The first few weeks of a health-based New Year’s resolution may be successful, but sustaining it as the year moves forward might not go as well. Motivation wanes, life gets in the way, and the shiny newness of a stronger, healthier you fades with the monotony of a stagnant exercise and meal routine. Fitness retreats can re-energize and re-inspire that initial motivation to get moving, shaking things up just as you are about to throw in the towel. Learn from a medley of fitness professionals in a vacation-worthy environment, and you’ll take away vegan nutrition and workout lessons that will sustain your new healthy and active lifestyle well beyond 2019. Start planning your sweat-infused getaway today at one of these vegan-friendly retreats.


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Reset your mind and body
Set your mind and your body right with Surf Sweat Serve. This ethically minded company was started by Pixie Acia, a vegan athlete and Master SoulCycle instructor. Through intentional activities such as surfing, yoga, hiking, and zip-lining, Acia’s mission is to completely transform guests’ self-perception of themselves by taking them out of their comfort zone. “Surfing, for me, is more about conquering fear, connecting with mother ocean, being in the present moment, and rewriting your story,” says Acia. There is also a charitable component built in to these trips. Guests participate in local beach clean-ups in their host communities. The combination of endorphin-spiking new experiences and the gratitude that comes with community service instills a heightened form of wellness that lasts long after guests leave the beach. In regards to the dining options, vegans are well taken care of. “Being vegan and the founder means there are vegan options and vegan-friendly foods,” assures Acia. She is planning three retreats in 2019 at Puro Surf Hotel and Academy in El Salvador.


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Relieve stress with a deep stretch
If stress keeps thwarting your best efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need a retreat that focuses on inner peace as well as physical improvement. LUXYOGA hosts getaways featuring Vinyasa, Hot Yoga, and Bikram practices in a quaint villa in the South of France. With over 90 excursions already under its belt, this company provides some of the world’s best instruction in the most relaxing and scenic of atmospheres. In addition to downward dogs, guests may opt-in for picturesque hikes and soothing massages. Organic and local plant-based foods are an essential part of this program’s health restoration philosophy. Freshly pressed juices are served after each class, in addition to regular meals which can be prepared to each guest’s specific dietary needs. This trip provides space to unwind, reflect, and bring a healthy mindset and yoga practice back home. As LUXYOGA founder Benjamin Sears says, “People leave with a clear vision of how they want to bring the realizations from their retreat into their practice and life.”


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Put the fun back in fitness
Fitness doesn’t have to involve a trainer yelling at you to do more burpees. SurfYogaBeer strives to make exercise fun, shifting guests’ perspective of exercise from something that is hard work to something that is (nearly) all play. The itinerary includes a range of activities, from beach games to yoga, hiking, surfing, and more. These summer camp-like retreats take place in savvy destination spots such as Spain, Costa Rica, and the Philippines. The company’s founder, Mantas Zvinas, believes that “people don’t stick to things that they don’t enjoy doing.” That’s why his goal is to make SurfYogaBeer workouts challenging and effective, yet also engaging and light-hearted. After a hard day of play, guests sit down to a hearty meal prepared by the vegan-friendly and organic Latin restaurant, SALUD, based in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. At night, alcohol is available during select evening social events to add to the fun. Note: two of the 2019 trips—Iceland and Morocco—cannot accommodate a vegan diet, but the rest of the retreats are fair game.

Becky Brooks is a writer, plant-based athlete and wanderlust based in NYC.

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