So the New Year has come and gone, and now it’s time to work on those resolutions for 2015.
Perhaps the most common new year’s resolution is to get back in shape. And while that might be difficult in the Czech Republic (with all the wonderful beer and sausages that you’ll find everywhere) there’s still lots of ways to get back to being fit. Here’s a few ideas to jump start your journey from flab to fit!
Go to the Gym
For those of you who like your physical fitness old school with a side of barbell, there’s always the tried-and-true solution of going to the gym. Big chain gyms like BBC (http://www.fitnessbbc.cz/) and Holmes Place (http://holmesplace.cz/en/) often have introductory specials and offer a range of classes from spinning to Pilates (http://www.partyfit.cz/english/). Some added benefits of these larger gyms are the facts that they’re also more English-friendly than some of the neighborhood gyms and they’re often located close to the larger office parks and metro stops. Some even offer juice bars and saunas and other relaxing amenities if you’re in the mood (and have the budget) for an post-workout treat.
If you’re more comfortable with your Czech, Prague also boasts a range of smaller (and often cheaper) gyms closer to home. While these gyms may not be as large, or offer as many fancy options as the larger gyms, they are often more affordable and they’re close to home.
Something with a more Eastern Flair…
Yoga is a big deal here in the Czech Republic. This Indian-derived form of exercise sets aside the weights in favor of using a series of poses and movements designed to work all of your muscles. Several different types of yoga can be found in the Czech Republic, ranging from the spiritually-oriented (for those who want such an experience) to the physically intense.
Hot yoga and Bikram yoga are especially popular these days. These styles, which take place in a room heated to 40 C, have grown in popularity since arriving in the Czech Republic in 2006. Practitioners often find that the heated room helps their bodies loosen up more easily, which is something to be treasured during the cold Czech winters (http://www.bikramyoga.cz/en/).
Yoga devotees who want something less “tropical” have their share of options too. Nearly every neighborhood in Prague and Brno has a yoga studio, and the craze has even spread to many Czech towns and villages.
Take Up a Martial Art
Martial arts (as well as sports like boxing) are another great way to not only lose weight and get in shape, but also to make new friends and acquaintances. Nothing brings you and your new friends together like a round of intense sparring, after all!
Although many gyms are run by Czech speakers, there are plenty of places to practice martial arts in Prague that not only allow foreigners to train there, but usually welcome them. Traditional Chinese art forms like Wing Chun and Hung Gar, and Japanese martial arts like Goju-ryu karate are all taught in the larger cities like Prague and Brno.
If you’re more concerned with being physical than deadly, Judo, Western Boxing, and Thai boxing (all sports popular with mixed-martial artists) in particular are well represented in Prague, with clubs and training facilities in most districts in the city. Due to a strong Czech fight sport scene, these clubs tend to be a little on the competitive side, but they often have beginner’s classes for those who are just starting out.
Wish you a great beginning of the year 2015 and remember to have at least one beer after your exercise!
Your Team of PraguExpats