Friday, July 20, 2007

6 ways to tone up, trim down, and get some Me Time, too.

We've rounded up and tested out six sensational get-moving destinations--some far-flung, some close to home--to help you get a jump-start on fitness. So whether you're on a budget or set for a splurge, turn the page and get ready to have a great time getting fit.

Get a boot-camp boost

Splurge: If you want a fitness jump-start that burns a ton of calories, there's nothing better than a boot camp. Put some exotic spice into your basic training at Amansala Eco Chic Resort's Bikini Boot Camp in Tulum, Mexico (a 2-hour drive south of Cancun). Your daily power walk won't be around the block--it'll be through the Yucatan jungle. In the morning, your body-sculpting class will be on the beach. In the afternoon, you'll bike to a freshwater swimming hole. And your cross-training will be flamenco and salsa dance lessons. A week in a beachfront cabana won't hurt either. Six-night boot camp ($1,842 per person, double occupancy) includes accommodations, meals, fitness classes, kayaking, two bike excursions, and three spa services.

On a budget: Get the boot camp experience closer to home with classes at a local gym. National-chain clubs Equinox Fitness and 24-Hour Fitness, for example, have several cool camps to choose from. Get all wet at Equinox's Aqua Boot Camp and bikini ready in its Boot Camp Intervals class.

Stretch out

Splurge: At the Aspen Club and Spa in Aspen, Colorado, your own wellness guru will create a 1- to 3-day getaway that includes a daily dose of two private yoga or Pilates sessions, lunch at the spa, and an 80-minute spa treatment. Offered year-round, the $450-per-day rate doesn't include lodging, but the spa is a short walk from several downtown Aspen hotels.

On a budget: Many yoga centers offer free or reduced-price, first-time classes, and many Pilates instructors will give you an introductory session gratis. To find yoga classes close to home. For local Pilates classes, see

Take a hike

Splurge: Put hiking center-stage at Jimmy LeSage's New Life Hiking Spa. Take a low-key ramble along country roads or a climb up one of Vermont's highest peaks in the Green Mountains. To fill out your day, try a before-breakfast stretch class, an afternoon core-training or yoga class, and an evening massage or facial. New Life's 2- to 4-day Mini Vacation ($229 per person per night, double occupancy) in the charming Inn of the Six Mountains in Killington includes all meals and fitness activities, plus one massage or facial per 3-night stay.

On a budget: Keep your trek local by using Take advantage of its free 14-day trial to find reviews of more than 30,000 trails nationwide, along with all the information you'll need to get out there (including maps and campground sites, if you're planning an overnight). Start at the site's "Top 100 Trails" for inspiration, and you'll be lacing up your lightweight hikers in no time.

By Tracey Minkin

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