Maldives Wellness Review

Fuvahmulah is blessed with an environment of Wellness. The island is well laid out with green open spaces and surrounded by an amazing ring road, Naib Thuthu Hingun. The ring road follows the beach line. Walking is a proven wellness activity according to neuroscience.

Photo Credit: Fuvahmulah City Council

Wellness is an inbuilt feature of this “Wonderfully Unique” island. Two  wetland areas were declared UNESCO protected biosphere nature reserves in 2022. Dhadimagi Kilhi and Banddara Kilhi are two fresh water lakes surrounded by vast wetland area. The wetlands have secret Mud Baths!

Diving is one of the prime attractions for tourists. The surrounding sea offers a wonderfully unique adventure diving experience. The island has been recently branded as the Tiger Shark Island! by enthusiasts.

 

Fuvahmulah City Council

Fuvahmulah was declared a city in 2016. The city is administered by a council of seven councilors with Mayor Ismail Rafeeq presently heading the council. The island city is home to a resident population of 9,000. Tourists flock to explore its wonderfully unique waters and the wetlands. Guest house services are excellent.


Energise & Excel

The Fuvahmulah City Council recently commissioned the Male’Fitness Academy to conduct a professional development activity on physical fitness and its health benefits for their staff, under the slogan “Energise & Excel”.

The session focused on the optimal exercise intensity to burn fat and maintain good health, especially cardiovascular health. A preliminary assessment of 24 city council staff revealed that 58% registered a BMI of over 25. This is above the national average of 52% (see below). A BMI of 25 and over is generally considered overweight.

Photo Credit: Fuvahmulah City Council

Photo Credit: Fuvahmulah City Council

These preliminary estimates indicate Fuvahmulah population may not fare much better than their Male’ City counterparts.

The WHO STEP Survey of the Maldives is alarming! Over 52% of the population are overweight (BMI>25) In 2022 the Ministry of Health declared that 84% mortality is associated with noncommunicable disease. This is well over the global average of 74%.

Fuvahmulah city has plans to improve physical activity levels of their population. A benchmark for Fuvahmulah will be to maintain mortality below the national average!

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Fuvahmulah Council Staff, finding out resting heart rate

WHO STEP Survey, Maldives 2020-2021. Figure 25 overweight (p.93)

Domestic Wellness Tourism

Fuvahmulah attracts domestic tourists from nearby Huvadhoo Atoll. Families travel for sightseeing, especially the wetlands. The city council has plans to open up access to the wetlands in more adventurous modes with walkways and zip cords.

Culture

Maahefun on the beach is a ritual to celebrate the coming of the fasting month of Ramadan (or Roadhamas in the local language Dhivehi). Families come out on the beach or Thundi to have a meal followed by traditional games. This is a festive day for the children as much as their parents.

Fitness There is a well established gym, making Fuahmulah an ideal venue for sports camps. The commercial potential for fitness is yet to be realized. The gym is presently patronized by about 300 members.

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Photo Credit: Male Fitness Club: Mud bathing in Fuvahmulah

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About the Author

Hamid Abdul Ghafoor founded the first fitness club in the Maldives (1989) after his graduate studies in Physical Education, Exercise & Sports Science. He developed his fitness practice on a science based approach, while teaching a certificate course in fitness and health. Aware of the scourge of noncommunicable disease and it’s impact on the health and wellness of Maldivians, his fitness practice focus on a holistic approach, giving credence to the wellness derived from being physically fit.