Are you looking for a fresh vacation idea that has more substance than just sightseeing and going to popular attractions? Health and fitness oriented vacation retreats can improve your health, and are fun too. Consider a spa, yoga, weight loss or one of many variations of health improvement retreats for your next vacation.Of all the types of health related retreats, yoga is one of the most popular. And when you look at retreats where yoga is a primary focus, you will find countless flavors for all levels. Some offer a daily yoga class along with other natural activities and exercise, including walks and hikes, boats rides, whale watching, and local tours. All activities are optional and the retreat is open to everyone. Others retreats are more structured with maybe a two hour yoga class in the morning, another in the late afternoon, and meditation in the evening. They may even include periods of the day where silence is required. And, accommodations could actually be in eco-friendly cottages that promote peace and tranquility.Then there are retreats that combine yoga with spa treatments, including massage, a mud bath, sauna and hot tubs. But even retreats that are considered more as a spa or health retreat, also generally have some aspect of yoga. Spa retreats may also focus more on other forms of exercise, such as Pilates and stretching, and include more about nutrition and natural foods. They may also include nature walks and hikes, and perhaps journaling.Health and healing retreats can even go further with a goal of putting balance back in both your physical and mental well-being as well. This may include things like natural herb cleansing drinks, body pH balancing, mineral baths, nutrition classes, and therapy to address emotional issues. The idea is to rid both your mind and body of impurities.Then there are the more serious health related retreats. The goal of these retreats is to help you remove your dependency on alcohol, cigarettes or drugs through a variety of holistic detox techniques. Again, these retreats often use yoga, and promote healthy practices for daily living involving nutrition and mediation. These retreats look at emotional issues as well. The difference with these retreats is that they are intended to address a defined problem, rather then supporting a general enhancement of your well being.Unlike most of the other kinds of health related retreats, weight loss retreats often involve hard work and a good degree of physical activity. Combined with nutritional programs, weight loss retreats aim at changing poor eating habits along with developing more active lifestyles. By preparing meals and controlling what you eat, these retreats can be an important start to lifelong changes. Diabetes management and cardiac rehabilitation can also be an integral part of some weight loss retreats.But even with the hard work, they are fun, and quite rewarding. Outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming and biking are often combined with instructional sessions. Relaxation and spa activities can be part of the plan. Some mix group activities, along with personal training. Various types of exercise are often used, including yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and stretching. And naturally, they tailor the exercises to your specific condition, and understand where you are coming from.Some weight loss retreats also include follow-up services to help keep you on track when you are back in your normal routine. As you would expect, this is actually quite important. A diet of healthy eating and the moderation you initiate at the retreat needs to become part of your life. Maintaining a higher activity level and good eating habits back in your normal routine is a lot easier with some form of follow-up coaching.As with all types of retreats, there are many flavors of weight loss retreats. Some differentiate themselves from “fat farms” as they also address body cleansing, and body and mind connections. Some integrate more spa activities while others consider themselves as more of a “boot camp”. Others focus more on non-class activities, such as walking, hiking, and multiple ways of just being more active. You just need to find the one that fits your needs and personality.So go ahead, take the challenge, improve your health, and enjoy a new experience for your next vacation. You just might come home more fulfilled than from any other vacation you’ve been on!