Keeping fit in Thailand
Thailand is known all over the world for long beaches, exotic escapes, snorkelling and sun sun sun. It’s a fan favourite amongst students and families alike, with an endless succession of activities for you to choose from. It’s a place where the tanning never stops, where the street food is tip top, and where island hopping is a stress free normality. Yet the surge in popularity for Full Moon Parties over the years has meant that Thailand has become touristy, tainted and neglected.
For those in the know, there are ways we can redefine a trip to Thailand, by removing the need for never-ending nights of moonlighting mayhem and by replacing it with the wanderlust for wellness that we all know all too well. By finding ways to enjoy wellness in Thailand, we can put Thailand firmly on the map for any fitness travel packer. Keeping fit in Thailand? I hear you ask. Well, with the Buddhist routes and spiritual traditions, you’ll find that Thailand is full of yoga retreats, sunset Tai Ch, view point treks, and stream of organic smoothies. Keeping fit in Thailand only adds more to the bucket list in terms of discovery points for anyone who is in love with connecting with nature’s wonders. As you seek peace beyond the party islands, you’ll find rare treasures in hidden coves, rich farms and traditional villages. From elephant sanctuaries, to beach-hut havens, the beautiful landscapes you’ll explore provide a perfect backdrop for any spiritual awakening and for keeping fit in Thailand. If you’re looking for options, to walk, cycle, climb, dive, and dream, Thailand truly is a haven for wellness wanderers.
You may be thinking of taking a trip to Thailand for a few weeks, or maybe for a few months, and you may be thinking - how will I keep fit when I am in Thailand? To help you prepare for keeping fit in Thailand, here’s a comprehensive guide for keeping fit in Thailand:
How to keep fit in Thailand
One of the most famous ways to keep fit in Thailand is Muay Thai boxing or kickboxing! Thailand is world renowned for the sport, and the quality of the training is not to be ignored. It’s a great way to burn calories, learn self defence and to build muscle. Keeping fit in Thailand can be kick ass, if you know where to go!
If you need a zen moment, why not try out Tai Chi on the beach? Lots of hotels offer sunset tai chi, which is a great way to reawaken the body after a day spent sunbathing, and to unwind for the night to follow. The moves are very accessible and can be scaled for those of you who want a challenge. Keeping fit in Thailand doesn’t have to be about your body, so take this opportunity to connect with your mind and your body, whilst appreciating the beauty around you.
The king of Thailand made a pledge to make “public gyms” accessible to everyone at public parks. This is great news if you are looking to keep fit in Thailand! Each outdoor gym has a range of exercise machines, including chest press machines, multifunctional bars and manual cross trainers. Anyone of any age can use these to keep fit in Thailand, but please do remember to accompany kids to the parks!
Whilst experiencing the exotic locations in Thailand,why not experience the benefits of going on a yoga retreat? These retreats may be pricey, but you’ll have a trip of a lifetime, whilst having a mind and body reawakening and rebalance. Yoga masters will teach you the best poses for your posture, how to use the simplicity of breathing to regain strength and about the power of mindfulness. Sometimes you want a holiday that actually leaves you feeling revitalised and reenergised on departure, rather than so trekked and site-see’d out, that you feel like you need another holiday. If that’s you, exercise your mind in Thailand at a yoga retreat.
Raf, the Founder of Fitness Freedom Gear, has a favourite quote, "Sabai Sabai", which is Thai for "Everything is Chilled". Basically meaning stop worrying and everything will happen at the right time. He said, 'I'm usually super impatient and quick at doing stuff so it's a good reminder to actually take it easy while I'm on holiday and learn to switch off a bit.' So take it from him, keeping fit in Thailand doesn't have to be physical, it's a mental workout too.
If you’re looking for an action packed adventure in Thailand, then look no further than the sea! From windsurfing to canoeing, exercising in Thailand can suit the thrill AND chill seekers. Being on water is calming, and the beauty surrounding you can make the exercise feel so easy. Most of these water sports are great for the core, and take you beyond your usual comfort zone.
Who’s ready for a challenge? There are many hikes in Thailand, but one of the HUGE statue of Buddha, awaiting at the top of the Tiger Temple trek. To get to the top you’ll have to adventure up 1260 steps, so be careful opting for this one if you’re with children or lost of baggage. The stairs are very steep, so you can only really go on sunny days - which can be very very hot. This trek isn’t for the faint hearted, but you’ll be motivated by mischievous monkey friends along the way! So if you’re ready and willing, and not too scared of heights, trek up the Tiger Temple Cave for a workout in Thailand with the most glorious sites. One downside of this trek is that you must keep your legs and shoulders covered to respect the traditions of the temple. So wear light weighted clothing, good shoes, bring plenty of water, go to the toilet before and don’t be tempted to feed those monkey motivators. It’ll take you around an hour to climb up and about half that to climb back down, and you can rest along the way.
If you’re looking for something that you can do daily to keep fit in Thailand, then why not bring a small fitness travel pack with you? All you need is a skipping rope, a resistance band and a suspension band like a TRX, and you’re well on your way to making keeping fit a simple part of your trip to Thailand. You can easily use nature’s gifts to get your workout underway, simply wrap your suspension band around a tree - and away you go. Keeping fit in Thailand, without leaving the beach, the views or those holiday vibes. Balance is bliss.
Imagine calm and crystal waters, sunsets and rises that you only see on Instagram, and you floating seamlessly along the smooth surface of the sea. That’s truly what you could achieve by hopping onto a SUP in Thailand. Pretty much every water sport imaginable is on offer in Thailand. It’s a SUPer chilled way to keep fit in Thailand.
Despite the fading corals in the recent years, Thailand is still ripe for curious diving. You’ll find exotic species amongst the array of sea life, some friendlier than others, and this is a great way to keep fit in Thailand. If you opt for a longer diving session, you will be taught how to breathe using the snorkelling equipment and you will quickly get the hang of treading water between dives. Do be mindful that you don’t touch the fish when you are swimming around, as tempting as it may be, this is their home after all. But enjoy the feeling of experiencing a whole new world whilst keeping fit and having fun in the Thailand seas.
Eating in Thailand
If you’re putting in the effort to keep fit in Thailand, you may also be wondering what to eat to ensure that you aren’t over indulging this holiday season. Traditional Thai food is known to be quite healthy as they’re made with natural and fresh ingredients. But the problem is, some Thai dishes taste amazing, but then surprise you with how much sugar, oil, or MSG is used.
Knowing what to order is super important when trying to keep fit in Thailand by eating healthy Thai food. To be a bit more health conscious try ordering stir fried dishes with just a little bit of oil (náam man nít nòi), or no oil at all (mâi sài náam man).