5 ways to relax near Vail, from nearby hot springs to IV bars
Special to the Daily
Editor’s note: This story originally ran in Everything Vail Valley, available on magazine racks.
In the Vail Valley, we like to charge hard. Whether we’re racking up the vertical feet on the mountains, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing through snowy vistas, hiking the area’s many trails or snowmobiling in the backcountry, the Vail community centers around outdoor activity. However, we don’t always take the time to re-charge.
If all that mountain fun has left you tired, sore or simply in need of a day off, then the area’s vibrant health and wellness community has an answer for you. Here are five of our favorite ways to relax and recover in the Vail Valley.
Get your om on
There’s nothing like a little down dog to help loosen up tight muscles. Plus, the measured, deep breathing of yoga can help calm anxiety.
At the Vail Vitality Center, most classes will incorporate restorative poses, which focus on gentle recovery, said instructor Kirstie Lovelace.
“We do a lot of restorative flow precisely because we do live in a ski town, whether it’s in a vinyasa class or something like our Yin and Restore class,” she said.
For skiers, restorative poses such as pigeon pose can loosen and relax tight hips and legs. Shoulder openers can undo some of the stiffness caused by holding poles for hours on end. Plus, yoga builds balance and strength, which are vital for any snowsports.
Also, check out Dogma Athletica, which boasts a yoga program targeting mountain athletes. Options such as the Flow + Restore class combines vinyasa techniques with gentle stretching and restorative poses. Another favorite — Yoga for Stiff People — helps new yogis, stiff athletes or folks recovering from injuries modify postures to safely strengthen and gain flexibility.
Get calm to the core with meditation
For those really looking to slow down and reconnect, both the Vail Vitality Center and Dogma Athletica offer weekly, guided meditation classes.
If you’ve never meditated before, then don’t be intimidated. The classes are beginner friendly, and an instructor will walk you through the process of quieting your mind, fully engaging in the moment and focusing within.
“In so doing, participants reap the benefits that are touted in mainstream media currently — clarity, relaxation, lower blood pressure, well-being and an experience of inherent kindness,” said Dogma substitute instructor and trainer Elena Georgouse, who taught a weekly, free meditation class at the gym.
Meditation might help you be more aware of your form or preparations the next time you get on the hill.
“It’s also helpful when one wants to improve skill because the practice builds greater awareness and we become skilled at paying attention to life and activity,” she said.
Dogma’s classes are at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays, and the Vitality Center’s classes are at 5:40 p.m. on Sundays.
Loosen up with a massage
For anyone who has taken one too many falls while snowboarding, that sore neck or stiff back can really put a damper on your day, not to mention prevent you from hitting the slopes the way you’d like.
One option that is particularly fitting for Colorado is to indulge in a cannabidiol (CBD) oil massage. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, and it contains no THC — the psychoactive component of marijuana.
What CBD does do is relax and soothe muscles thanks to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, making CBD oil or salve a great addition to any massage. Some targeted salve can loosen muscles just enough so that your therapist can target your problem areas, not to mention it will leave you feeling so relaxed you’ll want to melt into the table.
“It’s so appropriate in a ski area where people have sore or aching muscles,” said Lisa Dekoster, guest relations at the Vail Vitality Center. She adds that their therapists uses a brand of salve that’s oil grown and made from natural, non-toxic processes. “You just get the beneficial medicinal properties with no high.”
Simply Massage — in Vail and Avon — is another CBD massage option. These locations are especially useful if you’re looking for a last-minute massage, as they typically can offer appointment spots in a pinch.
Rehydrate with an IV treatment
Getting poked with a needle in order to connect to a bag of fluids may not sound like some people’s idea of a relaxing experience, but intravenous treatments for health are all the rage, touting benefits from hangover cures to immunity boosters.
One particularly effective use is to treat dehydration, an underlying problem for many visitors suffering altitude sickness, anyone who has been exerting themselves more than usual or who imbibed in one too many drinks the night before.
The treatments can provide a quick, direct infusion of fluids, vitamins and minerals into your bloodstream that would not be as effective if taken orally.
The experience begins with a health assessment and consultation to rule out any health issues and target needs.
The treatments are tailored and dosed per individual and overseen and administered by experienced doctors, physician’s assistants and nurses.
At ThriveMD, you can even get the treatment at your home or hotel with their mobile service. Try out a treatment at ThriveMD or iV Bars Vail Valley, both in Edwards.
Soak in a mineral hot spring
For those willing to make the drive, the ultimate rejuvenating soak awaits in Glenwood Springs, home to several mineral hot springs.
Families will enjoy the pool atmosphere at Glenwood Hot Springs, while those looking for a quieter, spa-like experience will like Iron Mountain Hot Springs. At both springs, visitors will soak in natural spring water containing more than a dozen minerals, which fans swear can revitalize the skin, calm the nerves, detoxify the body and refresh the oxygen levels.
Iron Mountain Hot Springs boasts 16 small tubs and a larger family pool, with temperatures that range from 98 to 108 degrees. A bar and cafe offer refreshments so that you can sip and fill up while you soak and take in the views.
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