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Boost Your Productivity, Take a Break

Meditation on a rooftop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at SHA Wellness Clinic (Photo courtesy

Meditation on a rooftop overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at SHA Wellness Clinic (Photo courtesy

By Sunny Lewis

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 03, 2017 ( News)

Hard-working, productive people need a break once in awhile to stay on top of their game, as many successful executives know. For instance, Mark Douglas, CEO of the Los Angeles marketing and advertising company SteelHouse, pays his employees $2,000 a year to take a vacation.

The results speak for themselves, Douglas told “Business Insider” in 2016. In the previous three years, only five people out of 250 have left the company, three for reasons unrelated to their jobs. “We have virtually zero turnover,” Douglas said, and he finds that employees who come to work recharged tend to be more productive.

Writing in the “Harvard Business ReviewShawn Achor says he’s been partnering with the U.S. Travel Association to promote the business case for taking time off from work. He finds that people who take vacations are the same people who get promoted.

Achor describes research showing that “when the brain can think positively, productivity improves by 31 percent, sales increase by 37 percent, and creativity and revenues can triple.”

That said, the question is: where can eco-conscious travelers go to enjoy a relaxing, refreshing trip, without the guilt trip?

The answer: many thousands of places.

In fact, tourism is now the world’s largest industry, with nature tourism the fastest growing segment, says the U.S.-based nonprofit Nature Conservancy .

The green lifestyle website Earth 911 says “A booming industry, eco-travel now boasts a whopping eight billion eco-tourist visits a year worldwide.”

There are luxury or bare-bones eco-friendly health retreats and activities everywhere around the world – from Italy to New Zealand, from South Africa to Norway, Australia, Bali or Hawaii, from Costa Rica to France, from California to Japan – just spin the globe and stop it with your finger. Chances are you can find a marvelous eco-travel destination wherever your finger lands.

For more structured advice to help travelers choose from among the multitude of destinations, have a look at London-based Their travel experts offer their constantly updated suggestions for the Top 10 in a variety of categories: the best yoga or detox retreats, beach spa holidays, de-stress, wellness or weight loss getaways, fitness breaks, sportsholidays and more for singles, couples, families or groups. Prices are given on the site.

Their top suggestion for a yoga retreat is the Absolute Sanctuary Yoga on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand, a good choice for finding balance: mentally, physically and spiritually. Classes feature a wide variety of styles for beginners and advanced yogis. The Love Kitchen restaurant serves “super-foods from produce that is locally hand-picked.” A garden, library, spa, massages, a steam room and swimming pool are among the amenities.

For their top luxury de-stress experience, recommends the SHA Wellness Clinic in the seaside resort town of Alfaz del Pi on the Costa Blanca, Alicante Province, Spain.

This wellness spa and medical clinic offers activities founded on both Eastern and Western philosophies to promote a healthy balanced lifestyle. These include outdoor yoga sessions and macrobiotic cooking classes, an oxygen bar and floatarium, shiatsu, deep tissue massage, reflexology and stone therapy, as well as a hydrotherapy area with therapeutic pools and sauna.

One of the Top 10 in the Healthy Breaks category is the Kurotel Longevity Medical Centre and Spa just outside the mountainous tourist town of Gramado in the state of Rio Grande do Sul at Brazil’s southern tip.

This destination offers one-to-one consultations with medical, psychological and nutritional experts, a team that specializes in helping guests form sustainable, healthy habits without deprivations. All treatments feature local products prepared by an onsite cosmetics company.

Eco-conscious adventurers might want to experience the New Zealand’s Whanganui River on North Island, which earlier this month became the world’s first river to be granted legal status as a person.

The indigenous Maori people won an decades-long legal battle when on March 15 the New Zealand Parliament established a new legal framework for the river, New Zealand’s longest navigable waterway.

The 290 km-long Whanganui River offers great paddling adventures for canoe or kayak safaris, with easy-to-access huts and campsites dotted along the riverbanks. An overnight stay at Tieke Marae is a special highlight. Run by local Maori, the stop offers a chance to see local customs in action.

The river flows through the Whanganui National Park, a unique landscape of river valley systems with steep slopes and sharp ridges covered with native lowland forest.

The New Zealand Department of Conservation provides three Great Walk hikers’ huts and many campsites along the path of the Whanganui Journey. Jet-boating, cycling, hiking, bird watching are a few of the other ways to enjoy the river and the national park.

The Whanganui Journey is a remote and peaceful canoeing experience on the Whanganui River. (Photo courtesy NZ Dept. of Conservation) Creative Commons license via Flickr)

The Whanganui Journey is a remote and peaceful canoeing experience on the Whanganui River. (Photo courtesy NZ Dept. of Conservation) Creative Commons license via Flickr)


And in Chile, eco-tourists will have plenty to explore when they visit Patagonia, where the largest land donation in history from a private entity to a country was finalized on March 17.

Kristine and Douglas (1943–2015) Tompkins, American business leaders who made their fortunes from clothing brands The North Face, Esprit, and Patagonia gave Chile more than 407,000 hectares through their charitable foundation Tompkins Conservation.

Their donation will help create the Route of Parks, a planned 17-park network spanning more than 1,500 miles of Chile’s Patagonia region from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn.

Visitors exploring this year can start with Pumalín Park, which has been a private park with public access about the size of the state of Rhode Island first established by Douglas Tompkins. As part of the Route of Parks, the government of Chile is converting Pumalin into a national park for the enjoyment of nature-loving Chileans, global adventurers and tourists from around the world.

Featured Image :Outdoor yoga at Absolute Sanctuary Yoga

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