Rendezvous trailside wellness program
Visit Winter Park, Colorado
Trailside Wellness Program: A self-guided, interactive fitness experience at Rendezvous Colorado
Like any mountain town, Winter Park and its residents are a model example of positive health and fitness. It’s really no surprise, seeing as endless hiking and biking trails surround the Fraser Valley, and world class skiing is right out the back door at the hometown mountain of Winter Park Resort.
Still, many mountain dwellers supplement their active lifestyles by utilizing local gyms – facilities such as Fraser’s Grand Park Community Recreation Center or Granby’s Mountain Life Fitness.
And while these facilities are surely great assets for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, they lack one of the components that drew so many of its visitors to the mountains in the first place – being outside.
That’s all about to change with the new Trailside Wellness Program at Rendezvous. Through a partnership with Tina Vindum, the founder of Outside Fitness, Rendezvous has integrated their existing network of hiking and biking trails with Vindum’s Outdoor Fitness expertise.
“The goal,” Vindum says, “is to really get people outdoors and understand that you can feel rejuvenated – in mind, body, and soul – while getting to know the terrain.”
According to Vindum, who holds a Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology and also happens to be an ex-professional alpine skier, there are just some things that can’t be achieved in an indoor fitness setting.
“Nature is the ultimate health and wellness facility,” she says. “Time is being prescribed outside by doctors. It’s a natural medicine.”
In her studies, Vindum has found that forest bathing – or exposure to parks, greenery and the outside environment – reduces cortisol levels, blood pressure, and pulse, while also creating a quantifiable physiological response in both the central nervous system and autonomous nervous system. This results in calming of the senses and a reduction in stress levels. Couple that with regular exercise routines, and the final result is a healthier mind and a healthier body.
So how does the Trailside Wellness Program actually work? On designated trails, hikers (and bikers) will find QR codes printed on trailheads and trail markers, which can be scanned with a mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet. After scanning the code, users will be presented with workout videos, exercises, and activities that are specifically customized to their exact trail and location. Stations are spaced out intermittently along the trails, providing a range of activities from start to finish.
“It’s set up so that you can learn about the area, and then we give you an exercise right there,” says Vindum. “You can integrate with the property and take in your natural surroundings.”
The outcome is a fitness program that satisfies everyone – from the individual athlete who may be training for an upcoming competition, to the visiting family who is looking for a fun, structured activity with the kids and grandparents.
“When have you worked out on a tree stump before?” asks Vindum. “When have you practiced balance on a downed log? It’s new; something fresh, and it’s hopefully fun. We all need to exercise because no one has a pass – even if you are a gym rat.”
Plus, the program is still in its beginning stages. Having only just launched in the summer of 2016, Rendezvous hopes to expand the program to integrate mountain biking during the summer months, in addition to winter sports once the snow begins to fall. Stations incorporating snowshoeing or cross-country skiing are on the horizon, and will hopefully be implemented in the near future.
And for those who may be thinking, “Well, this is all great, but I wish I was a member of the Rendezvous community,” that is a non-issue. All of the Rendezvous trails are open to the public (as they always have been), and there is no registration requirement to participate in the Trailside Wellness Program. It’s really just as easy as downloading a QR scanning application on any phone or mobile device, hopping on the trail with a positive attitude, and getting started.
“The idea is that Rendezvous just has so much to offer,” says Vindum. “Sure, it’s a private residence area, but the goal is to share it; to unite anyone. Nature is best when shared.”
To learn more about the Trailside Wellness Program at Rendezvous, visit rendezvouswellness.com
An East Coast transplant, Tyler grew up just north of Baltimore, Md., where he studied Journalism and New Media at nearby Towson University. He moved to Grand County in the fall of 2011, and aside from a brief stint in Bozeman, Mont., has called the Fraser Valley home ever since. Currently, he is a freelance writer and photographer who spends the majority of his free time snowboarding, cycling, and hanging out at the local skatepark.