(Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Another busy day at the office in Chiang Mai!
Chiang Mai, Thailand, June 9, 2010 — Chiang Mai is loaded with historical art and culture, as well as all of the modern conveniences of any city, without the same hustle and bustle feel of Thailand’s capital Bangkok ,and is seen as an ideal place to live by many foreigners.
As fitness and a healthy lifestyle becomes increasingly important to many when deciding to relocate to a new area, exercise junkies often prioritize their decision based on essentials such as workout facilities and climate.
It is no wonder more and more westerners are choosing this northern city with all of its amenities and the numerous outdoor activities found within its natural surroundings, just minutes away.
There is no shortage of places to sweat out a few extra calories in Chiang Mai and whether you live here permanently or are visiting for a couple of days you will find it very easy to include a training session during your stay.
From indoor gyms with weights and machines to hiking up one of the many trails in the nearby mountains, there is something for everyone interested in keeping fit.
With the year round wonderful temperatures, conducive to any swimmers routine, numerous pools around the city offer daily, monthly and yearly rates including lap sessions at the 700 year stadium, Chiang Mai Land, and the Centre of the Universe, a new resort that has three pools, uses salt water chlorination system and includes a baby pool.
Mountain bike rentals and guided tours are available for all levels from beginner to advanced, on jungle and mountain trails depending upon your experience or interest.
There is a local group of runners who meet regularly at the Hash House Harriers Bar located on Moon Muang and go for weekly runs around the town. The city also hosts races throughout the year each month with distances ranging from 5 kilometers to a full marathon held annually in December.
Yoga classes, Tai Chi and Chi Gung are taught daily at the Body and Mind Healing School in the old city on the southeast side of the inner moat as well as other venues around the city, including an area called Santitam which is just off of Kad Suan Keaw near Central shopping mall.
Muay Thai, another favorite for Chiang Mai residents looking for something new to add to their fitness regiment, can be practiced by anyone with a desire to learn with trainers on hand to teach you the secrets of this ancient national sport.
Whether it is the first time you have ever seen this sport or you are an experienced boxer there are several gyms around the city with regular schedules.
A new park recently opened in June 2010, and is located near the train station with a jogging trail that spans the grounds which have been carefully landscaped with tropical gardens. A swimming pool is under construction and will be open to the public upon completion.
Adjacent to Chiang Mai University, on the way to the zoo, is another small park with a jogging trail that has workout stations along the path to encourage various exercises along the route.
For anyone interested in archery, Chiang Mai Indoor Archery reopened its doors in 2010, above the Rasta Café on the corner of Chareanpratet Road, next to the entrance of the Iron Bridge and offers private classes with professional instruction from Khun Dang.
Tennis and golf are also becoming very popular throughout Thailand and Chiang Mai has clubs both inside and outside of the city with different rates depending upon your length of stay.
Gymkhana, which is located across the Ping River on the Chiang Mai Lamphun Road, is a popular sports club for local Thai’s and expats and along with two lit tennis courts and a nine hole golf course, has two squash courts and a cricket round with four turf wickets, an artificial pitch and practice nets.
If you are stuck at home, for whatever reason, and want to get a workout but need a bit of inspiration the local Chiang Mai cable station airs old school aerobics every day at 5am and 5pm, sometimes alternating with yoga instruction as well.
Obesity is on the rise in Thailand, though in far less numbers than western society, and is in part due to the influx of fast food style eateries popping up around the country. As more and more Thai’s enjoy comfort foods such as pizza and supersize fries, increasing numbers are hitting the gym.
With locations peppered throughout the city, Chiang Mai offers easy convenient access for anyone looking for a workout with a huge variety of choices from the novice to the professional athlete.
Locals and foreign tourists will find this city an easy place to stay in shape all year, either outside on a mountain trail or in an air conditioned gym.
About the Author:
Deborah, an American writer, lives with her Thai husband in Chiang Mai. She has a passion for writing about the Thai lifestyle and culture. She occasionally writes for WeightLossTriumph, a website that offers information about weight loss programs and online diet plans as well as a comprehensive review of the Fat Loss 4 Idiots ebook.