Where When How N/D 2017 - J/F 2018 : Page 28
Taking Care of You PHOTO BY WWW.BRILLIANTSTUDIOS.COM A relaxing massage at the Point Grace Thalasso Spa 28 • • • • • NOV/DEC/JAN/FEB 2017/2018 “Where When How -Turks & Caicos Islands” PHOTO BY WWW.BRILLIANTSTUDIOS.COM
Spas & Wellbeing
How can we get the most out of our bodies? It’s a question pondered for centuries, and one that drives the market in fitness, beauty and well-being. The answer, drawing on science, nutrition, physiotherapy and psychology, suggests the ‘always-on-always-available’ culture of today harnesses less time, more pressure and longer working hours for people. In turn, the weight is shifted onto a different question; what’s the most efficient way to get the most out of our bodies?
Where the mind goes the body follows: relax
Evolving and ever changing, there are two things defining today’s health and fitness fancy. One, physical and mental fitness are one and the same thing, where asking how to get the most out of your body, is really asking how to get the most out of your mind. ‘Mind-body beautiful’ involves connecting the two, with yoga and spa treatments honing this mental relaxation down to a tee.
Core strength & efficient exercise
The second popular health and fitness focus is on core strength and exercise efficiency. The human physique has around 640 muscles, facilitating a huge range of movements in turning, twisting, stretching and flexing. Our day-to-day life uses a tiny fraction of these.
Walking, running and spinning exercises the legs and heart; lifting weights exercise isolated areas of the arms. Core muscles in the torso are not focused on in as much abundance, which is ironic when you consider these are crucial to our balance, alignment and strength.
Pilates, TRX suspension training, and yoga utilise the core muscles, with slow, gradual exercises improving flexibility and strength. High-intensity interval training (HIIT), boasts all of the above, plus one added benefit – efficiency.
Getting fit no longer means exercising as much as you can. It’s about how hard you can, in 30 seconds. Fitness has long tried to find a way to yield the same results in half the time, and HIIT’s sprint-over-stamina theory could mean the wait is over.
So, with all these new arrivals in physical and mental pampering, here’s a breakdown of what is offered on island, so you can decide for yourself what health and relaxation means to you.
FEEL GOOD: INSIDE OUT
Pilates is a technically refined specialty focusing on core muscles to improve strength and postural balance. A progressive conditioning exercise, it works to twist, stretch and flex muscles rarely used in day-to-day activity. The result is vastly improved core strength, flexibility and leaner muscles with classes ranging from beginners to advanced.
If you want to get fit fast, this is for you. HIIT is a ground-breaking, anti-traditional exercise that has gained international popularity in recent years. The underlying science suggests metabolism is as, if not more, effective in short, intense bursts than in sustained low-intensity bouts. The most widely used form is the ‘7-minute workout,’ which creators describe as, 12 exercises that can be performed in seven minutes, but achieves the equivalent of an hour’s workout. You need to do them to the best of your ability (high-intensity) and rest very little in between (10 seconds only).
TRX suspension training
Another extremely effective all-rounder is suspension training, developing strength, balance, flexibility and core stability in one, using ceiling ropes to leverage body weight and put core muscles to work.
This discipline revolves around syncing your body’s muscle functions with the mind. Relaxation through breath control, simple meditation and specific postures bring this widely used mindfulness technique into good effect.
A traditional staple of the fitness world, classes range from step, high and low impact, water aerobics and circuit to body sculpting that uses weights.
FEEL GOOD: OUTSIDE IN
Many stylists, masseuses and treatments are offered within the comfort of your hotel or vacation villa. Enquire at each spa or salon for details.
Body treatments and facials The great thing about body and facial treatments is you don’t need an excuse. Skin irritation? Relaxation? Who cares… it’s heavenly. Treatments range from wrapping with detoxifying seaweed purees and mud to treat cellulite and skin tone; polishing with a creamy exfoliant; and aromatherapy, which fuses massage with essential oils to treat particular problem areas. If the time for body maintenance is near, body waxing and powdering are also on offer.
When it comes to anything above the décolletage, facials offer preliminary face mapping to analyse your skin type and determine the most beneficial facial for you. Whether it’s to cleanse, rehydrate, rebalance or rejuvenate, services can be provided at your resort.
Tension at times doesn’t cause pain, so it’s harder to detect and treat through a massage, until, literally, you have a massage. Feeling rather limber and loose all of a sudden? That’s not a coincidence.
When R&R is needed, massage is still revered as the ultimate stress and muscle relaxant. Although there are many types, a universal rule is to increase blood flow to alleviate muscle tension.
The classic Swedish massage increases oxygen in the blood through longstroked rubbing techniques, ideal for circulation. Sports massage focuses on preparing specific muscles to enhance flexibility and prevent injury. Reflexology combines Swedish and sport techniques to the foot, calf and upper leg, good for common forms of arthritis. Chronic muscle pain? Deep tissue massage applies the Swedish technique with a deeper pressure to target particularly debilitating problem areas. Likewise, trigger point therapy works in a similar way by applying pressure and release to isolated parts of the body; extremely effective for back and neck pain. Shiatsu therapy is the all-singing-all-dancing of massages; recognisable by its rotating and stretching of limbs and joints using thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet.
Hair styling, nails and makeup
With your vitamin D levels through the roof, the sun isn’t the only one offering your hair and nails some love. There are several salons offering cuts, styles, colours, foil treatments, hair beading and braiding. Manicures, pedicures and nail repairs are also offered in abundance, but be wary of having acrylics applied; they damage nail health and can cause infection due to the hot climate. Come the time where a stellar face of makeup is needed, salons have in-house trained professionals on hand to help.
Stumped with where to start? Treatments at Spa Tropique include all of the classics and extend to hot stone massages, vitamin C and seaweed facials, and packages tailored to weddings, couples or individuals looking for wholebody pampering. Oh, and don’t forget the collagen and caviar facial. Champagne, anyone? (See AD page 13)
With the health, fitness and beauty market attracting a much wider demographic, every age, body type, medical condition and mindset is now accommodated. So what’s the best way to get the most out of your body, when feeling good mentally is just as important as being strong physically? Everyone is different – you be the judge of what works for you.
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