WorkOut Just Like a Vietnamese
Vietnamese are very sensible about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Besides taking a good care of their day-to-day diet, exercising also become a part of their routine. One my first year living in Vietnam, I am surprised when many youngsters consume alcohol regularly and always go out for eating out with buddies. But in the meantime, they still look fit and healthy.
The exercise activity in Vietnam will start as early as 4.00am in the park by old generation doing “quick walk” before young generation will present at 6.30am for aerobic dancing, playing badminton or street soccer
“Home-Self” Gym Tools
High income Vietnamese normally can invest themselves for a good quality of “home-self gym”. Big space is to place workout machines or tools besides giving relaxed-environment while working out. These workout machines can be purchased from workout equipment centre in town and it will cost you around VND10,000,000 to VND50,000,000 each.
In the meantime, young Vietnamese who can’t afford to buy professional tools will come with their own version of work-out tools such as “home-made dumbbell” or “home-made pull up bar” to fulfil their work out need.
“Low Cost” Gymnasium
There are many “Low Cost” gymnasiums available in town with monthly membership fees as low as VND150,000 up to VND400,000 per month. This low cost gymnasium really attracted young generation’s attention such as high school students, university students and low income workers. The gymnasium normally does not really have certified trainers with some basic rules and most of the gymnasium’s members are into self-training routine. There are some gymnasium’s members said that, “Some young Vietnamese always dream to have nice muscles in 3 months’ time to show off to their friends or girlfriends. Even worse, some of them are taking some illegal steroids to help them gaining muscle in a quick way”.
Premier Fitness Centre
California Fitness & Yoga Centre, Star Fitness at The Manor and Saigon River Club at Saigon Pearl Apartments are among the premier choice for fitness centre. This centre is complete with high end and modern workout facilities, sauna room, steam bath, hot water shower, locker room and concierge services as well. Patrons are expected to pay between VND1,000,000 to VND2,000,000 monthly.
Nowadays, swimming turned to be a popular activity after working out in the gymnasium. Swimming pool in Lanh Anh Swimming & Tennis Club at 291 Cach Manh Thang Tam Street is very popular among Vietnamese besides some other high end swimming pools in five stars hotel and high end residence in town.
Aerobics is a very popular form of exercise among young Vietnamese girls and aging women. This aerobic exercise can be done under roofed classes or open class at sidewalk areas. It is a common scene in many parks around the town in between 6.00am to 7.00am and 5.30pm to 7.00pm daily and you will see groups of women doing their aerobic exercise routine with loudspeaker sound and energy booming dance music. Some classes in public are free of charge or by donation, while indoor classes normally come with minimal monthly fees.
Starts by belly dancing on early 2009 and faded by existing of pole dancing and chair dancing the year after, dancing is one of option for Vietnamese to keep fit themselves. However, negative feedbacks from traditional Vietnamese communities about these dance routines leads for some misunderstandings and most of the dancers doing this exercise in only private practice.
Ballroom dancing is in the top demand among local and young expatriate communities in Vietnam. As young people love the sexy move or tango and salsa, older generation prefer something slower and more intimation such as waltz dance routine. There are dance classes which is popular among expatriate and Vietnamese overseas such as DanCenter at 53 Nguyen Dang Gai Street, District 2 and La Habana at No.6 Cao Ba Quat, in District 1. Free classes are also available every evening around 6.00pm at 23/9 Park or Le Van Tam Park with some groups normally present there to practice their dance routine. Your basic Vietnamese language will help you to mix and join the group.
Yoga & Tai Chi
As yoga is popular among the young generation, Tai Chi is popular among senior citizens. This exercise is basically to help people to improve their concentration and maintaining good health. There are many private Yoga teachers available in Vietnam, either foreigners or local Vietnamese trainers for you to choose.
In short, no matter what nationality you are, you deserve to enjoy a healthy life and life longer. It will be no use if you have a lot of money, but you did not rewarding yourself by investing for your health and get sick at the end of the day.
This article was published in The Vietnam Guide on June 25, 2012.
Photos on flickr by boy_toy (boy=toy) CC BY-SA 2.0