Monday, July 25, 2011

Fitness Goddess International: Working it Out in Amsterdam

It has been a busy couple of months and we have not been able to post as much as we would have liked. But don't worry we are still here and will continue to provide you tips, inspiration, and motivation.

For the past couple of weeks I was in Amsterdam for a summer course. It is a beautiful city filled with plenty of opportunities for exercise and healthy eating. Everyone in Amsterdam cycles, the city is pretty small so you can ride your bike to work, school, and for errands. The city is designed specifically for the bicyclists. They have their own lanes (separated by a barrier from the car lane) and lights. It's also a great city to walk through. There are beautiful canals and amazing architecture at every turn. Also, there are fitness centers everywhere. There were three within walking distance of me (Heaven!). I joined Sport City Gym because they had great selection of classes. They had Zumba, BodyPump, Body Combat, etc. The classes were taught in Dutch, it was bit of a challenge but I survived :-) 
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Eating healthy was no problem. Fresh fruits and veggies were much cheaper than in the U.S. Also, it was so easy to find fresh baked bread (i.e., bread w/o added sugar) and salads. There was an Albert Heijen grocery store near me and a  farmers market with fresh food as well. My room had a tiny fridge so I basically had to buy groceries every other day, which was great because my meals were fresh. It was super easy to avoid processed foods (high fructose corn syrup was not an issue)

My time in Amsterdam made me realize some of the challenges we have in the U.S. and why it is difficult for many people to maintain healthy weights. Imagine if you lived in a city where you could bike everywhere and didn't have to spend a ton of money on healthy foods. Life would be so much easier.There are alot of environmental issues in the U.S. that contribute to the obesity epidemic. In the U.S. being healthy requires a ton effort....(but it still so possible). In the future I will be elaborating on some of the environmental challenges in a new series called "Why?? Wednesdays". I will identify a challenge and offer solutions.

How do you compare the availibity of fresh foods and opporutnities for exercies to other countries you have visited??

8 comments:

Carla Dyer said...

Not even just healthier foods but other countries seem to have a better hold of portion control in general. In Paris although there are more cars than in Amsterdam, it is still very pedestrian friendly. It's an everyday occurance for the parisians to bike or walk to a local cafe and engage in conversation over pastries and wine yet they're in much better control of their weight. As a whole, to change America's thinking about physical activity and he benefits of incorporating healthier foods is an up hill battle. On my blog http://weightwhatworks.blogspot.com/ I address such issues and if I can just reach out to one person a day to change their thinking it makes all the writing and teaching I do worth it.

luvlylayd said...

that's awesome... you do learn a lot when traveling abroad. we can learn a ton from other countries...

bodyshaper said...

Looking points are great, having good sound..!!


Regards

Kymaro body shaper, New Body

Shaper

Aboogie said...

Crazy!!! i just spent a month this year in Europe- went to fance and england but spent the bulk of my time in Amsterdam. Everything you said, spot on! The active lifestyle was so attractive to me i just had to figure out how to incorporate it to my life at home. So now I ride my bike to local destinations, and just seek it out as an option. I have found bike paths that go along major bus paths, so that helps. The smaller portions of food and lack of fast food options abroad also made me just block out all the excess here and seek what i loved there. Fact is, our country is so freaking awesome because we have everything. you can be what ever you want in USA. You just may not have the rest of society supporting you so you may have to be stronger with it. But i already know i have inspired folks to eat healthier and bike more. So happy to have found your blog today! Peace!

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