Ok, so nothing can actually turn back the hands of time, but our holidays can definitely have a rejuvenating effect on your body and mind.
The combination of mindfulness, exercise, the Greek diet and the benefits of being by the sea have a range of positive effects on the body and mind that will leave you looking and feeling younger at the end of your holiday than when you arrived.
Many of us do not spend enough time devoted to looking after ourselves, when booking yourself on to a Healthy Options holiday you are really making a commitment to spending some quality time on yourself.
And, what’s more, research has shown that the enjoyment of your holiday starts when you book it; the anticipation of relaxing days ahead of you in the summer triggering positive chemicals in your brain and body.
Being by the Mediterranean Sea
One of the features that makes Healthy Options holidays so good for you is that as well as our excellent Yoga, Pilates and fun exercise classes you also get a chance to try out a range of different watersports and perhaps experience a completely new approach to nature. Recent studies at Southampton University have found that whilst all outdoor sports are beneficial to the body and mind, those carried out by or on water are particularly effective at lifting your mood. Indeed, there are plenty of mental health charities that now use sailing programmes to help people recover from depression.
“Scientists have discovered that humans have something they call a “blue mind.” This means that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water. Watching the ocean, listening to the ocean, or being in the ocean, gives the brain a rest from overstimulation. Our brains do not shut down, they simply adjust how they are working, giving them a much needed break… Often followed by the release of the happiness chemicals–dopamine and serotonin.” Wise and Well blog, 2017
The Greek Diet
The Greek diet is widely regarded as one of the heathiest diets in the world. Based around a combination of fresh fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, locally caught fish and delicious cheeses and yoghurts (in moderation,) it is rich in nutrients and low in fat as well as being largely unprocessed and largely organic.
“The Mediterranean diet is recognised as one of the healthiest in the world, and variations of it seem to be the most successful nutritional regimens for reducing cardiovascular risk factors.” Grimaldi, 2015
Healthy Options Holidays are not ‘retreats,’ and we certainly will not be keeping an eye on what you eat! Most of our guests head into the local village to try what is often home cooking at the local tavernas. You can choose what you would like to eat - after all it is your holiday. Fortunately, the Greek diet and the abundance of tasty fresh food available mean that it is really easy to make the right choices, but if you have any doubts at all then our friendly staff will be delighted to advise you where to go, which restaurants and dishes are best and so on.
Mindfulness refers to our ability be able to shut out all the background ‘noise’ and focus on a single moment in time, to train our mind and to direct our thoughts. It is a skill that is becoming increasingly necessary as an antidote to the modern world. The art of mindfulness and meditation are not skills that we naturally born with they have to be learned and practiced until they become an instinctive part of our lives.
Our Yoga/Pilates and meditation sessions will help you to train your mind to focus on the moment. The pursuit of the perfect pose demands your complete attention. Follow this with a session of guided meditation to help you develop your ability to control and direct your thoughts.
The pace of life today is so fast and there is so much information coming at us from all directions, unless we learn to be able to shut it out, we are in danger of feeling overwhelmed and stressed. There are a number of aging effects on the body and mind caused by continued exposure to stress.
In short, mindfulness and meditation can help with stress relief and the ability to maintain a positive outlook on life.
“I came for a week break with an open mind. My aim was to re-educate my mind and body, also to rehabilitate my back. I'm feeling happier and healthier as I return home with positive results.” Alison.
“A fabulous way to unwind, tune up and tune into your body. Excellent Yoga and Pilates classes in beautiful surroundings. Highly recommended.” Sofia, Education Consultant.
Having a good laugh!
The benefits of meeting and enjoying the company of the varied and interesting people that come on a Healthy Options holiday and the value of a really good laugh cannot be underestimated! Our weekly excursions and social programme including beach BBQ’s and cocktail nights with live music give you great opportunity to make new friends in a really relaxed and fun environment.
“Overall an amazing week. I feel amazing and stronger all over my body and mind.” Daisy
“I arrived feeling frazzled and left feeling serene.” Lindsay Special Needs Teaching Assistant
Many of our guests return to our wonderful Healthy Options centres each May and it's easy to explain why.Read on