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Carlisle Bay Yoga PavilionI confess. My subconscious neglect to pack my kicks for a beach vacation isn’t so subconscious. I hate working out. I just joined a fancy, over-priced gym and I can barely drag myself there twice a week, so why the heck would I want to torture myself on my much-needed time away? Well, thanks to our fitness-obsessed culture, the get-slim-quick trend has eclipsed the travel sector and programs like Bikini Boot Camp or health ranches and fitness spas are, in fact, quite popular (and fun?). And, while lazing about on the beach with a steady flow of cocktails is more my idea of a vacation, I recently decided to try a fitness program in Antigua: Vitality Week at Carlisle Bay.

This was no boot camp. The daily agenda on the four- or seven-night Vitality Programs included a lax exercise regime, with goal-setting talks with a personal trainer; a choice of yoga or Pilates classes, water sports, tennis clinics, and forest hikes; and healthier meal options starred on the regular menu so you could decide whether to splurge or stick to the plan. The resort itself is lovely; a sleek-contemporary beach house complex with spacious oceanfront suites with balconies or patios right on the sand. And, the workout schedule, I could handle, and although I didn’t drop any lbs (not sure it would be healthy to do so in a week’s time, anyway), I felt rejuvenated and relaxed by the week’s end.
Bottom line, the last thing I want is to be bossed around by a muscle-head and forced to fatigue on my vacation. With this sentiment in mind, the Carlisle Bay has created the vitality series which is more about feeling energized and learning new exercise techniques and healthy recipes. Overall, the program provides a great mix of relaxing beach time and activities to keep you moving but not overworked.


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So, yes, this vacation was worth it – but the workout wasn’t much work at all. Perhaps I’ll try a boot-camp fitness vacation down the road . . . very far down the road.

Check out our Top 10 Places to Get in Shape list for other recommendations.

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