Health Spas for Fitness and Fun

Discover vacation resorts that provide health spas for fitness and fun, including Desert Hot Springs Spa, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Anaconda-Pintlar Wilderness area and Kripalu Holistic Health Center.


| September/October 1982


More folks are spending vacations at health spas for fitness and fun, caring for their most important friends . . . themselves! 

Regular readers know that MOTHER tries to present many different life choices within these pages. That's why it's possible to see an article on butchering pork in the same issue as a selection of meatless sandwich recipes! And, in keeping with this philosophy, we've rounded up some information on what's been called "The Vacation of the 80's" . . . and plan to explore with you the excitement, the hard work, and the fun associated with spending some time at a fitness resort.

Keeping fit has become an American pastime, and has given birth to a multimillion-dollar industry, with facilities that range from corner YMCA's to posh five-star luxury resorts. Now we realize that a lot of folks don't have the time, the money, or even the inclination to visit such places (and after all, a few hours spent chopping wood can benefit the body while it fills the woodbin!). However, if you're in the market for a vacation spot that offers pleasant accommodations, good food, and sports and recreational facilities . . . a health resort is hard to beat. To top it all off, you may just lose a few pounds, shrink a few inches, gain a better understanding of how best to care for your body, and — perhaps most important of all — develop a new, improved set of fitness habits.

But, you may well want to know, what can one expect when visiting a spa for a weeklong program? In most cases, you'll get an initial physical examination by a staff doctor and a consultation with a nutritionist. You can also anticipate following a dietary regimen consisting of 500 to 1,000 calories per day, or a fasting program of fruit juice or mineral water. All such resorts feature group exercise classes, and allow time for individual workouts on machines, weights, and stationary bicycles. Swimming pools are practically mandatory, as are saunas and whirlpools. Most spas start each day with a brisk walk, hike, or jog . . . and further exercise is encouraged (often tennis, golf, or horseback riding). Various beauty services are usually offered, too . . . such as facials, massages, herbal wraps, and makeup and hair consultations.

Originally the word "spa" meant a mineral spring, or a resort having a mineral spring on its premises. Today the term encompasses any commercial establishment with exercise rooms, saunas, and whirlpools. The list that follows is separated into three categories: true "spas" built around hot mineral springs . . . health "farms" that emphasize fasting, vegetarianism, and a wholistic lifestyle . . . and the luxurious reports that specialize in pampering souls while reshaping bodies. Most of these places have seasonal rates, and — if the spa experience fits your lifestyle and budget — this may be the best time of year to go. (All rates quoted are based on 1982 brochures.)

"OF THE WATERS AND THEIR POWERS . . ."  





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