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own personal standards and discipline to help themselves.” For the client, the journey starts

before they set off for Spain, by fi lling in an extensive questionnaire. This covers previous experience in, or an interest in trying, a variety of indoor and outdoor exercises and activities, as well as a personal assessment of general wellbeing. It asks about fi tness and weight-loss goals, diet history, current activity levels at work and at home, and addresses perceived levels of motivation and confi dence. “We’ve found that we get a more

honest account of issues related to food fads, inactivity, or a family history of bad habits or role models when it’s written down on paper, rather than in a one-to- one interview,” Richards explains. “This gives a truer indication of

clients’ general wellbeing, helping us to prescribe the correct programming to get them on the right track to develop a long-term health and fi tness habit that they can continue once they return home. If there’s a doubt about their general level of health, we organise a visit to the local doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor – we can even organise a heart scan if necessary.” Included in the fi ve-day plus package

is an hour’s consultation with cognitive therapist Dr Lissa Dells (additional sessions can be arranged on request).

july 2010 © cybertrek 2010

Dells specialises in developing long-term motivation to achieve fi tness and weight management goals and also addresses issues related to stress, in order to reduce chronic fatigue or work overload. “Cognitive therapy can help people

to get a balance back in their lives,” she explains. “This means more time for friends, family and interests outside the workplace for overworked people, and a lifestyle change for those who did not do sport or regular activity in their earlier years. “Meanwhile, people who want to get

over cravings for food, cigarettes or alcohol are helped to break one craving while they’re here and are encouraged to apply the same principles to other cravings once they get home. This is done via a confi dential chat rather than intensive therapy, which allows them to self-analyse and self-express to help themselves overcome temptation, letting go of the feeling that something is missing.” Guests also get the chance to de-stress

and unwind through massage sessions performed in the privacy of their hotel room by a physiotherapist or sports massage therapist; the fi rst treatment is included in the price of the stay.

aftercare During their stay, all clients receive a comprehensive fitness test which measures their weight, body fat, basal

The diversity of activities helps people stick to the programme and allows them to step out of their comfort zone, says Richards

metabolic rate, body water level, muscle mass, bone mass, hip to waist ratio, blood pressure, and resting and predicted maximum heart rate. It also includes initial cardiovascular, strength and flexibility tests. Within 48 hours of the client

returning home, Richards sends them a report on their ‘before and after’ measurements, what they’ve accomplished during their time at the camp, and what they need to focus on to improve. He also sends them a personal programme to follow at home and details of how to get hold of some of the smaller equipment used at the camp. “I often trade emails for about two

to six weeks after people return home, after which time they may have gained the services of a personal trainer,” he adds. “I certainly don’t push for testimonials, but I often get an email out of the blue that says: ‘Thanks, I’ve just run the marathon’ or ‘I’ve just bought my fi rst bike’. For me, these life-changing sentiments are what it’s all about.” karen maxwell

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