Traveling (or even staying put) for the holidays can be stressful. That's because extended celebrations, especially while on vacation, often mean breaking away from healthy routines.
Dining out, less than eight hours of sleep and erratic fitness times are the norm.
The good news is Vail Valley's flourishing spa and athletic offerings can help hit the reset button on better health for vacationers and locals alike in January 2017.
Enjoy a Spa Day
Vail-area spas are some of the best in the country, offering pampering treatments focused on relaxation and well-being. Take some time for spa services in the early new year to refresh and reclaim positive energy.
For a luxury experience consider a resort-style spa like Spa Anjali, The Arrabelle, Sonnenalp Resort and Spa, Aria Spa and Club and Bloom Spa at The Sebastian. If you're going this route, I recommend spending half the day enjoying the amenities. Guests should also consider upping the ante from a traditional Swedish to a hot stone massage and scalp treatment.
Simply Massage, located in Vail and Avon, on the other hand forgoes signature treatments like wraps and aromatherapy in favor of therapeutic massage with accessible pricing. This is good for the guy or gal on the go.
Both options are worth checking out.
Soak It Up
After a day at the spa or on the slopes, take a hot soak or steam. Resort hotels and fitness clubs offer this type of access, as do many short-term house and condo rentals if hot tubs are being sought.
Looking for more of an experience? Glenwood Hot Springs, which is about an hour drive west on Interstate 70, takes soaking to the next level. Its natural mineral pools have been soothing guests since 1888. That's a long time! Touted as being the World's Largest Hot Springs Pool, this Colorado attraction is open year-round. It offers two pools – a hot one and a less hot one. I like the hot one. Mineral hot springs have been touted as beneficial to health and wellness for centuries. Though I can't attest to the scientific validity of health claims, I can say that it's a relaxing and fun way to spend an afternoon.
While Vail Valley restaurants often lean toward decadence, healthy options abound as well. Many places offer gluten-free menu items, along with small plates and vegetarian fare. When in doubt about what to order, just ask.
With better health in mind, here are two local spots not to miss. Green Elephant Juicery offers grab-and-go style organic juices, meals, desserts and snacks. Its flagship location is in Avon, with another shop in Lionshead and a drive-thru stop in West Vail. Then Colorado Meat Company in Avon focuses on butchering fresh, organic meat sourced from small Colorado ranchers. A visit to this meat shop is a must if you have access to your own kitchen.
Go Out Early
Vacation doesn't have to mean late nights out. Happy Hour specials at places like Loaded Joe's, The Remedy Bar, e | town kitchen + bar and more mean you can hit the town early and get a full night of rest. The body heals itself the most during sleep after all.
Take a Class
A ski or snowboard lesson regardless of skill level will assist in increased confidence on the mountain. I recommend checking out offerings at either Vail Mountain or Beaver Creek Resort. Beaver Creek is better for beginners, while Vail may offer expanded terrain for the athlete looking to push it.
Then stretch your muscles with a restorative yoga class. The Athletic Club at the Westin in Avon has quite a few daily group options. The Vitality Center at Vail Mountain Lodge in turn offers group classes, workshops and private lessons. Other spots include Revolution Power Yoga in Avon, Mountain Soul Yoga in Edwards, Vail Hot Yoga in Edwards and the list goes on. As you can imagine Vail has a lot of yoga options. Try a few classes at different locations and see what you like best.
Photos (very top and bottom): Vitality Center's Vinyasa Flow Yoga and Lunar Flow Yoga respectively