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Relax & rejuvenate

How to find your zen in the Caribbean

Kelly Ranson December 1, 2016

Perfecting your plank and push-ups on the water and sketching a beach scene aren't the usual activities which spring to mind when you think of a holiday to the Caribbean.

Most of us use our holidays to escape the rat race and take some time out.  For a week or so our biggest challenges include deciding whether to sit by the pool or on the beach, and which cocktail to sample first (always a rum punch in the Caribbean, always).

However, some hotels are realising that not everyone is just there for the all-inclusive bar, with a growing number of holidaymakers now looking to either find a new hobby or sport while away or keeping up with their work out routines.

The clever team at Elite Island Resorts have recognised this and have introduced a number of wellbeing activities for guests to try out during their stay. I was lucky enough to visit the gorgeous beachfront properties of Galley Bay Resort & Spa and St James’ Club & Villas, both in Antigua, to try out some fun, free-of-charge mindful menu options!

Get fit on the water

At home, I regularly attend boot camp-style outdoor fitness classes. You know the drill; burpees, planks, squats and more to get the heart rate racing. So the next logical step was of course trying it on a fitness board on water. Right?!

Yep, you read that right. Elite Island Resorts is offering a ‘fitness first’ in the Caribbean with Aquaphysical with a floatfit®CARIBBEAN aquabase®class. It’s basically 20 minutes of balancing your ‘core’ on an aquabase board and trying to not to fall in. It’s a lot of fun and I was surprised how fast I actually had the confidence to jump on the mat. But hey, if you do fall in, it’s only in the hotel pool or the warm Caribbean Sea! 

Stretch at sunset

After the exertion of the cross training class, I wanted to make sure I minimised the aches and pains. The good news was that Elite modify the routines on the aquabase mats so I was able to do a sunset stretch class in the pool at Galley Bay. It was truly the most calming session ever.

Colour yourself calm and learn to sketch

They say a healthy mind can lead you to a healthy body. Elite already has a relationship with supremo Puffin illustrator, Adam Stower, who offers regular sketch clubs at the resorts and now he has created a bespoke colouring book featuring views and landmarks at Elite Island Resorts in partnership with existential psychotherapist Doctor Nicole Gehl.

Having not sketched for around 20 years, I was actually quite nervous to put pen to paper for the first time – but thanks to Adam’s tips and the intoxicating sea views – I had suddenly created a passable creation that my art teacher would have approved of.

Stay protected in the sun

Now once your mind and body are at one, the last thing you need to ruin the ‘new you’ is some nasty sunburn. I’m one of those people that rarely tans – I slap on so much sun lotion due to the fear of my skin sizzling in the sun. So it was music to my ears to learn that sun care brand Ultrasun now has its products in resorts. They have a huge range including a sports gel which is ideal for men who hate putting cream on. I personally love their tinted SPF face products (so you already have that holiday glow on day one!) and the fact you only apply it once a day is ideal.

And finally after all that hard work in the sun…. have a rum punch!