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Walking Another Continent

I just returned from a marvelous vacation in Buenos Aires. While I like my vacations to be centered around beach relaxation and margarita sipping, this one was an on-the-go adventure exploring a small slice of South America.

It’s so easy to get off track with exercise and eating right while you’re on vacation. You’re not in your normal routine, you’re jet-lagged, you’re not habla-ing the language, Argentine beef and empanadas are available three meals a day…it’s enough to throw anyone off their best game. And while I didn’t fit in a single “workout” in the week I was gone, I got enough activity to offset my massive culinary experimentation.

Fortunately, Buenos Airesis a wonderfully walkable city. We logged what felt like 20 miles in just a few days traipsing around the city, looking at the architecture and landmarks. We also walked miles exploring the rows of mausoleums at La Recoleta Cemetery.

Nothing makes you want to get active more than being cooped up in a plane for 10 hours or on a bus for two 20-hour trips. That’s right folks, 40 hours on a bus. The payoff for the bus rides (which really aren’t all that bad when you have fully reclining seats) was Iguazu Falls, which is a must-see if you ever make it to South America.

The falls are not only awesome to behold, but are surprisingly accessible, allowing you to walk miles through walkways that get you close enough to feel the mist. A massive stair climb toward the end of the day burned my glutes off and wiped me out. The view was slightly better than the one I get at the gym.

Fitting in Vacation Workouts

1. Walk.The best way to see a city is by exploring on foot. Pack good walking shoes and bandages in case of blisters. If you’re at the beach, you can walk miles down the coast without even realizing it.

2. Bonus features. Use the gym at your hotel. Fit in a 30-minute jog on the treadmill before your day gets going or hit the elliptical during those afternoon showers in the tropics.

3. Poolside. Cool down with some pool exercise. Even treading water is a serious calorie-scorching workout. Check out the Fit Bottomed Girls’ pool workout tips here.

4. New adventures. Rent a bike to explore the city on wheels, or try a new activity such as water skiing or surfing. The cross training can work muscles you didn’t even know you had.

5. Keep your strength.A few push-ups, lunges, squats, crunches and tricep dips can help you maintain your muscles enough to get you by before you get back to the daily gym grind. Do the bare minimum and enjoy your vacation!

Have you tried a new activity while on vacation? Walked your feet off around a natural wonder? We’d love to know about your vacation workouts. Give us a shout in the comments!Erin


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  1. MizFit says:

    Im so jealous as Ive longed to go there.
    my husband has been a few times and his refrain is always: the most AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL women in the world are in B.A.



  2. Marcy says:

    Beautiful pics!! How lucky are you! Walking is a definite! 😉

  3. fatfighter says:

    That picture of Iguazu Falls is absolutely stunning!
    I’m big on walking to explore new places when I’m on vacation, too. It’s the best way to really take it all in.

  4. tfh says:

    Very cool…20 hours on a bus is a LONG time; I was dying after 12 on my last vacation, when I found that even if #1-4 of your tips aren’t possible, #5 is always doable– there are always a few minutes of every day where you can quickly squeeze in some squats, lunges, or push-ups!

  5. Crabby McSlacker says:

    Oooh, I wanna go too! I keep hearing great things about that city.

    I love walking my ass off in a foreign city–it feels like entertainment, not exercise.

    And great tip about sneaking in just a few strength training exercises and then saying “forget it”. It really takes very little to stave off guilt and maintain.

    I’ve tried going to foreign gyms where I didn’t speak the language, and, um, it’s a bit stressful. Now I’d rather walk or go running if I’m totally in the mood and there’s a nice scenic safe place to do it. But the important thing is to have a good time!

  6. Erin says:

    Miz: My hubby and I didn’t notice, but that’s what our single friend said!

    tfh: I popped a dramamine and must have slept 10 hours each way!

    Crabby: I can’t imagine trying to go to a gym in another country…ordering dinner was stressful enough with the language barrier!

  7. Kaci says:

    Awesome picture!!

  8. Mark Salinas says:

    Awesome…lucky you! Enjoy! 🙂

  9. Christine says:

    I have always wanted to visit Buenos Aires. Jealous much?

    Also, I have to say I never quite understood vacation weight gain – I’m always far more active on vacation and I generally eat alright too. I guess I should be happy about that 🙂

  10. c says:

    Those pics are beautiful!

  11. Sagan says:

    You’re right on time with the exercising-while-traveling tips! Thanks so much for them. Lovelovelove the walking/exploring. Sounds like you had a great time.

  12. Lori says:

    Just found your blog today and after seeing the Iguazu pics, had to comment. I was just there in May and it was beautiful with A LOT of walking. 🙂

    I am an expat living in Brazil right now, and hope to visit BA next year. I go to the gym here and it is definitely an adventure.

    I understand a little Portuguese, but it is almost impossible to hear over the music. It is incredibly loud here.

    At least I can make out – right, left and one more time – during my Body Balance class!

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