Cachai?: Ejercicio!

Hola amigos! Just filling you guys in with something I love to do during the weekdays to pass time and stay in shape. Since I do not want to pay for a gym membership here (which is possible with a student visa and, from what I heard, does not cost much), I decided to stick to exercising outside. And luckily, the great thing about Santiago is that in various areas and parks, they have plenty of outdoor machines and equipment that allow people to do so for free!

So, I kind have created a schedule for myself. I concluded that Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday would be the best days for me to work out since I do not have to wake up really early the next day and thus have more time to exercise while still having a lot of room for studying. On each workout day, I always go running around Parque Bustamante (a really close, but semi-long around my building). Parque Bustamante is kind of split up into 3 parts. There is the concert-like area (where I am guessing festivals happen), the skate park, and lastly the actual playground/scenic area which is the longest part. When I exit my building I already am at the concert area; thus, I start of jogging from there all the way to the beginning of the last and largest area. There, is where my actual run begins. What I have been trying to do is each week I increase the amount of laps I do around that area by one which is already starting to be difficult and I am only on four laps right now. The park is pretty long and to, make matter worse, there are plenty of smokers in Santiago and a lot of pollution as well.

After the run, I head to the beginning of the last area again, but this time enter inside in order to reach the playground which contains the exercise equipment as well. It usually is not crowded, but of course the pull-up and dip bars are almost always surrounded by the macho men. They are willing to give you your turn, but when I do my low reps after they almost did about 20 and some cool stunt, I am just standing there wondering when all these Olympians came to Santiago.

Mondays  and Fridays are usually my day for arms so I would do pull-ups and dips (adding 1 extra rep each week), shoulder press (adding 5 extra reps weekly), the rowing machine (adding 10 weekly), and push-ups (adding 5 weekly). Wednesday and Sunday are for legs and abs therefore I do the elliptical for about the length of a whole song, sets of leg press and squats (adding 5 weekly), crunches (adding 10 weekly), ab twists (adding 10 weekly), and finally an ab side bend machine (adding 10 weekly). I think I am going to add another leg workout to that for those days, but I am not completely sure.

Finally, after all is set and done, I jog back to my building and get a nice shower. I really enjoy my workout days, not only because it keeps me in shape, but it gives me a reason to go outside and step away from my homework. Furthermore, it is nice to occasionally meet and interact with people while at the park. There will be sometimes where another person and I are running at about the same speed so we greet each other and introduce ourselves. Plus, seeing all of the really fit people motivates me in two ways: it encourages me to strive for their level of strength, but also my inner instinct to compete comes out which pushes me harder.