South Beach Vacations are Good for the Heart
South Beach is known for its beautiful beaches, nightlife and incredible dining.
That said, a stay in Miami’s trendy party scene doesn’t have to leave you feeling sluggish, hungover or in need of a major detox.
I recently visited SoBe on a mission to enjoy all it has to offer—including its amazing food scene—while maintaining a sense of healthy living. I was a bit skeptical at first, but with the help of YouFit gyms and a stay at The Gates South Beach, I can safely say I struck the perfect balance.
When it comes to accommodations, you’re definitely going to want a fitness-friendly hotel that’s preferably right by the beach. The Gates South Beach, SoBe’s newly reimagined art-deco lifestyle hotel, is just that.
Located in the heart of SoBe, this chic hotel is situated on the famous Collins Avenue, just a short walk away from all the star-studded hotspots, shopping and restaurants. For those interested in arts and culture, it’s conveniently located nearby countless art galleries and museums such as the Bass Museum of Art, Jackie Gleason and Adriane Arsht Center of Performing Arts and more.
The hotel itself is everything you’d imagine a stylish ocean-side boutique hotel would be. Not only is it built on the foundation of the 1954 Ankara Motel and maintains its Art Deco-inspired exterior, but it also exudes a very vintage glamour feel once you enter.
My favorite part is the vibrant collection of award-winning photographer Jorge de la Torriente. Throughout the hotel, you can find his unique bird’s eye view photographs of South Florida’s beachy, vibrant culture, which really pop against the neutral tones of the hotel’s interior.
Other perks include a palm tree-lined pool with double-sided cabanas, seafoam green lounge chairs and stripped couches in communal seating areas. An expanded pool deck leads you to the restaurant and an overall relaxing ambiance.
The Gates South Beach gives guests access to fashionable, custom-designed bikes whenever they want to take a ride. Moreover, I was happy to find that the guest rooms came furnished with blackout shades and a selection of protein and hydration beverages to help you recover post-workout.
The impressive gym is open 24-hours with eleven different types of fitness equipment and accessories, including free weights and medicine balls; a stationary bike from Wattbike for indoor-cycling or interval training; and a very tech-driven GymRax training system with touchscreen display, providing equipment tutorials and guided workout routines.
This proved to be super helpful for me, as I can get pretty indecisive when it comes to figuring out where to start in the gym.
Looking for something more personalized when it comes to your sweat sessions?
That’s where YouFit comes in. Unlike a lot of gyms that make you feel bad for not losing weight (or is that just me?), YouFit emphasizes your health and how you feel rather than a number on a scale. With 13 gyms in Miami alone, you’re never too far for a quick workout.
While I’m a former D1 collegiate tennis player, I admittedly hadn’t lifted weights in years. However, the moment I was introduced to my personal trainer for the session, I knew I was in good hands (and that I was in for a butt kicking!).
After we chatted about my personal fitness goals (both short and long-term), my health and how I feel about where I am physically, he immediately knew which exercises to get me started on.
Not only did I feel like my trainer understood what I wanted to achieve out of my workout, but he also motivated me in a way that made it seem like we’ve worked together for years! I really pushed myself. (Which is why I was literally sore for five days afterward.)
The workout was intense, yet purposeful and surprisingly fun.
“One win leads to ten different wins. If I can get you to go to the gym three days a week for three weeks in a row, then all the sudden you’re going to order healthier food, you’re going to want to shop better and smarter, you’re going to think about your sleep,” explains YouFit Chief Operating Officer, J.J. Creegan.
When it comes to food, there are lots of healthy eateries that focus on organic, fresh and tasty food. Raw Juce, Organic Bites and Joe & The Juice are some casual spots that offer everything from smoothie bowls and cold-pressed juices to killer avocado toasts and veggie-packed green salads.
For a more indulgent night out, plan a dinner at Lure Fish Bar, which features a menu full of fresh seafood, raw bar, shellfish towers, plus sushi and appetizers like grilled octopus and Alaskan king crab cakes.
“Everything that we do particularly at YouFit is about momentum,” said Creegan. “Momentum for us as an organization, momentum for our members: It’s about every visit to the gym being a victory. If you show up x amount days, that will lead to x amount of days more. The only way you create momentum is about repeating positive action.”