You know, hit the cardio machines full throttle and even have a potter with the weights?
Well, neither did I until I ventured through the door of the state of the art gym in Seaham Hall Serenity Spa in County Durham, England.
This five star spa hotel offers the high end of luxury in all things 'spa' from the decor to the ambience.
Having visited The Serenity Spa on numerous occasions in the past, it was time to frequent the idyllic environment in a bid for fitness and sanity combined.
Beginning in the spa (easing myself in of course), the warmth of the robe and towelled slippers (available in each locker) set the tone for the most relaxing experience.
The poolside; decked out with chairs and loungers aplenty, all with wonderfully padded cushions with attached neck supports offers comfort in abundance, tables bestowed with Bazaar, Tatler and the likes and water with a hint of cucumber or lime if preferred makes you sigh your cares away. The soft floor and ceiling spotlights add to the calming environment, and the touch of blue lighting gives it a modern slant. The pool itself has water so warm that your muscle pain melts away in the luxury of the accompanied water jets.
If you feel the urge to take a wander around the spa area, you will find the treasures of a sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy jacuzzi, foot baths, hammam (steam room with jacuzzi inside!) a crystal therapy steam room with snail showers and a couple of plunge pools with the ice machine quietly producing the goods.
But wait! If you look closely, what's that you see outside? Oh yes... Two rather fabulous hot tubs which make for a rather spectacular experience on a clear, starry night.
The soft music is very soothing, almost hypnotic as you lie, allowing each muscle and aching bone in your body to gradually uncurl.
As you lie on those longers, and look upwards, you see a window. What is that? I noticed a few curious glances. You know the type. The wrinkled noses as people squint to work out what they're looking at.
It's the gym.
Now, it's been a long, long time since I entered a gym and admittedly, I thought I would prefer to see the gym from the poolside, however, I did decide to venture through those wooden doors!
I'm so pleased I did.
Andrew is the trainer in the gym and is the most helpful, approachable and knowledgable trainer I have ever come across. Not only did I feel completely at ease with the gym equipment immediately, but he also showed me into the weights area.
Now, I'm no cardio/weight fanatic (I always preferred swimming) but, I quickly became addicted to the whole set up, and admittedly was tempted to stay a little longer!
Having become familiar once again with the cross trainer, step machine, exercise bike and my own personal favourite; the rowing machine, I felt a need to improve my fitness and stamina! The screens on each machine read your heart rate, counted the calories you were burning and showed your progress on a variety of scenarios. Added to that, you can plug in your IPod and jog on to your own motivating tunes (even though the music in the gym area does the trick!)
Hand towels and water are at hand at all times and a bowl of fruit is readily available in case you need to refuel.
Guiding me in the general direction of the weights, I held my breath as I watched in nervous anticipation as Andrew prepared a machine. Demonstrating the method of using each machine, he got the correct weight for me and allowed me to give it a go.
Carefully, over three sessions, I experienced a full body work out. It was a brilliant introduction to the gym. Not at all intimidating, and I have been in there alone....yes, without assistance, and I have used the weight machines and the cardio machines.
It's a wonderful place in general. A good work out in the gym followed by a luxurious swim, and some spa pampering ( even a treatment or two!) and finishing in the serene Zen Lounge is just the tonic for a recuperation from stress in any form.
Go on,give it a go....you know you want to!
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Have a peep at http://www.seaham-hall.co.uk
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*DISCLAIMER: I have written this review based on my own opinions entirely, I have received no monetary remuneration or payment in any other manner for writing this post.*