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Physical and Mental Fitness: A Guide for Expats in Barcelona

Physical and Mental Fitness: A Guide for Expats in Barcelona

Life as an international entails managing the opportunities and challenges of being dislocated from your country of origin and managing language barriers and cultural differences. Culture shock, party lifestyles, separation from friends and family – expat life disrupts your usual routines, creating a storm of challenges that can result in addiction, depression, stress or anxiety. We need to be in top physical and mental health to meet these challenges and avoid these potential dangers.

Therapy in Barcelona, a team of expat therapists, helps you with your mental and emotional well-being, which impacts your physical health. Attika Fitness also focuses on a holistic approach. Attika Fitness is an English-speaking boutique gym in Barcelona dedicated to helping you build a stronger body and mind. Teodora Skylane, the founder of Attika Fitness, writes about the holistic synergy between physical and mental health.

Barcelona, our vibrant city with a diverse international community, offers a unique backdrop for expats. However, adapting to life in a new country can be challenging. When frustrations combine with the lack of regular support, many expats may have difficulty coping with the feelings that come up. At times like these, isolation, drugs or alcohol, or flight home may seem like an inviting option to smooth over the pain temporarily. Recognising this, both Therapy in Barcelona and Attika Fitness take holistic approaches to wellness, encouraging combining physical fitness with mental and emotional health support tailored explicitly for the expatriate community.

Physical Fitness: More Than Just Strength

 

Physical fitness, particularly strength training, plays a crucial role in an expat’s life. It’s not just about building muscle but cultivating discipline, resilience, and a sense of accomplishment, qualities expats need in large amounts!  

 

Attika Fitness, offering English-speaking personal trainers in Barcelona, offers customised training programs for internationals. These programs are designed not just for physical improvement but also to enhance mental clarity and emotional stability, vital for navigating the complexities of expat life. Clients have praised Attika for its community, support, inspiring atmosphere, and holistic approach:

 

“I was a complete newbie when I started training with [Attika Fitness], but [they have] been incredibly supportive from the start and completely made me fall in love with fitness and taking great care of my body. In just one year I have made incredible progress in both my physical and mental state: I am and feel so much stronger and confident…Yen De Spiegelaere

 

The Best English Speaking Sports Training Space” Alia Darwish

 

Warm, friendly and knowledgeable coaches and community! Perfect place for bespoke training, all in English, in Barcelona” – Angie P

 

Mental Health: The Cornerstone of Expatriate Well-being

 

In our appearance-based world where stigma still exists around mental health, physical health can overshadow mental well-being, yet it’s equally crucial, especially for expats. Therapy in Barcelona specialises in providing mental health support from a team of English-speaking therapists. They address common expatriate challenges like anxiety, relationship issues, feelings of depression, cultural adjustment, loneliness, low self-esteem and stress. Their approach is about gaining self-knowledge and skills for coping and thriving in a new environment, empowering clients to take control of what they can in the uncertainties of expat life. Clients have reported feeling more connected, understood, and empowered through therapy sessions.

 

Great therapists, I felt they really understand where I am coming from and felt comfortable sharing, very empathetic and knowledgeable.” Giovanni Andrés Ospina

 

Fantastic place – excellent therapy.” – Celine Sarafa

 

“Deciding to take therapy is a really personal, difficult decision and it’s also a very good and welcoming first step towards becoming a better version of yourself. Therapy in BCN is highly recommended as they make sure you match with a therapist most suitable to work with you. The intake process is also really smooth :)” Megha Chadha

 

“I truly recommend this site for expats, or people that do not speak Spanish! It’s hard taking the first step, but I’m very glad I did, they are very helpful, and set you up with the right person for your needs!” Jay “Youthstar” Davies

 

The Synergy of Mind and Body

 

The emphasis of both Therapy in Barcelona and Attika Fitness on the synergy between mental and physical health represents a paradigm shift in expat wellness. Their approaches underscore the belief that psychological and physical health are deeply interconnected. A strong body can lead to a resilient mind; a healthy mind can motivate and sustain physical fitness and health. Combined, their services offer a comprehensive approach to wellness, ensuring expats can access physical training and mental health support in their native language.

Caring for our bodies can lead to a transformative change in our mindset, shaping the essence of our lives and how we experience them on a day-to-day basis. Attika Fitness recommends strength training to enhance your mental and physical well-being. Let’s explore this further. 

Here’s why:

Mental Empowerment Through Physical Strength

The benefits of strength training extend beyond the physical realm. As individuals challenge their physical limits, they cultivate mental resilience. This form of exercise has been linked to improved cognitive function, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and enhanced self-esteem. Overcoming physical challenges instils a sense of accomplishment and confidence, permeating other life aspects. In my own experience, lifting a weight, I believed a few months prior I would never be able to lift made me stop and think: “What other limiting beliefs do I have that stop me from even trying?”

Strength Training and Stress Reduction

Engaging in regular strength training can also be an effective stress-relief tool. The physical exertion helps release endorphins, the body’s natural mood lifters. This release can lead to a state often referred to as the ‘runner’s high’, but it is not exclusive to running; strength training can evoke similar feelings of euphoria and relaxation. So, it can be a little bit addictive, in a good way.

And, Of Course, The Physical Benefits of Strength Training

Strength training, involving weight lifting and resistance exercises, is pivotal in building muscle mass, enhancing bone density, and boosting overall physical strength. Regular engagement in such activities can increase bone strength, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, particularly in older adults. Furthermore, strength training has been shown to improve metabolic health and immune system function, making it a key component in maintaining physical health. We can eat more, and not just ‘get away with it’ (a different subject for another article), but also feel more energetic and healthier 🙂

 

The Role of Recovery in Strength Training

While the benefits of strength training are manifold, it’s crucial to balance these high-intensity workouts with recovery activities. Practices such as yoga, Pilates, and meditation are not just supplementary but integral to a well-rounded fitness regime. These activities aid in muscle recovery, reduce the risk of injury, and ensure that the body and mind are given time to rejuvenate. They also enhance flexibility and mind-body awareness, improving form and effectiveness in strength training.

 

So, what am I saying in all of this?

Combine physical and mental fitness for the ultimate synergy

In summary, a balanced and holistic strength training regime offers remarkable benefits for both body and mind. The benefits are many, from lugging those shopping bags up the stairs with greater ease to building a healthy, energetic, resilient, happy, and more relaxed you in your expat life.

For expatriates in Barcelona, achieving a balance between physical fitness and mental well-being is more than a goal; it’s a necessity. Through the combined efforts of English-speaking personal trainers and therapists, expats are empowered to navigate their new lives with confidence and resilience. This holistic approach to wellness is not just about surviving but thriving in the beautiful, dynamic city of Barcelona.

Contact Attika Fitness for more information about bespoke personal training for expats in Barcelona

Contact Therapy in Barcelona for more information about therapy services online or in office for internationals.

 

About Teodora Sklayne, the founder of Attika Fitness

My journey with strength training began at age 21, marking a pivotal moment in my life. This journey was not just about physical growth but a transformative mental and emotional evolution process over the following years. Through strength training, I learned the art of self-love and the profound truth that our body and mind are intricately woven into one. This is the sole possession we are born with and the only one we take to our grave. How we live our lives is intrinsically linked to how we treat this unified entity. My experiences, including injuries and their recovery, taught me the crucial importance of balance. Caring for our bodies can lead to a transformative change in our mindset, shaping the very essence of our lives and the way we experience them on a day-to-day basis.

 

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