Taly's Travel: Getting fit with Carmel fitness

In November, the program included Sup Pilates, Les Mills Body Balance, Yoga Block, Les Mills Tone, breathing workshop, Vinyasa Yoga, meditation with Tibetan bowls, healthy food lecture, and more.

BODY BALANCE classes at the Isrotel Carmel Forests Spa Resort include a mix of Pilates, yoga and Tai Chi (photo credit: Courtesy)
BODY BALANCE classes at the Isrotel Carmel Forests Spa Resort include a mix of Pilates, yoga and Tai Chi
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Approximately every six weeks, Isrotel Carmel Forests Spa Resort offers a two-day fitness program with different exercises, workshops, and lectures. The program is a getaway from the routine and is a great opportunity to try new and unique workouts, learn more about healthy life and, of course – enjoy!
Concept vacations are gaining in popularity, including the fitness vacations. Instead of resting and reading by the pool, more and more people are looking to shape up during the holiday and enjoy different settings for their workouts. This trend did not skip by Isrotel’s team, that – in addition to the regular fitness and relaxation activities at the Carmel Forests – now offer a complete holistic-wellbeing vacation packed with activities and suitable for everyone in all levels of shape and health with personal adaptation to each guest.
Each program is different. In November, the program included Sup Pilates, Les Mills Body Balance, Yoga Block, Les Mills Tone, breathing workshop, Vinyasa Yoga, meditation with Tibetan bowls, healthy food lecture, and more. We joined a part of it, and picked several workouts and talks that we found mostly interesting.
We started with the Stand up Paddling (SUP) Pilates at the indoor pool. We were armed with long-sleeved Sunway swimsuits, but a standard swimsuit will do. While the program said Paddleboard Yoga, it turned out that it was more of a Pilates exercise on the SUP. But it was still fun! It is the first time we were on a SUP, and it was exciting for us. The workout wasn’t difficult, it was enjoyable, especially when the exercise required some amount of balance and someone fell into the water making a big splash and everybody laughed.  We stayed for a while after the workout to try some Yoga postures before changing and rushing to the Les Mills Body Balance workout on the 5th floor studio.
The Les Mills workouts were new to me, too. The Body Balance is a mix of Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi with background music. It is carried out barefooted on Yoga mats and is dynamic with some advanced Yoga postures and carried out with music. It combines some strength, stretching, good legs and abdomen-muscles work, and includes relaxation at the end. It was a very nice class. With no rest, our next move was to hear about healthy food before dinner. Iris Greenspoon taught us about healthy choices and how to accommodate a better lifestyle, what are better oils, how to encourage the family to eat more vegetables and fruits, etc.
The next morning, we skipped the morning walk and the Yoga Block in favor of time in the spa and went straight to the Les Mills Tone workout. This turned out to be a pleasure! It is an aerobic exercise combining the use of accessories such as weights and accompanied with music, somewhat like dancing. It is fast, works on all the muscles of the body and speeds up the heart rate.
The biggest challenge, in my opinion, is training the heterogeneous guest population here. I must admit that I was a bit worried before coming here that the workouts won’t be intense enough for me, and if they would, my 17-year old athletic daughter would find them tedious. I was mostly impressed that both of us enjoyed and made the most out of them. When Michal gave us the Les Mills Tone workout, she offered a number of variations for the stronger participants and also warned those that were older or had medical issues what to be careful about. This helped us all enjoy the workout!
During the free time we enjoyed the indoor pool, Jacuzzi, Hamam, wet and dry saunas. and a charming spa rest area facing Mount Carmel green settings. There is also a beautiful seasonal pool but it was too cold for us during this time of the year.
If you think that the workshop would come with healthy or diet food, well, think again. It is going to be difficult to lose weight here since the food is superb and the variety is infinite! The main courses are served to the table and they compete with higher-end chef restaurants with dishes of beef filet made to order. However, there are many healthy and dietetic options (which are very tasty too!) and the food labels at the buffet not only identify the food but also the caloric value.
Michal Okmianski (BED Wingate), the general fitness manager at the hotel, created the programs and says there is more to come, with programs for back problems, women’s health and nutrition. In the winter, they will work more indoors, for example, at the hammam with a warm 25 minutes stretching class.
The program is an opportunity to try new workouts, new teachers, do a body-and-soul balance and restart. Getting back home, I am going to look for Les Mills’ exercises around as I got to know them and really enjoyed the exercises, especially the Les Mills Tone that I never thought would be suitable for me at my age. Unfortunately, we could not stay for the rest of the activities but we loved the concept so much that we’re surely going to go back for more!
The next workshop will take place on January 15th, 2020, and will focus on Nia Dance and will also include Sup Yoga/Pilates, Les Mills Body balance, Vinyasa Yoga, meditation with Tibetan bowls and lectures so there is what to look for! The final program will be published on Isrotel’s website and is subject to change.

Isrotel Carmel Forests Spa Resort, www.isrotel.com, *5585
The writer was a guest of the hotel.