4 Cultural Differences In Your Favorite Exercises Abroad


We know you’ve heard the common adage: You don’t have to worry about calories while traveling because you’ll just walk a ton!

Now, it’s your business whether or not your metabolism can keep up with how much local cuisine you sample, or if your feet can tolerate the miles you’re wandering. But we get it if you want to work up a bit more of a sweat. If you’re staying in an Airbnb or your hotel doesn’t have a gym, here are a few things to keep in mind while trying to stay fit abroad.

Jogging In Paris

Although you might see tourists taking a sprint through Le Marais, most Parisians save their runs for the City of Lights’ wonderful green spaces or paths along the Seine. Besides the fact that many avenues are packed with sightseers, cobblestones aren’t great on the feet. (This holds true for much of Europe.)

In Paris, try Parc de Belleville or Parc de la Villette to avoid tourist crowds and get off the beaten path.

Colombia’s Road Closures

The capital city of Colombia, Bogotá, turns fitness-crazed every Sunday. More than 70 miles of the city’s streets are closed to allow people to get out and get active. The weekly exercise fest is called the Ciclovía and it’s the biggest event of its kind around the globe.

Take advantage of the open avenues and join the locals walking, jogging and cycling through the city.

No Hot Yoga In India

Your favorite hot vinyasa class isn’t the same sort of flow as you’ll find in traditional practices in India. The ancient art is about peace, according to experts, and if done in the traditional style, you won’t be breathing hard at all as you move through your sun salutations.

If you’re looking to drip with sweat, you’ll want to stick with a Western-style class.

Zumba Isn’t Salsa

Although both use the rhythmic beats of Latin music, your Zumba class doesn’t quite prep you for partner dancing in Central and South America. But you should absolutely try a Latin dance class anyway.

Try salsa lessons in Cuba (or Colombia or Puerto Rico – each has its own variety), bachata in the Dominican Republic, tango in Argentina or samba in Brazil.