated from drinking coconut water every day. Straight from the tree, it doesn’t get any fresher.
  25. Hours usually spent on social media replaced with massages that take you into a chill zone you don’t want to leave.
  26. Total body workouts gives every single muscle a chance to talk to you.
  27. Ridiculous amounts of fun.
  28. Getting a glow on is easy – the red faced post work out glow; the scrubbed, polished skin glow; and best of all, the inner glow.

    Smile…. more often

  29. Well exercised smile muscles.
  30. Go home armed with new ideas on how to make every day more active, healthier.
  31. Be free of all the things we feel we “must have or do.”
  32. Curiosity creeps up stimulating interest in everything and everyone around you.
  33. A phone full of photos that will have your fb/instagram followers waiting in anticipation for your posts.
  34. Getting back to basics grounds the spirit.
  35. A bag packed with fond memories.
  36. Proud of yourself for so many reasons.
  37. The joy of accomplishment – nailing the sunrise volcano climb is just the start.

    kicking a sunrise goal.. winner!

    kicking a sunrise goal.. winner!

  38. Return home with an appreciation of your life and the amazing people you have as family and friends.
  39. It’s a perfect kick-start to continuing a healthier lifestyle.
  40. Learn something new about yourself and do it in great company.
  41. The simplicity and isolation allows one to reconnect with what’s important in life.
  42. Cultural immersion allows you to see and experience a new destination through local eyes. 
  43. Gaining the confidence needed to achieve almost anything, just by having a go to start with.
  44. The most amazing feeling of rejuvenation and enthusiasm to continue this lifestyle.
  45. Your decision making role is limited to the important matters relating to one’s self only. Another massage maybe?

    Move over control freak. Make way for going with the flow.

  46. Control-freak tendencies take a back seat. Life in a Bali village teaches you to go with the flow.
  47. A realization that experience is the ultimate luxury and it’s not an indulgence limited to few.

That’s my list for now. Can you add to it? Are you ready to put down the cocktails and start tossing some  coconuts?


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