Travelling to prevent health issues

Sound The Retreat


Health issues can be a barrier to a ful­filling retirement, which is why increasing number of pensioners are turning to wellness retreats to make the most of their quality of life in their twilight years. Luke Thomas samples three of the best

Sha Wellness Clinic - Spain

Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea between the bay of Altea and the beautiful natural park of Sierra Helada in eastern Spain, SHA Wellness Clinic comprises 5,000 square metres of green and serene spaciousness. Surrounded by dramatic coastal cliffs, the retreat is set in a microclimate considered by the World Health Organisation as the best climatology in the world.

As a world-class rejuvenation retreat, the retreat offers an array of luxury wellness spa programmes specifically tailored to the over 60s, including healthy ageing treatments such as facial mesotherapy with DNA cell protection, and diamond facial treatments to rejuvenate skin cells. Physia sessions are also available to reduce fi ne-lines and wrinkles and recapture youthful glow and radiance.

The Alicante resort also offers nutritious, balanced meals courtesy of a medical professional and a team of dedicated, innovative chefs. Daily yoga classes offer an opportunity to meet other guests, lubricating joints and improving flexibility, resulting in an overall health boost.


Clinique La Prairie - Switzerland

When you think health and wellbeing – the pure, fresh mountain air of Switzerland may well spring to mind. The Alpine nation has a remarkable reputation as a leading light in preventative medicine, and the famous Clinique La Prairie is no exception; a notorious health haven that’s played host to many famous faces including Marilyn Monroe and even Pope Pius XII.

Founded in 1931 by Professor Niehans, a pioneer in the development of cellular therapy, the resort’s core philosophy has been to assist its clients to enjoy active and more fulfilling lives.

Located in the picture-perfect Lake Geneva resort of Montreux and following a top-to-toe renovation in 2013, the retreat is ideal for retirees with its dedicated longevity treatments and bespoke programmes. Based on a holistic approach, the medical team of 50 specialists offers a highly personalised and expert diagnosis of current health, followed by comprehensive advice on how best to make the most of the years ahead. Its complete cell regeneration programme combats the negative effects of aging, leaving you energised and ready to take on the day.


Ananda – The Himalayas

Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, the secluded Ananda resort is an unparalleled tranquil paradise. The birthplace of India’s ancient arts of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda, this resort is ideal for those looking for a spiritual and holistic retreat and is ideal for people suffering with long-term or chronic illnesses.

Participation in soothing daily activities aid in restoring calmness and promoting mobility in the most authentic of environments, as well as helping to target accelerated signs of ageing in problem areas. Gentle guided hikes are also available in which guests can truly gain an appreciation for the breath-taking surroundings whilst bonding with others.

The resort’s wellness cuisine incorporates key principles from Ayurveda, which takes into consideration not just taste, but suitability to body type, with fresh natural foods low in fat and calories with an emphasis on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products.

The cuisine concept is re-emphasised by the show kitchen where chefs teach guests how to make their dishes at home to continue their new ‘way of life’. Ananda is not just a retreat that will leave you breathless with the enchantment of its surroundings, it will also redefine your lifestyle.


Health and wellbeing top tips

Eat whole foods

It’s more a way of eating than a formal diet. You load up on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy. You eat less butter, sugar, salt, and packaged foods. Many studies have found that this diet can help you live longer and protects against heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers believe one way it works is by physically changing parts of your chromosomes linked to age-related diseases.


Aim for 30 minutes every day. If that’s too much, break it up into shorter strolls. Regular exercise – especially if you do it briskly enough to feel a little breathless – delivers huge health benefits. It helps keep brain cells healthy by delivering more blood and oxygen. In fact, research suggests aerobic exercise may delay or even improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Stay connected

Loneliness is harmful to your health. If you feel lonely – whether you live alone or with someone, have lots of friends or none – you are more likely to get dementia or depression.

Seniors who report feeling left out and isolated have more trouble with everyday tasks like bathing and climbing stairs. Researchers found that lonely people also have higher levels of stress hormones that cause inflammation, or swelling, linked to arthritis and diabetes. Another study found more antibodies to certain herpes viruses in lonely people, a sign of stress in their immune system. So stay or make friends. Do volunteer work or simply help someone in need. Just connect.

Stick to sleep

Insomnia is common in older adults. It’s when you have a harder time falling and staying asleep. It helps to wake and sleep on schedule every day. That can help keep your body clock in sync so you get the sleep you need. Keep your bedroom dark. Turn off your TV, cell phone, and laptop.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening and don’t nap longer than 20 minutes during the day.

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