Meetups, Forums and Online Communities
Hong Kong is a great place to try new fitness regimes, to meet knew people and to explore new healthy lifestyles. Whether you reside in HK or spend time travelling here, there is every reason to continue or explore some of the free ways to get fit.
One benefit of being in a large city, is the ability to be anonymous when you want to try something new. Many individuals are especially sensitive when starting a new exercise programme. But fear not! There are many ways to join the health and wellness community in a supportive atmosphere with the bonus of low or no cost! Plus, if your workplace doesn’t have a wellness programme, it’s easy to find something and some others who share your interests.
Hong Kong Hiking Meetup: Starting with absolute beginners, join this 13,000+ strong, extensive organization for regularly scheduled hikes including an experienced hike-master. Hike masters volunteer to run the hike and encourage you along the way. A great way to open up your social network and fit with new and old friends.
Meat Free Hong Kong Meetup: “A group of Vegans, Vegetarians and Vege-friendly people in Hong Kong. We have a few meetings every month and organize all sorts of activities around Vegan food! Come and make new friends while sharing delicious dishes together.” – Quote from the homepage.
Hong Kong Paleo Meetup: This meetup is for gluten-free, dairy-free, grain free people! This intro page says this about the group, “This group is all about helping people excel in living a Paleo lifestyle. Hong Kong presents a unique set of challenges and I want to share how I have navigated the landscape to come up with an approach that works. I want us to create a support network to help all of us overcome these challenges.”
Hong Kong Trail Runners: This group is exactly as it sounds – a community meetup set on promoting a community of trail runners. From amateur to beginner, you will find someone to match your pace in a fun atmosphere.
Other meetups include Kung Fu, Boxing, Cycling Club and Zumba. You can find all of these great clubs at www.meetup.com.
Forums and Community
Healthy Living in HK Meetups: Healthy Living in HK is almost four-years-old and provides a way to connect with like-minded, health-conscious individuals. Monthly events include coffee get-togethers, organic wine tastings and much more. Each month is different. To connect with this intimate group, e-mail Laura at [email protected]. You won’t find it by searching the web; the group is secret!
Bangkok Healthy Living: Are you travelling to Bangkok and want to get plugged into the health scene before landing? Check out Bangkok Healthy Living on Facebook. It’s a wonderful group ready to help you out whether you are staying for a few days or a few weeks! Regular monthly meetups are a significant part of this community. They often have visiting professionals and practitioners from Hong Kong, too.
Check out Gyms and Yoga Facilities
Many gyms have a policy where you can try the facilities before purchasing a package. Here’s the low-down on how many free days you get:
California Fitness – Free one week trial pass
Anytime Fitness – 3 day pass
Fitness First – 3 day free trial
Pure Fitness – one complimentary workout
Pure Yoga – complimentary beginner workshops
Anahata Yoga – free trial class
*Many other gyms will offer a one-day trial. Just call and ask!
For those not willing to join the fray of community classes and want to try a few things at home first, there are wonderful options. Ekhart Yoga is great for travelling, tackling specific problem areas or for learning more about yoga before joining a gym. There are different lengths of classes, as well. Paul Lam is a known world-wide for him gentle approach to Tai Chi. He has a great beginners series with six instructional videos. In addition, The Arthritis Foundation in the USA recommends his Tai Chi for Arthritis for those suffering from painful joints and movement. It’s proven to increase flexibility and reduce pain.
Ekhart Yoga at Home with Esther Ekhart.
Tai Chi for Beginners with Paul Lam.
Tai Chi for Arthritis with Paul Lam.
LCSD: Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Department often has a range of free activities from Tai Chi to bird watching. It’s a great way to enjoy some free fitness or just to get outside! There are numerous tracks and programmes always on offer. Plus, you really get to be a part of the community and expand your social network.
So, no matter what you like to do or want to experience, Hong Kong has either a group, gym or free video to help you start or meet your fitness and movement goals. Join one today, meet up with a friend to try something new and work your way towards a better, healthier you. Then, when you feel good, share your experience with your boss, your friend, partner or colleague and get your own group or even a whole company involved. When fitness, fun and food are shared together, it can change the culture of a city. You will also enjoy more energy, fewer sick days, greater productivity in additional to stronger emotional wellbeing.
Laura Paul is the Founder of Healthy Living Asia Magazine and Healthy Living in HK (a Hong Kong health and wellness Facebook forum with over 2,000 members). She has been the inspiration to a number of health and wellness businesses in Hong Kong and aims to bring healthier lifestyles to you through Healthy Living Asia Magazine , The HK HUB, Healthy Living in HK, and community outreach programmes. Contact Laura at [email protected] The HK HUB – Healthy Living welcomes your comments and suggestions.