Bangkok fitness centers are everywhere within the Thai capital. Due in part to recent government initiatives to get urban Bangkokians away from their televisions and computers and out into the city’s parks and gyms, the people of Bangkok are borderline obsessed with health and fitness, and consequently nearly every street in Bangkok has some form of fitness center or recreation equipment installed on it. These range from large, air-conditioned American-style gyms with modern, well-maintained treadmills, cross striders, free weights, exercise bikes and rowing machines, to simple, free-to-use outdoor workout structures designed to burn fat and tone muscle through resistance training, which are intended for people of all ages and fitness levels to use.
The quality of the majority of these workout centers easily equals and sometimes exceeds that of gymnasiums and training centres that are typically found in North America or Europe. They are, generally speaking, very well maintained, and the equipment is often state-of-the-art. Due to another Thai obsession – good hygiene – most fitness centers are also frequently and meticulously cleaned, with bottles of hand-sanitising gel and complimentary towels being commonplace.
In terms of price, Bangkok fitness centers vary enormously, ranging from the free-to-use, government-subsidized outdoor parks and gyms, to large, international workout centers like Fitness First, which charge several thousand Baht per month for their premium membership packages. In the mid-range, there are countless hundreds of locally-owned, privately-run gymnasiums that vary in terms of the variety of equipment that they offer, and typically cost less than one thousand Baht per month to be a member. For a lot of Bangkok citizens these represent great value, and consequently most are busy throughout the week, offering a friendly and relaxed atmosphere in which to train, regardless of age, gender, or standard of fitness.