If you’re someone preparing to study abroad, congratulations! You’re in for a wonderful adventure. Not only will you be learning more in your field of academia, you will also be immersed in a new culture. That said, it might seem a bit odd that there would need to be any advice given on how to remain physically fit while living overseas; after all, it’s another country, not a totally different planet. However, if overlooked, your new change in lifestyle can be pretty taxing. So without further ado, here are five ways to stay in shape while studying abroad.
Have a plan
Do you remember when you first started your workout regimen here? It took a while to get into the swing of it, right? So, how much harder do you think it’s going to be in a place that you’ve never been before? Try and avoid having the mentality that “I’ll get around to it when I get there” when it comes to developing a lifestyle agenda. Jot down how you plan to eat healthy and the kind of exercising you would like to do. If possible, do a bit of research about the campus that you will be on or the city you’ll be living in to see how your needs can be accommodated.
Pack some workout clothes
Life would certainly be great if we all did exactly what we intended to do, but most of us know that is not usually how life turns out. Telling yourself that you’ll get some workout clothes and sneakers once you arrive to your destination sounds good, but it probably won’t happen. So grab some of the clothes (and workout shoes) that you already have with you. It will be harder to procrastinate with them sitting around and begging to be used.
Stick to your eating habits
Honestly, depending on where you are, this can be a bit difficult to pull off. If you are living in a place that has at least some of the cuisine that you are accustomed to, then great! If not, do a bit of research on what the country has that is similar, as it relates to caloric intake and nutrients. For instance, if you’re in a city with lots of rice and fish but you’re a big chicken, steak and salad person, consult with the restaurants you’re eating in or grocery stores you’re shopping at for ways that you can continue to meet your dietary needs. You can still enjoy the culture by finding a balance.
Walk a lot
One fun thing about being in a new place is that there’s a lot to discover. The natural inclination may be to hail a taxi to get you to where you need (or want) to go, but wouldn’t it be a much more memorable experience to take your tour guide and walk around the city? Besides getting in a lot of cardio, it’s also a wonderful way to learn how to communicate with people within that country. Just think: If you’re getting a conflict resolution masters and you know nothing about the country’s language, by walking through the city, in a few months’ time, you’ll be a pro at talking to others and even dealing with certain language barrier dilemmas.
Get on their time zone
One of the worst things that you can do when it comes to both your eating and sleeping schedule is to keep telling yourself, “It’s such-and-such time at home.” While you’re living where you are, you should treat it as your new home. You need to get your body adjusted to that time zone, so that you’ll eat and sleep on a “new normal” schedule. This will not only help you with the initial jetlag, but it will also get you used to giving your body the meals and amount of sleep that it needs, at the right time.