Staycations can indeed be pampering, but that doesn’t mean your fitness plans have to take a backseat. Kristen Juliet Soh checked into Amara Sanctuary for its Stay-In-Shape programme.

amara-6Most of my staycations often involve lots of pampering, in the form of sleep-ins and good food. Hitting the gym typically takes a backseat. The Stay-In-Shape programme offered by Amara Sanctuary ensures that I can enjoy some fitness fun while taking a break. Collaborating with Aileron Wellness, a boutique gym run by Keith Tan – who specialises in nutrition, functional training and weight management, the 24-hour gym at Amara Sanctuary is well-equipped with stateof-the-art equipment.

Part of the Stay-In-Shape programme includes a 45-minute personal training session with Aileron Wellness, and Keith was there to personally train me. The gym has a “traditional” area with the usual treadmills and weights, but Keith brought me to the Power Plate machine. This machine helps to accelerate the intensity of training by stimulating a spike in circulation – as such, your fitness regime can be stepped up easily in a shorter period of time. I discovered that a usual squat was more tiring on a Power Plate machine than it would have felt on a normal training session. Within seconds of sustaining a squat position, I was perspiring and my core muscles were trembling. Besides ensuring that I was maintaining good form, Keith was also extremely encouraging and played the role of “cheerleader” to motivate me.

amara-2What’s unique about this gym is its “play area” that looks like a man-made field, equipped with different stations that assist you in training. The most interesting station was the interactive punching bag which is made up of three cushioned poles with areas that randomly light up and only go off when you hit it with your hands or legs. This machine makes you run around and trains your reflexes. It’s extremely fun and yes, you definitely work up a sweat! At the play area, I was brought through a series of circuit training. With the help of the cool equipment and a very experienced trainer, I felt that my workout session was more fruitful and inspiring.

With all this training, I definitely worked up an appetite. Thankfully, the Stay-In-Shape programme is also accompanied by a healthy meal at the Shutters restaurant. My three-course meal began with a bittergourd and carrot juice as a welcome drink, followed by an appetizer of Salmon Carpaccio, which isn’t just delicious but also packed with Omega 3. For my main course, I went for the Kuroubuta Pork Tenderloin, a lean cut that is paired with immunity-boosting sauerkraut. The meal ended on a nice note with Yuzu and Pear Sorbet dessert. Using only natural ingredients that are free from cream, sugar and MSG, this meal was delectable and definitely guilt-free.

You might also consider visiting Tier Bar, known for their cocktails, like I did. The “healthier” option at the bar includes spice-and-herb-infused cocktails like a pepper-and-cinnamoninfused booze, lemongrass and ginger cocktail. They were really exciting for my palate and helped me chill out after a day of fun and fitness. For the rest of my time at Amara Sanctuary, I relaxed in my room and went for a dip at the infinity-edge pool. The lush greenery that surrounds the 140-room resort was a soothing balm for my weary mind.