By R. Maskam
Studying abroad challenges your fitness culture. Whereas you might have been a fit individual when you were still in your home country, you might have notice your clothes getting tighter or your cheeks getting rounder. This even happens when you are still training frequently. Is the cultural shock too great? Or is stress going to be the main, but vague, reason? Below are a few reasons why you have gained a few pounds while you still exercise frequently.
Different climate changes your dedication. It may have been warm and sunny throughout the whole year back home, but here you are still getting used to the cold temperatures. Every now and then a good snack lets you forget everything outside and before you know it you have not been outside other than going to colleges or for groceries. But even so you see locals training outdoors during autumn or even winter. So if you are dedicated it might be time to invest in some gear against the cold or plan a good warm up in your training program.
Managing your time on certain activities might also be hurdle. Since you live on your own you have a lot of responsibilities which needs your attention. Buying groceries, studying for your courses, housekeeping and having hobbies all have their own priority and staying fit might be the last on this list. But this would be the same as in your home country right? Yes, but depending on where you are from, you will see that most people here keep a tight and planned schedule for everything. Acclimating to the positive habits of locals can prove useful.
A decreased metabolism might also be the main cause of getting rounder. Your body is getting older and wont use up the same amount of energy as when you were sixteen. If your metabolism shows a sudden yet significant change you might want to consult a physician in case it might be something severe. Even then lots of people deal with a changed metabolism and it does not have to be a problem. Everyone behaves different and you just need to adjust to what your body can take and accept that your body is getting older and weaker. Of course if staying fit is the goal then it means you will have to train more frequently and intense just to maintain your current weight.
A different climate, time management and decreased metabolism might be the reason those clothes feel tight. And getting a few pounds is not a bad thing. Just ask yourself on what spectrum you want to be on the fitness scale. If you just want to stay in good health and finish your studies at Delft, then getting a few pounds might be a sign of success. Maintaining a fit life however will force you to change your mindset from before you started the study abroad. In the following articles more in depth tips will follow to help your decision on staying fit and curing your nostalgia on exercising in your home country.