Restart in One Week
For a serious lifestyle makeover, hard-core resolution makers head to Kootenay Lake, near Nelson, BC, to Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat – a.k.a. boot camp, though nobody loves that term. “We’re an integrated health reset,” explains program director Kirkland Shave. Mountain Trek isn’t about weight loss, though after seven days of über-clean living (ladies get 1,200 daily calories with absolutely no coffee, booze, starch or sugar) and as much exercise as an Olympic athlete in training, most people shed a few pounds.
A Typical Day
A gentle knock at your lodge door wakes you up at 6 a.m. and the group – a dozen of us, including six repeat customers (a good sign!) and even a celebrity (I’ll never tell) – meets for pre-yoga smoothies. Enjoy an hour of sun salutations overlooking Kootenay Lake and the gorgeous Purcell Mountain range and a very healthy breakfast, which you’ll digest during daily lecture (topics include nutrition, sleep health and stress management).
Afternoons are spent hiking through the mountains, stopping for lunch and snacks, before returning to the lodge for dinner and, if you can believe it, one more evening gym class. Luckily, interspersed throughout are mineral soaks, infrared sauna stops and daily massages to rescue your body from aches and pains – they work so well that Mountain Trek was just named #1 International Destination Spa by Travel + Leisure.
Live this healthy for a whole week, says Shave, and you can shift from a catabolic metabolism (that’s the “sedentary, overcalorized, overstressed lifestyle” that leads to fat storage, muscle loss, fatigue and atrophy) to an anabolic one (the growth-based, calorie-burning, weight-that-falls-off metabolism of your youth). But detoxing isn’t easy: “Toxic Tuesday” and “Wacky Wednesday” are exactly as they sound – this journalist cried, just a bit, though headaches, nausea and even rashes are common, too. The good news? “By Thursday and Friday, it’s redemption,” says Shave. “And by Saturday, you’ll feel like a teenager again.”