Crowded, hot, congested, and overwhelming….have you ever heard these words used to describe Bangkok? With everything it has to offer, this city can present some major challenges in the wellness and outdoors space. But with proper preparation, knowledge, and some flexibility in your schedule, you and your family can stay active, healthy, and happy!
Below are some key strategies you can use to prepare awesome fitness-oriented activities for people of all ages:
1) Research your area of town.
While this may be obvious, you may surprise yourself on exactly how many places there are to explore! Having lived here for two years, Bangkok is a city that continues to “open up” in terms of wellness events, places, and outdoor areas.
Spend some time getting familiar with nearby gyms, studios, and green spaces. Join several of the many Facebook groups and Meetups that occur on a daily basis all over the city. Transportation to and from these places is always one of the biggest barriers. Traffic can be a major headache so knowing the fasting routes and best times of day to go are crucial!
2) Scheduling Matters.
Just as you would with work, try creating a family fitness or activity schedule based on your research. As previously stated, getting to and from places can be a major deterrent in staying active. Unlike smaller cities Bangkok does not cater to spontaneity quite as much, as some parks or fitness centers may close early. Synchronizing you and your family’s schedules to allow for “movement time” is very important! Check in with schedules at various gyms, studios, and see what, if any, classes are offered for children or young adults.
3) Park Time!
You may be familiar with the major parks in Bangkok—Chatuchak, Benjakitti, and Lumphini. But how about some of the parks a little further out of town? Suan Luang Rama IX is one of my personal favorites. It offers sprawling green spaces, outdoor workout equipment, beautiful scenery, and surrounding food areas. While there is no direct BTS or MRT, spending an afternoon there with your family is well worth the trip! Another personal favorite is Bang Krachao, also known as the “Green Lunge” of Bangkok. Located just across the river by boat, this area offers wonderful roads to bike, run, and has its own lovely park to explore. There are also open aired markets in the morning, creating a perfect combination of movement and food.
4) Bring the activity close to home.
If you are very pressed for time or your schedule does not allow for much exploration, consider what options are available at your own condo gym. Many facilities are well equipped with treadmills, free weights, bikes, and various exercise equipment to keep you fit and in shape. If you are looking for help, there are many personal trainers in and around Bangkok that can come to train you, your spouse, or whole family as part of their services.
Gabe Heck is a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, and Spartan Race/endurance coach and athlete living in Bangkok, Thailand since 2018. He is originally from the United States, with a background working in the start-up health tech industry in Singapore.