On January 20th I arrived to Fit and Fly Girl Luxury Fitness Retreat in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. This unique fitness retreat series is organized by owner Rebecca Garland. Her desire is to bring women together, combining travel with the pursuit of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
A fitness retreat is about escaping your everyday life and taking the time to focus on yourself. It gives you the opportunity to reflect, learn healthier practices, workout with a personal trainer and discover new fitness tips and exercises. Many fitness retreats include spa therapies, a body assessment and adventure and wellness activities. This type of travel can be particularly popular with solo travelers, as singles are likely to meet like-minded individuals.
Attending a fitness retreat is a great way to take a break from work, family stresses or any other dilemma. It can serve as a great recovery or reset after a break-up or a personal loss. Whatever you may need time away from a fitness retreat offers an escape to adjust your perspective, regain control of your life and maybe even discover aspects about yourself that have been dormant or you didn’t know existed. When dealing with stress or self-doubt it can help to remove yourself from your current situation and share your stories with others who can offers a different perspective and help you to see another way of dealing with your situation.
Fit & Fly Girl luxury fitness retreats provide a well-rounded approach to fitness getaways; blending together fitness, wellness, culture, adventure, nutrition, and pampering.
Overall, the purpose of Fit and Fly Girl is to empower women to travel in style, to find adventure, to create meaningful and lasting friendships, and above all, to take care of your mind, body and spirit!
At this particular fitness retreat we were a group of 16 ladies staying in the luxurious Don Vito Villa. We were spoiled with nutritious and delicious meals prepared by our own personal in house Chef Fabien Mandrea. Our body assessment, daily workouts and yoga practices were all taught by Hannah Davis, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, also known for her training program called Body By Hannah.
Christine BibboHerr the fitness and fashion blogger from @NYCPretty was also part of our fitness group and he husband John a professional photographer, took on the role of “paparazzi”, capturing our moments of pain and dripping sweat.
Here is a summary of my week at Fit & Fly Girl’s luxury fitness retreat in Costa Rica.
Day One – Saturday January 20th
All the ladies arrived at the villa and Hannah conducted individual fitness assessments to learn our personal fitness objective for the week. She also took our body measurements and before and after photos to show us how much progress can really be made in seven days.
We had our first body shake out class which was a short 30 minute workout with dynamic stretching to open up our tight muscles after a long day of travel and prepare us for the week ahead.
After dinner we sat around getting to know each other.
Day Two – Sunday January 21st
Rise and shine at 7 :00 am, inject caffeine before a short foam rolling session and we were out the door before 8 am for our first Full Body & Strength Class at the gym next door to the villa. This hour workout was designed to build muscle and tone us up. The workout included eight strength training stations performing 3 x 1 minutes per exercises. Stronger is better!
10:30 am – Time to Surf!
“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf “⠀
This was my first time surfing; I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it, but it was an amazing!! Thanks to the patient instructors at Iguana Surf I managed to get up five times and I fell a more times than I can count; I have the bruises to prove it. In all aspect of life you should never be afraid to try something new and push your limits!
Later that afternoon we took advantage of our free time to watch the NFL playoffs. Go Jacksonville Jaguars!
5:30 pm – We wrapped up the day up with a vinyasa yoga and guided meditation. A much needed stretch session after a tough day of surfing.
Day Three – Monday January 22nd
8:00 am Body FHITT class at the beach. This was a team based high interval class to improve our metabolic conditioning and burn max calories in the shortest amount of time. The heat and sand made this workout extra challenging,
Down time I spent the afternoon at Coco Spa getting my sore muscles massaged.
Day Four – Tuesday January 23rd
You don’t inspire your teammates by showing the how amazing you are, you inspire them by showing them how amazing they are.” – Robyn Benincasa
8 am we were back to the beach for a Body Team Training Class. (My personal favorite workout of the week) This was a partner-based beach workout which had us focused on pushing our physical limits as we accumulated points for our team. There is something very powerful about working with a partner and not wanting to let down your teammates. I personally thrive with a some friendly competition!
On Tuesday evening we had the pleasure of going to the La Senda labyrinth. Unlike a maze you can not get lost because a labyrinth has only one path which symbolizes our life’s journey and takes us inward guiding us to find out who we really are. We had a guided meditation in the middle of the labyrinth which was a magical experience for me. Another marvelous dinner was prepared for us on the La Senda property using fresh organic vegetable grown on the scared land.
Day 5 – Wednesday January 24th
8 am workout in the backyard at the Don Vito Villa. The 60 minute body power class was focused on building power and helping us to tap into our fast switch muscle fibers to stay quick and powerful,
Followed by a 30 minute optional hill sprint workout, which of course I was keen to partake! All those years of running in higher elevations and hills of Vancouver BC proved to be good training for this workout.
We spent the rest of the day soaking in the beauty of Tamarindo on a boat, sipping cold cocktails, waddling in the water and just hanging out.
Hills. We love them. We hate them. They make us stronger. They make us weaker. Today I chose to embrace hills. – Hal Higdon
Day 6 – Thursday January 25th
Adventure day: fun filled day included zip lining, a mud bath, horseback riding, rafting and much more!
Day 7 – Friday January 26th
Time to double up!
8 am. Body FHITT workout at the beach. A super high intensity interval class designed to improve our metabolic conditioning and burn maximum calories in the shortness amour of time.
That’s afternoon I had time to relax at the spa again for a facial before we went back to the beach for a sunset body burn out class. An all body weight exercises to burnout the legs, arms and abs like nothing we’d done yet.
Although every woman on this retreat had a different fitness level, background and reason to travel to Costa Rica, we all had two things in common: we all wanting to better ourselves physically and I think we all had some kind of personal quest. Some were seeking new experiences or adventure, others wanted to establish new fitness and health habits. Some wanted to step away from their daily grind and evaluate life and break out of their comfort zone and other others wanted to make new connections.
Personally I got all of the above and more from this experience. The Fit and Fly Girl luxury fitness retreat combined my two loves; fitness and travel and gave me time to reset and evaluate many things of my life. Thanks to our personal trainer Hannah (who was extremely relatable) after only seven days I walked away stronger and feeling inspired to push myself further on my personal fitness journey. I think we can all agree we shared personal and physical breakthroughs, lots sweat, laughter and some wine too! We all made special memories and real friendships were created! I feel blessed to have been part of such a powerful, determined, strong, creative and caring group of women!
“Its easy to spot the strong women. They’re the ones lifting each other up!”
If you like fitness and would like to travel to new locations that you may not otherwise visit on your own, if you’re looking to connect with like-minded women, then what are you waiting for? Step out of comfort zone and get ready because it’s your time to fly!