Are you planning an international trek? If your travels will take you around Southeast Asia, why not engage in some fun physical activity while you're there? You'll soon find there's a world of movement to explore.
It doesn't matter if you enjoy vigorous contact sports or low-key stretching. The world's largest continent offers something for everybody. If you're not sure where to start, explore these workouts to take your fitness to new heights.
1. Hula Hooping
Are you looking to blast your core and finally develop that sexy six-pack of your dreams? If you're a woman of average size, you can burn up to 165 calories per 30 minutes while hula hooping. Plus, you'll whittle your waistline, creating more of an hourglass shape.
Some hoops use weights to increase the intensity of your workout — but start slowly. In terms of circumference, the ideal ring will fall between your waist and mid-chest when vertical.
2. Aqua Cycle
If you like biking on land, you'll adore taking your workout to the water. The added liquid element makes you pedal all the harder, and the water sloshing against your legs keeps you from fully resting between energetic bursts. The classes take place in approximately four feet of water on bikes suction-cupped to the bottom of the pool. As a bonus, you won't get all sweaty, making it a snap to get dressed and return to your explorations after class.
If you adore a good fight, you'll love Bokator. This ancient Cambodian martial art has its roots in history. The term translates to "pounding a lion," and you'll definitely feel as if you've done battle after a class. The sport had one original objective — winning on the battlefield — and it uses a variety of strikes to subdue opponents. You'll get fit while gaining new confidence in your ability to defend yourself.
4. Bubble Football
Do you adore the gridiron, but you don't relish the thought of dressing up in dense padding yourself? Why not enjoy a gentler version of the sport with bubble football? Since you're enclosed in a soft, plastic bubble, you don't have to concern yourself with bruises or concussions. All you need to worry about is getting the ball across the goal line — without ending up going roly-poly when an opponent tags you.
Chinlon is a traditional Myanmar activity combining sports and dance to move a ball around. Watching it played, you can't help but wonder if the modern hacky sack game drew its inspiration from this pastime. The history of this exercise form stretches back at least 1,500 years, and people of any age or fitness level can join the fun.
Imagine a game of tag that involves teams instead of an individual named "it." That's the basic description of Kabaddi, a game that first originated in ancient India. Today, the sport is the national game of Bangladesh and is also a national sport in Nepal. You can score points by tagging the opponent's line or by tagging defending players.
7. Paddle Yoga
If you thought you had challenges balancing in dancer's pose on land, wait until you try to perform the asana on a paddleboard. If you're looking for the ultimate core workout, choose this aquatic-based workout.
Yoga is already known for its amazing impact on mobility and flexibility in people who practice it. Now, with the added challenge of the paddle board, you'll work muscles you never knew you had as you struggle to balance and stretch. Don't worry if you fall into the water — that's part of the fun! You'll amaze your friends with your newfound grace and strength when you return from your journey.
8. Aerial Yoga
If getting wet isn't your cup of tea, why not take your yoga workout to the sky? Since this ancient exercise form originated in India, you'll find no shortage of studios if that's where your destination leads. This exercise form uses broad bands suspended from the ceiling to take your stretches to new heights. You'll incorporate some intense strength moves, too, to keep your body upright while airborne.
9. Camel Racing
While a mature horse is difficult enough to control, the average camel, at roughly 1,000 kilograms, weighs twice as much as their equestrian kin. That means you get a considerable workout trying to control one of these beasts, and not only in your upper body. You need to shift your entire weight around to guide these massive animals. Release your inner Lawrence of Arabia!
When in Southeast Asia, Explore These Exercise Techniques
When you travel to Southeast Asia, don't leave your fitness goals stateside. With these funky workouts, you'll have even more memories to share when you return home.