Ladies, if I’m being honest, sometimes it’s hard to maintain your routine that you have a home. The transition is rough sometimes. I remember when I was working in Vietnam, it took me about a good month before I started working out again. It took me that long because I was transitioning to my environment.
I had to get used to a new work routine, culture shock, and the fact I didn’t speak the language. Also, at the time, I was taking an Economics class. I had to get up early each day and went to sleep late because I was working on my class. So working out got pushed to the side.
When I studied for a semester in India, I remember there were no gyms. At that time, I was a gym rat. So, I had to find another way to workout. During that season, I began running outdoors.
Staying in shape and working out is so important. It can be an outlet to help you cope with the stresses of living in a new country. Below are some tips/things to keep in mind to help you stay in shape overseas.
If you are active back home, try to keep your same routine. If you run or hike, find safe areas to be active outdoors. If you do decide to run/hike, check with the locals about safe areas to go, and do so during daylight hours.
If you’re a gym rat, there may be gyms on your campus, in your building, or in the area. However, if you can’t find a gym or it’s too expensive, don’t let that stop you from working out. You just have to get creative.
Workout with people who like to stay active. You can encourage each other, and find places to work out together.
Joining a local group is a great way to meet others and exercise. Not only do you build up a sweat, you get exposure to the culture and develop friendships with the locals. Ask the locals or fellow ex-pats where you can find exercise groups. If you are studying abroad, ask the resident director or your classmates about intramural activities.
When I am overseas, I find that I walk a lot more than I do in the United States. Partly, because I don’t have a car. But also, because I spend time exploring the city and visiting tourist sites.
For some countries, drinking is part of the culture. It is common to have wine during lunch or dinner. If you’re old enough to drink, enjoy, if that is your preference. But keep in mind drinking a lot can be expensive and it adds a lot of calories.
Dancing the Tango in Argentina, practicing martial arts in Japan, or playing soccer in Mexico are great ways to take part in the local culture while engaging in activities that don’t feel like exercise.
If you have a stable internet connection, you may be able to work out from the comfort of your own room. Today there are many free fitness apps and videos that will guide you through your workout.