The island of Koh Samui is a delicious slice of picturesque paradise located in the Gulf of Thailand off that country's southeastern coast. So are you looking to press the reset button? To rejuvenate from your busy life? If so, this wellness destination hot spot is perfect for you.
Since I travel so much for my TV show Travel Time with Linda, often my nutrition, sleep and exercise go completely off my normal routine so during our recent whirlwind travels through Thailand, I set aside a few days to recharge at Absolute Sanctuary; one of Asia’s top wellness and fitness retreats.
Armed with a suitcase of athleisure wear ready to strike my first tree pose, I entered its Moroccan-influenced grounds and was welcomed to the first set of colorful stairs by its smiling staff.
Thailand’s Hidden Gem
Nestled on a steep hillside about 10 minutes inland from the coast, this well-known retreat has provided me with the perfect holiday detox with its easygoing program of workout sessions, relaxing yoga classes and sumptuous guilt-free food.
With 22 programs spanning 15 categories, you will be spoiled for choice; their selection offers something for everyone. Absolute Sanctuary approaches individuals from three important levels by nurturing the mind, body, and spirit. In doing so, it inspires change from within and helps you to transform your life.
I chose the three day “Be Fit” program. In doing so, I was able to take full advantage of the Pilates reformer studio and the two yoga studios. Yoga studios offered Ashtanga, Hatha, hot, Vinyasa, and restorative, along with meditation classes. If that weren't enough, there was also a beautiful spa and infinity edge pool, five hydrotherapy rooms, sauna, and herbal steam room. Additionally, there was also a dedicated fitness center with personal training sessions.
Since I love to mix things up with my own fitness routine, I really enjoyed my workout with trainer Sari Sigurd Bonilla. She accommodated my request with a wide variety of exercises from kick boxing to weights, and also kept pushing me while keeping things light and fun in the fitness studio.
There was the “Bio Impedance Analysis and Consultation” with on-site nutritionist Stephanie Rault in my “Be Fit” package. It was so empowering as I learned my “metabolic age” is nine years younger than my chronological age, reflective of my active, healthy lifestyle.
Have You Heard of 'Metabolic Age'?
This is a new term used in the health and fitness industry to describe overall fitness and metabolic activity, shifting the focus away from weight alone as a health indicator, to looking at the body’s composition of muscle and fat. The number comes from comparing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) with the average of other individuals of the same chronological age. This is the amount of energy/calories you burn a day to keep your body functioning, before you do any activity, compared with the average in your age group.
In order to be maintained, all the components in our body require various levels of energy. Body fat requires much less energy than lean muscle. Why? Lean muscle is much more metabolically active and therefore requires more energy expenditure.
Let’s compare two individuals with the same weight but a different percentage of lean muscle mass and fat. The person with more muscle mass will have a higher basal metabolic rate, and therefore a lower metabolic age in comparison to those with the identical chronological age.
So to sum it up: increase your exercise to gain more muscle tissue. This, in turn, will improve your metabolic age.
So What’s The Verdict?
I left my session feeling validated by this new-found knowledge. How so? Well, because it showed me that I must be doing something right with my high-scoring health analysis.
As we age your metabolism naturally slows down and being a GenXer, this makes me strive even harder to continue to make healthy-living choices and who knows…. maybe I’ll be able to lower my metabolic age even greater to being “forever forty,” metabolically speaking.
I reflected on this as my body was pummelled to perfection in an open-air Thai massage at the Detox Center & Spa while listening to the hypnotic sound of cicadas.
The limpid warmth to wake up to, the hours of mind-rinsing sunshine each day and balmy nights in this heavenly Sanctuary left me “Absolutely” recharged, rejuvenated and ready to conquer the world once again….