Healthy Living

10 Stages of Starting to Exercise in Thailand

Ty Miranda, 127

“Are you worried you are going to get fat?”Ty Bikes

What a fantastic question to start my run off with. As I was leaving my house, my next door neighbor asked me that and I was puzzled. In my mind I thought, “Ha! There are so many easier ways not to get fat.” I mean think about it – I could stop drinking sugary Thai milk tea, I could start biking more, I could do many things; but no, I am not running because I am worried about getting fat.

So why am I running? I run because it is a stress reliever; and I exercise, in general, because it is time that I have completely to myself. I do not have to talk in Thai or worry about what my community is doing. I just have some good old-fashioned “Ty-time.” (Yeah, I couldn’t resist that one.)

Anyway, for those volunteers who are starting to think about picking up an exercise habit, I have a fail-safe, completely unproven, and entirely made up guide to exercising in Thailand.

  1. So Fantastically Motivated

This is the first step to beginning any exercise routine. You have to have some motivation. Now, it may be from a BuzzFeed article about what you can eat after a workout or it may even be a recent Instagram challenge, but that does not matter. What matters is that you dusted off those tennis shoes and found the workout clothes in the back of your clothes closet. You are ready.


  1. Opening the Front Door

Holy Smokes! It’s hot. I don’t mean it’s California summer, cool-breeze beaches hot. I mean, it’s blazing sun, sticky, and can’t breathe hot. How the hell are you supposed to exercise? You take a second to weigh your options. You could go for a run and practically die or you could go watch the latest upload on Netflix. Yeah, Netflix wins.


  1. Critical Thinking Time

    After you watch an entire season of Gilmore Girls you start to gain some motivation again. You start thinking, “How could I get some exercise without dying of heat stroke?” You probably ask another volunteer how they do it. You get a plan together and your motivation is going strong.


  1. A GAME

You did it. After thinking it through, you have completed your first exercise activity. Whether it was running, biking, an insane 30-day workout routine, or whatever you could think of that involved not sitting on the floor eating kanoms. You are feeling great. You post inspirational signs all over your room and you set a schedule.


  1. Motivation Burns Out

What happened? You were so motivated and were exercising three times a week, but after three or four weeks, your motivation plummets. You are so tired from teaching all day or working with the SAO staff and the last thing you want to do is waste your time sweating away your problems. Also, whenever you go out, people are always saying how hot it is or how brown you’re going to get. They are telling you that there are dangers everywhere and you are starting to use these as your own excuses.

At this point, don’t give up. Try to vary it a little. Don’t do the same thing every day and mix things up to prevent boredom.



Yes, I stole that from Nike. It should have a © next to it, but that’s not the point. The point is that you are going to carry on. You aren’t going to stop because people say it is crazy. You can do this… so, “Just do it.”


  1. Wait, I Like This

THIS IS THE BEST STAGE. After a while, you are actually going to start to like exercising. I know, BLASPHEMY. But, actually, I promise you Step 7 is when you start enjoying exercise and you look forward to it. You may have built a program into your schedule or maybe signed up for a race. Whatever you are doing, keep it up. Try to stay on top of your itinerary and not get angry if you slip up. Slow and steady wins the race.


  1. Community Curiosity

Now, you have been exercising for awhile and your community is starting to notice. Maybe they comment about it in the office or ask you how many kilos you biked this weekend. Take this as a compliment because your community is becoming curious about exercise because of you. You are the catalyst for people to start taking an interest in healthy living.

  1. Personal Victory

You are feeling on top of the world. You may have just finished your first half-marathon or biked in a local event. You could have taken a difficult yoga class and succeeded or scored a goal in your local football tournament. Whatever you did, it all paid off. All of the frustrating, sweat pumping, and tiresome days paid off for this victory and all the victories to come. You rock. Seriously.

  1. Community Involvement

Your community starts joining in and exercising with you. You may see people start to bike or go for walks on the weekend. Whatever you have done has inspired your community to start exercising. You are basically a hero.


Ty Finish


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