Published on October 30, 2014

Ways to exercise abroad


With so much delicious food to Instagram and cute new restaurants to explore, staying healthy abroad can be tough. Add on to that a full-time internship and the ever-present temptation of Netflix, and you’ve got a serious challenge. To ensure that you continue feeling your best while interning abroad, it is important to establish a workout routine soon after your arrival in-country. Below, I list ways to get moving (with many being free or very cheap!) in each of our international internship destinations:


ParkRun- Participate in free, timed 5k runs all around London and work at improving your Personal Best. Create an account on the ParkRun website, and you’re set to show up at any ParkRun event-- no advance registration needed! You can even take advantage of these running events if you’re traveling, as they occur all around the U.K. and even in Poland, Denmark, and Russia.

British Military Fitness- Lacking motivation in your workouts? No one will work you harder than a military-trained instructor! Sign up for classes at British Military Fitness for a challenging alternative to your typical gym class. Classes take place in over 145 locations across the U.K., including London locations like Battersea Park, Canary Wharf, Hyde Park, and Richmond Park. Sign up to try a class for free!

See more exercise ideas

Hong Kong

Dragon’s Back This moderate-difficulty hike is considered by many to be the best hike in Hong Kong. Views at the summit overlook the bays around Hong Kong, surrounded by mountains. Recommendation: Go for the sunset, but bring flashlights for the hike back down!

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery This steep climb is challenging, but rewarding-- and free! Views along the hike include various temples, over 12,000 life-size Buddha statues, and-- if you’re lucky-- wild monkeys! Plan to spend a few hours hiking at a moderate pace, and bring water for along the way.


Kokoda Memorial Walk Just an hour from Melbourne, you can enjoy exercise, nature, and history on this 1000-step climb. This trail honors the Australian soldiers who fought and died on the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea in World War II.

Latin America (Colombia)

Laguna de Guatape Work up a sweat hiking up the 700 stairs of Piedra de Peñol and be rewarded by an amazing view of Laguna de Guatape.


Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro) This enormous park has walking and jogging trails, beautiful trees and wildlife, and even a lake for boating. Go for a jog in this park, or in one of the many others in the city, to stay fit while mingling with the locals.

Rio Park (Parque Madrid Río) One of the best parks in the city for practicing sports, bring your friend group here to play a game of football, go skateboarding, or go biking.

Even if you don’t want to pay for a gym while interning abroad, there are still hundreds of ways to stay in shape-- you just have to be a bit creative! If you have lived in or visited any of our 5 destinations, feel free to share any free or low-cost exercise ideas you have in the comments!



Photo 1. based on Fitness facility offers boot camp to kick off resolutions, by Fort Rucker, CC-by-2.0

The author
John Monahan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *