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Margaret Island Yoga Photo: facebook.com/margitszigetijoga

So you’re an expat, a digital nomad, or a foreign exchange student, and you’ve decided to call Budapest your new home.

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Maybe you were drawn to the city because of its vibrant culture, the legendary nightlife scene, and affordable living costs.

Or you might be a traveler considering a trip to Hungary to experience the beautiful architecture, the vineyards, the stunning Danube river, and of course, the famous thermal baths.

Either way, there’s excellent news for the fitness-minded expat or traveler. Budapest has no shortage of options when it comes to maintaining your health routine, whether you plan on staying short or long term.

In this article, we’ll cover the top four tips to help you stay in your best shape in Budapest in 2020.

1. Lift weights like a Hungarian

When in Hungary, why not do as Hungarians?

Elite Hungarian and Romanian weightlifters have used a system called the “1 – 6 principle” with great success.

Here’s how it works.

You do a 1-rep max of an exercise, like the squat or bench press, for example. Then you wait 3-10 minutes and you do a set of 6 heavy reps. The idea is that because you did the 1-rep max (1RM), you’ll be able to lift more weights for your 6 reps, than if you hadn’t done the 1RM.

This is possible because, with the 1RM, you’re training your nervous system to handle a higher load. So after you rest for the 3-10 minutes, your body will be “programmed” to lift more than the usual weight.

The benefit is that you get stronger quicker, which could translate to better results, whether you’re looking to build a better physique or improve in a sport.

Post-workout recovery with whey protein powder

Of course, after lifting heavy weights, you need the right nutrition so your body can recover properly.

When it comes to muscle growth and recovery after a workout, nothing beats a high-quality whey protein supplement. According to one study, consuming whey protein resulted in higher post-workout muscle synthesis in young men, when compared to other types of proteins.

With 25 grams of protein and 5.9 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) in each serving, Naked Nutrition’s whey protein powder is one of the top post-workout supplements in the market.

Naked Whey only uses one ingredient, which is whey protein from grass-fed cow’s milk in small California dairy farms. The premium dairy contains no growth hormones, and the resulting protein is soy-free.

Naked Whey will be available on Amazon UK before summer 2020. Just in time to get lean and toned for the beach! 

2. Take advantage of Budapest’s public workout spots

Maybe crowded gyms aren’t your thing. You like breathing in the fresh air and connecting with mother nature as you get your sweat on.

Fortunately, Budapest offers plenty of parks and public workout spaces with pull up bars and parallel bars. Perfect for a bodyweight workout to get those functional gains.

Besides being free, another advantage of a public workout space is that it allows you to meet other fellow fitness enthusiasts.

There’s something about sharing a pull-up bar at a park that makes it easier to start a conversation. If you’re new to the city, this could be a great way to make some new friends.

For more information, check out this article on free outdoor workout spots in Budapest. 

3. Budapest is runner’s paradise

Whether you like to run in the city or in a natural setting, Budapest has it all. With a wide array of dedicated trails ranging from flat to hilly, you’ll be spoiled for choice as a runner.

Here are some of the most popular running routes in Budapest.

Margaret Island

The centrally located Margaret island has one of the city’s most popular running tracks. With its flat terrain and rubber track (which makes it easier on your knees), the route in Margaret island is suitable for runners of all levels.

The track is 5 km long as it circles the island. As an added bonus, you can enjoy beautiful views of the Danube while you get your cardio done.

Gellért Hill

Hungarian thermal baths are famous. Proponents claim benefits like better joint health and improved blood circulation. At the very least, we know that a thermal bath will help you relax.

And if relaxing in a thermal bath as you recover after a run sounds like something you’d enjoy, then the Gellert Hill running route is for you.

The running route begins and ends at one of Budapest’s prominent thermal baths.

This route is a little higher in intensity since you have to run up and down the hill. But the stunning views of Budapest from the top of the hill are well worth the hike.

Normafa

For those looking for a run in more of a natural setting, Normafa might be the ideal route. Located in the Buda hills, this route offers terrains ranging in difficulty levels. The track is approximately 5 km long and includes views of the city along the way. Another route highly popular with the locals.

4. Support local farms at the farmer’s markets

There are so many good reasons to shop at a farmer’s market.

Not only do you get fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, but you also get them during their growing seasons. In-season produce typically means that you’ll enjoy the best taste.

Nutrition is a vital component of any healthy lifestyle. Shopping at a farmer’s market allows you to eat the kinds of foods that will support your fitness goals and your overall health.

It’s also another way for you to connect with your neighbors. You get to support local farmers and your local economy, instead of supermarkets that often get their supply from thousands of miles away.

There are many farmer’s markets all over Budapest, and you can ask around your locality for ones in your area. One of the most prominent ones is the Szimpla Farmer’s Market, open every Sunday from 9 AM to 2 PM. Check out their website for more information.

Closing thoughts

Living in Budapest, your choices are endless when it comes to health and fitness. Whether you’re into weightlifting, calisthenics, running, or another type of exercise, Budapest has something in store for you.

So, get your training shoes on, get out there, and get your heart pumping. And remember, if you’re lifting weights, keep some BCAAs handy to speed up recovery and support those muscle gains.

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