Guest blog – A place for coastal fitness

We believe in making time for yourself. And, whilst Watergate Bay means many things to many people and offers different experiences, it is place for fitness as well as relaxation, and we don’t just mean surfing! It offers an opportunity to escape your usual routine, transform your fitness in a challenging and beautiful location.


“Working out in nature is the ultimate antidote to modern life” says Emma Bodkin, fitness instructor from Mountain and Beach Fitness Retreats.

We asked Emma Bodkin from Mountain Beach Fitness Retreats to explain why nature holds the secret to inspiring fitness.

Emma and her team are hosting the next coastal fitness weekend at Watergate Bay on 11-13 May and 8-10 June.


Be inspired by the outdoors

Scarily modern life and chronic stress is having a detrimental effect on our brains. Amazingly working out in nature has been proven to reverse this effect so you can save yourself and reap some positive mood benefits too.

Is life stressing you out? The long term build-up of cortisol in your brain is associated with numerous health problems as well as physiological changes in the brain. There is a disruption to synaptic regulation and chronic stress can lead to the shrinking of the prefrontal cortex the area responsible for learning and memory. Don’t worry neuroplasticity means we can reverse these changes to neural pathways.

Boost your body, mind and brain!


We all know exercise is good for your body in numerous ways. A sweaty workout can reduce anxiety, depression and increase self-esteem and sex drive. You get the feel good factor with a boost to  your dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters too. Evidence says aerobic exercise preserves memory, brain volume and executive functioning.

The effect is magnified when you work out in nature. Ideally this is untouched wilderness but even being surrounded by trees and green space will do your brain a favour. Gardens have long been known for their therapeutic benefits and have been conscientiously built in urban areas to diffuse the madness. Even a 15 min walk in the woods can induce noticeable changes to our physiology


‘The art of healing comes from nature not from the physician’ Paracelsus.

Come and join Mountain Beach Fitness Retreats on the wild Atlantic coast. Embrace the elements, feel the sea spray on your face, sand beneath your toes the fresh air in your lungs. Work your body and save your brain while you train.

Coastal fitness at Watergate Bay with Mountain Beach Fitness Retreats – 11-13 May and 8-10 June.

Two days of beach circuits, coastal runs, cliff hikes, core conditioning and sea swimming as well as two nights at Watergate Bay Hotel and time in Swim Club. Expect guided innovative sessions are based around functional fitness, primal movement patterns and using the body as a whole.

Beach yoga - Coastal Fitness

This is what our guests had to say…

“If you are looking for the perfect combination of  fun, fitness and a fabulous destination, then this is it.

 Morning beach circuits, a guided coastal “run” and a day that finished with soul restoring stretching and yoga; I have no idea how Lottie and Emma pack so much into a day ensuring you finish feeling elated not exhausted.

It is more of an escape from reality than a retreat as all of this takes place in the most magical location with the ability to have a fabulous glass of something chilled as you watch the sun go down at the end of the day.” –  Sarah Atkins 


Fantastic weekend! Just what I needed. I didn’t realise I’d got so used to doing my own stuff that it wasn’t really challenging me. This weekend felt so good form that point of view. Love the feeling of having really worked my body.” – Ruth


“You girls are really amazing and inspiring – thanks so much and well done!” – Jacqueline


A bit about Emma,

Co-founder of Mountain Beach Fitness Retreats, personal trainer Level 3 Diploma

Emma spends half her time up a mountain at teaching at altitude in Verbier, France and the other on the hills, fells and coastline of England. Fascinated by the bidirectional relationship between the mind and body, believing anyone can use psychological techniques as a catalyst to push their performance limitations. Her own endurance races include three marathons in three days and mountain ultra marathons. A true advocate of outdoor fitness Emma promotes moving in a functional way.


For more details visit our webpage or to make a booking please contact our events team

01637 861 295.

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