Monday, February 29, 2016

how I stay fit abroad.

Workout gear of the champions - Aerie sports bra, Under Armour leggings, Nike sneakers

When I left for Italy earlier this past year, I was in the best shape of my life. I was running regularly, lifting weights, and eating well. Because of this, I was somewhat worried about how my new Italian lifestyle would affect my fitness. I knew I'd be surrounded by delicious food and without easy access to a gym. Yet I didn't let this deter me! I've been in Italy for over three months now, and I can 100% promise that staying fit abroad is possible. Here's how to do it:

1. Drink lots of water.
When I first arrived, I wasn't drinking nearly enough water. I began feeling sluggish and getting headaches. So I turned things around! Now I start each day with a big glass of water. I drink hot water throughout the day and always have a cup of water before I go to bed. It really makes a difference!

2. Eat a variety of food.
Eating healthily is probably one of the most obvious ways to stay fit. While I do this, I also make sure to eat a range of foods. This can be rather hard in Italy, where bread and pasta are staples at almost every meal. I make sure to vary the types of carbs I eat as much as possible. I also load up on fresh fruit and veggies at every opportunity. The best part of living abroad is that fresh produce is amazing and always in season. Right now I'm absolutely loving the abundance of clementines!

3. Exercise however you can.
Before I even left the US, I knew that exercise would be one of my biggest challenges abroad. At home, I could go for a run or head to the gym pretty easily. Unfortunately, small town Italy doesn't have the same resources available. However, that hasn't stopped me. Instead, I've become obsessed with the amazing number of fitness tutorials on Youtube. My favorites are ones from Jillian Michaels, FitnessBlender, and PopSugar. They make me sweat, and I never have to leave my apartment!

4. Get 8 hours of sleep.
I know the number of hours varies from person to person, but eight hours of sleep is my magic number. In addition, I've found that going to bed and waking up earlier helps me feel more productive and energized. I like starting my day with the sunrise!

That's it! I know I'm only a few months into life abroad, but these four tips have made such a difference. Would you add anything else?



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