Everyone has their own brand of relaxing and recovering. Whether you prefer a luxe massage at an upscale spa or a simple visit to your local manicurist, the way in which you recover is a truly personal preference.
But if you're looking to break away from your recovery routine and try something new, there are plenty of spas concocting unique treatments and experiences that take relaxation to new levels.
Here are 5 unexpected spas that may just make you re-think relaxation and recovery...
Taipei’s mountainous Beitou district is chock-full of luxury spas, tea houses, and hotels that filter heavenly sulfuric spring water, straight into their tubs.
Don’t want to drop the cash for a luxe hot springs experience? Take a public hot spring bath, instead. You’ll be getting all of the benefits of the mineral-rich water, and it will only set you back a couple bucks!
Often considered the most luxurious spa experience in the world, this Moroccan spa integrates the local hammam tradition and blends it with top skin treatments from around the world.
A hammam treatment includes fragranced steam, warm water, 'marocMaroc' hammam products, hot marble, and a black scrub. While each of these might not seem extraordinary on their own, the setting is what makes it special. Each private spa suite comes equipped with unique architecture and design elements, including a plunge pool and a private terrace.
Ready to splurge on the most luxurious spa in the world? You can book a stay, here.
A sweet-tooth’s paradise, this spa sits in the chocolate capital of America, Hershey, Pennsylvania. While traditional treatments are offered at The Spa at The Hotel Hershey, you shouldn’t miss out on one of the unique ‘Chocolate Packages’, which include facials and skin treatments that are performed entirely with antioxidant-rich chocolate.
If you're a first-time visitor to a Korean spa, or jjimjilbang, you may not use the word "relaxing" to describe the experience. Jimjilbang are very social places and they're a big part of Korean culture. That might mean a karaoke room and large groups of friends hanging out in the sauna, but jimjilbangs provide opportunities to relax, once you find the space that works for you.
Protip: All jjimjilbangs are open 24 hours and provide co-ed sleeping rooms. If you don’t mind sleeping on a mat next to a stranger, you can forgo a pricey hotel for the night.
The Siloam Sauna Jjimjilbang offers medicated baths, jade saunas, oxygen rooms, and a hearty menu of traditional Korean cuisine.
The Galos Caves in Poland are man-made, salt-iodine caves that create a microclimate of relaxation. Good news; you no longer have to travel to Poland for this experience. Chicago is now home to the first salt cave in the U.S. Salt caves are said to help cure respiratory and digestive diseases, sinus infections, and much more.
While the experience is more utilitarian and less ‘spa-like’, the warmly lit space sure is relaxing, and all you have to do is breathe!
One of our favorite things about being the Official Recovery Footwear of XTERRA, is meeting the passionate athletes and ambassadors that make up the XTERRA community.
We had the opportunity to chat with Atlanta, GA resident and teacher of 25 years, Nozomi Wade about her XTERRA experiences, training around a busy schedule and OOFOS!
“My very first XTERRA race was in October of 2009. It was XTERRA Georgia and it was a super steep 5k. I still remember falling in love with trail running at that time.”
“I have been an XTERRA ambassador since 2012. It is truly a pleasure and honor to be an XTERRA ambassador because I love sharing the beauty of running trails, because I deeply respect and cherish nature. Before races, my husband and I get up super early to volunteer at packet pickup. We chat with all the racers, experienced and new, wishing them well for the day. And after we help, we race! I also share my love of racing with my students. I have been a 1st grade teacher for a long time. I now teach 2nd graders. My students truly love hearing about my races. Some students and parents have gotten into running because of me. They also eat healthy snacks because I talk about the importance of healthy eating. It's great to see 7 year olds choose an apple over junk food!”
“Trail running has truly changed my life. I never knew I could run and be competitive until I got into trail running. I’m also a more relaxed, happier person. I used to worry about every little thing before I started trail running, but now I just clear my head in the woods on a single path trail. It has strengthened my relationship with my husband, James, as well. It gives us yet another interest in common. James is the off road triathlete and I am the trail runner. We root for each other at races and support each others efforts.”
“I have a cup of coffee and I go out for my run. The distance is usually 5 miles unless I am training for a marathon. After the workout, I shower and go off to school to teach 27 energetic 2nd graders. On Saturdays, I either race or do a long run. On Sundays, I recover. I just walk my dog! However, during long school breaks, aside from running, I also cross train at the gym.”
“XTERRA Eastern Regional Championships at Oak Mountain on may 20, 2017! I’ll never forget it!”
“I have had other "brands" rave about their sandals and how great they were. And with these other brands, either they did nothing to help or worse, my feet or ankle started feeling bad. When I put on the OOFOS sandals, they felt unique. Then they started feeling really good. I was running/walking/standing all Saturday waiting for my husband and our friends to cross the finish line for the tri. Then there was the ambassador picnic after. It was a long day and normally my legs would be tired for the half marathon the next day, but holy cow, my legs felt fresh!!! Usually the tri happens the day before my marquis race and if I am rooting for my husband, I am running a race with tired legs … but I won my ag and I had a super awesome half! Since then, I’ve been mixing up my training and you’d think I would be sore from all the circuit training and stuff, but I still run strong. It must be the OO factor! “
“I have 3 pairs, my husband has 1 pair, my dad in japan has 1 pair and my mother-in-law has a pair! I have a pair of OOFOS for the house and on weekends I wear my "outside" OOFOS to run errands, etc. My legs are never tired now - nor to they cramp in the middle of the night like they used to.”
“At home! We do not wear regular shoes in the house. The moment I wake up in the morning, I wear OOFOS. I wear OOFOS on weekends and during teacher workdays. I would love to wear OOFOS to work every day but we teachers are not allowed to wear flip flops. But … when I get the OOFOS shoes (OOmg!), I will be all set at school!”
“Absolutely! Why? Because OOFOS really works. These sandals are so good for you. I have not looked at my foam roller for months, thanks to OOFOS. My feet, ankles, legs, and back are thankful to OOFOS.”
Photos Courtesy of Trey Garmin
At OOFOS, we're all about recovery. If you've ever tried on our shoes, you know what we mean. But recovery should involve a lot more than shoes, especially after full-body workouts, like climbing, cycling, or swimming.
There always seems to be a new, weird trend in recovery methods. But we found some that are weird AND trusted.
We've not tested all of these, but we're curious to hear if you have!
It may sound wacky, but drinking pickle juice has actually been proven to reduce muscle cramps after strenuous exercise, and it has enough potassium to keep you hydrated.
Try sipping on a shot glass of pure pickle juice at the first sign of cramps, and work your way up to 2 to 3 ounces once or twice/ week. On a side note, the green liquid is also said to be effective in curing the symptoms of a nasty hangover!
If you live in a big city, then we bet you have at least one friend who's hooked on deprivation tank therapy. It may sound like a fleeting fad, but the tanks have been around since the 1950's, and they've received approval by many behavioral health docs who affirm that the therapy helps to reduce the body’s stress response.
Sensory deprivation tanks are filled with salt-saturated water that allow you to float in a completely dark space. By eliminating sensory input, the brain experiences deep relaxation. Benefits range from pain management to heightened creativity.
As one smart Instagram commenter wrote under the caption of this photo, “One can’t be concerned with judgmental onlookers when they’re fast asleep.” So true!
While this odd airplane pillow does look like a bizarre Medieval torture device, the proof is in the pudding-- people love it! And it must be better than accidentally falling asleep on the shoulder of the stranger sitting next to you.
During the 2016 Rio Olympics, swimmer Michael Phelps had a whole lot people talking, and not just about his freestyle. The record-breaking champ walked in front of a televised audience of billions, sporting odd-looking purple circles across his back. People were confused, but Phelps was simply practicing ‘cupping’, an ancient form of alternative medicine.
A flammable substance is put inside of a cup made of glass, bamboo, or silicone. When the flame goes out, the cups are placed open side down on your skin. The cooling air, trapped within the cup, created a suction on the skin.
While not always recognized by Western doctors, fans of cupping therapy swear by it, saying that it helps to decrease pain and inflammation, and increases blood flow.
Who has time to be sick when there are so many fun things to do in life? Eating raw garlic has been proven to boost immune systems, so you can fight off any illnesses that might sideline you from your favorite activities. If you want to get it over with quickly, you can pop a peeled garlic clove just like a pill. But if you're a garlic lover, get creative! Chop up raw garlic to put on salads or sandwiches. Just make sure you're eating it raw, as that's the best way to get all of the nutrients.
Camping should be a restorative experience. It's a chance to leave the daily routine behind, cut down on distractions, and focus on ourselves and the nature that surrounds us. It's a chance to focus on the little things, like the crackle of the campfire and the twinkling of stars.
But for many, it's difficult to reach that peaceful place. Not because we can't find the campground, but because we all have this need to make ourselves "available" these days. So many of us struggle to disconnect, because we worry that work or family will need us.
If this challenge rings true for you, these three golden rules will help you focus and find your zen while camping.
We know it's difficult to disconnect completely. You should have your phone with you, in case of emergency. But we can distance ourselves from our devices by letting people know that we aren't available while camping. Make sure people know where you're going, and that you won't be reachable, unless it's an emergency.
Your camping trip will be full of scenes and activities you want to capture. But a simple post to social media can quickly spiral into Facebook and Twitter scrolling. By all means, take pictures of your adventures, but wait until you get home to edit or post them.
Protip: If you are really looking to ‘disconnect’, so to speak, choose a park that has spotty or no cell service. Our favorite non-WiFi campground is Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Any seasoned camper knows that your fellow adventurer-in-crime can either make or break your time in the backcountry. If you are looking to ‘get your zen on’, don’t make the mistake of traveling with someone who stresses you out.
Considering a solo camping trip? We love that idea. Solo camping gives you even more space to focus on yourself, and choose who you interact with and when. But solo camping doesn't have to be lonely. Get to know the other campers, guides, or park rangers. It's amazing how many people you can meet when you're out there on your own.
Finding your zen is about being intentional and mindful. That doesn't have to mean quiet and relaxation. If you want to be active, that's great, too! You might find your zen by challenging yourself, both physically and mentally. Pushing your boundaries in the outdoors will force you out of your head and into the moment. Perhaps you'll try hiking, rock climbing, rafting, or trail running. Give yourself the opportunity to try something new--just be sure to follow proper safety protocols and stick with someone more experienced if you're dabbling in something for the first time.
These tips may be easier said than done, but anyone who has achieved a zen-like state knows that sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone in order to appreciate all that nature has to offer. We wish you luck in your venture into mindful travel. With a little practice and a whole lot of heart, you can have a truly enlightening experience while you sleep under the stars.
OOFOS is excited to announce that we are partnering with The Outbound Collective to help launch a new outdoor event series, CamelBak Pursuit. Think of it as a 3-day summer camp for grown ups who love the outdoors...except instead of camp counselors, you'll have expert guides and pro athletes showing you the ropes.
Over two amazing weekends: Aug. 11-13 at Snowbasin, UT and Sept. 8-10 at Sanborn Park, CA (just south of San Francisco), you'll spend your days on the trail, climbing rocks, playing on the water, learning new skills, making new friends, listening to music, and relaxing by the campfire.
All expert instruction and required gear are included...as well as all of your meals, drinks, and entertainment! All you need to do is pack your bags, show up, and have an amazing time! Your schedule is 100% customizable based on your interests and skill-level, and it can be as full or as mellow as you like.
We hope that you can join us - and we'd like to provide you with an exclusive $100 discount on any 3-Day Pass to make it a bit easier good until the END OF JULY. Please use the link SALT LAKE CITY or SAN FRANCISCO to receive the discount! You can also use PURSUIT100 as a discount code.
If you can't get away for a full weekend, there are also a limited number of 1-Day Passes available so that you don't have to miss out on all the fun! If you have any questions about the event or registering, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be able to answer all of your questions!
If you love the great outdoors, then you likely want to pass along that passion for nature to your little ones. While we tend to have great childhood memories of gathering firewood and chasing squirrels, it’s no secret that our parents may have completely different recollections of those family camping trips! The truth is, they're not always fun for everyone. But they can be.
In order to make your first (or even your tenth) family camping trip go as smoothly as possible, try these tips. Preparation makes for happy kids and happy parents--especially when it comes to an excursion like camping.
If you're tent camping for the first time with your kids, make sure you're prepared for the worst-possible scenario. When you're sleeping in the elements, a little thing like rain can turn uncomfortable, quickly.
Be prepared for all types of weather, regardless of the forecast. Bring layers of dry clothing, swimsuits, and a warm synthetic coat, even if you are heading to warm conditions. In case of wet weather, bring a waterproof tarp to shelter your family from the rain. You should also have a plan for really bad weather, like thunderstorms. Is there backup shelter nearby, or can you spend the night in the car if necessary?
It's important to have options for activities as well. The trouble with family travel is often that everyone wants to do something different. Luckily, being at a campsite gives you some freedom to explore your own interests. Ask the kids what they want to do on the trip, and give everyone a designated time to explore their choice. Downtime at the campsite is a great opportunity for family members to do their own thing, while spending time together. One person can work on a puzzle, while someone else builds a campfire, or hunts for berries nearby.
The options are endless when you're camping, and everyone should be able to find something they enjoy.
Camping is great for kids, because it feeds their curiosity. Being outside is one big adventure, but those adventures can easily lead to bumps and bruises, and sometimes worse. Hiking, rafting, or even playing some frisbee at the campground could lead to an injury, so it's important to pack a well-stocked first-aid kid.
We don’t like to think about more harrowing scenarios, but it's also a good idea to locate local hospitals, and speak with your friendly park ranger before you go on day-long excursions.
So we just told you to come prepared with all types of clothing, but on the flip side, it's also important to not overpack. Be prepared, but also selective.
Kids these days are rather attached to their electronic toys, but remember that you're going camping to enjoy nature. Do you really need an iPad or a laptop?
Kids and adults alike might struggle with the idea of abandoning their screens. But once you discover how much fun can be had without them, you'll be glad you left them behind.
Congratulations for upholding the great tradition of family camping. It may seem a bit overwhelming now, but just know that you are giving them memories and traditions they can pass down to their own kids someday.
And, as always, if you need to take a load off after your camping trip with the family, we’ll be here to help you recover in style.
Let’s face it, training to swim, bike or run is hard enough. Training to swim, bike AND run (all off-road!) can take a toll on the body. That’s why OOFOS is proud to be a presenting sponsor of the XTERRA Pan-Am Tour. Reduce impact and improve recovery between sessions with OOFOS’ proprietary OOfoam technology and patented footbed design. OOFOS aren’t designed for the 1-2 hours per day you are training … OOFOS are designed for the 22 hours per day you are not!
Engineered by leading footwear-industry experts and backed by top trainers, orthopedics, podiatrists and athletes, OOFOS’ OOfoam technology …
And did we mention that OOfoam is a completely closed cell foam technology? That means no matter where you are training the dirt, sweat and tears you put into your workouts won’t be absorbed by your OOFOS. And when they get a little dusty, just throw them in the washing machine to clean them off … or, wear them to your next swim session. Even if they fall off in the river, they float!
Professional, competitive and recreational athletes alike are already recognizing the benefits of OOfoam in their athletic lives and beyond.
“I have to tell you there is one bad thing about OOFOS - no other shoes feel comfortable anymore! I love them, it feels like walking on clouds!” – Viet Honle, XTERRA Pan-Am Pro Athlete
“David and I truly have lived in our shoes since we purchased them. What a great find they were for both of us. We continue to tell others about the amazing benefits of these shoes!” – Denise and David Wright, XTERRA Competitors
“I've been mixing up my training and ya think I would be sore from all the circuit training and stuff, but I still run strong. It must be the OO factor!” – Nozomi Wade, XTERRA Ambassador & Competitor
You can check out the full line of OOFOS footwear at OOFOS.com. And be sure to come meet us at the following XTERRA Pan-Am Tour events in 2017. We will have product on-hand for sale. Or you can purchase beforehand to ensure optimal recovery heading into an event, and prepared to take the first step in recovery as soon as you finish!