Digital Detox

Many people ask us if we have a good Wi-Fi connection at the hotel prior to their stay.  We do.  We are only open for 20 weeks a year and the rest of the year the hotel is utilized for people on a ski vacation to Killington.  In order to service the skiers in the winter, YES, we have Wi-Fi.

However, for a wellness vacation, think about HOW CONNECTED you really want to be.

We realize that people need to check in with home, work, etc. Especially, when staying at New Life for an extended stay.  (Interesting fact:  Half our guests stay for more than 9 nights).  We know moms want to get that quick text that the kids are OK at their own camp.  We know that business people want to make sure they can be reached for an emergency.  But, do you just want to keep up with others on an Instagram feed or scroll Facebook late at night?

Many studies lately have been linking our declining wellbeing with excessive digital device use.

According to economist, Thierry Malleret, Americans spent on average 87 hours a month browsing their smartphone last year.  According to Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey, more than 40 percent of consumers check their phones within five minutes of waking up. During the day, we look at our phones approximately 47 times and that number rises to 82 times for 18- to 24-year-olds. Once the day is over, over 30 percent of consumers check their devices five minutes before going to sleep and about 50 percent in the middle of the night.

Arianna Huffington has written a book on sleep, “The Sleep Revolution” and describes how important it is to unplug from our phone for a good night’s sleep.  From the “blue light” the phone emits to having it next to our bed while sleeping are all issues affecting our health and wellbeing.

The necessity to disconnect in order to find some quiet time to think, talk to friends or slow down, will impose itself – we all need a bit of “digital detox”.

So, while at New Life, try to take a break from the digital world.  When you get to the top of the mountain, breathe in and take a look at the surroundings (without looking at it through your smartphone).  Although, you might want to snap a quick picture.  The views are post-worthy…for when you do the photo upload when your vacation is over.

Get back to health by eating food from nature!

Nature-made food comes packed with the good stuff — vitamins, micronutrients, minerals and fiber — delivering the important nutrients that sustains life.

And then there is processed food, which contain high amounts of salt, sugar and fat. Over time, these foods alter our sense of taste, extend our waistlines and damage our cardiovascular systems. In addition to that, these packaged foods include many extra ingredients designed to enhance flavor and extend shelf life. But the health effects from these extras can range from questionable to inadvisable. Instead of nourishing our bodies, these ingredients feed our cravings and actually make us less healthy in the long run. At New Life Hiking Spa, we serve healthy, whole food, freshly prepared in our New Life kitchen by expert chefs.

Here are just a few reasons to quit your packaged-food habit:

Potassium sorbate: In a lab study, this preservative damaged DNA in human blood cells. Further investigation will be needed to determine the true risk. If you don’t want to chance it, just be aware it can be found in things you are consuming to boost your health, such as dried fruit and some dietary supplements!

Clever food engineering: Sometimes, it’s a matter of construction that can mess with our perceptions and make us want to eat more. Take the cheese puff. It is built on the principle of “vanishing caloric density.” That is, when you eat it, the air constructed into this tasty snack tricks your brain into thinking you are not getting enough calories, so it tells you to eat more.

Aspartame: For many, this artificial sweetener may serve as a green light to keep chugging soda. Yes, it does spare you from sugar’s empty calories, but studies show this stuff is actually counterproductive to weight loss. It alters the brain’s sweet receptors and prolongs sugar cravings. Researchers also found that over a decade, diet soda drinkers had a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference than non-diet soda drinkers.

Nitrites: In October 2015, the WHO deemed processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon and lunch meat as carcinogens that raise the risk of colon cancer. While the warning did not point to any one thing, nitrites added to red meat are linked to cancer in animal studies.

Instead of filling your body with fats and mysterious chemicals that may harm you in ways we don’t yet know or understand, know what you are putting into your body. Focus on real food, whole grains, fresh lean meat and plant food that comes in natural packaging.  And, while you are working on putting what nature gave us in your body, go for a hike to experience the benefits of putting your body outside in nature!

Thinking of a way to get off the cycle of bad habits?  That’s what we are here for!  A vacation at New Life Hiking Spa will get you on that track.  It’s what we do.  Take a look at www.NewLifeHikingSpa.com or give us a call at 802-353-2954.

Happy Hours of Hiking Can Restore Your Mind, Health

It’s morning at New Life Hiking Spa. You meet downstairs after breakfast with your fellow guests. You collect fruit, water and your hiking poles. Then you gather around to hear about the day’s menu of hikes.

There’s a total of 21 treks in the Vermont countryside and up in the mountains, but there will be two or three to choose from on a given morning. You might choose a starter hike, an amble along a gravel road with gentle swells and hills, shaded by maple trees as you approach bridges that span wooded rivers and creeks. You take in the picturesque Vermont countryside and cozy farmsteads.

Or you might opt for something more challenging, something that will lead you along the Appalachian and Long Trails. Perhaps you’ll choose to shape and polish your quads on the brambled inclines leading to Killington Peak, one of Vermont’s highest summits, where a flat sunny boulder awaits so you can rest and enjoy in the expanse of green pine unfurled before you — and the fact you got there on your own power.

Whatever your body can handle, there is plenty for the mind and the senses of a New Life hiker to appreciate, with the rich scenery, gentle nature sounds and sweet air to serve as an antidote to a stressful life. Choosing to be here, on a hike, is so much better than staying home and running on a treadmill. The treadmill is a great tool, but it’s a boring way to get in shape. It’s hard work, mustering the will to keep going. Hiking is not boring. There’s no hopping off. You are in it, you must finish. As a New Lifer, you don’t have to lift a finger to do something about motivation, about making time. When you’re on that path, it’s “One step at a time,” as the mantra goes. Plus, you’ll get a much better workout, walking up and down steep inclines, along roots, logs and rocks.

Exercising outside and among nature does some wonderful things for the mind and soul. Research says so. It reduces those downward spiral-inducing ruminating thoughtsboosts memory, and improves concentration and focus. Forest therapy, as one study called it. Bonus: If you see something that inspires awe, that gives you a mental boost, too.

So, you see, you are built to benefit from this hike. You need this. Your path chosen, you board a van with your fellow hikers, and you’re off for your morning hike.