Running in Palermo Parks
Staying in decent shape in Buenos Aires is a difficult feat to accomplish once you get to the city. Everything is red meat this, or ice cream that, and chances are whatever it is it’s covered in cheese (even some of the ice cream). There are no hills anywhere and the only energy I expend is walking to and from the subway system. However, everyone in Buenos Aires is in extraordinary shape, despite the seemingly unhealthy lifestyle, and I could not keep up. I have looked at everything – yoga classes, boxing, climbing gyms, aikido classes, push-ups on my floor – but nothing was enticing enough to get the job done. (Check out our indoor workout blog if you like classes and exercising indoors.) After 100 too many super panchos (hot dogs) and a couple of kilos of helado (ice cream), I had to do something before the walk to the subway became my primary workout.
One day I finally laced up my boots, literally because I didn’t bring anything better than my hiking boots, and over-eagerly pranced out my apartment door. Looking like a lost tourist from Patagonia I began to run like a headless chicken first to the right and then decided to turn around and go the other way. Call it divine intervention that I should have changed directions for no apparent reason because I ended up in the expansive Bosques de Palermo, or Palermo parks, with hundreds of other people.
The parks are massive and full of commotion, and I was optimistic that I could run forever. However, ten minutes later I was as red as all of the malbec I have been drinking, lumbering around in my boots, and sweating litters harder than anyone else; I made that park and everyone in it look good by comparison. Needing a break from running I came up to a playground set for adults; random bars and benches that people were using to defy gravity. I did a few pull-ups, some crunches, and then sat on the grass pretending to stretch and looked across the lake. People were peddling around in those bike-boat contraptions that seem to move way too slowly considering how fast their legs churn the peddles. The sun was setting, dogs were wagging their tails, people were lounging with family and loved ones, and I forgot about my workout.
After I had taken in enough of the sunset and the commotion around me, I got back on my feet and set off again with all the other walkers, runners, and rollerbladers. I finished my loop around the lake and headed back towards home knowing that I would easily be able to make this a routine. Since then I have been running in the parks every other day and utilizing the workout equipment with a little bit more virility. My overall energy has picked up and I don’t feel as bad consuming copious amounts of helado, red meat, and vino tinto. For anyone looking for a good distracting place to workout check out Bosques de Palermo and run around either of the three lakes. Or forget about the running aspect and head to the parks for some relaxing respite from the traffic of the city for a few hours.
For other outdoor exercising ideas, also see How to Stay in Shape in Buenos Aires Part 1: Outdoor Edition.
Also, read top 7 parks in Buenos Aires