Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 85: Working out on the road

September 29

Take yourself out of all of your familiar surroundings and you'll realize that fitting in a good workout is much more difficult than expected. When I left the city I called home for 10 years (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) and moved temporarily to another (Cairo, Egypt), I figured I would just join a gym and get going. However, things didn't exactly "work out" as planned. For several reasons:
1. I love to run. A woman running outdoors on the streets of Cairo isn't something the locals are used to, so I figured I would save myself the stares (and the possible harassment).
2. Most people who workout do so in something called a nady which is basically a sporting club with teams and facilities and general happiness. I am not part of a nady.
3. Joining a private gym requires selling one of your kidneys at the black market to afford the costs. Not something I'm willing to do.

However, I am saved. I had started doing Pilates last year in a class, and had even bought a book (the one above) and it was all going pretty great until I started traveling in July. So today I decided that I will put all of those reasons above aside and do something. I pulled out the book and looked up YouTube videos and got going. And it felt great - even if I currently feel like someone used me as a punching bag. But I guess that's what I get for not working out for 3 months.

Trying to figure out how to keep to a fitness schedule while you're on the road is pretty difficult, and it's something I need to seriously consider now that I'm going back on the road oh so soon (stay tuned ;). So here are some tips:
- Utilize your resources. Try taking a biking tour around Barcelona instead of a bus tour. Walk your way to your next city-tour-stop instead of taking a cab. Save your money and get some cardio in.
- Do what you already do. If you're used to starting out every day with a 20 minute powerwalk, then go take a 20 minute powerwalk wherever you are. It will not only help you wake up, but it will make your day seem a bit more normal, as well as help you familiarize yourself with your new city.
- Try a new adventure. Worried about riding that horse in the Giza desert? Scared of jumping off a cliff in Venezula and into the river below you? Not too sure about that surfing lesson you signed up for on the coast of Melbourne? Go for it! Travel is all about new experiences and adventures. And if you get your butt kicked along the way, that's alright.

So remember what they say: The healthy mind is in the healthy body (Arabic Proverb).

1 comment:

Hanan said...

i recognize the carpet!!!!!! *shrieks*