Staying Fit in Buenos Aires

While most porteños love to eat cow, very few actually look like one. Just because you are visiting the land of beef, wine and 5am Fernet binges, doesn’t mean you’ll have to pack on the carb-ed out kilos. The Argentine lifestyle may look like a dieter’s worst nightmare, with red meat a plenty, empanadas galore, extra cheese on the side and a never-ending glass of overflowing Malbec, this weight and appearance conscious city continues to bring their sexy back and stay fit.

Whether you’re a gym rat, health nut, yogi or looking to boot camp your butt into shape, we are on a mission to find the skinny on the best ways to combat those extra Palermo pounds, blast that hot (or not) body into shape and stay fit in Buenos Aires.

Look (or Feel) (KindaSortaSomewhat) Good Naked with Vitruvian

Pull ups in the park photo courtesy of Vitruvian
Pull-ups in the park; photo courtesy of Vitruvian.

Crazy Crossfit addicts, you are in luck – the trainers at Vitruvian are here to burpee your bum until it hurts. Started in 2011 by man of steel and New York City native Max Rodman, this intense and rewarding group fitness program is all about physical (and mental) results: short intense workouts that aim to improve endurance, strength, speed, coordination and power. Super affordable at only 30 pesos per session, classes are taught by skilled instructors from Argentina and the United States and held almost every day in the Palermo and Recoleta parks. Their motto is simple: Look Good Naked.
For more information, contact Vitruvian BA.

Run, jog, walk, roll

Running in Bosque, Photo by Foto Ruta
Running in Bosque, Photo by Foto Ruta.

Despite narrow sidewalks, chimney smoking buses, and golden mountains of dog excrement, Buenos Aires has great running paths. Head out to the Bosques de Palermo, where runners have over 25 hectares of parks of perfect running trails, or the Costanera Sur’s Ecological Reserve that is equipped with a looping path. If you are into running solo, perhaps jog on one of these running trails, or if you are more into a group running club, there are plenty of running groups in the city. For those who are more inclined in a social running club, join Buenos Aires Hash House Harriers, “a drinking club with a running problem.”

You are what you eat: Eat healthy, feel healthy

Set table at Jueves a la Mesa; photo by Allie Lazar
Set table at Jueves a la Mesa; photo by Allie Lazar.

Argentina might not be known for its healthy fare, but Buenos Aires has started to cater to a more natural eating audience, with great lighter options changing the way BA does dining. You no longer have to compromise on wearing elastic wasted trousers to eat well; head out to one of these spots that actually taste good, without reaching quadruple-digit caloric damage. A vegetarian delight private dining supper club, Thursday nights are for Jueves a la mesa, a verdulería (vegetable shop) to table home cooked social dining experience. For a more casual lunch, Palermo Hollywood’s Smooothway (Soler 6036) and Buenos Aires Verde (Gorriti 5657) bring ultra fresh organic-ness to the porteño capital, steering clear of any preservatives or additives.

Channel your inner Messi with Buenos Aires Fútbol Amigos

Photo courtesy of Buenos Aires Football Amigos
Photo courtesy of Buenos Aires Football Amigos.

While witnessing a Boca or River match is on most travelers Buenos Aires tourist bucket list, not many visitors get the chance to storm a local cancha and partake in their own social game of Argentina’s favorite pastime. Organized by a group of locals and expats, Buenos Aires Fútbol Amigos (BAFA) brings fútbol, football and soccer lovers of all backgrounds and skillsets together for a friendly yet competitive game. While football matches are held weekly in San Telmo and Palermo, BAFA also organizes tournaments, social events and fun activities (like Buenos Aires’ seasonal Activity Day).
For more information, contact Buenos Aires Fútbol Amigos.

Good Mood Sun Salutations with Buena Onda Yoga

Buena Onda Yoga; photo courtesy of Livia de Castro
Buena Onda Yoga; photo courtesy of Livia de Castro.

“It’s good to shine from the inside.” This is what Buena Onda Yoga is all about, a down to earth yoga studio that actually practices what it preaches. Taught (mostly in English) by a crew of skilled and inspiring instructors, group classes for all levels are designed to energize the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga classes combine vinyasa flow, an intense workout that combines a series of slowing postures with deep breathing with Iyengar yoga, which pays close attention to alignment, detail and breath control. Buena Onda Yoga also organizes workshops led by special guests, yoga retreats, moonlight yoga and pilates-dance combo classes.
To become a member, contact Buena Onda Yoga.

Buenos Aires Gyms

Treadmills at Megatlon; photo courtesy of Megatlon
Treadmills at Megatlon; photo courtesy of Megatlon.

With at least a handful of work out centers in every neighborhood, it’s no challenge finding a gym in BA… the difficult part will be finding one you like. Larger citywide chains like Megatlon, Sports Club, Well Club tend to be the more modernly equipped gyms with full cardio rooms, weight lifting facilities, swimming pools and a full schedule of classes like Spinning, Zumba and Pilates, but cost a hefty price when becoming a member on a month to month basis (although many offer free weekly “trials”). Smaller neighborhood gyms are perfect for the class lover or the no fuss worker-outer, with a handful of treadmills, some free weights and classes galore.

Word to the wise: Don’t be alarmed by the abundance of mirrors, “Profesores” (trainers) going in for the sweaty kiss salutation, matching Adidas or Nike jumpsuits, or women with flawless makeup who don’t seem to break a sweat – that’s all perfectly normal.

Work it out, Boot Camp BA style

Boot Camp push-up high-fives; photo courtesy of Boot Camp BA
Boot Camp push-up high-fives; photo courtesy of Boot Camp BA.

Make your body suffer (in a good way) with Boot Camp Buenos Aires, a hardcore intense training program that uses the city as your outdoor gym. These group outdoor sessions in Palermo and Puerto Madero incorporate strength and resistance training, cardio conditioning and calisthenic exercises to enhance overall fitness levels. Unlike other training programs, there’s no need for a long time commitment, boot campers can pay per session (US$12), or opt for a two-week (US$45) or monthly membership (US$60).
For more information, check out Boot Camp Buenos Aires.

Andar en bici es mejor

Costanera Norte biking tour; photo courtesy of Biking BA
Costanera Norte biking tour; photo courtesy of Biking BA.

A few years ago it was almost a death wish to ride a bike in Buenos Aires, with very few bikes paths and even less street cred given to cyclists. But luckily the city has begun to encourage more environmentally friendly forms of public transportation, especially with government ecobici programs like the bright yellow bikes: free hour-long bike borrowing program. The yellow bike stations are strategically placed across the city, generally along the newly constructed bicisendas (bike lanes) and are open to the public. For tourists and travelers looking to pedal forward touring Buenos Aires on two wheels, ride along with Biking Buenos Aires to discover the city from a different view. This award winning city tour offers four different sightseeing tour routes, where riders can take off on their bicis to uncover the entire city.
Contact Biking Buenos Aires for more information.

Popping & Locking at Dance&Move

Professional or amateur dancers looking for a fun groove-busting workout, body roll over the Dance&Move, a dance studio with classes for all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re into Hip Hop, Lyrical Jazz, Contemporary or Breakdancing, you can probably find a style for you at this Chacarita spot.
For more information contact Dance&Move Studio.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

A licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, New York native Lauren Dulberg is all about working her magic healing hands through nourishing the body and spirit at Acupuncture Buenos Aires. Set out of a beautiful and calming Almagro PH, Lauren offers acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping massage, herbal medicine and nutritional therapy, along with facial rejuvenation, addiction therapy and fertility therapy. It’s a must for those who want to move one step forward to optimize their health, from the inside and out.
For more information, contact Lauren.

Palermo bosque post work out sun bathe; photo by Foto Ruta
Palermo bosque post work out sun bathe; photo by Foto Ruta.

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Allie Lazar

Allie Lazar

Allie is a freelance eater based out of Buenos Aires. An ex-vegetarian born and raised in Chicago, she was lured by the carnivorous spell of chorizo in 2006 and never turned back. She has managed to channel her unhealthy obsession for all things culinary and travel-related into something a bit more socially acceptable: writing about food, wine and travel. She is also known for her master utensil-using skills, covering the BA gastronomy scene on her blog Pick Up The Fork.

4 responses to “Staying Fit in Buenos Aires

  1. Allie says:

    Another great resource: US trained Chinese Medicine Doctor in Almagro specializing in acupuncture, nutritional therapy, and herbal medicine:

  2. AleCai says:

    Here Porteños really like fitness and gym!!! it’s the only way after eating so many great foods in BA

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