Two or three times per week Hong Chandara finds the time to unwind from work, family and social responsibilities by exercising at his gym.
“I do not want to be disappointed in 20 years’ time because I missed something,” he said.
Phnom Penh has become a lively place for residents like Chandara, who, in this crowded city, want to take care of their health. Most of them enjoy exercising at dusk and dawn at riverside, but many are now looking for a more professional approach.
Meanwhile, entrepreneurs see potential in the fitness service sector, as gyms gain popularity in Cambodia.
Ing Vattanak, general manager at the classy Sokhah Fitness Club in Phnom Penh, said the number of clubs in Phnom Penh is growing to meet the increasing demand.
Since his business started in 1998, Vattanak’s fitness club is growing well. About 200 to 300 people are coming every workday, and up to 500 to 600 on holidays and weekends, he said.
“We are busy [with] our clients because many come every day,” Vattanak told the Post yesterday.
According to local experts, the number of gyms is on the rise because people are increasingly aware of healthcare and prefer to exercise with others. However, there is no official figure for total membership.
Meas Sok Dany, owner of the medium standard Muscle Fitness Club, estimated that there are slightly more than 10 high standard fitness clubs in Phnom Penh, and around 30 businesses of medium standard.
“Not only old people but also younger people are coming,” she said, “The numbers of company and NGO employees are also increasing at my club.”
Locals now have the choice between different quality and service levels. While low standard costs less than 50 cents a visit, medium standard is at $3.50, and customers of high standard fitness clubs pay about $6.50.
Ing Vattanak said that he is creating a good environment, and sets a competitive price to satisfy his clients in the long term.
“I still see high demand in the sector even though there are already a number of operators in the fitness market in Phnom Penh,” he told the Post.