Tennessee Fitness Spa Hosts Health-Conscious Guests in Relaxing Setting
By Felicia Gvozdas, Spirit of Giles
In the heart of Wayne County, at the site of the historic Natural Bridge, you’ll find Tennessee Fitness Spa, a facility that caters to the fitness goals of guests from across the country.
Joe and Nancy Shaw purchased the property in 1990 and opened it as a fitness spa in February of 1991. In the early days there were only about five guests per week. Now, the spa averages 35-45 guests per week from states such as Florida, New York, Michigan and even as far away as Oregon and California. The duration of the stay is one week, from Sunday to Sunday. However three or four times a year the spa offers a 3-day special for guests who can’t get away for an entire week.
After checking in on Sunday, guests go to the gym for a fitness assessment, where their weight, BMI, flexibility and other information is recorded. Monday morning guests begin their week with walking 2-10 miles per day depending on which group they fall into. “Ninety-five percent of our guests are here to lose weight, whether it be five pounds or 300,” says Rachel Shaw, manager of Tennessee Fitness Spa. I would say we have about 85% women, but we do have men that come as well, and the average age is about 35-55.”
Guests have many options throughout the day, including aerobics, weight training, stretch and toning, pool classes in the indoor pool, yoga and meditation. The scenery for those interested in walking or hiking is breathtaking. Forty-eight creek runs alongside the property. They can also cool off in the “Ice Cave” or take a stroll through the Natural Bridge, a beautiful double-span bridge that was once a cave, but was hollowed out over time by the tremendous force of water in and around it.
Evening activities include belly dancing, self-defense and bingo night. Guests can also choose from several optional services not covered in their package including massage therapy, facials, wraps or other salon services, or sessions with a personal trainer.
Tennessee Fitness Spa also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests as part of their package, and the meals are 1200 to 1400 calories per day. They dine together on the freshly prepared meals in the dining room, an original stone building dating back to the 1930’s.
The history of the property is rich and diverse, going all the way back to native people who once lived in the area prior to Andrew Jackson’s presidency. It was also used for courting, concerts, and family relaxation...