The world is your fitness studio

by Kelsey Gwinn

As SMU students, we are privileged with opportunities to travel the world. We have programs in Bali, Costa Rica, Germany, Italy, Japan, London, Madrid, Prague, Rome and so many more that would likely fill an entire passport.

This summer, I was lucky enough to travel to London with SMU. Not only did I gain ample amounts of knowledge from the classes and become highly cultured from the experience, but I also became incredibly fit throughout the process.

When you are abroad, the chances that your living quarters have a gym are about 50/50. Unfortunately, where we stayed in London had no gym, but there was a workout studio down the street. Many girls on my trip worked out at that studio.

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However, I decided to do things the old-fashioned way by running and exercising in Hyde Park (mainly because I wanted to watch for Prince Harry at Kensington Palace).

Many people did not work out abroad, though, and that was perfectly fine due to the amount of walking we did on a regular basis. Seriously, walking is a great workout. Depending on your weight, walking burns between 65 and 100 calories per mile. That doesn’t seem like much, but when studying abroad, you walk constantly.

One day in Barcelona, Spain (for a weekend off), I walked 22 miles. I burned around 1400 calories that day from seeing Park Güell, strutting like the Cheetah Girls, touring la Sagrada Família and drooling over delicious food at la Boqueria.

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In Rome, I walked 20 miles in a day. That was about 1300 calories of marveling over the Coliseum, daydreaming in St. Peter’s Basilica and having a Lizzie McGuire moment at the Trevi Fountain.

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Though my weekend trips were more strenuous, not a day went by in London where I did not hit 10,000 steps before noon. So, my advice is to study abroad if you can swing it. You will walk away in the best shape of your life, literally. You can even make it more positive for your body by trying traditional, cultural workouts.

Studying in India? Try some yoga. Visiting Colombia? Take a Zumba class. The world is quite literally your fitness studio. If you can’t find the time to do a traditional workout because you want to sight-see everything (totally understandable), then that is okay, because study abroad will basically force you to get fit anyway.

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