With all the pasta, pizza, and gelato there is in Italy, you might be wondering how one is supposed to stay in shape while abroad. From personal experience, I can’t say that staying in shape has been easy. It’s easy to forget about fitness when you are distracted by all of the weekend trips, wine tastings, and four-course italian meals. Additionally, gyms are not as widely available in Siena as they are in the U.S. (your apartment complex will definitely not have a gym!). However, if you are studying in Siena, there are many ways you can stay in shape while abroad, which I will go over in this blog post.
1. Work out at the Fortezza Medicea
The Fortezza Medicea is a fortress located about a 20-minute walk from the Piazza del Campo. This is where locals usually go to get a workout or a run in, and I would say it is probably the most cost-efficient way to work out in Siena. There are outdoor cardio machines and a running track which are all free for you to use. There is also a lot of grass at the fortress that you can stretch or do body weight workouts on. There are also yoga and pilates classes at the fortress, but I personally never tried any. My roommate and I would always go for runs in the evening around 8:00 p.m. when the sun was starting to set. We would get the most beautiful views of Siena on our runs, and it was always an amazing way to end the night.
2. Do yoga from home
Another way I would get some exercise in was to do yoga from home. I got a subscription to Black Swan Yoga TV that allowed me unlimited access to yoga classes which I could watch and do from home. I loved the online yoga classes because I could always do them whenever I wanted to, and the yoga videos were different lengths, so if I was particularly busy that day I could just choose a shorter workout to complete. One of the cons of doing yoga from home was that I did not have a yoga mat, and that made it hard (and sometimes painful) to do some of the yoga positions. Overall, however, I would recommend working out from home because it is really convenient.
3. Work out at a local gym
Personally, I never worked out at a gym during my time studying abroad, but my roommate (a world champion powerlifter) got a gym membership so she could stay consistent with her workouts. She tried two gyms, one of which was called Palestra Dentro le Mura and was $56/month. According to my roommate, this gym is like your typical commercial gym with weights, machines, and group fitness classes. The other gym she went to was more low-key and underneath the Siena soccer stadium, which only the locals know about. We don’t know what that gym is called, but it is $35/month and it’s where all the serious lifters go to workout.
These are only a few ways to work out, so please do not feel limited to these three options. I hope this blog post helps you guys who are studying abroad in Siena!
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<p>Currently I am an International Relations and Global Studies major at The University of Texas at Austin. In my free time I enjoy exploring Austin with my corgi or curling up in bed with a good book. I am a very active person and I like to take advantage of school breaks to travel and explore the unknown. In the past year, I have been to Mexico, Thailand, Canada, and Turks and Caicos. When I graduate, my dream is to find a job which will allow me to travel and explore the world.</p>