Lifestyle: Health and wellbeing

Pic: Getty

According to the Global Spa & Wellness Summit, the wellness industry is now worth more than $3.7 trillion; not surprising given recent developments.

Initially, budget gyms made fitness more accessible but, now, there is a demand for a more personal and focused service.

Gone are the days of unused gym memberships and fad diets.

The advent of health-related gadgets, Crossfit clubs and military-style boot camps, as well as yoga retreats and the ‘clean eating’ revolution, have brought new meaning to health and wellbeing.

“Diets are not so appealing right now,” says Lorna Macleod, spa manager at The Old Course Hotel’s Kohler Waters Spa.

“Instead, people opt for a healthy lifestyle and fuelling their bodies rather than denying themselves certain food groups.

“Sporting inspirations are also part of the transition. Sport has never been so cool.”

Neil Gibson, director of Performance, Sport and Health at Edinburgh’s state-of-the-art sporting facility, Oriam, agrees: “Cycling, triathlon and running clubs have all seen a surge in participation.

“People have become attracted to resistance and high intensity interval training.”

Of course, at the beginning of the year, a healthy lifestyle is top of wish lists.

Mike Lindsay, owner of Club 300, an exclusive personal trainer-run gym in Perth, said: “It’s easy to overindulge during the festive period.

“Studies show people put on an average of half a stone. We all like to turn over a new leaf in January.”

Fortunately, Scotland is brimming with opportunities improve health and wellbeing for the year ahead.

A health check – an MOT for the body, if you like – is a great starting point.

The Edinburgh Clinic offers a luxurious clinical environment with some of Scotland’s top consultants.

Private GP Dr Terrina Dickson said: “We see professionals from all sectors with more people taking a real interest in their internal and external health.

“It’s not just how you look, but keeping your body and mind healthy and strong.”

Whatever your fitness level or interest, you are almost bound to find an activity at David Lloyd Clubs.

They offer high-end gyms, classes, personal training, swimming, spas and participation sports throughout Scotland, complete with café bars and children’s areas for relaxation, and adult-only lounges for catching up on e-mails.

Hayley Consuegra, sales and marketing manager, explains: “People are putting health and fitness goals high on their agenda but don’t want to lose family time.

“We’ve seen a huge trend in families using our facilities and have a programme to ensure parents get ‘me time’ while the kids play, then all eat together.

“We make sure people get that ‘life balance’ that everyone craves.”

For those who would love to get fit alongside the Scotland’s top sportspeople, Oriam is a good bet.

As well as community members, the inspirational building caters for national teams and professional clubs, offering a gym, fitness classes and the latest in climbing equipment.

Gibson explains: “It was designed to provide a home for Scotland’s athletes and allow the local community to access world class facilities for a healthier and happier lifestyle.

“Forget off-the-shelf training: our staff design and deliver bespoke interventions to get the best out of your membership.”

For the very best in tennis, Cromlix, near Dunblane, boasts a state-of-the-art tennis court and practice wall.

Part of Andy Murray’s well-known hotel, non-residents can visit for the day and kick-start their 2017 fitness regime.

Also offering spots in which to get active is the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Chief executive Gordon Watson said: “The park offers loads for outdoor sports enthusiasts, first timers, families and those with disabilities, including world-class open water swimming in Loch Lomond, the venue for the Great Scottish Swim.”

It also boasts cycling and walking routes, and running, climbing, fishing and golf with a spectacular backdrop.

Back inside, Club 300 has a limit of 300 members of all levels, working towards a healthy lifestyle through training and nutritional education. Lindsay says: “We’re a results-driven club, equipping clients with the essential information to change their lifestyle, instead of just going through the motions and seeing no results.

“Our resistance training approach appeals to both men and women.”

Taking exclusivity a step further is Luxury Wellbeing in Edinburgh’s West End. Modelled on five star London venues, it offers bespoke fitness, personal styling and massage.

David Calder, director, explains: “Our clients include some of Scotland’s leading CEOs, consultants and business owners, aged between 18 and 72, who want privacy and attention to detail every visit.”

A former World Cup freestyle skier, David capitalises on his own experience: “My job is to bring my skill set and to understand and respect the individual.

“A good personal trainer spends less time counting and more time thinking about the biomechanics and psychology of the client and how you can help them.”

Quite a contrast, boot camps hit Scotland around 10 years ago.

The Camp, now exclusive to females and offering week-long courses in private Perthshire villas, was one of the pioneers.

Clients can transform their bodies in seclusion, whilst enjoying the great outdoors with activities ranging from self-defence and shelter building to zip wiring and river crossing.

“People are affected by SAD during winter and we have proved time and time again that mental health can be much improved with fresh air and exercise,” says managing director Sebastian Morley.

Confident its perfect blend of medically trained forme- Special Forces personal trainers, sports physios and dieticians can assist clients in dropping a dress size in a week, they also help with increasing the resting heart rate.

Soon to be adding boot camps to its offering, Galloway Holistic Retreats offers the ancient Chinese health practice qigong, as well as yoga and meditation, complemented by holistic treatments and topped off with a healthy vegan menu.

Throw in the stunning rural location with luxury accommodation and you have a restorative break for the body, mind and soul.

Also focusing on the dual roles of the body and mind, The Body Toolkit is an award winning health retreat in the Scottish Highlands, offering outdoor exercise, relaxation, stress-combatting techniques and a detox.

Founder Katrina Mather says: “After a week, guests report weight loss, an energy boost, improved sleep and a reduction in aches and pains.

“It’s consistently seen as a powerful kick-start to a new lifestyle.”

Popular with executives and entrepreneurs improving their health and wellbeing, Penninghame Process is a six-day residential retreat where a combination of macrobiotic nutrition and tuning into natural body wisdom restores balance in the body: “Compassion is your best trainer,” says assistant Gill Stanyard.

“Listen to your body, breathe fully and don’t push yourself.”

EcoYoga Scotland, a luxurious riverside retreat, takes this approach for optimum health too. Laura Grace, retreat manager, explains: “For a balanced state of wellbeing, you should eat well, sleep well, bathe well and stretch well.

“We offer a complete healthcare package: healthy eating, resting, massage, Japanese-style outdoor bathing and, of course, world renowned yoga teachers.

“The advantage of practicing yoga regularly is that you don’t have to have any new year’s resolutions.”

For those who have made a resolution or two, however, Scottish hotels are another option for post-Christmas fitness.

“Spas are becoming wellness havens for individuals,” says Kohler Waters’ Macleod.

“The main motivator is seeing results; not just the change in your body but also to your mind.”

The Old Course, and its counterparts at The Leisure Club at Cameron House and One Spa at The Sheraton in Edinburgh, offer members much more than traditional hotel gyms with a treadmill and a couple of dumbbells.

Euan MacKechnie, leisure club manager at Cameron House, cites health and fitness goals as the main reason for attending.

The high-end offering – now far more than just complementary towels and snacks – is a great incentive too: “Imagine enjoying your weekly fitness regime looking across Loch Lomond.

“In addition, our Technogym Artist range allows members to work out with other individuals at other clubs and join challenges, linked by cloud-based profiles.”

Cameron House has squash courts, two swimming pools, more than 50 classes per week, personal trainers and a spa-style area whilst One Spa’s holistic experiences cover 34,000 square feet over six levels.

Not just a luxurious gym, it includes a rooftop hydropool, a 19-metre infinity swimming pool with poolside sauna and an indulgent spa programme.

Of course, small changes can be made before even leaving the house. Morley makes some suggestions: “Detox with lots of juicing. Drink plenty of water and green tea.

Avoid highly processed food and wheat – go gluten-free where possible but watch the sugar content. Avoid all diet drinks and foods because sweeteners are poison to the liver and kidneys.”

Galloway’s Stevenson concludes: “To look healthy on the outside, you have to feel – and be – healthy from inside.”

[“Source- dailyrecord”]