When the spa craze started in the United States it was all about working out
and pampering. Recently a new dimension has been added and several spas are
focusing on hiking. The concept was pioneered by Jimmy Le Sage who runs the
New Life Spa in Killington, Vermont and who helps a maximum of 25 guests
at each session to learn how to live healthier and more energetic lives and
to lose weight. Unlike fitness facilities that emphasize indoor activities and
treatments, New Life’s primary exercise activity is a daily five- to seven-mile
hike, which begins after breakfast each morning at 8:45 and ends at noon immediately
before lunch. The hikes are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced
groups so that participants may choose the one that is most appropriate for
their abilities and levels of fitness. I found that all three hikes were excellent
exercise and more invigorating than indoor classes or using the equipment. The
Vermont mountains and forests are quiet and beautiful. Spending a few hours
each day walking among the trees is the perfect way to achieve mental relaxation
for someone seeking to get away from a hectic life even for a short period.
|Water Aerobics, New Life Spa
The New Life Spa, which is celebrating its 20th year, is
open from May 7, 1998 until October 25 and is located at The Inn of the Six Mountains,
a ski lodge that is otherwise almost vacant in the spring and summer months. The
lodge is charming and rustic and the rooms are spacious and comfortable; many have
pretty views of the surrounding foliage. New Life maintains its own kitchen within
the inn. Meals are prepared by the spa's chef according to the low-fat, but delicious
recipes found in LeSage's "New Life Guide to Healthy Eating" cookbook.
LeSage, a walking advertisement for a fit way of life, is a former chef who incorporated
spa cuisine into his menus. All participants are given a copy of his book so that
they can continue to eat in a nutritious way after they return home. I tried some
of the recipes and while I am not as skilled a cook as the chef at New Life, I found
that for the most part the recipes were easy to follow and came out well.
In addition to hiking several hours each morning, New Life
offers a variety of afternoon and evening activities. A workout class in the swimming
pool uses aerobic exercises and the resistance of the water to tone and condition
muscles. There are also regular aerobic and body conditioning classes held both indoors
and outdoors. In yoga you are taught relaxation, breathing and postural alignment
methods. The program offers two massages.
A different activity is scheduled for each evening following
dinner. Among those which took place when I was there were classes in self-massage
and reflexology and in healthy cooking, which included a demonstration of how to
prepare low-fat chocolate sauce using maple syrup.
New Life Fitness Vacations, PO Box 395, Killington, Vermont 05751. Tel.
800-228-4676. The classic New Life stay runs from Sunday afternoon through Friday
lunch (6 days/5 nights) and is $999 single occupancy and $899 double occupancy.
The long weekend sampler (4 day/3 night) is $599 single occupancy and $540 double
occupancy. Fifteen percent service charge and nine percent Vermont taxes are
added. Length of stay and check in day can vary. www.newlifehikingspa.com