If you prefer a final run around the island before departing or just want to work off some holiday(s) excess, Ritz Carlton Maldives features an inspired “Jogging Station” on one of its main paths. You can grab a towel to wipe off with or a glass of cold water a bit like the aid stations on the side of marathon routes.
Best of the Maldives: Bike Blender – Ritz-Carlton Maldives
The Ritz Carlton Maldives kids club has come up with a way to turn all that energy from the holiday sugar-rush to productive use. The “Ritz Kids” features as a stationary bike where the pedals drive a blender to make healthy and refreshing fruit smoothies. The inspired concept made me think of a brilliant way to limit device use by children – rig one of these up to a generator and let your child use their phone as much as they like…as long as they charge it with pedal power. It could nurture a generation of Tour de France champions.
Best of the Maldives: Coconut Weight Machine – Amilla
If you want to build your appetite or beef up the Swiss Family Robinson way, Amilla puts the ‘jungle’ into ‘jungle gym’ by putting its gym into the jungle. I’ve seen a some of these charmingly natural fitness devices in other resorts, but not the coconut weight machine.
- “Our Jungle Gymnasium features fun, island-made, ‘Flintstonian’ fitness equipment including barbells, a coconut weight machine and monkey bars.”
Best of the Maldives: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Hard Rock
Various martial arts provide not just a form of fitness to train the body, but also a discipline which trains the mind as well as a provide a range of skills for self-defence. One is particularly timely for the global “Black Lives Matter” movement which has been catalysed by police violence to minorities in recent times. All sorts of political pundits and advocates have weighed in with their analyses, but I was particularly impressed with Sam Harris’ proposition that a large part of the problem is due to inadequate training of officers. In this recent “Making Sense” podcast, “Police Training & Police Misconduct” he talks to Rener Gracie is a third-generation member of the legendary Gracie Family credited with creating the self-defense system known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu about how the discipline can transform policing.
The art is perhaps also appropriate in the destination of the Maldives where the citizens are of a smaller stature. BFF is distinctive in its ability for a smaller person to neturalise a larger adversary. Jiu-jitsu came to international prominence in martial arts circles when Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Royce Gracie (Rener’s uncle) won 3 of the first 4 Ultimate Fighting Championships fighting against mostly larger opponents proficient in other fighting styles. BJJ has since become an core aspect o Mixed Martial Arts.
I had never heard of Brazilian Ju-jitsu (or “BJJ”) until I visited Hard Rock Maldives last year and saw “The Red Mat” facility. It is a training area specifically for the BJJ training they have brought to the resort. It was introduced to Hard Rock by its General Manager Tolga Unan who studied the discipline in China. Offering daily jiu-jitsu sessions for staff and guests, Hard Rock is the first 5-star jiu-jitsu resort in the world. All resort instructors are purple belts. If you’re a member of a jiu-jitsu Certified Training Center, then Hard Rock has a special discount package offer.
Best of the Maldives: Fitness Centre Glass Floor – LUX North Male Atoll
I’ve been comprehensively cataloguing glass floors in the Maldives for years, and LUX North Male Atoll’s is the first I’ve seen in a fitness centre. Years ago, all fitness centres were stuck away in some remote, claustrophobic centre of the island making one’s effort to work off last night’s pina colada binge all the more excruciating. More recently, top resorts have moved their gyms to a pride of place with an ocean view with the spectacular vista as inspiring as any video on a little screen. LUX provides not just views of the sea beyond, but also the marine life below (or the gives the fish below a framed shot at the fit bodies above, depending literally on your point of view). And it is not just a token little portal, but an expansive area that covers the entire entry area to the centre.
Best of the Maldives: Push Sled – One & Only Reethi Rah
The trend in fitness to HIT conditioning takes me back to the old school days when training was basically moving heavy objects like barbells and medicine balls. One & Only Reethi Rah has introduced a workout that takes me back to my high school and college football days – the Power Sled. Designed for linemen like me to strengthen their ability to push opponents off the line of scrimmage. You can see one in action at the 1:00 mark of the introduction sequence to the USA TV show “Ballers” (great series starring Dwayne Johnson). This picture features Egyptian actress Yasmine Sabri on holiday, but keeping up her fitness regimen.
Best of the Maldives: Natural Weights – Joali
Looking for an all-natural workout. Joali features possibly the most natural workout equipment I have ever come across. In the Maldives or elsewhere. No plastic or metal (!), just wood. It has a real Flintstones vibe. If the Swiss Family Robinson ever opened a fitness centre on their castaway island, this is what it would look like. And yet, free weights are free weight. Plenty of heft for good workouts.
I’m a big aficionado of woodwork (admiring, not making) and I’m surprised I don’t yet have a “Wood” tag for all the features using this rich, natural material (but I do now).
Best of the Maldives: Natural Running Track – Dhigali
For a more energetic experience enjoying the lush island Dhigali offers a 1.2 kilometre running track (sand paths) weaving around the island and marked with handy signs.
Best of the Maldives: In Pool Spinning – Kandima
After all those buffet pastries, you might need a workout. Maybe a spinning session, or some time in the pool. Or at Kandima, both at the same time! Another “Finally Seen” gets ticked off (#24 of Part 4).
Best of the Maldives: Exercise Pool – Kandima
From the shape of water, to getting in shape in water. Kandima’s fitness pool features water jets that guests and swim against to add to the exertion. Or, if they are salmon, to prepare for the upstream spawning journey.