To Your Health

By Eric Snider

To Your Health: Florida’s Paradise Coast is the Place for Wellness

There are countless ways to find true wellness on Florida’s Paradise Coast. Just being here is a good start. Warmth and sunshine do a body, mind and spirit good.

But it goes well beyond that. Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades is part of the Blue Zones Project, which is helping transform communities around the U.S. into areas where living healthy is easy. And by all means, that includes visitors too.

Florida’s Paradise Coast offers a wealth of wellness — healthy eating, fun physical activity, friendly social interaction, a warm, welcoming environment. And love. There’s lots of love in Paradise.

As you read this, consider how you’re feeling. Room for improvement? Come see us.  

Namaste a While

As a destination that’s become a wellness mecca, Naples, Marco Island and The Everglades has so many yoga classes you can practically drop a mat anywhere. We have classic yoga studios, yoga programs in our resorts, power yoga in 90-degree rooms, yoga on a paddleboard, yoga for fitness, yoga for relaxation, yoga for inner peace, and yoga for love. But for an optimal Paradise Coast yoga experience, please head to the beach. Instructors hold regular classes at gorgeous Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Lowdermilk Park and Seagate Beach, all north of downtown Naples, and on Marco Island. Get relaxed and renewed — and experience sun salutations in a whole new light.

Wha-SUP

It might not look it, but stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is pretty darn easy. And that makes it an ideal vacation activity. A quick lesson, and you’re up and gliding. You may topple and get wet a time or two, but that’s part of the fun. The Gulf of Mexico’s generally calm waters make for smooth paddleboarding, and you can also skim through canals, marinas, lagoons or — if you want to amp up the eco-exotic — head out to The Everglades. Rent paddleboards from Paddle Marco, Naples Outfitters, All Water Excursions and others on Florida’s Paradise Coast. Most offer kayaks as well and provide instruction, tours and group outings.

Worth Your Salt

It’s a centuries-old treatment called halotherapy, and it just might make you feel like an angel.

As it turns out, salt isn’t just good for sprinkling on food. It’s good for your lungs, too, as well as your overall health. Salt Cave is located in an unassuming storefront on U.S. 41 in north Naples. Inside, beyond the New Age-y lobby and shelves of crystals, you’ll enter an otherworldly, 450-square-foot space with an orange-y glow and soothing music. This unique room replicates the micro-climate of a salt mine by dispersing saline aerosol. Breathing the salt-infused air creates an all-natural healing effect.

Eat Well, Drink Well, Dance Well, Shop Well

Wellness takes on many forms, and sometimes it’s a lively night out that combines a healthy meal with some socializing, dancing, and maybe a libation or two. Mercato — a dining, shopping and entertainment complex — has established itself as a hipper alternative to the more posh and traditional offerings in downtown Naples. Soul Bowls serves innovative meals with an emphasis on organic ingredients. Zoe’s Kitchen has fresh Mediterranean. At Cavo Lounge, you can get your dance on to live acts and DJs. While hanging at Mercato, mix in a little shopping, art browsing or a massage at Hand & Stone — any and all of it will contribute to your well-being.

In-Spa-ration  

You can walk into a spa for an hour-long massage or a nice facial. Standard stuff. Good stuff. But The Spa by JW, located at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, has re-imagined the spa experience. It’s not as much about what’s on the treatment menu as the outcome you’re seeking. The spa offers four “benefit states:” calm, indulge, invigorate, and renew, none of which you can go wrong with. The 24 upstairs treatment rooms are complemented by a downstairs social space. Best of all, the wellness doesn’t just take place in the spa — there’s sunset yoga classes on the beach and special pool yoga classes, not to mention a state-of-the-art fitness center and healthy choices in the restaurants. Overall, Florida’s Paradise Coast is known for its wide range of spa offerings, from the Eastern-influenced Om Spa to stand-alone spas throughout the destination. Other top-flight resort spas include Inn on 5th, the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, Naples Grande Beach Resort, The Ritz-Carlton Naples, and many others.