The top health and wellness events to attend in 2020
Want to take a vacation that's good for your body and soul? Go to one of these events.
Mercey LivingstonCNET Contributor
Mercey Livingston is a health and wellness writer and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She's written about fitness and wellness for Well+Good, Women's Health, Business Insider, and Prevention.com among others. When not writing, she enjoys reading and trying out workout classes all over New York City.
Not that long ago if you wanted to take a healthy vacation, your best bet was to go to a fancy hotel resort spa where you'd pay tons of money for treatments, massages and maybe sip some cucumber water by a pool. While that doesn't sound so bad, your options are now much more open.
Now you can purchase a single ticket for a wellness retreat or even a one-day festival pass, and get access to the top experts and experiences in the industry for way less than what you'd pay if you tried all of those experiences on their own. Thanks to social media and an overall increase in the effort to build community around brands and wellness concepts, every year brings new options for these types of experiences.
Whether you're into immersive
experiences (think tons of classes with top trainers from around the country), want to try all of the latest healthy food trends or would rather sit in an interesting panel moderated by wellness experts while drinking a healthy cocktail or matcha, there's an event for you to go to in 2020.
If you're interested in biohacking (the idea of optimizing your health and fitness, usually through tech and wellness practices) and call yourself a Bulletproof coffee fan, the Upgrade Labs Biohacking conference will feel like a playground to you. Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof coffee (and a huge thought leader and innovator in the biohacking space) created an immersive experience for those looking to gather and learn from leading experts on topics like nutrition, genetics, fitness, brain health and try out new biohacking tech for themselves.
Think devices that promise to give you a full hour workout in less time, meditation through VR and more. This is definitely more a conference than a retreat: expect panels, talks and exhibits as well as healthy meals on site. If you want a vacation, perhaps book your hotel for a few more days and lounge on the California beaches after the conference.
Almost 30 Retreat
Dates: May 5-8, 2020
Location: Calamigos Guest Ranch in Malibu, California
Ticket prices: $2,350 to $3,295 (includes accommodations and meals)
Fans of the hit wellness podcast Almost 30 can experience the community and experts from the show at the brand's yearly retreat. The Almost 30 podcast was started by hosts Lindsey Simcik and Krista Williams originally when they were navigating the transition from their 20s to their 30s.
Now the podcast is one of the top-ranked wellness podcasts, and the hosts interview world-renowned experts in the fields of health, wellness, spirituality and personal development, such as motivational speaker and spiritual writer, Gabby Bernstein, Ayurveda expert Sahara Rose and celebrity fitness trainer Katrina Scott from Tone It Up. Even if you're not approaching your 30s, you can still get something out of the show since the audience and topics extend well beyond the 20-something demographic.
For this four-day retreat in Malibu, you can expect to hang with hosts Lindsey and Krista, meet top experts from the show, as well as work out with fitness experts, try yoga and meditation sessions, enjoy healthy meals and workshops centered about personal growth and health. If you've ever wanted to experience LA wellness and Malibu at its finest, this is the immersive retreat experience to do that.
Movement Fest by Michelob Ultra
Dates: TBA (usually in late summer or fall)
Locations: Various cities throughout the US
Price: $35 to $75 per day, depending on the city
Movement by Michelob Ultra is an unexpected yet ultimate wellness and fitness experience for those that live by the mantra: balance. Yep, you read that right: it's hosted by a beer company. Movement's tagline is "Move. Sweat. Beer," which is a pretty accurate depiction of what you'll do at this festival. I attended Michelob Ultra's inaugural event, the Ultra Fit Fest in 2018, as well as its most recent event, Movement 2019 in Austin, Texas.
Besides a laid-back and fun weekend (there's usually a pool party and a concert or DJ), you can expect plenty of fitness classes (ranging from yoga to cycling to dance cardio) all with the best-of-the-best instructors flown in from around the country. You'll also have plenty of recovery time with sessions where you can foam roll, get a Hyperice Massage Gun session and personal stretch, minifacials and even take a cooking class. The speakers and sessions center around wellness, fitness and lifestyle. The keynote motivational speakers range from top industry CEOs to pro athletes such as NFL players.
The 2020 Movement Fest will tour around six cities in the US (with open ticketing for purchase) and culminate with an invite-only industry event to close out the series (usually this event is for Michelob Ultra's roster of wellness and fitness brand ambassadors). Another thing to note is while many wellness events are marketed towards women, this event is one of the few that appeals to men as well.
Dates: TBA (its 2019 event was in July in Santa Monica, California)
Price: Tickets start at $65 per day
If fitness is your thing and you'd be more starstruck meeting a celebrity SoulCycle instructor or yoga YouTube star over a movie star, Propel Co:Labs is your kind of experience. Propel packs the weekend lineup at Propel Co:Labs every year with tons of fitness options and inspiring talks with fitness influencers and trainers like Cassey Ho, Harley Pasternak and Akin Ackman.
The event is usually over the span of one weekend, and you can pick three or so of your favorite classes to attend while you're there. You may also catch other celebrities hanging around that weekend, like Lucy Hale or Charlie XCX, who have all attended before.
Dates: June 13-14, 2020
Location: Pier 94, New York City
Price: Tickets start at $65 a day
PopSugar Play/Ground is a fitness festival held by media brand PopSugar. Every year, the brand hosts the ticketed event at Chelsea Piers in New York City. Think of it like a mini music festival, except more fitness and less live music.
PopSugar brings in top fitness trainers, popular New York workouts and celebrities to moderate and engage in panels on various topics related to health and wellness. You can also expect plenty of yoga, meditation and other wellness activities. You never know who will appear at this festival (last year Mandy Moore was a headliner).
Well and Good Retreats
March 5-8 in Tuscon, Arizona
April 16-19 in Austin, Texas
June 11-14 in Tuscon, Arizona
October 1-4 in Austin, Texas
November 12-14, the Berkshires
Price range: $1,300-3,400 (includes accommodations and food)
Well and Good's event series are multiday retreats at wellness resorts like the Miraval Austin and the Miraval Tuscon. The events are more experiential and less like a conference or summit. Think healthy cooking classes, meditation or yoga sessions in scenic outdoor areas, and daily workouts with some of the most talented fitness trainers flown in from New York City.
When you go, you can expect a fairly intimate experience where you will join around 40 other people for healthy meals, happy hours, fitness classes and talks or demos with wellness experts like Keri Glassman, RD and Nike Master Trainer, Traci Copeland. Well and Good's founders, Melisse Gelula and Alexia Brue are known to attend the retreats, as well as other editors and staff from Well and Good HQ in New York, making it a fun, interactive experience if you are a fan of the brand.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.