RETREAT TO LABOR DAY
If you're like us, you're always thinking of how to optimize your workout - enter the retreat. These are immersive experiences that allow you to select a workout of interest that takes place at a destination that becomes the ultimate fitness vacation as well as a way to bond with fellow enthusiasts.
We chatted with the co-founders of luxeFIT, a retreat that incorporates fitness, food and travel to create a workout experience within your vacation. We also talked with celebrity trainer, JJ Dancer who is partnering with the provider for their St. Martin retreat Sept 2nd - 6th.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about LuxeFit and a little about the Co-Founders who created it.
LUXEFIT: We (Loren Ann Mayo and Holly Morris) founded luxeFIT out of a shared desire to combine our passions for fitness, food, travel and forging new friendships. Our goal is simple: to bring together people with like-minded interests and help them experience the vacation of a lifetime filled with lasting memories.
LOREN ANN MAYO: I grew up in Florida living a fit, healthy and active lifestyle in and around the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and its spectacular beaches. I enjoy balancing my schedule with a wide range of activities including hot yoga, horseback riding, hiking, strength training, running and paddle boarding. One of my favorite pastimes is strolling through the farmer's market, gathering up every delicious fruit and veggie I can get my hands on, and then spending hours in the kitchen concocting dishes for family and friends.
My career is deeply rooted in journalism, working as a reporter, photographer and columnist for one of Florida's top weeklies and magazines. Eventually, I transferred my skills to marketing, and discovered I had much more time on my my hands for my two of my biggest passions — traveling and fitness — and developed an even bigger craving for cuisine native to the countries I visited. Combining those passions and starting my own business seemed like the perfect career, so here I am bringing you the best adventure vacations on the planet.
HOLLY MORRIS: From a young age, I knew that travel and hospitality were a passion of mine. After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Hospitality Management, I left Orlando, FL to work on a cruise ship. I spent more than two years traveling the world and learning about what makes a great vacation. I visited some of the most exotic and beautiful places on earth during my time onboard and met interesting and amazing people from all over the world.
After returning to “dry land,” I decided to pursue a career in Human Resources, eventually settling in New York City. While living in New York, I discovered my passion for fitness, joining many different gyms over the years. Ultimately, I realized I wanted to pursue a career that combined my love of fitness and travel with my business and hospitality expertise.
AM: Why are retreats that focus on fitness such an important part to incorporate into the travel experience?
LAM: People are no longer looking for just a vacation — they’re looking for a meaningful travel experience that integrates healthy habits and wellbeing. Fitness retreats are a way to unplug, escape your day-to-day, discover new adventures and recharge your body, mind and soul in a beautiful surrounding with likeminded company.
AM: How are LuxeFit retreats different than other retreats that one can sign up for?
HM: LuxeFIT brings together fitness, nutrition, adventure and the opportunity to explore new and exciting destinations worldwide. We believe there are several factors that set us a part from other retreats:
• We are truly an all-inclusive luxury getaway where everything is 5-Star: a private estate where we are the only guests; a full staff to cater to our needs and make sure we have a great time; a private chef who creates locally inspired, healthy and delicious meals that complement our workouts and other physical activities and caters to any dietary restrictions our guests might have; an opportunity to dine at some of the finest restaurants in the area.
• We are co-ed for all fitness levels. Our trainers are hand-selected fitness experts and can modify their workouts to be challenging for everyone, from those who do not exercise to fitness enthusiasts and those who are professional athletes.
• We offer a combination of HIIT workouts, yoga, surfing, paddle boarding, hiking and more. We aim to keep our workouts challenging, fun and varied so that they appeal to everyone.
• We include plenty of excursions that guests would want to experience on any vacation, from snorkeling with sea turtles in Barbados, to hiking Pic Paradis in St. Martin, to exploring an active volcano in Costa Rica. Each location is carefully selected to offer guests an opportunity to experience a luxurious and adventurous vacation, make new friends with similar interests and remain fit and active during their travels.
• Our guests don’t have to worry about a thing! From the moment our guests arrive to the time they depart, we take care of everything. All they need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy their vacation. AM: How did the partnership between you and JJ Dancer come about?
LUXEFIT: JJ embodies everything that luxeFIT stands for. She is a strong, healthy, enthusiastic individual who has made it her mission to spread her passion for fitness around the globe — and we’re excited to be part of that. JJ's smile and spirit are contagious and her background speaks for itself. We honestly fell in love with JJ the moment we saw her workout videos. Plus, who doesn’t love dancing? :)
AM: Outside of this retreat in St Martin, are there other retreats that interested fitness enthusiasts can sign up for?
LUXEFIT: Our 2018 list as of today contains Bali, Thailand, Croatia, Costa Rica, Martinique, Antigua, Puerto Vallarta and Barbados. We don’t yet have a idea which months we’ll hold these retreats, as we’ll be researching weather, villas, etc. These tentative 2018 locations will be up on our website soon and open for booking.
ATLEISUREMAG: Tell us about your background in terms of how you got into fitness.
JJ DANCER: I've been a professional dancer since the age of 8. In college, I was the captain of the NBA Washington Wizards Dance Team and I was required to lose weight. That's when I found the gym and fell in love. Years later, after dancing and touring with artists such as Beyonce, Kanye West and Pitbull and dancing in movies, commercials and prime time television, I found myself eager to do more with fitness. I was inspired to bring my many years of professional dance together with my love for fitness and create a program that is just as much fun as it is effective!
AM: As a Celebrity Trainer, can you share some of your clients with us?
JJD: My celebrity clientele (past and present) include Nicole Scherzinger, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Jessica Alba, Olivia Munn, John Salley, and more!
AM: If we're working out with JJ Dancer what can we expect from the Bangin' Body Bootcamp?
JJD: JJ's Bangin' Body Bootcamp is a fun and sweaty hip-hop dance party, folowed by creative and effective muscle conditioning- using resistance bands, light weights, kickboxing, plyometrics and mat work. My classes are all about hard work, sweat and FUN, set to great music and insane energy! Bangin' Body Bootcamp is guaranteed to change your body, your mind, and leave you feeling empowered and unstoppable!
AM: What's your style when you're working out versus your personal style when you're going out for brunch?
JJD: My style is always fun and colorful, whether I'm working out or eating out!
AM: We're always looking for energy in the foods that we eat - what do you suggest?
JJD: I have been a vegan for almost 10 years and a vegetarian for 17 years and I have WAY more energy than I did as a meat eater. In fact, my energy is through the roof!! I strongly recommend a balanced vegan diet/lifestyle! Eating fruits, veggies, and other plant based foods- such as beans, quinoa, nuts, and seeds- provide me with the protein that I need to build strong muscles and the energy I need to dance like no one is watching... for several hours a day! If you have ever been vegan curious, you should give it a try! There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that no animals had to die or work to feed me. If that's not enough incentive, your body will look and feel amazing because of it too!
AM: A girl has to have a cocktail, but we still want to do it in a healthy way, what do you suggest?
JJD: We all have our vices. Mine just so happens to be chocolate cookies and cake! The key is to consume in moderation. Whenever having a drink, choose
the drink with less sugar and drink less of it! You don't have to go hard in the paint every time you take one back! So the next time you have a night out with the girls, or a romantic evening with bae, don't deny yourself. Just remember that everything you put in your body counts. The day after I've devoured one too many cookies I go into damage control. I guzzle that water down and eat as many fruits and veggies as I can get my hands on! Simply keeping an eye on what you put in your body daily to keep a healthy balance really makes a difference! You really can have your cake and eat it too!