Spaghetti, Pizza, Bruschetta, oh my! Italians are world famous for their food and while living here for a few months I can already tell it’s going to be hard not to pack on the pounds. Even though their cooking revolves around olive oil and not butter like we do in the States (sorry Paula Dean) the food does center around carbs. There in lies the problem. How are we supposed to keep in mind our figures when the waiter slaps down a whole pizza margherita in front of you for dinner?
Lets be honest, no one in their right mind is going to opt out of the delicious food guaranteed at every meal by the Italians. So, as much as it might be a burden to fit in a few workouts while balancing school, sightseeing, and traveling it’s a necessary evil. Here are a few of my suggestions for maintaining a good body image while enjoying all the carbs and gelato you can find:
- Walk everywhere: Those oh-so-frequent transportation strikes might actually come in handy. Rome is a great city to just walk around. Whether you’re going to class, out for dinner, or a casual trip to the Colosseum, you can usually walk wherever you want to go. You will be surprised at how just doing this basic activity will combat the pounds and give you a great view of the city. As a side note, for safety purposes be sure to never walk anywhere alone. This is especially true at night and for groups of girls just for common sense reasons.
- Go for a run: While the cobblestone streets of Trastevere may not be the best place for a run there are many parks all around Rome that offer great scenic routes. While the weather may not be optimal for this in the winter, during the spring and summer it’s a great way to get some fresh air and a cardio workout.
- Bring exercise DVD’s: If you’re looking for a bit of a strength and cardio workout nothing is better than your favorite workout DVD’s. Make sure to pack these in your suitcase before departing the USA and you can easily play them on your laptop in your apartment. It’s a fun bonding activity to do with roommates while staying warm in your apartment.
- Join a gym: For the exercise freaks out there who really can’t live without their weight rooms and ellipticals Rome does have gyms you can join. However, be prepared to shell out around 60 Euro a month for this membership. Depending on your commitment to the gym this may be a plausible splurge.
So there you have it, some easy tricks for warding off the pounds while enjoying the food that Rome has to offer. Balancing what you eat with how you exercise is really the common sense way to not come back to the States a little heavier then you left.
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