USA fitness camp reviewed

Time Out Dubai profiles Bellefontaine mansion, better known as Canyon Ranch, co-founded by Mel Zuckerman, a leading USA fitness camp in Massachusetts

If you don’t think you’ve overdone it this Yuletide then either a) you’re a liar, or b) you went to the wrong parties. Either way, those extra pounds won’t fall off just like that, unless you’ve invented some sort of Photoshop weight-loss time machine (patents still pending).

No-one said battling the bulge was easy, but at least it shouldn’t be dull. So rather than running aimlessly round the waters of JLT, why not head further afield? Lenox, Massachusetts, to be precise.

The town may have a typo in its name, but it’s also home to the stately Bellefontaine mansion, now better known as Canyon Ranch. Co-founder Mel Zuckerman was inspired to help build a “fat farm” empire by his own potentially life-threatening weight problems. And the second incarnation of the brand hopes to help those in a similar boat.

The ranch offers more than 40 fitness classes and activities every day, including a “glute camp”, cardio circuits and Zumba. Competitive types can sweat out those mince pies on the basketball court or by taking advantage of the fact that there are more racket sports on offer than you could shake a stick at.

However, if you love the smell of maple in the morning (and not just on your pancakes) then venture out to the Berkshire Hills where biking, hiking, kayaking and, depending on the weather, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing should help clear both minds and lungs.

If the lure of fresh air still can’t motivate you to get off the sofa, helping hands come in the form of the ranch’s seven physicians, who, between them, boast degrees from Harvard, Yale and Stanford. They’ll even help you quit smoking, or at least they’ll try.

As official spokesperson Meredith Ford says: “What better time to take charge of a healthier, more invigorated you than right now, in the New Year?”
You might just have a point there, Ms Ford. From Dhs7,170 for an all-inclusive three-night stay (based on two sharing), www.canyonranch.com (+1 800 742 9000).

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