Not long ago many would’ve thought that the term “Fitness Retreat” was a bit of an oxymoron. Retreats are meant to relax you right? And, what’s relaxing about an entire vacation dedicated to pushing your fitness levels to their max day after day? Walking up endless stairs unable to hold back the profanity that comes with working those sore muscles… Then, forcing yourself to wake up before the sun rises to put your body through the same physical struggle again…

Retreating back to your bed might be the only thing you want to do at the end of it. But, in the past decade or so, wellness vacations have begun to sprout and gain popularity for their effectiveness at helping people safely reach fitness and weight loss goals in a short period of time. Thousands have shed unwanted pounds and gained a wealth of knowledge on how to live healthy and with that comes the addiction to the personal reward that comes with hard work on ourselves. Vacation time is precious, precious time not to be wasted. So if you’re considering a fitness retreat this summer, here are the top five benefits you’ll reap by choosing the right one. Here are five ways that a fitness retreat can help you reconnect with your inner strength:

Ways-Fitness-Retreats-Help-You-Reconnect-With-Your-Strength-31. Structured Weight-Loss

Weight-loss is an uphill battle that is incredibly hard to climb on your own. Fitness retreats geared around weight-loss offer not only a structured plan to get the results you want, but professional coaches to help you along the way. In the higher end retreats, nutritionists come from around the globe to create meal plans for each individual. Fitness coaches are always on hand to ensure you’re working out with the correct form. You’ll have a week to build habits from professionals so when you go home you’re ready to take on the battle on your own. It’ll teach you how to push yourself even when your willpower is running low.

2. Increased Focus

We live in fast paced world where distractions are regularly flying in from every corner of our eyes. Fitness retreats give you the space from all of the noise and force you to focus on the task at hand for a dedicated amount of time. That time spent learning about your body and how it reacts to different movements will likely carry out into increased focus in the other areas of your life.

3. Increased Dopamine (You’ll Be in a Better Mood)

Chronic exercise also increases dopamine storage. Ways-Fitness-Retreats-Help-You-Reconnect-With-Your-Strength-2Dopamine is what’s released in the reward center of the brain and is the same neurotransmitter that’s released after sex. You’ll have plenty of dopamine running through your body after a fitness retreat, and for those of us who knows what that feels like, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear even when you’re body feels exhausted.

4. Deep Relaxation

Many times, you’ll hear of runners talking about a “runner’s high” where you’ll feel as if you’re walking on air after reaching your VO2 max (the maximum volume of oxygen your body can take in). Mix that feeling with the spa treatments that fitness and wellness retreats typically come with and you’ll be on a completely different level of relaxation, especially knowing it came as a reward after a day of incredibly hard work.

5. Higher Self Worth

Fitness retreats will also reconnect you will the value of hard physical work. Any situation where you are pushing yourself past where you thought you could go brings an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, many have even called it a spiritual experience. You’ll realize what we all needed to be reminded of from time to time – you are much stronger than you think you are.

To find the right fitness retreat for you, look at where you’d like to travel, many fitness retreats take place in exotic destination locations that you can cross off your bucket list. Also do your research and make sure the testimonials on the sites are from real people, and the fitness coaches on site are credible ones.