With another holiday season upon us, we wanted to create a post, preemptively, for at least one new year’s resolution to follow. This post will be beneficial to anyone who is visiting or new to Taipei who wants to get in a workout.
Ultimately, you know your body, your comfort level, and what you are looking for but here are some ideas and resources to get you started on your workout journey in Taipei.
If you are in Taipei and are within a few blocks from a river, there is perhaps no better place to run than on the kilometers paved paths that sit along all of the major waterways in Taipei. While there are different names for the respective parks, you can run just about as far as you would like or need to on these trails. You will see other people out exercising on them, running, walking, biking, etc., early in the morning and late into the evening. One of our favorite runs is from Yanping Riverside Park heading north. If it is not too cloudy you will often be rewarded with an incredible view of Yangmingshan and the sunsets on that stretch of river are not to be missed. Other runs in Taipei include a great 2.5 km lap around Daan Park, as well as hill climbs up near Maokong.
Pro Tip: Bring your EasyCard in addition to your phone so that you can buy something to eat/drink or catch a ride on transportation if you want to only make it a one way run.
Additional runs to check out: https://greatruns.com/location/taipei-taiwan/
If you are in Taipei for just a short period of time or if you don’t want to look into a private gym membership, the pay as you go Public Sport Centers in Taipei are perhaps one of the coolest features of the city. There is one located in every major district. Some are larger than others, but they all come equipped with a fairly well stocked weight room and most have pools as well as basketball courts.
It tends to be 50 NT$ for 1 hour in the gym or you can look into an unlimited monthly rate which tends to be more in the range of 1500 NT$.
You can find these gyms and their locations by typing in “Public Sports Center Taipei” into a Google search bar.
Pro Tip: Make sure to bring a towel (it’s a rule), and try to go during off hours as they can get busy. You can also look into booking other exercise classes through these facilities as well. Enjoy.
If you are in Taipei long term and have an ARC it can be worth looking into a private gym membership. These can be great especially for the summer time and the rainy season when it can be challenging to be outside. It’s also a good way to become more integrated into the community and to give yourself on a routine. The rates for the gyms will differ and so it is worth checking out a few in your neighborhood before deciding on one. Oftentimes they will offer trial memberships as well but some will also make you sign a yearlong contract.
This blog post has a great rundown of a few of the more popular gyms in Taipei.
One of the things that westerners comment on most often when first arriving in Taiwan, or other parts of Asia, is the abundance of calisthenic outdoor exercise machines that can be found and the number of old people that you see using them. From chin-up bars to stationary ellipticals, shoulder wheels and more these exercise machines can often be found in local parks and they offer a number of options for older residents or a savvy traveler looking to get in a personalized outdoor workout. To find one, just walk down to a park near you.
Note: If you do take advantage of these outdoor machines make sure you are respectful of the locals who will likely be there as well exercising alongside you.
If you are in Taipei for any length of time, you will likely get to see a number of people taking part in exercise classes — often accompanied by loud music. These can be anything from dance classes in a local park to tai chi outside a temple to a jazzercise in the entrance to a Public Sports Center. Costs can range from private classes to ones that are put on by the city and open to the public. If you are looking to join a class start by talking to a Public Sports Center, gym, or exercise studio, or by walking up to a group after they have finished in a park. As a warning, some of the more local ones can start rather early!
This blog post is about one foreigner’s experience learning tai chi after he moved to a new part of the city.