Losing weight is not easy. We all know what we need to do. But for many, it remains an elusive goal. Yes, it’s all about the math. Calories in need to be less than calories out. While this sounds easy, in reality, it isn’t. What is helpful is finding a place that offers help, guidance, and encouragement, where all are welcome – couples, singles, friends, and siblings – all with the desire to improve themselves.
Hilton Head Health is such a place. A renowned East Coast fitness and weight-loss destination for decades, Hilton Head Health (H3) makes losing weight a possible, enjoyable, and fun experience. Situated in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island offers 12 miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean beaches, golf courses, tennis and pickleball, and family activities. Outdoor activity and fitness are ingrained in the culture of Hilton Head Island, and fact that the island is shaped like a running shoe may have everything to do with it.
Dr. Peter Miller founded Hilton Head Health in 1976 as a four-week retreat that was an alternative to what was then known as “fat farms” and “fat camps.” Today, under the direction of current CEO/owner (and former guest) Kevin Carter, H3 continues its month-long programs and has added week-long and shorter stays to accommodate any schedule. In the past 46 years, Hilton Head Health has evolved to include weight loss and wellness programs, with healthy cuisine, luxurious spa services, health testing, and wellness consulting.
Each day, my morning starts on Hilton Head Island with the first activity of the day … the invigorating 7 am Beach Walk. With the sun yet to rise, and with cups of coffee and water in hand, half-awake guests are shuttled from the resort to the beach a few minutes away. Upon arriving we’re given instructions to walk for 15 minutes and then turn around. We’re then off at our own pace. Some people walk in groups, while others enjoy their own company. Through all types of weather, these first 30 minutes of your day are breathtaking. The shifting sea, sky, and light are in a state of flux, set against the sound of the surf hitting the shore. You’re also filled with self-satisfaction, knowing that if you can get up to walk the beach at dawn, what else are you capable of?
You can find almost every activity here – dancing, cardio, weight training, suspension training, yoga, Pilates, water activities, and lectures on healthy cooking. Hilton Head Health offers a myriad of over 30 indoor and outdoor fitness classes and lectures each day, led by enthusiastic group leaders with warm smiles. One of the great things about H3 is everyone is unique, and everyone is encouraged to go at their own pace. Guests have 24-hour access to H3’s fitness areas and gyms. The resort also offers a pool, outdoor jacuzzi, and sauna. Looking to catch your breath? The resort offers a relaxing outdoor courtyard.
At Hilton Head Health, if exercise is your work, then food is your fuel, and the resort does an excellent job of keeping guests going. H3’s “Healthy Kitchen” serves a variety of delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees – with options to add more proteins, vegetables, starches, and sauces. After a few days of well-balanced activity and eating a health-forward diet, guests remarked they had clearer focus, better sleep, and more energy. During the day H3 offers a delicious selection of healthy snacks, tea, coffee, and flavored water to keep you going. Salt is available upon request, and the resort serves beer and wine.
After a long day of activity, guests who elect to stay in the 30-room Sweetgrass Inn are in for a luxurious stay. Completed in 2021, these rooms are less “hotel” and more “guest” – very comfortable and beautifully decorated. Best of all, the beds are wonderful and provide a great night’s sleep (and the occasional afternoon nap). The Sweetgrass Inn’s rooms are well equipped with a fridge, coffee maker, a walk-in shower, and all amenities. Filtered water, ice, and laundry are available only steps away. The resort also provides larger accommodations for people traveling together or in groups.
Take time to relax in The Indigo Spa within Hilton Head Health. This boutique wellness experience is home to therapists accustomed to helping people with their health and wellness goals – from workout recovery to improving skin quality to managing stress. I had two extraordinary treatments – the Arnica and Warm Towel Massage by Naturopathica, a therapeutic massage that penetrated my tight muscles after a long day of activity, and Thai Yoga, one of my favorite treatments to recover from exercise. Both of my therapists were extraordinary. The Indigo Spa was the icing on the cake to my Hilton Head Health experience.
If you’re considering taking time for yourself and improving your quality of fitness, health, and overall lifestyle – Hilton Head Health is an ideal destination to help take you there.
- Prepare for all types of weather. A light raincoat, gloves, and hat will have you comfortable in any type of weather.
- Plan your day ahead. Many classes require you to sign up the evening before.
- Rent a bike during the stay. Hilton Head Island is flat and is ideal for cycling. A bike gives you the freedom to explore, visit the beach, or do some shopping.
- The resort is easily reachable from Savannah and Hilton Head airports. It’s also an easy drive-to destination from locations on the East Coast.