Inspiration

Health and Fitness Travel with Refuel Concept

Written by Marike Cronjé

Wellness travel on the beaches of Mauritius

While travel cravings brewed steadily in the background for the past 3 months, we took the time to connect with celebrity fitness-duo, Naomi Teal and Bolko Aleksiev from Refuel Concept to explore the future of health and fitness travel in a post-COVID-19 world. With many travelers re-evaluating the way in which they travel and the effects of a balanced lifestyle on their health, Ker & Downey® Africa chats to One&Only Le Saint Géran’s wellness experts on how they are incorporating fitness, health and mindfulness on the luxury traveler’s Mauritius itinerary. 

Naomi Teal from Refuel Concept at One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius

01.

Ker & Downey® Africa: Can you tell us a bit more about where your wellness journey started and how you ended up being a resident wellness partner at One&Only?

Naomi: My wellness journey started when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011. It was a catalyst for taking 100% responsibility for my own health and wellbeing which prompted further studies in Nutritional Science, gut health, allergies and intolerances. I am also an NLP Practitioner (as is Bolko) which helps me with my clients to identify deeper-lying subconscious habits and limitations that are holding them back from achieving optimum health and freedom. I understand that it’s more than what we eat, it’s how we talk to ourselves – highlighting the mind-body and environment connection. Everything has to be considered as everything is connected!  How we became resident partners at Le Saint Géran was in fact Bolko, to begin with. He was connected by the resort as they were requiring a professional with his expertise. Upon Bolko’s first visit in April 2019 he soon realised that the resort would very much benefit from both of our services – providing a holistic approach by creating a synergy of wellness; from food and fitness to consultations and spa therapies in which encapsulates the essence of my programmes.

 Once I’ve understood the guest’s requirements and offer some wellness advice, I then create a bespoke programme working alongside the resort’s exquisite spa and practitioners to prescribe the most beneficial therapy.

Spa at One&Only Le Saint Géran

02.

Ker & Downey® Africa: Can you tell us a bit more about your bespoke 3-day Wellness Programme offered at One&Only Le Saint Géran and how you work in collaboration with each other to reach mutual goals for your clients?

Naomi: Firstly, I would sit down with the guest for a consultation to understand their personal objectives and to get to know them a little better too – as I will be their wellness advisor for the duration of their stay. Once I’ve understood the guest’s requirements and offer some wellness advice, I then create a bespoke programme working alongside the resorts exquisite spa and practitioners to prescribe the most beneficial therapy. I then confer with Bolko to discuss the guest’s objectives, where he can then offer a personalised training or movement session. The programme also includes cold-pressed juices using local and seasonal produce, healthy snacks and a wellness lunch menu. I offer advice on what to eat for breakfast and dinner to help the guest achieve optimum results during their programme and stay. These 3 days of wellness will inspire new healthy habits that can be continued upon returning home. I work alongside resort staff to provide support in making sure that the guest’s dietary requirements are taken care of.

Swimming pool at One&Only Le Saint Géran Spa, Mauritius

03.

Ker & Downey® Africa: With wellness travel on the rise in the luxury travel industry, have you seen an increase in interest from One&Only guests?

Naomi: Yes definitely! From food preferences to fitness, guests are not only wanting, but expecting to be able to continue with their daily healthy lifestyle habits. Holidays for most are much more wellness orientated – gone off the boozy and over indulging get-aways, guests are wanting more balanced breaks where they can still enjoy the luxury offerings but also leave feeling rejuvenated and energised.  

Healthy breakfasts on offer at One&Only Le Saint Géran
From food preferences to fitness, guests are not only wanting, but expecting to be able to continue with their daily healthy lifestyle habits.

04.

Ker & Downey® Africa: Which months of the year do you offer your programmes at One&Only Le Saint Géran?

Naomi: We are there 3 months out of the year, during Easter (mid-March – mid-April), Half Term (mid-October – mid-November) then over Christmas and New Years (mid-December – mid-January). Our exact dates will be available on the website or you can contact the resort directly.

Naomi at One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius

05.

Ker & Downey® Africa:Why would you recommend an island break for travelers looking to reset their bodies and mind?

Naomi: Mauritius embodies an environment perfect for a reset, whether you choose to stay on the tranquil resort or venture out to explore wonders such as the first active energy vortex, one of 14 found on the planet. The cosmic energy travels in spirals through the vortex regulating the energetic dis-balance within those who visit. This island feels very special with an abundance of fresh local nourishing produce. Le Saint Géran is an oasis, with lush green grounds, white sands and turquoise waters. With a luxury spa and top of the range fitness equipment and sporting activities such as yoga and tennis to paddle boarding and water skiing. The resort inspires guests wanting to keep active during their holiday and also offers a wonderful setting to relax and rejuvenate both body and mind. 

Mauritius embodies an environment perfect for a reset, whether you choose to stay on the tranquil resort or venture out to explore wonders such as the first active energy vortex, one of 14 found on the planet.

Island escape at One&Only Le Saint Géran

06.

Ker & Downey® Africa: You offer the Well&Good Consultation for guests staying at the resort, can you tell me what your clients can expect?

Naomi: My Well&Good Consultation takes place in La Carre, a tranquil and elegant space that feels comfortable and relaxed, allowing myself to work through the guest’s daily habits, health issues and objectives calmly and in confidence. I am there for the guest in whichever capacity they require to optimise personal wellbeing during their stay. Whether that’s discussing a current disease in the body or mind, dietary requirements – coordinating with chefs and staff to ensure needs are met, encouragement and support to embark on new healthy habits. I provide advice, health hacks and an open heart and mind. As an NLP Practitioner, I’m able to break down paradigms, decoding the subconscious, breaking down behaviours and self-limiting beliefs. I have many clients from the resort that continue with my service remotely as their wellness allay. 

Naomi Teal in consultation
Once I’ve understood the guest’s requirements and offer some wellness advice, I then create a bespoke programme working alongside the resort’s exquisite spa and practitioners to prescribe the most beneficial therapy.

Bolko Aleksiev at One&Only Le Saint Géran

07.

Ker & Downey® Africa: How long have you been working in the health and fitness industry and how long have you and Naomi been involved with Refuel Concept?

Bolko: I graduated in New York with a BSc in Sports Science back in 1998 and started a very fortunate career as a trainer in LA in 1999. After spending 3 years in LA training celebrities for movie roles and maintaining their lifestyle goals, I moved to London where I continued my role as a celebrity trainer but my goal was to be more involved with professional athletes due to my sports science background. In 2005 I had the opportunity to help a very talented football player with his speed and agility which enabled me to prove my skill set. This was the start of my 6-year career as a performance coach for Premiership Football Players. Then in 2012, I was asked to be a private trainer to a prestigious family based in London which exposed me to several other high net-worth clientele. Naomi and I initially meet each other back in 2004 but started our relationship in 2014. Naomi was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2011 and I soon came to understand that she had a strong desire to learn about her autoimmunity and how she could heal herself through food and healthy lifestyle habits. Naomi enrolled in a nutritional science course and from that point on we both felt we wanted to pay it forward by helping others and in 2015 ReFuel was born…

World-class gym at One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius
Once I’ve understood the guest’s requirements and offer some wellness advice, I then create a bespoke programme working alongside the resort’s exquisite spa and practitioners to prescribe the most beneficial therapy.

08.

Ker & Downey® Africa: You offer personal training sessions for One&Only guests, are these training sessions suited to all fitness levels, or do you have to be familiar with high-intensity workouts?

Bolko: The service I offer to guests at O&O are for ALL levels of fitness. I offer 1 ON 1, couples sessions to family training ranging from strength & conditioning, weight management, lifestyle maintenance, cross-training, plyometrics, and HIIT. I tailor my sessions to the client’s needs and abilities, that’s why I believe movement has no restrictions on age or ability, in fact, the older we become the more movement plays an important role in optimum wellbeing and longevity.

Yoga pavilion at One&Only Le Saint Géran

09.

Ker & Downey® Africa: What is your philosophy on staying in shape and living a balanced lifestyle?

Bolko: Maintaining an all-round healthy lifestyle is about so many different factors, including how you’re eating and drinking to relaxing, moving and thinking when it comes to living your best healthiest life. These fundamental habits can be applied by everyone and aren’t meant to be complicated, with consistency and commitment we are all capable of achieving optimum health and wellness. 

Naomi and Bolko at One&Only Le Saint Géran
Maintaining an all-round healthy lifestyle is about so many different factors, including how you’re eating and drinking to relaxing, moving and thinking when it comes to living your best healthiest life.

Top Tips from Bolko:

  • Nutrition is the key, and we are what we eat. A balanced diet of protein / healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Reducing refined sugars, dairy,  processed foods and alcohol consumption – and remembering to drink 2-3 litres of water per day.

 

  • Sleep is a very underestimated part of our overall health and overlooked by most. Neuroscience shows that a good night’s shut-eye (6 to 8hrs) can make us happier, healthier, smarter and even younger – not to mention it reduces inflammation and stress which is the cause of most chronic illnesses.

 

  • Relaxing comes in many forms, whether it be reading a book, meditating, breathwork, yoga or pilates.

 

  • Movement is very personal and is specific to your own objectives and body type. Walking may sound outdated in an age where CrossFit and  HIIT workouts are considered the holy grail. I believe we should be moving as much as possible whether you’re in a gym or wanting to be outside in nature. Simply walking more is a great way to add movement to your day, which aids digestion and detoxification by activating your lymphatic system and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

  • Mental health is probably the most important one and without a healthy mindset, all of the above won’t be as effective. We need to monitor our self-talk and break down any self-limiting beliefs.

Interested to invest in your health and fitness while on holiday with Ker & Downey Africa? Explore our 10 Day Health & Fitness Safari featuring Refuel Concept here or get in touch with our LuxVenture® Designers to tailor your fitness travel itinerary to Africa today.

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