LUX* Belle Mare’s wellness concierge and former tennis pro, Mattias Rendefors, advises guests to make morning training a habit. If for some reason you skip it, you can make it up in the afternoon, but if something comes up or you’re tired, it usually means a missed workout. ‘We’ve got to get up at 5am? It’s dark. No way, they say,’ says Mattias.
How long to make it a habit? Three weeks to get to the 30-minute daily minimum. ‘The more the better for cardio training,’ says Mattias, ‘but you have to be realistic. We have guests who come here just to improve their tennis. If they can be on court for two hours every day, for two weeks, their holiday’s made,’ he says.
At LUX* Belle Mare, guests can choose from a range of locations to keep fit– from swimming in temperate waters to working out on the beach or practising yoga under the palm trees. ‘We often host business people who have not exercised in a long while and might not have factored fitness into their downtime, but, you know, this is a time to reflect,’ says Mattias. ‘I like to think of it as the psychology of a vacation. For many people it’s a time of self-assessment. They might take their shirt off on the beach and go, whoa, what happened here… and then decide maybe now it’s time to do some training.’
Mattias focuses on the long term, because what you do on vacation isn’t going to make a big difference; it’s the habits you create in your daily life that will. That’s where the LUX* Me Fitness concept comes in. Mattias and his colleague, Patrick Mooken, work with guests to establish their priorities and offer solutions that include designing a training programme that they will enjoy in their daily routine.
Mattias advises on general training and nutrition, while Patrick is trained in the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), a system that assesses muscular imbalances, and guides him in recommending remedial exercises to improve athletic performance. For professional or keen sportsmen, injury prevention is key. It’s more important than anything else, Mattias explains. ‘If they injure themselves while training they can’t continue, and then everything goes to pieces. I advise that they do the FMS and follow the recommended exercises. Even pro footballers have found it a demanding workout.’
And what about stamina? Interval training is key, Mattias explains. When he’s training elite players he’ll mix up the environment, perhaps taking them to the beach for a combination of quick sprints and slow runs to get the heart rate up. ‘You can also do interval training in the water if you’re a decent swimmer. Twenty-five seconds of intense butterfly can be very exhausting, followed by 45 seconds of more relaxing breaststroke. Repeat that seven times and that’s your workout done.’
Working out at LUX* Belle Mare offers ample reward. Have a nourishing meal at one of the superb restaurants – my favourite, naturally, was Amari by Vineet. Or treat yourself afterwards to a coffee at Café LUX*, ice cream at ICI or a craft beer, all made on site to help reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint. And for pure relaxation, a massage at the LUX* Me Spa is a must. Try the Thai or Balinese massage to ease tightened muscles, followed by a deep-cleansing facial for two or more hours of pure bliss.
Original article by Debbie Hathway, shortened for online publication, from Private Edition, Issue 33