Exercising with a Colombian Twist

Working out is really important to me. Not only for staying in shape & staying healthy, but for the mental benefits as well. When you raise your heart rate your body releases endorphins, which can be described as a natural anti-depressant. Sweating gets rid of built-up toxins, and you feel more energetic & sharp after a workout.

Before coming to Colombia I had a consistent exercise routine: Monday at noon – weights at Goodlife, Tuesday at 7am – Spinning at Goodlife, Thursday at noon – Body Pump at Goodlife, Friday morning – cardio at our condo gym. Even though I did the same routine every week I still found it challenging. However, I’ve heard it’s important to switch up your routine so your muscles don’t know what to expect. Apparently you see results faster when you change it up. Well, I’ve definitely changed it up.

Living on a farm in the Colombian mountains has forced me to get creative with my workouts. We are in a gated community, and there is a road from the house to the front gate. One of the first days here we attempted to go for a jog on this road…easier said than done. This road has some of the steepest hills I’ve ever seen. My heart rate skyrockets just walking up these hills, but it’s great interval training. We run down the hills, and on the flats (there are only two kind-of flat parts), and I walk up the steep hills. John can run most of the hills, which I’m working towards.

 When it’s all said and done; it’s an intense 25-minute cardio session, and the scenery & temperature is beautiful.

On non-cardio days I do a simple, but effective circuit. I run on the road for about 10 minutes to warm up, and than do a set of 20 push-ups, 12 jumping lunges & squats, 20 tricep dips on a chair (repeat 3 times) and than finish with abs (front & side plank, bicycle & leg dips). If I find my heart rate slowing, I’ll throw in 20 jumping jacks to keep it up.

On days that we go into the city of Medellin we have access to a gym. This allows me to use a spinning bike and target muscles that require specific machines, ie: lats, inner & outer thighs.

The other day we wanted to get a workout in, but also had to get some groceries. We decided to walk the hilly road into El Retiro – the small town in the valley near the farm, and check out their little grocery store. The hills never get easier, and it proved to be a great workout – especially on the way back with a few pounds of groceries (I carried them a bit towards the end – they were REALLY heavy!)

I enjoyed a post-workout glass of fresh-squeezed passionfruit juice (thanks to Luce – our amazing housekeeper!), which is high in beta-carotene, potassium, fibre, vitamin C & lycopene. It didn’t have any added sugar, so it’s a bit sour, but tasted very refreshing.

I followed up with a healthy lunch of tuna, cucumber slices, avocado & carrots.

This just goes to show that even if you’re travelling or away from the comforts of home you can still exercise, and stay healthy, happy & fit.

Do you have any tips on how to stay healthy when travelling? Any creative exercise ideas to share?



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One Response to Exercising with a Colombian Twist

  1. mom January 22, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    We love reading about your adventures! Miss and love you both! xoxo

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