How to Survive a Floating Fitness Retreat in 3 Steps

Exploring Mother Nature’s Gym with Great Old Broads for Wilderness and Holiday River Expeditions

By Melanie Webb, named “The Person to Call” for guided travel in Utah’s National Parks, founder and creator of WebbWell, and author of Mother Nature’s Gym.

People wearing life jackets rafting a turbulent river
Photo Courtesy of Holiday River Expeditions

In two weeks time we’ll be setting off on a five-day floating fitness retreat in Dinosaur National Monument through Lodore Canyon on the Green River. I am thrilled to partner with my friends Great Old Broads for Wilderness and Holiday River Expeditions to facilitate this wellness experience in Mother Nature!

Each day we’ll explore key concepts of my book Mother Nature’s Gym, combined with beachfront body-weight movement, storytelling, yoga, and connective mindfulness activities. Our goal for our guests is to do more than merely survive 5 days floating Class III and IV rapids. We want our guests to thrive and feel great during our time on the river! Each day we’re going to move the body in a way that prepares the mind to have a restorative experience in nature–unplugged in a gorgeous canyon, with great food and new friends.

Guided river trips are a blast in part because the guides are so amazing. They row the rafts and do all the work of cooking and managing our safety, along with curating the daily hikes and entertainment. But five days outdoors–getting in and out of boats, setting up camp each night, participating in the retreat activities–requires a certain mindset and level of physicality of guests, too.

Here are three tips to help you not only survive, but thrive on a floating fitness retreat. The three invitations are: three movements to master, three concepts to contemplate, and one intention to clarify. 

3 Movements to Master

Be prepared for the physical demands of a floating fitness retreat for five glorious, unplugged days with these three moves, adapted from Mother Nature’s Gym and featured in the Exercise Library on the WebbWell App:

💪🏻 Bridges. Strengthens the hamstrings and glutes. Add an extra mental challenge by keeping the knees and palms of the hands connected throughout.

💪🏻 Back Extensions. Strengthens the muscles of the “posterior chain,” the back side of the body.

💪🏻 Opposite Arm and Leg Crunch. Strengthens the body for rotational movement. A requirement of one of my favorite aspects of a river trip: the team fire line to unload our gear every day! 

3 Concepts to Contemplate

As we participate in the oldest human ritual by gathering around the fire each night to share wisdom and knowledge, you’ll be guided to contemplate your relationship to Flow, Awe, and Play.

  • What do these concepts mean to you?
  • How do you include flow, awe, and play in your wellness practice on a regular basis?
  • What happens when you lose touch with them?

1 Intention to Clarify

I’ll never forget the first time I was invited to set an intention for a fitness retreat. It was in Cuzco, Peru, where I spent a few days acclimating to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Desiring to be mentally prepared with any altitude sickness out of the way long before my clients arrived, I sought out an Indigenous shamen who guided me through a private yoga session and welcome ceremony. He invited me to “be open to what this place had to offer me.” 

“Be open to what this place had to offer me.” That was a new concept for me to ponder. What did that mean?

The power of a great group of like-minded adventures —combined with the physicality of a place—is at the heart of Mother Nature’s Gym. Think about it:

  • Lodore Canyon,
  • On the Green River,
  • With These Great Old Broads,
  • Going with the flow.

Who knows what ✨ river magic ✨ awaits?! 

So, what’s your intention for our 5 day fitness retreat on the river together? Come prepared to power that up on Day 1! 

In Closing

Technically that’s seven things, but you know what they say in Vegas, “Come on, Lucky #7!” 🍀

I can’t wait to explore Mother Nature’s Gym and Go with the Flow with you all soon! Who knows what ✨ river magic ✨ awaits?! My warmest thanks to my partners at Great Old Broads for Wilderness and Holiday River Expeditions for the invitation, it’s an honor for this ‘Baby Broad’ to join you!

Woman wearing baseball cap and athletic attire standing with a paddle on a SUP on the water

About Melanie Webb and WebbWell

Named “The person to call” by DEPARTURES Magazine, “a leader in the adventure travel industry” by Norie Quintos of National Geographic Traveler, and “one of the top trainers in the industry” by The Sports Club/LA (now Equinox), Melanie Webb is the founder and creator of WebbWell and the WebbWell wellness app. A sought-after industry and corporate fitness retreat facilitator and speaker, her fitness course Mother Nature’s Gym Outdoor Fitness Guide is approved for 1.6 CEC’s from American Council on Exercise. 

Welcome to the WebbWell Way of Life. Let’s go explore in Mother Nature’s Gym!

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