I just gave myself one of the best
birthday presents ever--a week at Utah's Red Mountain Resort and Spa.
After only seven days of following their invigorating regime, I can honestly
say that I felt like a new woman, ready to take on another year of what
life would send my way.
Is Red Mountain Resort and Spa a spa?
Not exactly. Not if you define a spa
as a place where you are put on a diet, prettied and pampered, polished
and buffed. Instead, Red Mountain Resort and Spa bills themselves as "the
vacation that will change your life." Their mandate is to help guests
lose excess weight, get fit, learn positive eating habits, reduce stress
and improve their overall health. Their clientele hails from all over
the world. Some stay a week. Some stay three months. I'm told that many
return year after year for a fitness fix. After experiencing it myself,
I can understand why!
The splendid location is a feast for
Red Mountain Resort and Spa is located
in the southwestern sector of Utah, a picturesque two hour drive from
Las Vegas, Nevada. Sitting close to the entrance of Snow Canyon State
Park, it's remote setting is breathtaking. Think palm trees, manicured
flowerbeds and shrubbery, then add a mini cascading waterfall plus rich
green lawns and you'll have some inkling of the facility's attractive
grounds. Imagine a backdrop of chunky red sandstone mountains with irregular
peaks silhouetted against the bluest of blue skies. As the sun moves across
the horizon, the mountains change color taking on different shades and
shapes, transforming before your very eyes. In the presence of this kind
of beauty, it feels simply wonderful to be alive. The motivation to renew
oneself is intense!
personal fitness - wellness profile is established...
Each guest receives a one-on-one evaluation
designed to establish her personal wellness profile. The latest in computerized
technology produces printouts on blood pressure, cardiovascular fitness,
flexibility, weight and total body composition (the test which measures
per cent body fat). This process takes about twenty minutes and it's completely
painless (except when you're told how much body fat you're carrying).
To complete my profile, I was also asked to carefully evaluate my own
fitness level. This way I was able to place myself in a comfortable category
-- alongside others who were at a similar training level.
Let's get physical...
Each participant is let loose with
a schedule of fitness activities beginning with a Cardio Combo at 6:00
AM and ending with a Dynamic Stretch Class at 5:00 P.M. In between there's
Back to Abs, Fitball, T'ai Chi, Aerobic Step and Hydro Dynamic Fitness.
Five different Indoor Cycling Workouts are offered, as well as six different
Muscle Strengthening Classes. You can tone your arms, strengthen abdominals
or define your buttocks. Want swimming lessons? They're available. Need
advice from a personal trainer? Just schedule an appointment. Aches and
pains that a physiotherapist should be taking a look at? All you need
to do is ask.
I walked 50 miles that week...
The mild spring desert climate and
picturesque scenery combine to make this area marvelous hiking and walking
country. The Institute takes full advantage of these assets by scheduling
daily guided walks to seductive sounding destinations like Anasazi Ridge,
Sunrise Mountain and Padre Canyon. Beginners generally walk three miles
on flat surfaces while the more advanced groups seek tougher climbs walking
eight to nine miles at a three to four mph. pace. The sun shines. The
air is crystal clear. Everyone pants on the way up the mountain, chats
and jokes on the way down and a fabulous work-out is had by all. A lovely
long soak in the outdoor hot tub is the perfect pick-me-up before heading
into the dining room.
Food, glorious food...
Tina Martini calls herself a Low-Fat
Chef and the title is perfectly apt. This woman works wonders with meals
that contain no more than 12% fat. Whether it's her thick green pea soup,
orange roughy fish specialty, stuffed zucchini or apple crisp with cashew
granola, the selections are tasty, nutritious and filling. Want more food?
That's never a problem. Simply fill up from the well-stocked salad bar
and add Tina's yummy dressings like Sweet Poppy seed or Honey Dijon Marinade.
Bowls of fruit are readily available and while no caffinated drinks are
served, there's always an enticing array of herbal teas on tap. Say good-bye
to toxins and bid hello to healthy living!
All work-out and no pampering makes
Journeywoman a dull girl...
Of course, no one exercises all day
long. Nor does everyone begin their day at 6 A.M. Since it was my birthday,
I chose to pamper myself silly by visiting the Institute's spa facilities
as often as possible. Their "Renew & Restore Massage Package" was exactly
what my much-exercised body needed. Each afternoon, to the soft musical
strains of "The Mystic Harp", therapist Matthew Blake massaged the toxins
out of my body and restored my aching muscles. It was truly heavenly!
And because of all the walking I was doing, I turned to Terri Licalzi
for her renowned paraffin wax pedicure. Terri combines her actual pedicure
(cutting your toenails to a comfortable length for hiking) with soothing
massage and a wee bit of reflexology. She then dips your feet into warm
paraffin wax which forms a sock-like covering. This softens and hydrates
the skin, pulls any pain out of the joints and it feels very, very good!
I'm going back...
My stay at Red Mountain Resort and
Spa Institute of Fitness was such a positive one that I know where I will
be spending my next birthday. I'm hoping to spend two weeks next go-round,
perhaps to reconnect with the new friends I've made and... my personal
challenge for that sojourn will be to hike 100 miles!
Ed. note: When's "your" birthday? Ready for
some rest, recreation and renewal? For anything further you'd like to
know about the Red Mountain Resort and Spa, call their information line