WORKING OUT PATTAYA STYLE
By Kevin Cain
It is that time of the year that everybody considers New Year resolutions and particularly their health and fitness concerns. Many people take up memberships of gyms, sports clubs and activity centers in January but fail to keep up the initial drive just a few weeks later.
Pattaya is stacked full of air conditioned gymnasiums dotted all over the city and the choice is extensive, many are open 24hrs a day so really there is no excuse to exercise and keep fit.
But if you explore Pattaya and delve into the dark underbelly of where the locals work out you will notice that there are actually many free places to keep fit and keep healthy.
A very popular place for Joggers, Pratumnak Hill also has an area dedicated to fitness located at the Big Budha junction. The local motor bike taxi men have put together an eclectic open air gym together with some home made equipment.Often referred to as “Ghetto Gyms” these rustic but effective spaces have weights and other assorted paraphernalia that constitute quite a useful little gym. Anybody can use the facility and it is free to those who do not mind exercising in public.
AEROBICS ON DONGTAN BEACH
After a hard day's sunbathing and a taxing day in a deck chair, Dongtan beach is the perfect way to loosen those cramped muscles.
Around 5pm most days just next to the car park for Dongtan Beach is a free Aerobics class. It attracts locals and beach lovers alike and takes place under the tree canopy for much needed shade, although by that time of the day the sun is ready for bed anyway.
There is even an adequate sound system and you can boogie away those extra Christmas pounds in your bikini or trunks depending on your flavour.
About half way down Jomtien Beach close to the five-a-side pitch is a free outdoor gym area. Complete with working apparatus it is a great place to work on those Quad's and Ab's. It really does get quite hot down there especially during the day, and night time exercising is really recommended. But if you are one for oiling up your body and showing off your muscles Venice Beach style then this is the perfect place to do it.
There are two free open air Aerobics classes in East Pattaya both starting around 6pm nightly.
The first is on Soi Nernplubwan at the end of the Chinese cemetery. Everyday classes start around sunset and continue on into the early evening. The workout is totally free and an enthusiastic crowd gather to pump up the adrenaline and take some much needed exercise.
The second venue is opposite the Uh Bor Tor office and again is totally free. There is a lively instructor who will lead you in a series of regimented exercise routines that will guarantee to shed those extra pounds.
TESCO LOTUS PATTAYA NORTH
Why not combine your weekly shopping together with a good workout. Send the other half to do the donkey work and you can take time out improving your fitness.
Located at Tesco Lotus is a free Aerobics class that takes place nightly at 6pm. You may have to dodge a few shopping trolleys during your routine and face the wrath of one or two irate shoppers but it will be well worth it.
Perhaps a leotard is not quite the right attire for this location, but don some shorts and a T-shirt and get into the groove for some serious exercise.
Infact since 2006 there has even been an annual competition as Tesco Lotus provides a wide space in front of its stores where sports enthusiasts can do aerobics in the evening free of charge. The group say it is part of their commitment to encourage people to maintain healthy lifestyles.Today, Tesco Lotus claims more than 8,000 participants around the country are engaged in aerobics at more than 80 stores nationwide each day.
THIRD ROAD UNDERPATH
Not exactly sure of dates and times but there are regular Aerobics classes at the junction of Thappraya Road and Third Road central Pattaya.
It does not seem the most healthy of places to exercise as the traffic is pretty horrendous at times and the overhead road seems to concentrate the fumes.
However, that is not a good enough excuse to pass up a free exercise class. There are many participants enjoying the benefits of a healthy workout, but perhaps a face mask would be advisable.