Finding out about the Holidays and Health programmes
The Costa del Sol boasts 325 days sunshine a year. I visited the Asociacion Turismo y Salud (Association of Tourism and Health) – Costa del Sol in February. As promised the sun shone and the daily temperatures were 17 degrees.
Sunshine and blue light are proven to be extremely good for general wellbeing and ‘Seniors’ as the Spanish call Silver Travellers, can benefit from this natural source of energy during the winter months, it’s a good time to take a holiday.
My host was Dr. Jose Antonio Amerigo, a Senior himself and President of ATYS – Costa del Sol. He trained as a doctor first in Spain and then in America and now specialises as a dietician. He is passionate about the programmes ATYS has to offer.
ATYS has a team of 20 health professionals including Doctors, nurses, dieticians; chefs and nutritionists; physiotherapists and clinical sport professionals who work up and down the Costa del Sol and all speak English. Dr Amerigo wants to encourage English Silver Travellers to understand the importance of diet and exercise as we get older. “If we want to make the most of our retirement years we need to plan to stay healthy” he says.
“We enter our ‘Senior’ years living independently. Later on we become inter-dependent meaning that we may need some help from a physiotherapist or with cooking and often taking more and more pills. Finally, many of us will have to move into a care home and become dependent”.
“If we take care of ourselves and introduce good habits into our daily lifestyle we can extend the independent stage of our lives and therefore make the most of our retirement years.”
The ‘Holidays and Health’ programme forms the basis of all programmes. These can last for 2 or 3 weeks and ideally will consist of small groups of 6-10 people. All of the programmes offered by ATYS are carried out in your chosen hotel.
Each programme begins with a Health Assessment by Dr Amerigo and an English trained nurse. All visitors are seen individually. During the Health Assessment appointment a personalised diet sheet is prepared and a suitable exercise programme recommended and discussed.
The exercise programmes take place each morning after breakfast in your chosen hotel and last for two hours. The session is broken down into three activities to give variety. These are tailor-made but for example it could be 40 minutes of Healthy Walking along the beach or promenade, 40 minutes in the gym followed by 40 minutes of Aqua Aerobics.
ATYS understand that you are on the Costa del Sol for a holiday, so after your morning exercise session you are free to relax and make the most of the sunshine.
Excursions can be arranged to Seville, Granada, Mijas, Gibraltar, Malaga or Ronda. Most hotels in the programme have golf courses and Spas with heated swimming pools, so your days can be as busy or as restful as you wish.
In the evening when you are sampling the many restaurants up and down the Costa del Sol you will be able to refer to your diet sheet and know what to choose from the menu to set you on the road to a healthy retirement.