Body Design in Newport hosts 'fitness vacations'

When Body Design member Gail Ossipoff was looking for a vacation to better her mind and body, she scoured international destinations for that perfect combination of sandy beaches, lavish restaurants, luxurious accommodations and her beloved Pilates studios.

"But then I realized — wait, we have all that right here," said Ossipoff, who has been attending classes at the Newport Beach women's athletic and wellness center for about two years.

Ossipoff went to Body Design owner Susan Tobiessen, who opened the facility overlooking the ocean and Fashion Island in 1987, with an idea: a total fitness vacation utilizing all Newport Beach has to offer.

The first of monthly three-day fitness vacations hosted by Body Design with support from local businesses launches Friday. The getaways will combine various fitness programs and theories, spa treatments, dining with nutrition lessons, a trial of Ritual Cleanse juices and optional two nights at the Island Hotel ($1,800 for entire package), or participants can take care of their own accommodations ($1,300 for package without rooms).

Participation will be capped at eight people per vacation to keep it intimate and allow trainers to tailor the classes to each individual, Tobiessen said. Group exercises include Pilates, yoga, Zumba and other cardio workouts.

"We tried to include as many types as possible," Tobiessen said. "It's a real smorgasbord of a workout."

In between morning workouts at Corona del Mar State Beach and afternoon studio sessions, participants will dine at True Food Kitchen at Fashion Island, Zinc Café & Market and the Palm Terrace Restaurant at the Island Hotel, with tips from chefs and nutritionists on how to dine more health consciously.

"I think that this is really going to be a great way to focus on the body and kick-start an exercise program," Tobiessen said. "It's also a great way to add variety to an existing exercise program because you can experience new things on a small scale."

Already, spots for fitness vacations as far out as September are being booked, she said.

While this year is something of a trial run, if all goes well, Tobiessen would like to eventually expand the vacations to also include weeklong stays.

The vacations add a new element to Tobiessen's business model, which offers memberships ($20 per month), pay-by-class options and personal training in advanced fitness methodologies like Gyrotonics, Reformer Pilates and whole body vibration therapy.

However, the fitness vacations go beyond offering another product to clients, she said.

"If everyone can take something home with them that improves their body and mind, then that would be huge for me," Tobiessen said. "That would be my kudos."

Twitter: @speters01

Body Design

Address: 210 Newport Center Drive, Suite 3, Newport Beach

Phone: (949) 719-2600



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