Nutrition and Fitness in Taiwan
Just like most things we look at when drawing a comparison between Taiwan and the West, nutrition and fitness in Taiwan is different and can mean adjusting what you already know to fit into a new way of doing things.
Previously, I had been involved with a lot of heavy fitness– lifting and martial arts. I had been eating a certain diet for performing physically as well. I wondered what I might find in Taiwan in terms of fitness and nutrition. I am dedicating this first article to fitness options, tune in for my next article which looks at nutrition in Taiwan.
These are your Gold Gym, World Gym, and other super-mega gyms in Taiwan. They are very large and can be somewhat crowded at times. They have many floors used for all types of different activities– rock climbing, ping pong, classes, swimming, or cardio.
They range in price, some can be pretty cheap and charge you by the hour, others will require a monthly fee, some require you pay for a year upfront with a credit card and cancellation fee. It can be a good option for getting a workout in but space can be little limited and there are little to no free weights. There are plenty of options, however, if you want to try something new!
There are plenty of options, however, if you want to try something new. The benefits of this kind of gym is that they are a chain and they are everywhere, so you will never be too far away from a gym.
I’ve come across some smaller, privately run gyms in Taiwan but they are few and far between. Some can be a good distance away from you or be quite expensive. They can also be very small and have limited equipment.
Some specialize in different activities– you may find some martial arts or kung fu, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, yoga, or weight lifting/kettlebell studios. Notable smaller gyms I’ve come across are Formosa Fitness in Guting and Live to Play in Zhongshan.
Being on a subtropical island lends itself pretty well to outdoor activities! There are plenty of options here– biking, hiking, basketball, or exploring a new part of town.
There are a lot of trails along the rivers to walk, run, or rent a Ubike and cruise along. Or trails in the mountains to appease the more adventurous spirits– they can range from easier hikes to difficult.
There is exercise equipment along the trails by the rivers sometimes as well, such as: pull up bars, self-propelled elliptical type machines, and stretching stations. Sometimes you might see a group practicing Tai Chi– maybe you can practice with them!
In Your Apartment
Depending on what and where you rent, catching up on exercise in your apartment might be a viable option. There are plenty of channels and websites online that will design a workout for exercising indoors.
Some apartments might be too small for this to be an option, and there isn’t any equipment in your apartment unless you find and purchase it– sometimes you can find second-hand items for sale, the Taiwan buy sell trade group on Facebook would be a great place to start your search.
Once you purchase it, if you don’t plan on staying after your contract is up, you will have to find a way to get rid of it, too. For small, body weight exercises, working out in your apartment is another option to get some exercise!
Finding a gym can be somewhat difficult in Taiwan, but there are many options for exercise! Pick something that fits you, your budget, and your location the best and don’t be too concerned– enjoy your time abroad discovering these new fitness activities and cultures! Also, stay tuned for Part Two: Nutrition in Taiwan.