Get Fit Without a Gym Membership While Studying Abroad
Everyone calls it “the trip of a lifetime” … and for good reason. If you’re one of the lucky college students who recently embarked on a semester abroad, it’s safe to assume you’re already indulging in new cuisine and exploring new streets.
But let’s get real for a minute. There’s so much to see and do while living abroad that oftentimes the gym becomes an afterthought.
It’s a struggle that has haunted many of us upon our return to home home richer in memories but poor in exercise stamina.
But according to Ashleigh Lawrence – who’s based out of one of the globe’s most popular study abroad destinations, London – the solution is simple: Incorporate workouts into the sightseeing you’re already doing.
“Find benches and parks and get creative,” says Lawrence. “There are a lot of exercises you can do anywhere to keep fit!”
And if you’re already touring the city in sneakers, why not give it a try?
Here, Lawrence demonstrates eight simple exercises to get you started. The only equipment needed is the city around you.
Find a nearby bench or chair and stand in front of it, facing away. With the hands shoulder width apart, keep the back close to the bench, bend the elbows and lower the body towards the ground. When the elbows are at a right angle, push up to return to the starting position.
If that same box is securely mounted in place, it can serve as the box for this exercise, just ensure that it is securely in place. Stand facing the bench, bend the knees and jump up explosively, landing . Try to land with flat feet and with your knees out (don't let your knees collapse inwards). I always advise my clients to step off the box and back into their starting position, so as not to injure themselves by jumping backwards.
A great exercise for the glutes, incorporate lunges into the walk from one destination to the next. Step one leg forward, keeping the chest up and abs engaged. Bend the other leg behind so the knee strikes the ground. Try to keep the weight in the front leg. Push up through the front heel, engaging the glutes.
Start in a plank position with the shoulders directly are over the hands, keeping the hips down. Bring the legs in one at a time, aiming for high intensity and controlled movements.
With heels planted on the ground slightly outside the shoulders, squat down. Keep the chest up and the core locked in tight. Upon breaking parallel in the bottom of the squat position, stand back up. The lower the squat, the more the glutes and hamstrings will feel it later.
Take the squat up a notch by increasing your heart rate. Squat down just as you would in the movement above, but instead of standing back up, jump up explosively. Land with soft knees and back in a squat position. When moving from one jump into the next, make sure the full foot, not just the toes, comes in contact with the floor at the bottom of the squat.
A twist on the classic pushup, this variation involves a bench. Stand facing the bench with the hands planted on it shoulder width apart. Press into the bench, keeping the hips, knees and toes in a line and the core tight, and then push the body back up to the original position. Be sure to keep the elbows in throughout the motion.
There’s no shortage of hills when exploring a city, so put them to good use. Start at the bottom of the hill and sprint at max effort to the top. Walk back down the hill to the starting position as recovery between the reps.
Did you find a different way to stay fit while studying abroad? Tweet @Reebok to tell us what your workout regimen looked like.