Exercise: Looking to Ship Out & Shape Up? Think Again

By Alison Searle

So you may be thinking, a trip to Guatemala could do me some good; climbing volcanoes, backpacking through pueblos, a bout or two or travelers diarrhea, maybe I’ll drop a few pounds or twenty and go home a whole new person?

Newsflash: although you don’t have the cute goldfish coyly grinning at you or the cuddly teddy grahams reaching out to you from the shelves, there are an equal number of gordo-syndrome pitfalls right here in Xela.

So how do you beat the seemingly inevitable onset of LBs? There are a few options…

There is the obvious walking around town to keep your heart rate up. As tempting as the 1Q minibuses are from zone 1 to zone 3, you’re in Guatemala, where are you in a hurry to get to?

If you’re into running, there’s the free track in zone 3, complete with basketball courts and fields to play soccer for the athletic overachievers out there.

For something a little more spiritual and relaxing there’s the yoga house. For 15Q a session they promise to strengthen your mind and body; and kick your ass a little if you’re a beginner, but in a good way.

Finally, there are the mountains we so carelessly disregard as a pretty backdrop to our quaint city. There are great paths accessible from 8th avenida, with beautiful views and fairly easy to navigate trails.

So what are you waiting for? Pack up some snacks and get yourself out there! A mango, a Salva Vida, and a few donuts or tacos for the trail…because calories are only worth half in Guatemala, right?

The Nitty Gritty

Running track: El Complejo Deportivo in Zona 3, next to the Minerva Bus Terminal.

Yoga House: 9 Ave 6-68, Zone 1.

Hiking Trails: Best route is to walk up 8th avenida. After about half a mile you come to the top of the hill where the road turns left (don’t make the left or you’ve gone too far). There is a steep dirt path on the right and a few other paths that are accessible from the road. If you’re unsure ask someone how to get to the Saunas and they can point you in the right direction – there are paths all throughout the mountains that you can explore!

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