It has been shown that daily habits like exercise and keeping physically active have a positive impact on your risk of developing chronic illnesses like cancer and diabetes, and with that in mind, awareness of personal health is on the rise in Barbados.
There has also been a significant rise in the number of health clubs and gyms island-wide. In fact, there are actually quite a few large and small scale gyms scattered all over the island.
Most gyms in Barbados offer the private use of fitness machines and many also offer fitness classes such as Zumba, Pilates and Spin.
Zumba is dance fitness at its finest and has been made popular by a large celebrity following. The fast and slow rhythms of a Zumba class will see you working out and dancing all styles from hip hop, to soca, to salsa and much more. It’s a fun way to get fit with your friends and have a laugh at the same time. And, as we know, Bajans love to have fun.
Pilates is a form of body conditioning that emphasizes the strengthening of your ‘core’ (spine and abdominal muscles).
Joseph Pilates (founder) believed if the core muscles of a person are strengthened, the human body will stay balanced and supported and therefore maintain an optimal state of health.
Pilates is great for improving your balance, muscle strength and overall flexibility which means you will really feel the benefits, especially those suffering from lower back pain.
Spin or ‘spinning’ is a form of indoor cycling focusing on high intensity endurance riding on a stationary exercise bicycle. Spin classes are designed to simulate similar conditions to riding outdoors, with varying types of terrain, hill climbs, sprints alongside interval training.
The workout is based on elevating the heart rate to a level where calories are burned and your lower body muscles such as the quadriceps and hamstrings are strengthened and toned.
Hiring a personal trainer to help you improve your health and fitness is another option here in Barbados. Most gyms and health clubs on the island have a personal training option however there are also freelance personal trainers who are not attached to any particular gym or health club.
A personal trainer will motivate you to stay on track with your workouts, as well as set personal fitness goals, devise a personalized exercise program, and educate you on general health and nutrition.
Many hotels and accommodation also offer their own in-house fitness facilities so there’s no need to let that exercise regime drop while you’re on vacation or on a weekend away in Barbados.
The Crane Residential Resort and The Bougainvillea Beach Resort both offer fitness facilities for those fitness fanatics traveling or returning to Barbados.
The Savannah Beach Hotel offers in-house fitness facilities and full spa services. At some of the various Intimate Hotels of Barbados group, you can find outdoor swimming pools.
Barbados additionally has a great import policy for gym equipment. All gym and sports equipment can be brought into the island duty-free. This means a large amount of local Barbadians have gym equipment (sometimes entire gyms) within their homes allowing for a totally private workout whenever the opportunity arises.
All throughout the year in Barbados there are also privately and publicly funded fitness events including the Barbados marathon and triathlon.
The Barbados Nation newspaper also sponsors a series of annual events such as the Nation fun ride, fun walk and fun run. There are also various charity fitness events such as the Breast Cancer Walk.
Health clubs and clinics in Barbados are also on the rise. These clinics are generally designed with a holistic approach to health in mind.
This means your health is viewed as a whole picture, as opposed to isolated illnesses or injuries. The goal is to achieve positive and optimal health for the mind, body and spirit, rather than focusing on a specific illness itself.
A team of healthcare professionals will assist you to achieve optimal health and de-stress all areas of your life, incorporating diet, exercise and positive thinking into treatment programs.
Barbadians (Bajans) have embraced taking their personal health seriously and have adopted healthier lifestyle choices. We are proud of these advances and look forward to a bright future filled with healthier lifestyle choices and a happy positive community.
By: Brett Callaghan