Five endorphin-boosting programmes around the world

As winter comes to a close and springtime dawns upon us, it’s time to say goodbye to the winter blues and embrace the feel-good hormones with these five endorphin-boosting programmes.

Skijoring at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, St Moritz  

For over 150 years, St Moritz has been recognised as the playground of the international elite. Similar to the city in which it can be found, and ever since its origination in December 1864, Badrutt’s Palace, has been synonymous with indulgence and extravagance, a true celebration of style, sports, culinary adventures, and wellness in the Swiss Alps.

Tapping into its history of sporting excellence, while staying at Badrutt’s Palace you are invited to experience an array of high-octane activities ranging from the familiar to the atypical, including skijoring, a sport of Norwegian origin translating roughly as ‘ski driving’, where you are strapped to skis and pulled around the frozen lake St Moritz by a horse. Dating back to the days when Arctic hunters harnessed reindeer to cross the frozen landscape in search of food, this traditional transportation gradually evolved, developing into the adrenaline-fuelled sport that made a once-only appearance in the 1928 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, the town where it has now become a winter spectacle. You can experience the thrill of the sport with the help of a jockey, who will steer the horse as they ski, providing a safer, yet no less thrilling experience. Perhaps more palatable, those whose preference for safety outweighs their intrigue may enjoy the excitement of the sport as a spectator at the annual White Turf.

Motivate body and mind on the Mediterranean coast at the Marbella Club

Surrounded by spacious sub-tropical gardens, golden sands, the Sierra Blanca mountains and year-round sunshine, the Marbella Club is a restorative Mediterranean haven with a progressive approach to fitness and wellbeing. Ideal if you already incorporate moderate-intensity exercises into your routine, the four-night Optimal Fitness and Energy retreat has been designed to boost endorphins, increase stamina and improve physical and mental performance.

The retreat begins with a visit to Marbella Club’s Holistic Studio for a personalised fitness evaluation of muscular strength, flexibility and aerobic ability, followed by a nutrition consultation with a resident naturopath nutritionist, including bio-energetic testing on the Quest machine. The retreat includes two intensive sports massages and four personal training sessions with the choice of Pilates, functional strength training, TRX suspension-based training, yin yoga, a 21km cycle tour and a run along the beach promenade, as well as guided hiking, cross-country walking, boxercise and cross-training. The retreat will work in tandem with the hotel’s wellness chef, Andrés Ruiz who creates tailored retreat menus that are seasonal, nutritious and refined-sugar free, but never restrictive. If you wish to make the most of the Marbella Club’s beachfront location, you can also enjoy a range of water activities from paddle surfing, kayaking and windsurfing, to scuba diving and snorkelling.

Three Mile Beach launches new endorphin-boosting three-night cold water therapy programme

This season, Three Mile Beach, a collection of luxury beach houses in south Cornwall, launched a new three-night Cold Water Therapy Programme designed to boost endorphins. Available for individuals and private groups, the programme will celebrate the reinvigorating and restorative properties of water through bracing surf lessonsadrenaline-fuelled coasteering and newly-introduced private Wim Hof Method workshops – a synergy of breathwork, hot & cold therapy, restorative yoga, sound healing and meditation.

On the first day, you will take to the seas of nearby Gwithian Beach for a two-hour private surf lesson to uncover the therapeutic nature of surfing, now prescribed by the NHS for effectively improving confidence, resilience and self-esteem. The afternoon will continue with a dedicated five-hour Wim Hof Method workshop led by Cornwall-based Soul Sweats, who will introduce you to the three powerful pillars: Breathing Technique, Cold Therapy and Commitment, before teaching conscious breathwork with hot and cold therapy as you flow between an ice filled oak barrel and their private cedar-wood barrel sauna. A meditative sound bath on the beach will follow before a restorative yin yoga class to finish the day. The next morning, you will take the plunge with a three-hour guided coasteering session, combining wild sea swimming with low-level traversing, bouldering and steep cliff rock jumping, offering an opportunity to put recently learnt breathing techniques into action.

Reach your optimal weight and health with SHA Wellness Clinic’s endorphin-boosting tailored programme

Since its inception in 2008, SHA Wellness Clinic’s team of award-winning certified experts have successfully merged ancient philosophies with the most revolutionary advancements in Western medicine to generate scientifically proven results. Its flagship clinic, located between Spain’s Sierra Helada National Park and the Bay of Altea in Alicante, has transformed the lives of over 70,000 guests, physically and mentally, earning its position as one of the most effective medical spas in the world.

SHA’s expertise span an extensive range of health issues from stress management to sleep recovery. Its active Optimal Weight programme encourages you to escape everyday life and focus on achieving an ideal weight suitable for your physical constitution, metabolism and profile whilst reaping the mental benefits associated with a boost in endorphins. The programme works towards these goals in a healthy, progressive and balanced way. Throughout the seven, 14, or 21 day programme, those enrolled will be under the supervision of SHA’s team of professionals as they partake in fitness sessions, follow a bespoke food and health plan, and receive a combination of natural therapies and high-tech treatments. The programme combines individual training shown to increase effort levels, and group training, proven by studies to boost mental well-being, physical fitness and emotional stability, also reducing perceived stress levels. Outside of the programme, additional complimentary group activities include hikes through l’Albir as the sun rises and Nordic walking in the National Park, offering true immersion in nature and a positive physiological response on completion. Returning from SHA, guests will take home new, healthy lifestyle recommendations and activities to provide continuity and avoid a rebound effect.

The Wim Hof Method full day workshop at Beaverbrook, Surrey

The cold is our warm friend, our mirror and our teacher” Wim Hof. In this day long programme, The Coach House Spa invites you to put yourselves in the expert hands of a certified WHM Instructor and learn the three pillars of the Wim Hof Method: Breathing Technique, Cold Exposure and Commitment. Through a series of demonstrative and interactive practices, you will discover how to utilise oxygen and cold exposure to optimise body and mind, as well as learning more about your underlying physiology in the process.

Each workshop begins with a session on the principles of breathing for stress management as well as instruction in breath holding techniques for optimum results. You will be guided in the practice of ‘controlled hyperventilation’ whereby the body is put under brief periods of stress as a method of building resilience to everyday stressors.  The practice involves a period of deep and vigorous breathing followed by a retention period.  Following this, you are invited to put your new skills to the test with a bracing 6-minute ice bath as well as time to reflect on their experience. Limited to just eight participants, the intimacy of the workshop allows for ample personal attention, and specific feedback tailored to you and The Coach House Spa’s dedicated WHM instructor, Alex Davie, is on hand to assist and answer any questions throughout the workshop.