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Need A Break? Take A ‘Wellness Vacation’

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – If you came back from your last vacation more tired than when you left, it might be time to consider a new leisure trend. They’re called “Wellness Vacations.”

Marcella Blake spent her last vacation breaking a sweat and learning to cook. “It’s not just a fun in the sun. It’s something you can learn from.”

At the California Health and Longevity Institute, visitors can relax in the beautiful gardens and at the picturesque pagoda. The goal is to work their bodies as well as their minds.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.

These facilities offer everything from fitness and nutrition to alternative therapies.

Dr Terry Schaak, the medical director at California Health and Longevity Institute, said “when they do go back to the grind of their everyday work, that they feel like their vacation was worth something.”

Travel+Leisure assistant editor Jennifer Flowers believes these types of wellness vacations are getting more popular.

“Health and wellness really becomes the focus of your trip. You want to come home feeling restored. So it could be a boot camp in the middle of the forest, it can be a spa escape, it can be simply a place that asks you to turn your blackberry off,” she explained.

The Ranch in Life Oak, nestled in the mountains of Malibu, offers a week-long boot camp. Flowers said, “It’s a really, really grueling experience, but it promises to leave you physically and spiritually restored.”

The Chiva Som Retreat in Thailand focuses on finding inner peace.

“If you’re looking for weight loss, they have someone who’s an expert in nutrition. If you’re looking for massage therapy, they also have that for injuries and everything. They’re very, very well-rounded,” according to Flowers.

Closer to home, the Sundara Inn and Spa in the Wisconsin Hill is a budget friendly choice.  “It’s a bit off the beaten path, but it’s a really top notch experience,” said Flowers.

Dr. Schaak believes these facilities are gaining in popularity because Baby Boomers “Don’t just want to recreate the beer blast from going to Ft. Lauderdale on Spring Break of college. It’s not what they want out of life anymore. They are looking for something where they can go and grow themselves.”

Marcella says she left her retreat feeling rejuvenated, and ready to face real life again. “In just a couple days you cover so much and you take home with you so much. It was quite, quite enjoyable.”

Some wellness vacations also include activities for children.

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