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Health Management Holidays – Where to Go?

There are many different types of health management holidays, with as many different health outcomes and objectives, but the one thing they all have in common is the ability to assist you in reaching your own health goals.

We all need a break from the stresses and strains of modern living but some holidays, with their late nights and party-hard atmospheres, can leave you feeling more burned out than before you went.

Health management holidays are different. There are many different types of health management holidays, with as many different health outcomes and objectives, but the one thing they all have in common is the ability to assist you in reaching your own health goals. Some breaks will be far more structured than others but all will provide the facilities and expertise to help you to help yourself. On a health management holiday you get out what you put in, whether your goal is a weight loss, relaxation or fitness driven one.

Weight Loss Holidays

A recent NHS study revealed that almost a quarter of adults in England are clinically obese, while even more are overweight. Obesity can have huge health implications, increasing the risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes, not to mention issues concerning self-esteem and appearance.

With weight issues becoming ever more prominent in a lot of people’s lives, weight loss holidays are becoming more and more popular throughout Europe and beyond.

As the name implies, a weight loss holiday should see you shedding the pounds with the aid of trained dietitians, structured exercise programmes and other treatments. It should also, however, be more than just a temporary, one-off or ‘quick fix’ solution. The weight you lose during an extended weekend or couple of weeks’ break can be important but so are the motivational and educational aspects, which will ideally serve as a starting point for a healthier lifestyle that you can take back home and that should continue to pay dividends long after the holiday’s over.

Other Health Management Goals

Weight loss is always a common goal but you may have other priorities for your break. A prolonged bout of determined relaxation can do wonders to combat stress levels built up in your daily life and many health management holidays are geared towards soothing your stresses away.

Others are more actively fitness orientated and may offer structured exercise regimes including gym sessions and classes and outdoor activities such as hiking or cycling. Or perhaps a combination approach would provide your optimum health management break.

Where to go?

Health management holidays are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world, ranging from US-style fitness boot camps to more gentle retreats set in the rolling grounds of English stately homes.

For spa resorts, central Europe offers a wealth of locations and treatments. In land-locked Hungary, for example, there’s no chance of a traditional beach holiday but the Hungarians have elevated spa culture almost to an art-form over the centuries.

Health Spa Holidays in Hungary

It was the Romans who first brought the concept of spa culture to Hungary and the remains of some of their bath complexes can still be found in Óbuda. Some centuries later, the Ottoman invasion revived the tradition, with the Turks building a number of bath houses to make use of the thermal springs in Buda – the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest. Some of these are still in use and can be visited and enjoyed today.

One of the most compelling reasons that spa resorts in Hungary have become so popular and prevalent is the abundance of natural resources.

Mineral-rich, heated thermal spring water is present beneath much of Hungary and its beneficial properties have been tapped into for centuries. The effects of bathing in thermal waters can vary depending on location and the exact mineral content of the water but many people swear by its effectiveness in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and similar complaints, as well as offering simple, stress-busting relaxation.

[box type=”note”]Mud from the natural thermal lake of Hévíz is another common natural resource used throughout many of the Hungarian spa resorts, with natural mud packs being an ever-popular signature treatment. Add expert massage to the experience and you’re sure to go home feeling refreshed and invigorated.[/box]

Budapest itself offers a spectacular setting for a spa break but there many others, each with their own unique natural resources, from Héviz (featuring the second largest thermal lake in the world) to spas in Sarvar and Buk.

Travel writer Alexandru Rotaru specialises in finding and reviewing the most popular spa resorts in Hungary (www.danubiushotels.com) and Eastern Europe.

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