One thing that I’ve really been neglecting since coming to Chile is my work-out routine. When I was in college I was in the habit of working out at least 3 times a week. I took every class at the UREC (The University Rec. Center) from Aerobic Kickboxing to Zumba (See what I did there? A-Z).
Well since I’ve been in Chile, I’ve gone running all of one time, and as far as strength training goes….does carrying my laptop from home to work count?
I know it’s definitely possible to work out while abroad, but I just don’t seem to have the discipline to do push ups or sit-ups without a fitness instructor ordering me to do so in front of about 20 Barbie-esq sorority girls (who I can’t NOT show up).
So you can imagine my excitement to learn about the Workout Parks in Santiago!
Many parks in Santiago have now installed outdoor versions of ellipticals, rowing machines, chest presses, leg presses etc. Of course, since they’re outside, there’s no electricity involved and the machines are coated with that same plasticy, colored paint that you would see on children’s playground equipment.
I finally stumbled across one of these the other day, and I was so excited to try it, that I completely dismissed the fact that I was wearing a dress and sandals.
Well after testing a couple of the machines out….
I realized that gyms are probably indoors for a reason.
The machines just weren’t that effective in my opinion. The main issue was that they were set at a certain level of resistance, and there was no way to increase it.
The elliptical felt more like a children’s toy than a workout machine, and seeing a 3-year-old girl playing on the one next to me confirmed it.
Even the chest press was too easy for me…and I’m a smallish girl. I have the muscle definition of linguini! If these machines were too easy for me, who exactly were they designed for?
Well I ended up having another park work out the next day, but one was a completely different experience…
Gabriella invited me to Join her and her friends for a TRX workout in the park (one of her friends is a certified instructor). I had seen the TRX set up we have at UREC, but I was baffled as to how we were going to do this in a park.
Well the park we went to ended up having this huge overhead structure, which our instructor, Fay, attached the TRX equipment to. She had four different stations set up and showed us two different exercises to do at each. After two rotations (and eight different exercises) she showed us eight more exercises to do and we started the process all over again. We continued this way for at least an hour, an by the end, I was so much more aware of how out of shape I’m gotten.
Hopefully we can make TRX in the park a regular thing!
If you have any suggestions for ways to work out while abroad (preferably for free) let me know! I always love to hear from fellow expats.