Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From Gyms to Bootcamps to...Retreats?

Perhaps it's due to the popularity of TV shows like "Last Ten Pounds", but Bootcamp-style fitness programs have popped up all over the place in the past few years. In these programs, 'Drill Sargent' types shout commands at (and motivate) individuals looking to get in great shape in a limited amount of time. Combined with a healthy diet appropriate for weight loss, these Bootcamps can really be quite effective. But now, as we're finding that some people need an even bigger push and perhaps a higher degree of supervision, the trend is moving toward weight loss camps or "retreats, spas and resorts" for adults!

Despite their inviting names, which bring about thoughts of relaxation and indulgence, these camps are really not as cushy as the words would suggest. In fact, the only thing campers are meant to indulge in is weight loss. Studies have indeed found that motivation is key when it comes to weight loss. It is true that being around others with similar goals who can encourage and support you can give you that extra boost that you would be missing if you tried to train on your own. Now add in a staff nutritionist preparing and monitoring your meals, plus no excuses when it comes to working out, and it seems like you've got a virtually fail-proof solution to weight loss.

But the truth is, you don't always get what you pay for - the results you get are a reflection of how much effort you put in. At up to thousands of dollars a week, you'd better be serious about weight loss before you get on board. Unlike the TV show "The Biggest Loser", a lot of the activities and options provided are optional, so if you choose to turn them down, you're really missing out on the full experience.

For those who go all the way, such an intensive crash course in all things health related, and a huge injection of motivation and self-confidence has helped many campers go on to lose even more weight on their own when all is said and done. As with all programs, results do vary, so if you're planning on giving less than 100%, don't expect to get your money's worth in a place like this. Better to ease into a routine on your own and join in when the time is right.