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7 health and fitness destinations around the world

by Paul Joseph
Vilalara Longevity Wellness Retreat

From all-inclusive health and wellness activity retreats in exotic locations, to ski, yoga, spa, trekking and cycling breaks in Europe, experience some of the best holidays around the world. Paul Joseph looks at seven destinations around the world which would be perfect for a Health and Fitness getaway.

St Vincent and The Grenadines

The Body-changing Boot Camp: Weight loss and fitness

Buccament Bay, on the stunning island of St Vincent and the Grenadines offers a mix of high intensity physical training, nutritionally balanced food and personal health coaching. And all this to a backdrop of unspoilt waterfalls and mountain views.

Over the week coaching is offered by a professional trainer with  challenging exercises. You may start off the day with beach boxing and end the day with yoga. There are choices of circuit training, obstacle courses, swimming, team games and many other fun activities. Once your body is at the point of exhaustion, it will be nourished with balanced meals made from fresh and natural produce. The nutritionist creates a healthy diet designed to help lose weight and build muscle. Later head for the spa for a full body massage to soothe tired limbs.

El Abir Beach, Spain

Detox on a macrobiotic diet

The world’s leading medical spa in Spain, SHA Wellness Clinic, located near the El Albir beach, with stunning views of the sea and lush vegetation, this Spanish retreat is modern and exquisite. The concept of macrobiotic is an ancient diet rooted back in the era of Hippocrates who believed in living a long and healthy life by eating a simple balanced diet. The concept was known by a select few but recently the notion was taken up by the Japanese. Today, macrobiotic is about cutting out meat and eating whole foods, such as grains, vegetables and fruit. In some cases the diet may be completely vegetarian or even vegan, but in most cases fish is eaten. Most importantly, the food needs to be balanced and chewed slowly for better digestion.

There are various choices, from detox, stress relief, to weight loss and sleep well holidays. All include the macrobiotic concept. Each includes a general medical check-up, nutritional consultation and a clinical analysis. There is also a weekly exercise and activity schedule from hiking to yoga, health lectures, cooking classes and therapies, conducted in a beautifully calm and peaceful surrounding.

Monchique, Algarve, Portugal

The Essential Weight-loss Week

Secluded in the serene mountains of Monchique sits Longevity wellness retreat, part of Vilalara Thalassa Resort. You will start off with a personalised programme designed to target weight loss and identifying areas of physical, emotional and mental imbalances. Many people don’t take into account how one’s attitude and emotional well-being will affect their weight loss success. Not to mention that excess weight can cause tiredness, depression, health problems and emotional eating patterns. Getting these imbalances on track will make the weight-loss process much easier and more enjoyable.

The Longevity programme helps remove excess fat, while relaxing and energising. The personal trainer will set up sessions that will target areas of your concern while helping with your overall endurance and physical appearance. With various activities such as hiking, Pilates, yoga and Power Plates you’ll be challenged through these different fitness activities. A nutritional consultation will be given in order to get the right diet in order and will set up an eating plan for the length of your stay. Other therapies include body brushing, detox ocean baths, body sculpting and massages.

Paphos, Cyprus

The Tennis Academy Week

Get energised by playing a sport you enjoy such as tennis. Situated on the beautiful hills of Cyprus, overlooking the vibrant blue sea is the Aphrodite Hills Tennis Academy, part of the Aphrodite Hills Golf and Spa Resort, one of the world’s most popular tennis getaways. With nine state-of -the-art tennis courts overlooking the sea, rejuvenate whilst learning and improving your tennis skills.

Solos, couples or families and players of all levels are catered for.

There are also group classes such as yoga, Zumba and kickboxing, and a spa.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Stress-busting Week: Mind and body balance

Stress can be a major component in your life because of work, family and social demands. It can be hard to find time to do the things you enjoy and the things you find relaxing. This is why it’s important to take some time away to clear the head and to de-stress. The Chateau Organic Spa & Wellness Resort, hidden in the lush tropical rainforests of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is the first organic wellness retreat in the world. The Chateau stress relief programme will relieve tension, help regain inner balance and re-energise the body and mind. A nutritional and physical consultation is carried out to evaluate your current physical shape and level of well-being, including stress management counselling to help pin-point certain stress triggers. Your day may start with a horseback ride through the rainforest and end with luxurious therapy such as reflexology, detox facials and lavender sugar glows. Or go jungle trekking, mountain biking, organic farming or play tennis or golf.

Koh Samui, Thailand

The Holistic Boot Camp: Get fit

This is about losing weight where the needs of the psychological, physical and social are met. The balance can be found at Absolute Sanctuary Fitness, where they specialise in improving fitness levels and the clarity of your mind through tailor-made programmes. It is located in Thailand on the beautiful island of Koh Samui.

The week begins with a personalised programme based on fitness goals and a fitness assessment. Various fitness sessions will be set up indoors and outdoors, to include weight training, beach boot camp, cardiovascular workouts, Pilates and Muay Thai kickboxing lessons. These classes can be intense and will push you to your limit. The resistance and cardio training will be balanced with daily yoga classes, including Yin yoga, Ashtanga and Hot flow yoga. The day can end with back, neck and shoulder massages or a Thai massage with a herbal heat compress in order to work out tired muscles. At the week’s end, the mind should be relaxed and the body conditioned.

St Lucia

The Healthy Ageing week

The best way to approach ageing is by enjoying the journey and doing so healthily. On the crescent beach of St. Lucia lies The BodyHoliday retreat, where the award-winning wellness centre will take care of your skin and health.

This island paradise is packed with wellness treatments and activities aiming at four areas of health: exercise, balanced diet, restorative beauty and relaxation. The wellness centre has designed personal programmes that focus on the needs of each individual, from skin and body toning to stress relief, weight loss and healthy ageing. Treatments include CACI (Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument), and non-surgical lifts to tone your face and give you a more youthful complexion. Thalgo facials, nutritional consultations, health assessments and personal training will keep you looking and feeling young.

With the mind and body relaxed, stress will melt away and help fight the ageing process. The better you feel inside, the more radiant you’ll appear on the outside. If you want to feel young and uplifted, then activities such as windsurfing or kayaking may be the adventure you need. Enjoy fitness classes such as spinning, Zumba, beach boxing or The Body Tone. Holistic classes include yoga, Pilates, meditation, Tai Chi and Qi Gong.


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