What is Living in Thailand REALLY Like?

Getting Older in Thailand

I guess I’m going to grow old and die here in Thailand. Or, be killed in traffic.

I noticed that those staying in Thailand for dozens of years, age fast – and age hard. The reason is – most of them aren’t involved in anything resembling physical fitness. I don’t count sex as a workout – especially how most guys go about it. I’d have to include myself in that group.

Thailand has good weather, good food, and some great places to go exercise. The expats here are more interested in BBC, watching football on television, and drinking beer. I’m saying for the most part. The only guys really exercising on a regular basis are those doing Muay Thai training, and how many of them are over 40?

How many of you exercise more than once a week? Out of the 600 people that read this blog per day on average, I’m guessing about 40. But, for those over 40 years old? I’ll guess about 5 of you. That’s under 1% of readers of TP/blog. Anybody think I’m way off? I might be. In fact, when I write what I think – I’m usually WAY the hell off.

In this case, I don’t think so. In Ubon I knew 2 people besides me that exercised pretty regularly. In Sisaket – nobody. In Surat Thani – 3 others. Here – four. How many out of these are over 40? Just 1, besides me.

Those are some sad stats if they bear any resemblance to reality.

Why is there no interest in expats over 40 to exercise once they live in Thailand?



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9 thoughts on “Getting Older in Thailand

  • May 23, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I think you are right on!
    I am 41 yrs old and before moving to Phuket I owned a Gym in The States and worked out on a daily basis.

    I have been living Phuket for 3 years now and I can honestly say that I have joined 3 different Gyms. I probably have had 10 really good workouts.

    I can blame it on the lack of quality gyms but that would be just a cop-out!

    • May 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Is it just that there are too many distractions – and you accepted the lifestyle of the expat? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been tempted… I went through a couple of months when I first arrived where there was little exercise going on… and a whole lot of ‘fun’. Thanks for your comment David.

  • May 23, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    You are so right!

    Another problem is that it is too hot (and probably not healthy, too) for cycling or jogging. The days also often “passing by” fast…

    I have started now with regular swimming in the pool and will re-start my Aerobic lesson!

    • May 24, 2011 at 12:38 am

      That’s true – the heat does get to people. I hadn’t considered that. I’ve almost always lived in really hot places – doesn’t affect me all that much. GOOD POINT!

  • May 24, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I’m 40. 16 years in Thailand. No daily fitness, but always monthly going to nature, forests, hiking, waterfalls, hot springs, climbing and monthly twice diving (clean smokers lungs) – now can climb up to top of Wat Yan monastery, Pattaya with son (4 yo) in hands. No alcohol. Hibiskus ices sweet tea… Thai traditional medicine mostly… Thailand give to us option to get old with pleasure…

  • May 24, 2011 at 1:10 am

    I think a lot of it has to do with the lifestyle of where you live.
    I am from Florida, where a great majority of people do exercise. Whether they do it for the health aspect or just for their physical appearance.
    In Thailand, as long as your not overweight you are considered healthy.
    So I guess I feel into the category of exercise for physical appearance.

    So now that I have had this self-perspective epiphany, it’s time to make some changes!

    • May 24, 2011 at 1:19 am

      ha! Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it. lol… good luck, seriously…

  • July 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    In Thailand, the girls will treat you like a young and handsome man no matter how you look, assuming you have any money. The people that exercise who come to Thailand fall into the social norm. There friends don’t exercise, so it becomes easy to fall out of that rhythm. Of course this is a generalization coming from Phuket, where many men are single/divorced/widowers and just want to live the rest of their lives in the bars. I do know a lot of men who exercise regularly and are quite fit, but they are the exception not the norm.

    • July 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      Nice comment. I was wondering if you were going to stop the drive-by comments and sink into something meaty. I know some people that work out regularly – but mostly they’re the guys that are under 50. Usually under 60 for sure. I’m 45 and I’m still driven to do all I can. I think you’re right… surround yourself with people that don’t exercise and many will just stop. Cheers Lawrence…


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