Barcelona is a city where people pay a lot of attention to their health and where they like to remain fit. If you are walking by the beach, it is normal to see people running, biking, and rollerblading at all hours of the day. The city is, in general, very flat, which makes it a great place to practice all kinds of sports. The city promotes the practice of exercise by placing a number of machines that can be used for free by people in certain spots near the beaches.
If you plan to start exercising soon, here is some advice so that you can have the best workout session possible.
1. Use the right clothes
When it comes to exercise clothes, there is only one thing you should consider: comfort. Try to forget the fact that other people in the gym wear tight, revealing outfits, or that you may run into someone you know on the street. If you are not wearing comfortable clothes, your exercise session may end sooner than you expected, either because your clothes don’t provide you with the ideal body temperature or because they pull and pinch in all the wrong places. Wearing comfortable shoes, designed for the type of exercise you will be practicing is of the utmost importance, as your feet will be the base of most of the exercises you practice.
2. Don’t eat heavily
Some people need fuel to be able to exercise while others can do it on an empty stomach. What you have to keep in mind, though, is that when you exercise, your body will redistribute the blood flow to make sure that it can perform. When you are digesting food, your blood and energy will be focused on that process. If you eat a lot before exercising or eat things that are hard for your body to process, your digestion may stop midway which, depending on the degree of severity, might make you have to pay a visit to the nearest hospital. Eat smart and light before your exercise session and give your body enough time to digest before you start sprinting or doing jumping jacks.
3. Keep hydrated
When you exercise, you sweat, which is why it is important to keep hydrated. If you are working out only at one particular spot, it is very easy to take a small bottle of water with you and take a few, small sips from time to time. Avoid drinking too much water between exercises because that it can easily make you nauseous and interfere with your workout. If you are going for a jog, you can either carry a bottle in a backpack or fanny pack, or simply choose to drink only after the workout.
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4. Prepare your body
The smart way to exercise, particularly if you haven’t done it for a long time, is to take some time to warm up and to perform some stretching exercises. This will help your body to transition into workout mode more smoothly and will help prevent injuries caused by the sudden exertion. Keep in mind that if you have not exercised for a long time, you should start with a mild workout session and gradually increase the level of difficulty as the days go by. It is never a good idea to put too much pressure on your body all of a sudden. Respect your body and your health and give them time to adjust.
5. Get a workout buddy
Many people have great difficulty finding the motivation not only to start exercising but to keep a workout routine. Sometimes, we get that burst of motivation and have a great first workout session and maybe a couple of following ones, but become impatient to see results and end up giving up sooner rather than later. A good way to keep motivated and to guarantee that you will keep your commitment to exercise is by getting a workout buddy. Going for a run or doing a set of crunches with a friend will not only make the time go by faster, as you can easily engage in conversation, but it will make both of you want to keep your weekly commitment.
6. Get extra motivation
If exercising is a hellish experience for you, it might be worth it to consider hiring the help of a personal trainer. Not only are they experienced and will design the perfect workout plan for you, based on your goals, but thy will also keep you on the right track, guaranteeing you will show up for the training sessions every week.
If you think a personal trainer will not be that helpful, then try to choose a form of exercise that doesn’t actually feel like exercising. Some people love dancing, some people enjoy swimming, and some people take great pleasure on riding a bike. Find something that actually makes you happy while you do it and it will be much easier to look forward to your next workout session.
Another great motivator is music. It has been proven that the right tunes can greatly enhance people’s performance while exercising. Choose the right tunes, the ones that make you want to move, and you will have a much better time while performing any sort of exercise.
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7. Choose the right place
Although it is very convenient, since it provides you with a variety of equipment that will help you exercise, it is very easy to get bored at the gym. Some gyms have televisions in the workout rooms, which will help you to keep distracted and help time pass by faster, while others have the machines facing the streets, which will only provide you with a very poor source of focus, watching people passing by. If gyms are your first choice, consider either taking some music with you or even loading movies or tv shows into your mobile device so that you can watch something while you workout.
Another great option is to exercise outdoors. Barcelona has a large number of excellent beaches where you can workout near the sea, listening to the waves lick the shore. We advise you to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon, both to avoid dangerous sun exposure and to avoid the times when the beaches are fullest. Use the adequate sun protection which can include sun block, a hat, and sunglasses.
If you prefer to exercise on a greener setting, you won’t have any problems finding those either. If you live closest to the center, you can easily get to Park de la Ciutadella, a delightful natural oasis located in the district of Ciutat Vella. If you live in Sant Marti, you will find not one but two wonderful parks where you can get your body moving. If you like peace and quiet, we suggest that you choose the one closest to the beach, since the other one is located between several roads and can get a bit noisier. A different option is to go up to the mountains and breath in the fresh air while you exercise. Both Collserola and Tibidabo offer great views and a peaceful natural setting.
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