5 Ways to Stay Fit While Studying Abroad

We have all heard of the freshman fifteen. And, while not all of us are able to fight it in our first year at college, by sophomore year we pretty much have it figured out. We learn how to manage our diet and drinking habits, and find ways to work exercising into our schedules as often as possible. But what happens when you study abroad, and immerse yourself in a completely new environment… AGAIN? This has been my exact thought lately as I prepare to head to Spain in just one week!

The first step to staying fit abroad is realizing you are going to have to find some alternatives. Even if you have access to a gym, it may not be the same as what you’re used to or have your favorite classes, and dieting may be much harder (especially when you want to try all the delicious local foods and are on such a tight budget saving your extra money for traveling). But the truth of the matter is, there is no excuse not to work out… no matter where you are. Every place in the world has trails, stairs, mountains, stadiums – no matter the city, there are ways to turn your surroundings into a gym. So just be open-minded as you read our five ways to stay fit while studying abroad and those French croissants or bowls on bowls of Italian pasta will have nothing on you!

Explore: You are in an amazing, new and exciting place. GO EXPLORE IT! Go hiking, biking, or walking in a nearby village. Or take a trip to a nearby city and sightsee all day. Just get up and GO! “Go out and EXPLORE – that is why you study abroad, to learn about another place, so go do that!” says Jacqueline Newell, HC Campus Correspondent at Susquehanna University, who studied abroad in Alicante, Spain.

Exploring not only gives you the chance to see the new place you are in, it also enables you to do a lot of exercise as you walk around. When exploring (or even when just traveling to class, bars, etc.) be sure to walk! Just walking a mile a day will help you to not only burn calories and stay fit while abroad, but is also a great way to take in the scenery around you. HC High School Editor Hannah Orenstein, a sophomore at NYU who studied in Cannes, France says, “I walked everywhere, which added up to a couple miles a day. It helped that my friends wanted to stay in shape so we would challenge each other to speed-walk up hills.” So make each day a new chance to explore (and burn calories) and walk to each destination—it will go a long way!

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