If you, like us, find yourself surrounded by decadent treats in almost every window you pass, and constantly face the copious amounts of delicious steak on offer in every restaurant you visit – you may have realized that you are tempted by food around every corner of Buenos Aires. To continue this lifestyle of indulging in the wonderful food, you may be looking for ways to keep fit whilst enjoying your time in Buenos Aires. In the home of empanadas (stuffed savory pastry), milanesas (fried breaded steak cutlets) and medialunas (half-moon shaped sweet pastries), it wouldn’t hurt anyone to get a good workout in during their stay. Even though when the heat arrives as summer fast approaches, you’ll find yourself breaking a sweat more than enough times during everyday activities such as riding the colectivo (public bus) or enduring the sauna-esque subte (metro/subway); there might just be times when you feel you need to take it up a notch. The endless helado (ice-cream) and a few too many burger places (like Burger Joint, Heisenburger, Pepino) to name, here are some great ways to keep fit as you explore the city, and aid those guilty pleasures.
You may have noticed a large number of locals rollerblading around this city in this extremely popular sport here in Buenos Aires. On any given day if you venture to any of the city’s beautiful parques (parks) you will be sure to find lots of people rollerblading past you. This is a really fun way of avoiding a workout in the gym if that doesn’t appeal to you, and can be a great way to explore the city! This activity has become so popular in the city that there are even places available for you to rent rollerblades for the day at a very reasonable price. Not only is this an enjoyable alternative to ordinary exercise, it also means you can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine at the same time. If you want to combine your social life with your exercise, why not sign up to one of the rollerblading groups like this one or classes like this one – it can be a great way to meet new people whilst burning off that last alfajor (a snack consists of 2 cookies with a sweet filling in between)! One of the most popular places to rollerblade is in Bosques de Palermo around Paseo del Rosedal. You will find people offering rental services along the track around the beautiful and well-maintained rose garden. If you are up for a challenge, you can even join and play some roller hockey here.
Run, jog, walk, roll…
The many parks in Buenos Aires means that there are plenty of large outdoor spaces perfect for running, jogging, walking or even rolling after a few too many empanadas. Despite the narrow pavements, blocks filled to the brim with shops, restaurants and cafés, if you head to the Bosques de Palermo you will be spoiled for choices with space where runners have over 25 hectares of perfect running trails! These paths are perfect for a peaceful jog on your own but if you are more into running with others there are many different running groups in the city – another great way to meet new people during your stay. For a really unique running group who define themselves as a ‘drinking club with a running problem’, check out the Buenos Aires Hash House Harriers (visit their site here), you can join them for a run/walk/drink/social – whatever you fancy! Alternatively, take a look at Club de Corredores site (Sólo en español). They have extensive information about all the upcoming races and marathons in Argentina, and also regular running groups in different cities.
Yoga and Pilates
Both of these activities are very good for you and are becoming increasingly popular in Buenos Aires. Classes are much cheaper here than you would normally find them back home, and they can be a great way to de-stress after a busy day at work or exploring the city. Walking around in the city, no matter in which neighborhood, it is hard to miss a large number of pilates and yoga studios dotted all over. They are well-established in Buenos Aires and if you want to give them a go you won’t find a shortage of options! If you are worried about the language barrier which might get in your way (I certainly was), you might want to try Buena Onda Yoga – they teach classes in Belgrano, Palermo, Recoleta and San Telmo, the lessons are given by expat women who teach in both Spanish and English! If you are feeling extra adventurous, you could also give Bikram Yoga a go. Although the thought of doing yoga in a 42°C room may not sound appealing to all, you certainly won’t find this form of exercising dull – that’s for sure! You can check them out here.
Get your paddle on!
My housemate recently ventured for a day trip to the picturesque Tigre (just a quick train ride away to the north of Buenos Aires city) to take part in some kayaking. Kayaking can be a great way of putting your muscles and strength to the test whilst enjoying your surroundings, in another non-conventional way of exercising. It can be carried out with friends, for a relaxing and fun afternoon or a more intense and individual outing depending on your workout style. Either way you are sure to strengthen your muscles, as my housemate said ‘it was fine for the first 20 minutes, but 2 hours in, you definitely feel the hard work’. You can opt to kayak through Puro Remo, a club with rentals and classes in Puerto Madero if Tigre feels a bit far. The guides are trained to help those at all levels, so no previous experience is necessary! To really spice things up you can also choose to do a kayaking tour at night with nothing but the moonlight guiding you – instructors are bilingual also, so language barriers can’t be an excuse this time!
So there you have it, if you cannot resist the endless choice of delicious foods that Buenos Aires has to offer, and want to continue indulging without doubling in size, you can find various forms of exercise that don’t all require a gym.
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