Nestled in Portugal’s sunny Algarve, EPIC SANA Algarve is the ultimate wellness retreat with programmes spanning yoga, mindfulness, weight loss, fitness and stress. The resort’s SPA Manager Patrícia Inácio has over 13 years of experience in the fitness area and specialises in group classes from cycling and step to calisthenics and hydro gymnastics. We speak with the fitness professional on her definition of a healthy holiday, fitness routines and achieving a healthy mind and body.
What was your first healthy holiday experience? My holidays have always been healthy, because exercise has always been my life, however, a few years ago, I didn’t have the dietary care that I have today. When I schedule my holidays, there is always a concern to know if the hotel has a gym and, if it doesn’t, I work out on the street. Currently, for holidays I try to choose places that have nearby trails or running competitions, which has become my sport of choice.
How do you reboot after a hectic week? My weeks are always very hectic, but I’ll never miss a workout. I may have to adjust workouts or schedules but not doing it is never an option. Usually, with accumulated stress, I need to release more energy, so sports has always been a good option for me.
What was the incentive behind opening this resort? Although I wasn’t working with the resort when it initially opened, the incentive behind when I started to work at EPIC SANA Algarve, was the pursuit to be part of a team that pushed all in the same direction with the aim to offer the best experiences in the best resort in Portugal.
Who would this healthy holiday destination suit? This healthy holiday suits anyone and everyone—whether they’re looking to alleviate stress (De-stress Programme, Mindfulness Programme) or achieve weight loss (Reshape Programme). The Reshape Programme is adjustable even for people who just want to combine physical exercise and healthy eating with relaxing days at the beach. Anyone who has spent a lot of time at home due the current pandemic situation, and wants to improve their diet or to do some exercise, would be advised by our nutritionist, who can provide a suitable daily menu. Furthermore, they can receive tips from our fitness instructors through personalised workout sessions to help them to exercise every day.
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What are the crucial factors involved in implementing a successful healthy lifestyle change? Undoubtedly, to achieve a successful healthy lifestyle change, one must have a healthy body and mind. For that, you need do combine hydration, nutrition, physical exercise and rest.
What are your travel essentials? My travel essentials include sportswear, running shoes, a camera and comfortable clothes.
How do you overcome one specific obstacle that you encounter daily? We often leave obstacles to the bottom of our to-do list, either because it gives us the most trouble or because we don’t know how to overcome them. Personally, I have tried to reverse this, and deal with the hardest problems first in order to release my mind from stress as fast as I can. Most of the time, it is through running that I find the solutions to overcome the obstacles that I encounter daily.
How have you taken a weakness and turned it into a strength? The right word is persistence. When we are not as good at something, we have difficulty in reaching our goals or we fail. We must try, as many times as necessary, until we are successful.
What is an interesting routine that you do daily that sets you up for success? Every week I have a to-do list, in which I add or delete tasks. It is based on how I normally plan my week of work, diet and physical exercise. Obviously, it doesn’t always go according to plan and I have to adjust some situations daily. But nevertheless, the focus is there and I know exactly what I intend to do that week or day. I create a mental deadline and try to meet it.