Lounging around on the beach catching some sun rays with a cocktail in hand is most people’s idea of a holiday in Phuket, but not everyone who visits this tropical isle comes just for relaxation.
Phuket has evolved into an important hub for health, fitness, and wellness, and is an immensely popular destination for fitness fanatics.
The island has all you need to achieve your goal, whether it’s taking part in the plethora of marathons, triathlons or training in Muay Thai, yoga, meditation, a full-on detox, or simply walking the island’s hills. Knowing what’s best for you on your fitness journey isn’t always an easy task.
Whether you’re just starting out on your get-fit trip, are found down at the gym weekends, or in serious training, Phuket has something to suit everyone’s budget and needs. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s available.
There are a large number of gyms here, from small local places offering basic weight-lifting equipment and benches, no air-con and cheap rates, to state-of-the-art gyms with first-class gear and a full selection of cardio apparatus.
Club Asia in Phuket Town is a well-equipped gym with top quality cardio machines from Star Trac, weight machines, and a large free weights section. They also have a full range of fitness classes, an outdoor swimming pool, and spa facilities.
A fitness centre is slightly different from a gym as they don’t generally offer the facilities or the option of a gym membership where you can just turn up and lift some weights when you want. They offer set classes for a variety of fitness techniques, such as Cross Fit, Strength Training, Yoga, TRX, Circuit & HIIT training.
There are several fitness centres in Phuket where you can just walk-in for a session, get a day pass, or sign up for a weekly or monthly package.
Unit-27 in Chalong is a fitness, weight loss and conditioning centre, focusing on intensive training.
Their state-of-the-art equipment is excellent and includes Olympic standard weightlifting, a wide choice of workout machines and dedicated CrossFit equipment. They also have a premium Swedish sauna, ice baths, and advanced body composition measurement machines.
Attracting world champion athletes, Thanyapura is the main sports training facility on the island, with two exclusive hotels, an award-winning organic restaurant, Olympic-standard swimming pools, and facilities for tennis, football, rugby, cycling, track-and-field, in addition to Jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms and fully-equipped gym.
Muay Thai Training
There are a lot of yoga instructors in Phuket, some have their own studio, and others are freelance and travel to you.
Try Ashtanga yoga down in Rawai at Ganesha Yoga Shala, one of the oldest and most experienced in Phuket. The focus is on small classes and everyone is welcome, from beginners to experienced yogis. Whilst over at Bang Tao Beach, meet Aussie Jack who will lead you at his Yoga Republic studio and train you in Hot Yang, Fusion Flow classes, and Yin Yoga classes.
The Great Outdoors
One of the best things about Phuket is that you can be outdoors nearly all the time. The beaches are beautiful, the oceans warm, and the surrounding nature perfect for trekking and trail running.
Rent a bicycle and get some exercise cycling around the mountain roads, stopping off at the viewpoints for a rest and a selfie or two. A beach is a fantastic place for swimming or snorkelling, or an all good workout, jog on the sand or just walk its length a few times in the cooler early morning sun.
Trek through the jungle nature trails, exploring the landscape or looking for island wildlife. Take a swim in the waterfalls in the national park, or walk up to the Big Buddha, Phuket’s highest viewpoint – that’ll be sure to give you a Kardashian behind in no time at all.
If you are going to train hard, then you also need to make time to rest and recover. Phuket has fantastic massage parlours with a wide range of treatments. Sauna and Ice Baths are also popular here and spa treatments offer excellent value. With a west coast full of beautiful beaches, you won’t only return home looking slim and fit and feeling great, you’ll also have a nice bronze suntan to show off.