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Wildfitness review | Fitness holidays in Scotland, Crete & Zanzibar

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The Quick Read: Wildfitness offers highly inventive fitness holidays that use outdoor, natural surroundings to get you fit so you feel as far from an urban gym as you possibly can and that take a 360 degree approach to health. There are one week fitness holidays at an eco retreat in Crete, 10 day fitness holidays at Chwaka Bay in Zanzibar, occasional fitness breaks on an estate in Spain or in the Scottish Highlands, and short fitness breaks on the Isle of Wight

Wildfitness was created in 2001 by all-round athlete Tara Wood in collaboration with experts in natural movement, and the trips are run by a hand-picked team of trainers. It’s not a problem if the last time you did anything like this was when you were five, as you’re encouraged to go at your own pace and rest when you need to. Your body is pretty much guaranteed to change shape for the better, and you’ll feel it. We love these trips – read a word from the queen on our Wildfitness holiday experiences in Africa and Crete.

Budget: £££

Milia mountain retreat Crete

Milia mountain retreat on Crete, one of the all-natural Wildfitness destinations

More on the Wildfitness locations: Wildfitness runs fitness breaks where a lot of activities can be done outdoors in stunning surroundings, including short days and workshops in London and Berlin, one week fitness holidays at at the Alladale Wilderness Reserve in the Scottish Highlands (which we’ll be reviewing soon) and at Milia in Crete – a converted mountain settlement with uncluttered bedrooms built into rock (read our experience of that here). Wildfitness Zanzibar beach

There are also 10 day fitness programmes at Chwaka Bay in Zanzibar, which includes an individual assessment at the start and finish of the course, 2/3 training sessions a day, 5 workshops covering movement, living and eating, 2 massages, stretching and flexibility sessions.

Wildfitness holidays began in Africa, on a gorgeous private spot on the Watamu coast in Kenya – sadly these holidays are currently suspended due to political reasons.

More on Wildfitness in London: Wildfitness run fun sessions in Richmond Park and on Hampstead Heath led by Wildfitness Coach Paul Ranson. They consist of lots of purposeful natural movement and will be scalable to challenge all fitness levels so you move at an intensity that you allow yourself to experience. A typical session will entail body weight mobility and movement, natural movement skill work and games. Mindfulness, cooking and foraging workshops are also planned. For more information contact Paul on london@wildfitness.com.

Wildfitness champions natural movement

Wildfitness champions natural movement

More on the Wildfitness method: These fitness holidays give you an insight into the philosophy of evolutionary fitness – using our bodies as they were designed to be used, when we needed speed, agility, range of movement, stamina and more in order to survive in the wild.

Each day involves training sessions, workshops and a movement class as well as relaxation time. The classes and workshops cover subjects like flexibility and stretching, breathing techniques and nutrition. You’ll be assessed at the start and finish of the week and given a USB to take home containing footage of your movement patterns, posture and running, photos and workouts. To understand more of what happens on a Wildfitness break, listen to Tara on TED.

Fellow guests: Professional men and women usually in their 20s, 30s 40s and 50s who want to get fit, change their eating habits, lose weight or tone up in a motivating atmosphere. You’ll feel comfy if you come alone or with a friend or partner. It’s brilliantly suited to Kings as well as Queens.

Healthy eating is vital to a Wildfitness holiday

Food & Drink: You’ll be served a healthy, tasty  ‘evolutionary diet’, which according to Wildfitness philosophy is what our ancestors would have been able to hunt and gather in their natural environment. So plenty of fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and seafood, nuts, seeds and oils, and small amounts of ancient grains and pulses.

As our ancestors would not have eaten dairy (although some of us are more adapted to digesting this than others), artificial additives like flavourings, colourings and preservatives, refined or very processed foods and very energy-dense foods like many of the modern grain crops, these are all avoided. They cut out wheat altogether, as ‘wheat has been severely changed from its ancient form and many people’s bodies find it difficult to digest’.

Eating this way produces the optimum hormonal state in the body to strengthen your body’s systems and be naturally lean, and prevents cravings and over eating. You’re encouraged to drink lots of fluids, and alcohol and caffeine is avoided throughout the holiday.

crown What’s queenly: You’ll feel as far away from a stuffy, noisy gym as you possibly can.

What’s lowly: There’s stretching on the holidays and massages with local therapists, but no yoga or other holistic offering.

Costs: Wildfitness holidays cost from £690 per person for 3 days on the Isle of Wight to £2874 per person for a 10 day course in Zanzibar.

Reviewed by Caroline Sylger Jones and Jo Sinnott

© Queen of Retreats

Retreat calender wildfitness.com Other fitness holidays

wildfitness beach stretch

Naturally stretching on the Isle of Wight – Wildfitness holidays are all about being outside