Fit­ness es­capes

It’s true! You can come back from hol­i­days fit­ter than you ar­rived, and en­joy a few cheeky cock­tails on the side, at one of these ath­lete-ap­proved des­ti­na­tions

Women's Health Australia - - CONTENTS - By Lizza Ge­bi­la­gin

Take the ul­ti­mate train(ing) trip: head over­seas for a gutsy sports hol­i­day

FOR WANNABE FIGHT­ERS TIGER MUAY THAI, THAI­LAND

The low­down: Sure, Phuket is syn­ony­mous with the in­fa­mous ping-pong shows on Bangla Road, but for the top mixed mar­tial arts (MMA) and Muay Thai fight­ers, it’s known for be­ing home to the world’s best train­ing des­ti­na­tion, Tiger Muay Thai (tiger­muaythai. com). The camp at­tracts world cham­pi­ons but also ev­ery­day fit­ness fa­nat­ics – like us – who love the idea of train­ing hard. Not only will the daily ses­sions in the hu­mid­ity see you eas­ily drop weight and get fit, but healthy eat­ing is made sim­ple as the street where the camp is lo­cated is filled with clean-eat­ing cafes and restau­rants. It’s a health nut’s par­adise!

What you’ll do: There are sep­a­rate classes for be­gin­ners, in­ter­me­di­ate level and pro fight­ers in Muay

Thai (the tra­di­tional Thai kick­box­ing), Western boxing, Brazil­ian ju­jitsu and MMA, plus fit­ness con­di­tion­ing classes (in­clud­ing beach boot camp and Cross­fit) and yoga. You can train as many times a day as you’d like, al­though twice is prob­a­bly enough. And the best part? You can wind down with a mas­sage that costs less than what you’d spend on your usual week­end brunch. Don’t miss: The Big Bud­dha Run. Ev­ery Tues­day morn­ing the train­ers take a group by bus to the bot­tom of Nakkerd Hills to tackle the 4km, alluphill run to the 45-me­tre­tall statue of Bud­dha at the very top of the moun­tain. Ideal time to go: It’s cool and dry from Novem­ber to Fe­bru­ary, and re­mains pretty nice un­til May, when the mon­soon sea­son starts.

When you’re not sweat­ing:

A half-hour drive from camp is the In­sta-wor­thy rooftop in­fin­ity pool bar at Kata

Rocks (pic­tured above, katarocks.com), where you can en­joy sun­set drinks as you gaze long­ingly at the wa­ter (down­side: swim­ming is only al­lowed for guests, but the pics are worth it). If you want to meet an ele­phant up close, make the eth­i­cal choice and head to Phuket Ele­phant Sanc­tu­ary (top right, phuketele­phantsanc­tu­ary.org), where re­tired work­ing ele­phants are re­ha­bil­i­tated in 30 acres of amaz­ingly lush jun­gle. A day at the sanc­tu­ary will give you all the feels.

Ex­pect to: Come back home se­ri­ously shred­ded.

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