This is Your Brain on Vacation
Some of us like to give our brains a break while on vacation. Then there are those people who might want to take their downtime to bulk up on their mental acuity. Associate Editor Susan O’Keefe reports on a new trend in “brain fitness” programs for people on the go.
Do you Sudoku? Crave crosswords? Thrive on mind teasers? Banking on the fact that mental fitness might be on your mind, hotels and resorts are jumping on the brain fitness bandwagon and offering guests programs to help them clear the mental cobwebs and relax while on the road.
“Everyone should take a brain fitness vacation or adapt their regular vacations to include aspects of brain health,” says Alvaro Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of SharpBrains, a company that works with cruise lines, hotels, and other organizations to define and prepare activities for brain fitness. “Travelers should arrange for experiences on the road that address the aspects of good brain fitness: mental exercises, physical fitness, good nutrition, and stress management.” (You can read about Fernandez’s own brain fitness vacation to Europe here.)
Offering up games, quizzes, and coaching sessions, these hotels are helping to make this a trend:
- Westin Hotels & Resorts starts the new year with the BrainBody Fitness program. Upon check-in, each guest at their 150 properties will be given a selection of simple brain exercises to do each morning, afternoon, and evening for the duration of their stay to aid in memory, focus, and performance. Westin’s mental mind-benders have been developed by brain scientist Dr. Gary Small, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA and a leading physician/scientist in the fields of memory and longevity. The brain fitness regimen is coupled with a physical fitness exercises developed by fitness guru David Kirsch, who has helped celebs, like Heidi Klum and Liv Tyler get back to their pre-pregnancy shape. “Stimulating your mind and body together positively affects brain power and makes people feel happier and more energized than just doing physical exercises alone,” says Dr. Small.
- Canyon Ranch Resort in Lenox, Massachusetts, will host a brain science retreat from January 17-21, 2008. Guests will learn how to keep their minds sharp and their memories strong through a series of presentations with brain experts, relaxation techniques, and diet and exercise.
- Hyatt Resortsoffers guests of every age a variety of complimentary board games from the Cranium Game Library, including hits like Cranium Hullabaloo and Cranium Zigity to play in-room or poolside at most Hyatt Resorts. Guests at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida, can experience a special edition of the game Hullabaloo. Dubbed “Poolabaloo,” the game takes Hullabaloo’s cool tunes and wacky movements in the pool. Several Hyatt resorts also host family game hours in their game libraries.
- Kimpton Hotelshas created Mind.Body.Spa, an in-room wellness and yoga program that provides guests with complimentary yoga mats, straps, blocks, access to an in-room TV channel with yoga, Pilates, or meditation instruction, and an inspirational booklet.If all this mental massaging leaves you a bit unfocused, then you may want to center at Kimpton’s Muse New Yorkwith the “Fresh Start” package that includes a one-hour life coach session to map out a fresh start for the new year, fruit- and vegetable-infused waters and juices at breakfast, and a copy of the motivational book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Image: via fitbuff.com