Getting fit and healthy in paradise at Velaa Private Island in the Maldives
Joining a wellness retreat and dedicating a week or more to getting fit and healthy can often resemble a challenge. A week of pure dedication to achieving your goals can often seem a bit daunting. But what if you could do it all in paradise surrounded by lush palm trees, blue skies and azure waters? The Velaa Energising Program at Velaa Private Island offers you a comprehensive and personalized retreat that is set on a remote island in the Maldives, complete with all the luxuries you can possibly dream up.
The wellness retreat (available until September this year) combines medical consultations, high tech body analysis, healthy meal plan with a diverse exercise regimen (including water sports), results-oriented spa treatments, plus a personal trainer who sets goals with you based on your initial assessment and then coaches you through the whole program to achieve your target.
I was lucky enough to be invited to experience the Velaa Energising Program over 8 days. Set in paradise, I couldn’t think of a better place to dedicate my time and effort to becoming my healthiest and fittest self.
The Sunset Deluxe Water Pool Villa was a dream to stay in. Offering ultimate privacy (think tanline-free sunkissed skin) with undisturbed ocean vistas and my very own private pool facing the sunset, my villa also came with Jacuzzi and a huge bathroom complete with swinging chair, as well as a large living room with bar. The best part was waking up to the sight of the Indian Ocean every morning and opening the bedroom doors and walking straight out onto the terrace for an early dip in the pool or the ocean.
My tailor-made program started with my InBody assessment, which accurately indicated fat and muscle mass, BMI, Body Water Balance and so on. After analyzing the results with my personal trainer, we both agreed that it would be best to keep the current weight and transform some of the fat into muscle, helping me to become more lean and stronger. She then also went ahead and created a healthy meal plan according to my Basal Metabolic Rate (the calories I burn on a daily basis) and lined up my schedule with a number of fitness activities and spa treatments.
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My week ended up being filled with lots of exciting water sports I had never tried before, such as windsurfing and a session with the SeaBob. I also rekindled my love of scuba diving (after an accident 16 years ago), which Velaa made sure was a 100% safe and fun experience for me.
Furthermore, I tried my hand at tennis and enjoyed spinning, as well as a personal yoga class every other day and personal training sessions where we worked on my key areas to transform. The workouts were complemented by excellent treatments at the Spa My Blend by Clarins spa. I indulged in Thai Massage, Oriental Fusion Massage, G5 Contouring, which is great to tighten skin, and the only Cloud 9 in the Maldives, which is a multi-sensory experience consisting of color therapy, motion and acoustic therapy, creating a regenerative effect on the nervous system and perhaps simulating being in a mother’s womb.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner I followed the healthy meal plan, which consisted of delicious low-carb / low-sugar meals such as scrumptious grilled fish, salads, vegetable soups, curries, smoothies and more.
Being on a health program doesn’t mean your time on the island will be completely occupied by workout sessions and treatments. The Energising Program is also ideal for people who are travelling with other family members who aren’t partaking in the wellness retreat. You will have plenty of time to experience snorkeling on the house reef, walks around the island, stingray feeding, sunset cruise, romantic dinners with your loved ones or even a turtle release. Velaa means “Turtle Island” in the local language, named after generations of sea turtles that have flocked to the island to nest and hatch. If you’re lucky and your stay falls into the hatching period, you can witness their release into the ocean, which is a very moving experience and one that you will treasure for the rest of your life.
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At the end of my retreat I completed another InBody assessment and was stunned by my results. I had lost 1.6% body fat, 0.9kg of pure fat, and gained 0.6kg of pure muscle – all within a week. Highly motivated, I’ve now taken these exercises and meal inspirations and have incorporated some of them in my daily workout regimen and diet. After all, the idea is not to detox for a week and go back to your normal lifestyle, but to change things up and improve your daily habits, and this is exactly what Velaa has achieved with this new Energising Program. It inspires you to continue to live a healthier life back home.