Exercise For Health, Fun and Travel
By Paula Sweeley (ret. 2007 from Osborn Hill)
I’ve always been pretty faithful about maintaining
an exercise schedule. Like most of us (I think), sometimes I’ve been better than others. I’ve belonged to gyms, biked and hiked and also done a right in front of my TV with various DVDs that I’ve purchased over the years.
When I was living the very busy life of a teacher, I used to get up really early in the morning so that I could exercise and have time to shower and eat breakfast before going in to school. I always felt better on the days when I did that because,
of course, there were some days when I didn’t. One of the things I really enjoy in my retirement is having more time so that exercise fits into my schedule more easily.
In the first year of my retirement, I ran across an exercise program on PBS
called Classical Stretch (WNYE at 6:00 a.m. daily, channel 25 on U-verse TV). It really appealed to me when I first watched it because there was a very flowing feel to it and the music was soothing rather than the hyped up tempo of most other programs
I had experienced. Also no equipment other than a mat and a sturdy chair was required. When I went to the web site (http://www.classicalstretch.com/), I learned that the creator had been a professional
ballerina. She broke her foot and retired from the stage to open a dance and exercise studio in Montreal. Since that time a number of years ago, she has developed the Classical Stretch program, and she works with people in all walks of life, from
professional and Olympic athletes to people of all ages and physical conditions. The exercise helps to improve the posture, strengthen the muscles and greatly increase flexibility in all parts of the body. It has helped people with many different health
concerns to relieve their symptoms and be able to get off of medication. I felt an immediate sense of well-being myself after doing one 25-minute session the first time and it has only gotten better as I continue with it.
The other thing
I noticed on the web site is that she sponsors exercise retreats in Jamaica, Mexico, the Rocky Mountains and Canada. When I saw that, I thought that, because she is on TV every day, it would be nearly impossible to join one of the retreats. To
my surprise, it wasn’t difficult at all, and I had a great time in May of 2011 at an all-inclusive Mexican resort for my first retreat, exercising twice a day, meeting great people from all over the world, eating fabulous food and enjoying all that this
beachfront resort had to offer. Came home feeling fabulous.
Then, in July of 2012, I attended another and even better retreat, this time at Spa Eastman (http://www.spa-eastman.com/en/eastman/)
up in Quebec. Not only did we have all of the advantages of the all-inclusive resort but there also were all of the services of a spa. I had never been to a health spa before, but I’m glad to have had this as my first experience. The
owner is a very down-to-earth lady who was a teacher, became interested in natural healing and studied to be a masseuse. From this humble beginning and her passion for natural, healthy living, she developed this spa into one that has been awarded the
status of the number one spa in North America by an organization which rates such places in five continents. They have master chefs who prepare organic, fresh foods in the most healthful ways. They grow much of their food right on the property.
The water source is mountain springs. So you can drink the water straight from the tap, and it tastes wonderful. There is a brilliant naturopath who used to be a nuclear physicist and became interested in natural healing. There is every kind
of massage and body treatment you can imagine, including a hair salon which uses only natural products. It was quite an experience. Plus the surrounding countryside was breathtaking and great for all kinds of outdoor activities (a visit to a lavender
farm for one that we took advantage of). I was especially thrilled to be able to drive rather than fly (just about 6 hours from Stratrford). All-in-all I look forward to an exercise retreat once a year, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone
and HAVE recommended it to all of my friends. I have a photo web site with pictures of my two spa retreats and some of a Road Scholar Trip I took helping to reconstruct New Orleans . If you’re interested, go to https://paulasshares.shutterfly.com/ ,
and you’ll see what it’s all about (firstname.lastname@example.org).