There is really no good reason not to be in decent shape in this country. People moving here have reported significant weight loss in some cases in the first year of residency. The exposure to eating more fresh fruits and vegetables year 'round and eating less processed foods might be one reason. Another reason might be adapting to different temperatures. Still another could be getting more exercise if one doesn't own a car.
When we left Vancouver, British Columbia, almost a year ago, I had belonged to a gym for a couple of years. Five days a week, two hours a day, I did cardio and weights, and hardly ever missed a day. I was lifting, pulling, pushing 33,000 lbs. a week in weights and faithfully rotating through all the cardio machines. It was getting boring and I felt I had reached the limits of weights I would ever be able to lift.
After all that work, I was concerned that I would turn to flab and lose my strength very fast if I didn't maintain that level of work. There are a couple of gyms in Atenas but they appear to have no air conditioning and that is not appealing to me in this climate. I have been walking into Atenas about once, maybe twice, a week (2.2 kms) but that's like a drop in the fitness bucket and the walk is all downhill. I could have walked the "Vista Atenas Loop" every day but couldn't seem to work up the interest on my own. It's a killer by the way. I've been told that people have called for help on their cells phones when they realized the steep hills were just too much.
Ta da! I was asked if I wanted to join a small group of women in my area who were going to participate in twice weekly classes combining yoga/pilates/water exercises. I'm so glad I said "yes". Our instructor is a professional trainer in these disciplines. These kinds of exercises are new to me and they are not easy. I love the pool exercises. Just walking up to where the classes are held takes half an excruciating hour.
I'm really happy to be exercising more seriously again. As we age, it is so important to maintain as much physical strength as we can so we can continue to be independent and self-sufficient.