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Jan 16, 2024

Kick Start Your Wellness New Year’s Resolutions: PART II OF II

January is the time of year that many people set goals and resolve to be their very best. Not surprisingly, weight loss and fitness are the most common resolutions. It is also a time when many residents of NEPA will plan vacations and travel to warmer climates. Well, it may be that you can do both… This year consider visiting a “Fitness Resort.” According to “FitStays,” fitness resorts are rapidly gaining popularity for people of all sizes and shapes. Last week in Part I of “Fitness Resorts” we discussed value of fitness resorts. This week we will present “a typical day, how long you should stay, expected costs, and some recommended resorts.

What is a Fitness Resort? (

A fitness resort is a vacation destination where travelers go to exercise and lose weight. Sometimes called a “weight loss resort”, “fitness retreat”, “wellness resort”, “weight loss boot camp”, or “adult fat camp”, fitness resorts around the United States cater to people of all shapes and sizes.

Most fitness resorts consist of pre-determined, calorie-limited menus to help travelers in their weight loss journey. Some resorts promote menus of 1,000 to 1,500 calories-per-day, which is fewer than most people burn naturally via their resting metabolic rate (RMR).

In addition to net-negative calories through nutrition, fitness resorts and retreats typically have an extensive workout plan as part of their standard program. Many resorts and retreats offer daily hiking, in addition to strength classes, cardio, sports, and other physical activities.

The combination of healthy nutrition and active exercise means that most visitors can expect to lose weight at a fitness resort. Specific weight loss goals are determined by which fitness resort you pick, how long you stay, and how strenuously you want to stick to the program.

Fitness Resort – What’s it all about?

Fitness resorts (fitness retreats) are not your average “Reality TV Fat Camp.” In fact, your do not have to be excessively overweight to attend as people of all shapes and sizes benefit and enjoy the experience. Thousands of people chose to visit fitness resorts and fitness retreats every year because they are looking for a healthy alternative to a typical vacation. Instead, many want to “kick-start” a healthy lifestyle in a controlled environment. The basic concept of combining a limited-calorie diet with daily exercise, most people will have net-negative calories every day, lose weight, and gain strength and endurance at a fitness resort—provided they stick to the program.

Length of Time/Cost

Typically, fitness resorts offer one week programs but multiple weeks with a variety of options are available. However, for the best outcomes and carryover, experts recommend 2-3 weeks for your first visit to a fitness resort.

Fitness resorts, like everything else, vary in cost. According to FitStay, programs cost as little as $1,500 per week (all-inclusive), while some are more than $7,000 per week.

To choose the best fit for you, your budget, and goals, visit Remember, most fitness resorts are all-inclusive, meaning that you won’t need to budget any extra for food. The program includes meals. Also, when choosing a fitness resort consider: location (where would you like to travel?); cost (how much can you afford to spend?); how long can you stay (one, two or three weeks?)

FitStays – Top 20 Fitness Retreats (7 of these discussed below):

NOTE: One of these includes a fitness retreat in our very own Pocono Mountains!

  • Structure House - a residential weight loss center in Durham, North Carolina. This all-inclusive health resort promotes physical, nutritional, and behavioral principles for helping guests achieve their wellness goals. Packages at Structure House can be purchased for weekly, monthly, or longer stays.
  • Skyterra Wellness Retreat - an all-inclusive fitness resort and wellness retreat designed to help guests lose weight, gain muscle, and feel-better. Located in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina, Skyterra offers year-round packages in their lodge-style accommodations which include all meals, fitness classes, activities, and education.
  •  Live In Fitness - Originally located in Long Beach, California, “Live In Fitness” has temporarily moved to a new location in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is an all-inclusive fat camp and promotes weight loss results rather than spa services.
  • Weight Crafters - a popular weight loss camp located in the Tampa-St. Petersburg Florida area. The all-inclusive retreat program is focused on helping guests relieve stress, maximize wellness, lose weight, and improve their physical fitness
  • Pocono Trails Adult Fitness Camps - offers fitness camps for young adults, moms, and families. Their young adult camp is designed for men and women ages 18 to 25. While the mom and family camps are open to those respective groups each summer. All camps take place at the Pocono Trails location in Reeders, Pennsylvania, along with their standard Camp Pocono Trails weight loss camp and Internet Habit Reversal Camp for kids and teens.
  •  Biggest Loser Resort - a fitness resort in Java Center, NY. While the resort is named after the popular reality TV competition, the program itself is designed around healthy weight loss, rather than dramatic, short-term results.
  • The Biggest Loser Resort places a major emphasis on exercise and calorie-controlled meals, with programs designed to accommodate multiple fitness levels.
  • Hippocrates Health Institute - is located at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. At this wellness resort, there is a heavy emphasis on diet and nutrition. Fitness may be a secondary focus, but you will still expect to exercise 4 hours every day, with a mix of strength and cardio classes.

EVERY MONDAY – Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum!” via Blog

EVERY SUNDAY in "The Sunday Times" - Read Dr. Paul J. Mackarey “Health & Exercise Forum!” in hard copy

This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email:

Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy in Scranton and Clarks Summit. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an associate professor of clinical medicine at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. For all of Dr. Mackarey's articles, visit our exercise forum!