Whether you’re a fitness fan, road warrior, harried homemaker, over extended executive or a confirmed couch potato, you will willingly lace up your shoes and head on out to the swankiest wellness digs around at the Four Seasons Westlake Village.
Awarded number one resort in Southern California by the 2014 Conde Naste readers, start by settling into your spacious room and walking the well- appointed public rooms and grounds. As you get the lay of the land you will begin to appreciate the unique juxtaposition of world class resort, wellness and spa facilities. You will also observe the staff’s subtle intent to embrace and practice the the philosophy of Kaizen, the Japanese technique to achieve sustainable change through small realistic steps.
David Murdock, the vibrant nonagenarian chairman and sole owner of the Fortune 500, Dole Foods Company Inc., conceived of, designed and oversees the Westlake property. Intent on moving wellness beyond his product line, he was convinced that the multifaceted factors influencing health need to be applied to the general population. This innovator collaborated with the world’s best research minds—-including renowned geneticist, Dr. Andrew Conrad and WellPoint, the nation’s largest healthcare provider—-to start a unique, world-class, fountain of wellness, The California Institute and Longevity Center, CHLI, in 2006.
David Murdock continues to fund research, and, in 2010, published The Dole Nutrition Handbook, What to Eat and How to Live For a Longer, Healthier Life, a compilation of science-based facts from leading scientific and nutrition experts on easily-obtainable lifestyle, diet and exercise regimens.
Additional developments spearheaded by Mr. Murdock include the North Carolina Research Campus, (http://www.ncresarchcampus.net), near Charlotte, North Carolina. This high tech life science research center is dedicated to the betterment of the world’s health and nutrition. Murdock’s development will integrate the research and programs of leading academic circles with eight universities (including Duke, NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill), biotech companies and private enterprise in superb facilities with unparalleled scientific equipment.
Mr. Murdock has engaged Duke researchers to conduct the “Murdock Study,” which is designed to use advanced technologies to identify genomic linkages within and across diseases and disorders. Some examples include Hepatitis C., cardiovascular disease, obesity and osteoarthritis. The study’s goal is to improve the way debilitating diseases are predicted and treated, and eventually lead to changes in medical practice, healthier populations and a textbook of medicine that reflects scientific and clinical advances of the 21st century.
In keeping with the latest research, the Center provides cutting edge concierge diagnostic and medical treatment services, lifestyle coaching, a nutrition-focused wellness kitchen, state of the art fitness center and an award-winning spa adjacent to the institute.
In addition the center offers customized services for locals, hotel guests and high profile individuals. A significant part of the Center’s clientele consists of corporate groups who recognize and want to support the well being and development of their employees through the institute’s Leadership Performance Program. This is a customized suite of topics and activities that includes components designed to achieve specific desired outcomes. The Executive Health Emersion Program supports senior leaders to focus on their personal health to drive optimal corporate goals. Workshops, keynote addresses, training and team building sessions are tailored to realize specific company objectives.
Although we all give lip service to the need for work-life integration, we seldom carve out the time to make it happen. There are many ways to tap into this comprehensive wellness facility, but one of the most enjoyable and efficient first steps is to customize your own weekend workout by choosing from their array of a la carte services. This simply amounts to booking a room and planning some time to explore, schedule, experience and enjoy the benefits of this unique compound. No boot camp warriors needed here, this is a balanced, sane approach to upping your current exercise and fitness ante, while enjoying all aspects of the property.
Start by scheduling some baseline assessments in the fitness center. This facility offers something for everybody from high tech diagnostics including the ‘Bod Pod’, resting Metabolic Testing, Vo2 Metabolic Testing and Posture & Movement Assessment. They also offer advice on the optimal use of low and high tech equipment.
The first stop is the Bod Pod. You sit in this capsule for 45 seconds to get an accurate reading of your percentage of body fat. This is an essential piece of information to begin the development of your personalized fitness plan. Weight alone does not tell the story. One of the nurses who performs this assessment has a twin who is 10 pounds heavier, yet her body fat is less than her lighter weight sister because the twin has more lean muscle.
The next stop is the Metabolic Testing. This procedure identifies the number of calories you burn while at rest. This test gives you a baseline for calculating daily optimal caloric intake even before you add in any activity.
Then comes the VO2 Metabolic Testing that indicates the amount of oxygen used during aerobic exertion. This measure helps determine how you need to adjust your aerobic exercise to reach peak performance for your desired goals.
Finally the Posture and Movement Testing assess total body strength and flexibility during stable and moving exercises. The results are critical in creating a highly personalized, customizd exercise program. This test is an essential assessment tool for those who may be struggling in their workouts, have aches and pains or are low on energy.
Upon the completion of these assessments your fitness coach will help you interpret and map out a plan of action that is do able and addresses your objectives.
For optimal results in can also schedule a nutrition consultation to compose an optimal eating plan that will integrate the results of your fitness testing and strategize how best to fuel your body while enjoying the experience of intentional eating.
Try an alternative treatment like acupuncture, get centered with yoga or one of the other daily class offerings. A “Wellness Weekend” is a great time to experiment with new modalities. It’s also an ideal opportunity to initiate or incorporate something new into your wellness routine back home. Regardless of the choices, you will benefit from the research, technology and wisdom supplied by superbly credentialed medical, lifestyle, nutrition, therapeutic and fitness personnel. These professionals can develop, guide, inform, coach and support your wellness repertoire.
After a workout, relax poolside, replenish with a spa lunch, enjoy complimentary mini massages and take a swim or aqua aerobics session. Follow with a spa treatment like the deep tissue massage designed to focus on those spots that need to be kneaded by the therapeutic touch of their experienced staff. Allow the sauna, steam and a hot tub soak to soothe those well used muscles. Revive in the spacious, serene surroundings of the 41,000 square foot spa and ready yourself for an enjoyable, stress free evening without ever leaving the property.
Discover Onyx, a stunning Japanese-inspired restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. The bar area incorporates the rich golden hues of back lit onyx stone, while the aquarium wall beckons you to relax, as you follow the fish in their idyllic surroundings.
Then step into the dining room where you will be dazzled and delighted by the culinary prowess of the demonstration kitchen and sushi bar. Peruse the menu and blackboard specials and use your newly acquired nutritional knowledge to guide your selections. Start with sashimi, or a protein roll (all the goodies without the rice), enjoy an expertly prepared fish or grill your Wagyu Beef and veggies on a table side hot stone and choose one of their house made sorbets for dessert. Your server will suggest an optimal wine or sake pairing to enhance your selections. You will sleep soundly and guilt free!
The next morning might include a round of golf at a nearby course, a walk around the property dotted with exotic landscaping and intriguing stone monoliths imported from the River Kwai in Thailand. Try tennis, bicycling or some cardio and stretch in the fitness center. Then be sure to experience a class at the Wellness Kitchen led by a registered dietitian-chef.
At the Wellness Kitchen you will experience either a cooking demonstration or hands on cooking experience. Each is followed by the enjoyment of eating what you’ve learned about or prepared. Table conversation includes a wealth of life-enhancing, cutting edge research emphasizing the powerful impact of nutrition on wellness and increased longevity. You will come away recognizing that healthful eating is also delicious and filling!
Reap the benefits of a glass of wine and some savory bites at the Wine Bar, and enjoy socializing around the cozy, blazing, fire pit strewn patio with fellow guests as you recount your weekend workout.
If your foray into wellness takes hold, dive deeper into the sea of offerings available at the California Health & Longevity Institute. After a thorough diagnostic analysis, specialists curate a customized series of interventions that fit and enhance your lifestyle. It may all have started with a weekend, but it just might put you on course for an extended lifetime of health, balance and enhanced well- being.
For more information about programs available at California Health & Longevity Institute or to make reservations, please call the Institute directly toll free (888) 575-1114 or (818) 575-1114 or visit www.chli.com.