Zumba and Getting Proper Exercise in the Philippines


No matter where you live, maintaining some semblance of physical, mental and spiritual health is pretty important for overall well being.  It’s even more important for us older folks as our failing DNA triggers the aging process .  Although I am not yet in my Autumn years, I have been feeling my own body start to lose its once-vigorous repair process – cuts and bruises take longer to heal, colds tend to linger and my poor shrinking muscles take longer and longer to recover from heavy lifting days in the gym.

A lot of our readers are older folks who are either fully retired or contemplating retirement, specifically, contemplating the Philppines as a place to get the most “bang for the buck” out of their retirement monies (Social Security, pensions, 401K’s or what not).  Thankfully, I am pleased to report that our little island Republic boasts a good range of activities in which to maintain good health. 

A buddy of mine – Mountain Bike Dan (see the video on his apartment HERE) – received his moniker for just that –  mountain biking.  He’s about my age and just about every day he is taking a 20 kilometer circuit of the back trails leading up and down from the mountain town of Valencia.  I actually took a ride with him one day and can vouch that Dan’s cardio is ridiculous.  But then again, he’s been doing this for a while and is pretty passionate (some might say, obsessive) about it.   🙂    Lot’s of Filipinos also mountain bike, and in addition to being great exercise, it’s also a great way to meet new friends.  You can see just how popular biking is in the Philippines early in the morning and in the evenings when the weather is cooler and you’re not cooking under the midday sun.

moutain biking

Public pools in the Philippines – while rare – DO exist, usually in developed city areas.  The Teves Aquacenter (see the video HERE) is a beautiful 50 meter pool that also boasts towering diving platforms.  It’s 20 pesos (less than .50 cents, US) for the entire day and is usually empty during the day.  Just make sure you wear your Speedo’s because loose bathing suits or board shorts are not allowed!

Teves Aquacenter
Teves Aquacenter

For those of you looking to build muscle mass, gyms also abound in the Philippines.  I belong to World Fitness in Dumaguete (video of the gym is HERE).  It’s 1200 pesos per month, is air-conditioned (a necessity since I am a wimp in the face of excessive heat) and boasts a wide variety of exercise equipment and weights.  It’s perfect for me and is basically the type of gym that we are used to in the West.

World Fitness
World Fitness

Badminton, jogging, swimming, snorkeling diving and Zumba (as noted in the video I just put up HERE) are also great sources of exercise.  And if you’re the type who has decided to commit to it, simply taking long walks is a great way to ease yourself into a daily fitness regimen.  The boulevard on the Dumaguete waterfront is a pretty popular place for this, and you can see Filipinos and foreigners alike getting some cardio on as the sun rises in the morning (sunrises there are pretty spectacular) or sets over Mount Talinis in the evening, which is also a pretty sight.

badminton 2


weight lifting



Either way you look at it, we have to do something to maintain health as we age. Thankfully, if you are contemplating retirement in the Philippines, there are a wide variety of activities to do just that.

Now if I can only quit smoking…….   🙁


  1. Don’t beat yourself up over smoking I picked up the habit in the army I smoked on and off for about 15 years I finally kicked the habit for 3 years now forget gum, patches, I believe you have to quit cold turkey because all the other stuff prolongs the habit I quit so many times for all sorts of reasons but in the end it has to be your decision I hope that helps you out good luck in becoming a nonsmoker

  2. You two have done a great job on this blog.

    Question for Michelle???
    How are the private schools,
    Grades 5 and up?
    Michael and Ying
    Bnson our 11old likes seeing
    the turtles. 🙂

    Stay well

    1. Hey Mike, this is Ned. You will hear conflicting reports on the schools here. Some guys will tell you horror stories of their experiences, while others will tell you when they returned to the West, their Philipines-educated kids scored higher on placement testings than their peers in the US. Also from what I hear, supplementing their education with work/follow up at home is also very important. Glad the lad likes the turtles! We like them, too!! 🙂

  3. Good information. I moved here to Hinigaran, Negros a few weeks ago and my biggest struggle right now is finding physical activities. Back in the US I stayed very active playing sports and working out. I know Hinigaran is much smaller than Dumaguete, but I shall keep looking.

    1. Ah, thanks so much Julie, but don’t worry about it. The shipping costs of things to the Philippines is too high and the customs fees that they hit you with can be brutal! Thanks for the kind offer, though. 🙂

  4. Ned, with regard to wearing Speedo’s at the aquacenter, even at my current weight at 210 pounds (which I should say is a 55 pound loss in the past 4 1/2 years), I would still look like a beached whale wearing such attire.

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