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5 Ways to Motivate Your Way to Fitness – and STAY Fit Abroad

Tips to get fit in College and on Study Abroad.

As a student preparing to travel abroad I’m excited; as a group fitness instructor preparing to study abroad, I’m nervous. Creating a work out routine that is manageable around classes, organizations, meetings, and schoolwork becomes necessary in college to those who want to exercise consistently. If it’s not always easy to stay fit at school, so how can you assure you will exercise abroad? Five ways to acclimate yourself to a more personal routine that you can use abroad are here to help!

  1. Become familiar with what works – and what doesn’t.

I grew up with dance as my exercise and always had a balance of both cardio and muscular strength exercises without even realizing it. Once I went to college, I initially had no set form of exercise and had to experiment with what was effective for me and what wasn’t. I’ve found that I run longer distances outside as opposed to on a treadmill, and that the elliptical is my worst enemy. Taking the time to discover what is right for you will help you create a more balanced and effective workout regimen in the long run.

  1. Try New Things

While I love my group fitness classes that I both teach and take, I know that they won’t be available to me in exactly the same way they are at school once I’m abroad. Wherever you plan to travel, I guarantee there will be an exercise craze different than what you’ll find at home or a sport that you’ve never heard of. Being open to trying new things – swimming, cycling, and yoga are some of the most popular forms of exercise in London, which is a significant change from the workouts I participate in at home – you’ll be more likely to stay active while traveling if you are willing to participate in what is available.

  1. Make a Routine for ‘Home’

Wherever “home” may be for you while you’re abroad, it’s important to think of exercises you can and WILL do if you don’t have time to go to a gym or program. Buying hand weights or a mat for home use or researching exercises you can do with minimal equipment will help you create a regimen you’re comfortable with and confident that you will maintain while abroad.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

While going abroad is initially intimidating and a fairly isolating experience, the culture shock shouldn’t stop you from exploring your surroundings! Walking around is great exercise to begin with, and it wouldn’t hurt to find the nearest gym or facility and see what they have to offer. If there isn’t anything offered nearby, be sure to inquire to the supervisor of your program about opportunities. They could have insight you wouldn’t even think to ask for!

  1. Explore!

There are many opportunities no matter where you study abroad to get active simply by exploring your surroundings. Renting bikes or taking hikes are cheap, fun ways to stay fit while also adventuring with your fellow students. Not only do outside excursions help you to stay fit, you can even take pictures and capture your experience while doing so!

Emma Bleznak

James Madison Univerity | 8 stories

Emma Bleznak is a Public Relations and Journalism major at James Madison University. Follower her daily on twitter and instagram: @emmablez

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