Staying Healthy Abroad

Loren Thomas STEM Summer Research - Dublin, Ireland


July 23, 2019
Currently Studying at: STEM SUMMER RESEARCH - DUBLIN
Homeschool: University of Michigan

Hi all! These past few weeks have been SUPER busy for me. I traveled to Amsterdam, celebrated my birthday, ate delicious foods, and bonded more with my roommates. Today, I want to talk about how I’ve learned to incorporate exercise and healthy(ish) eating into my busy schedule.

My favorite exercise is walking. I know what you’re thinking: how can you burn that many calories by walking? Well, when you walk for hours at a time, you can easily burn off a few pints worth of calories. And here in Ireland, the roads are rarely ever flat and boring. My roommate and I have made an effort to take a walk after work almost every day. On Mondays, we walk to the grocery store and back. (Could I consider myself a backpacker now?) We’ve also explored Phoenix Park, Blackrock Park, Booterstown Park, Deer Park, and many others. There’s a handful of parks nearby and even more reachable by bus. My favorite walks are on the pier or by the ocean. Yesterday, we took the train to Howth – a small peninsula just north of downtown Dublin. We started the day with a 7km “Cliff Walk,” which was more of a hike than a walk. It included climbing up steep hills, rocks, and walking along the edge of the cliffs. Some lovely pictures are shown above.

As for food, it’s so easy to get into a habit of eating junk food every night. The best way to combat this is to buy healthier foods at the grocery store, so you only have vegetables to munch on. Eating healthy can also be difficult here because there’s usually fewer preservatives in produce and meats than in the states, so things go bad much quicker. We’ve found that the best way to manage this is to share meals and pickup produce a few times per week. I’ve also noticed that certain fruits and vegetables are cheaper here (kiwis and bell peppers!), so that’s even more incentive to snack on produce than chips (or rather, crisps).

I’m most definitely not the healthiest or most athletic person, but being abroad has made me more conscious about how I’m treating my body. I’m very thankful for living with roommates who constantly motivate each other to take walks instead of the bus, to add some veggies to pasta, and to dance around in our pajamas on a Tuesday night. Cheers to healthy(ish) living!