As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, we are struck by the terrible realisation the time to shed our coats and swap our trousers for shorts and generous jumpers for tiny t-shirts is nearly upon us. Thus, our minds drift to getting in shape so we can strut down that beach in a bikini like a catwalk model with confidence.
As we are constantly bombarded with (and tempted by) indulgent pastries, cheap beer and greasy tapas, Barcelona may not seem like the easiest place to get in shape, but I promise there are plenty of ways to get ready for summer season.
Fear not, I’m not going to promote any faddy diets, juice cleanses or bootcamps. Just a few simple tips to work into your daily to routine that will eventually become habit, so that by the time summer is in full swing, terms such as ‘beach day’ or ‘pool party’ won’t induce a panic attack!
You don’t need an expensive gym membership or personal trainer to workout. Barcelona is an ideal place to get moving without much effort. There are so many great places to run such as Parc de la Cuitadella or Barceloneta.
Alternatively, if you’re a yoga enthusiast, there are plenty of great yoga studios dotted all over the city. Why not get a friend to join you so you can keep each other motived?
If the idea of cardio or exercise classes fill you with dread, just make sure you keep your body moving on a daily basis. Barcelona is the perfect city for walking, with so many beautiful sights to take in as you stroll down the inspiring avingudas. Simple steps such as getting off the metro a few stops early, cycling to work or taking the steps instead of the lift are great ways to get in shape without really trying.
If you’re the kind of person who prefers to workout from the comfort of your own home, Youtube has a huge archive of great videos, whatever you are in the mood for; from yoga and pilates to high-intensity interval training. It has never been easier to sneak in a quick 15-minute exercise session before or after work!
Find time to be healthy
As the saying goes, fail to prepare and prepare to fail. We all know that doing the weekly food shop on an empty stomach leads to a trolley bulging with unnecessary and unhealthy treats and coming home to find no food in the fridge after a busy day at work often results in a hasty takeaway order. It seems that we are constantly on-the-go and too busy to take care of our bodies. Indeed, after a hectic day at work, there is nothing less appealing than the idea of trudging to the gym for a 60-minute sweat-fest. But think of all the time you spend procrastinating in the front the television or scrolling through your phone. How about doing some sit-ups in front of the TV or some squats while you wait for the kettle to boil?
In terms of meals, preparation is key to keeping your motivation in check and a little effort can go a long way. Whilst food prep may sound like a hassle, there are so many quick and easy dishes you can rustle up with few ingredients in less than 15 minutes…
Eat the rainbow!
In Barcelona, we are so very lucky to have La Boqueria Market. Filled with an amazing selection of the most delicious (and local) fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish – you can’t get much fresher or healthier than La Boqueria. If you go to the right stalls, the prices are extremely reasonable too. So why not venture there for your weekly food shop? If you get hungry, you can grab a fresh smoothie or mouth-watering fruit salad for no more than a couple of euros.
And although Spanish cuisine may be best known for its hearty paellas, oily patatas bravas and sugary sangria, Barcelona is host to a wonderful range of healthy restaurants where eating out doesn’t have to be a sin. My personal favourite is Teresa Carles; I love that you can build your own salad, they serve chia pudding and their huge range of smoothies are to die for!
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall off the bandwagon, life is all about balance!