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ABOVE: Zulal Serenity


In this exclusive article for Traveltalk, CAITRIONA GAFFNEY, Director of Marketing Communications at Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, reveals how guests are becoming more ‘sophisticated’ in their H&W objectives and offers some great tips on living a healthier life.

The health trends and wellness goals we’re noticing for 2024 are more sophisticated than what we’ve seen in previous years.

While experiences that promote the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit remain popular, there’s a growing interest in immersive wellness therapies and retreats that offer a balance of relaxation, rejuvenation and notably – personal growth.

We’ve also seen a surge in demand for intergenerational and multigeneration group trips.

Family wellness is now a thing and families are seeking out wellness-focused activities together that offer unique opportunities for the different generations to bond and reconnect on a deeper level while enjoying experiences that cater and appeal to the diverse health and wellness goals of young and older members of the family.

These trips provide a shared focus on health and self-care within a supportive environment where family members can develop healthy habits together.

Digital detoxing continues to prevail. Digital reliance during the pandemic, compounded by an enhanced recognition of the impact of social and digital technology on our mental health, has led to more and more guests opting to ‘check-in and log out’ – and we so encourage it at Zulal Wellness Resort! In fact, it’s mandatory…

More guests are also planning their holidays around key health stages of their life and seek wellbeing experiences tailored to this end.

Caitriona Gaffney, Director of Marketing Communications at Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som

For example, menopause retreats and pregnancy experiences are becoming increasingly sought after, like the ‘Mother to Be’ retreat at Zulal Serenity.

Tips for maintaining health focus

Everyone starts a new year with the best intentions. To maintain a health-related goal set at the start of the year, begin with realistic targets that are manageable.

Health targets should be within reach and your tactics should consider real lifestyles and actual preferences. Remember that consistency is key!

A well-balanced lifestyle should be holistic. It will be hard to maintain specific goals if the basic principles of wellness are not practiced.

Incorporate physical activity into daily routines, sleep well, stay hydrated and nourish the body with delicious foods that are nutritionally dense.

Wellness should also be enjoyable, rather than punishing. Do prioritise self-care activities like spa experiences, yoga and mindfulness – to reduce stress and enhance mental clarity.

It’s important to celebrate small wins and milestones, to invest in our health and to track progress. Most importantly, keep things consistent – it’s better to take small and consistent steps in the right direction, than giant steps that are hard to maintain.

Consider a wellness retreat too – it’s a great first step at kick-starting health goals and instilling long lasting habits.

The rise of wellness tourism

More and more people are embracing wellness tourism. According to a recent American Express Global Travel Trends Report, 73% of respondents said they were planning a holiday around the improvement of their physical and emotional health.

Since the pandemic, and partly because of the trends and access to knowledge about mental health, travellers are now seeking rejuvenating experiences away from their urban settings – namely retreats that prioritise self-care and reconnection with inner selves.

Individuals seek real, authentic and soul changing travel experiences. They want a sanctuary where they can unplug, recharge and embark on a personal journey of self-discovery.

Health and wellness retreats

These offer immersive programs that focus on physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Conducted in natural and supportive environments, they address various aspects of holistic health under the guidance of wellness professionals.

Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som is situated along the coast on the most northerly point of Qatar amid a desert landscape.

It is surrounded by the healing elements of water and is spearheaded by a team of expert practitioners – delivering results-orientated treatments and bespoke healing therapies retreats that have been curated to individual health goals.

Wellness programs and retreats tend to encompass activities like yoga, meditation, fitness, nutritional guidance, spa treatments – and increasingly, educational workshops – including sessions delivered by visiting consultants.

Sustainable weight loss

Instead of fad diets that go in and out of style, people can address weight loss in a natural and sustainable manner by incorporating a handful of simple lifestyle practices consistently.

Often overlooked, a crucial element of supporting sustainable weight loss is to adopt a quality sleep schedule – and to stick to it.

Sleep is a super drug and with optimum rest unhealthy food cravings associated with sleep deprivation disappear. With adequate rest we no longer crave sugar bursts for energy, caffeine to stay awake and carbs to try and curb emotional ups and downs.

Likewise, staying hydrated with water and nourished with healthy beverages helps reduce the food cravings often mistaken for dehydration.

To spur on sustainable weight loss, it’s worth seeking guidance from a professional and embarking on a specialist retreat dedicated to long term weight loss and maintenance.

With a ‘Natural Slimming Retreat’ and ‘Sustainable Weight Loss Retreat’, Zulal Wellness Resort offers several unique and impactful experiences catered to this in addition to calorie-controlled menus and meal plans.

Tips to stay fit and healthy on holiday

The best ways to stay fit and healthy while travelling starts with packing and planning. Pack with wellness in mind and incorporate activities for wellbeing into the itinerary.

Research health-focused activities at the destination and pack accordingly. Even if it’s not a wellness destination, you can seek out wellbeing experiences like hiking, yoga and group activities.

If you plan in advance and pack for this sort of trip, you will be more likely to stick to the itinerary.

It’s also important to research healthy restaurant and dining options too. Look up menus online in advance and plan ahead.

By leaving it to the last minute, hunger pangs can often cause us to choose quickly and select more convenient, rather than healthy, food options. With planning – it can transform the role of food during your trip.