New to Amman- Expats or Returning Jordanians
For expats moving to any new place can leave you feeling stressed and full of questions. Your favorite coffee shop—where the barista knew you by name and started preparing your Americano the moment he saw your car drive up—is now over 1,000 miles away. You have no idea where the best places to buy groceries are, best places to eat, let alone where to meet a new community of friends for yourself and maybe your family. Perhaps you’re moving back to Amman after several years and you know lots has changed in the health and fitness world and you’d like a few tips.
Needless to say, until you’re unpacked and settled in to your new home, it’s easy to let fitness become the furthest thing from your mind.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Here are 5 tips to help you prioritize your health and fitness, even in the face of a big life change, like moving to Amman.
#5 Focus on Nutrition RIGHT AWAY
It’s easy to put nutrition on hold for a bit when you’re still unpacking and settling in. But don’t use the “I haven’t unpacked my kitchen stuff yet”as an excuse to find the closest McDonalds or order in Pizza for the third time this week! Don’t let fast food become a crutch for you!
We’ve developed a special guide to help you find the right restaurants and grocery stores here in Amman. We can help you get into your healthy nutrition routine as fast as possible. This should be more important than getting all your pictures up on the wall! For 2019-2020 we added a chart that shows when fruits are in season so you can get the best tasting fruit and save your budget each month!
#4 Do Some Short Home Workouts:
Until you decide on a long-term fitness program, you can still maintain some fitness at home, or at the park, or wherever is convenient for you. Chances are breathing hard will also help you de-stress. There are tons of resources out there with great advice on how to maintain some fitness at home, but here’s a short list of sample workouts. We also have a page where we share some Travel Wods that we give to our members who travel a lot. Most of these workouts can be done in a small hotel room or bedroom in the little space at the end of the bed. Even with a 10 minute warm-up, you’ll still be done in less than half an hour!
For many of these basic movements of CrossFit we have videos that explain them simply to you.
#1. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 of: Air squats ; Burpees; Lunges
#2. 200 meters of walking lunges (stop every 50 meters and log 20 glute bridges). (If you’re in a small space, make it 200 lunges with 20 glute bridges every 50 lunges).
#3. As Many Reps as Possible (AMRAP) in 15 minutes of: 30-second handstand hold against a wall; 20 air squats; 30-second hold the bottom of a squat (or wall sit)
#4. 5 Rounds of: Max effort push-ups (1 set only. Stop one or two reps before failure); 10 Mountain Climbers; 10 V-sits or tuck-ups; 15 jumping squats; Rest 2 minutes between rounds
#5. 10 rounds of: Sprint 30 seconds (or skip or double unders) + 10 burpees ; Rest 90 seconds
#6. 12-minute Tabata Mash-up of: Hollow Rocks; Push ups ; Plank Hold – (What is a Tabata? For 20 seconds, complete as many reps of the given exercise as possible. Then rest for 10 seconds and repeat this seven more times for a total of eight intervals. Each Tabata is four minutes in length.)
#3 Sign up for a Local Fitness Event in Jordan
Whether you’re a competitive person or not, training for a specific event is a great way to ensure you honor your commitment to fitness. Seeing that you’re new to Amman- you have some great options:
- Dead 2 Red Relay Race- This is a race unlike any other! It’s a relay race of 10 people teams, for 242 Km! All expats need to try it once while living in Jordan. It’s held the second Thursday of March every year.
- Dead Sea Ultra Marathon
- Amman Marathon
- Jordan Triathlon
- Red Sea Marathon
- Full Moon Desert Marathon-
- Amman Ultimate Fitness Throwdown
- Decapolis Games- A Crescent initiated event held in September 2019 with more details to come.
These events can be a great way to get to know your new city, the culture, and meet some new people along the way. We have a detailed calendar of these events inside our Running Guide for Amman. This helps Expats and people new to Jordan with many details for you including running events and the best places to train. We picked the top 8 places to run in Amman. Then given you a map of the routes, distances, running surface, where to park, and so much more!
#2 Become a YES person to meet other Expats and Jordanians
Connection with others is commonly to be one of the keys to stable mental health and happiness. Because moving to a new place might be a time when connection is temporarily at an ultimate low, it goes a long way to say yes to as many opportunities as possible.
If you enjoy rock climbing- check out Climbat just outside Amman. Perhaps, you prefer hiking you have to check out the Jordan Trail which just opened and has trails for everyone at every level throughout Jordan.
Maybe there’s a group going to visit Petra and Wadi Rum you could join. We personally love the services of Engaging Cultures with their personalized tours that get you to stay in the homes of Jordanians and Palestinians while you experience the breathtaking beauty and history of Jordan and Palestine.
#1- Find a Professional and Safe Fitness Community to Train With
You’ll want great fitness to enjoy those visits to Petra as you climb up to the Monastery. If you enjoy climbing, hiking, or running- you’ll want a great base of strength and conditioning that’s efficient and safe. You know it can be daunting and can take lots of time to find a gym. You want a gym with professional coaches, a clean and convenient facility, and a program that will keep you from getting bored while getting you results safely.
If you have prior injuries we can help strengthen those areas and give you full health back! Check here for 7 things you can do for your prior back injuries. At least 30% of our current members began training with us while having some sort of pain or injury that they wanted help with.
At CrossFit Crescent, you will be immediately surrounded by health-conscious Jordanians and expats. This could be a new community of friends to workout and get fit with. We have Essentials Classes that are in small groups to help newcomers to CrossFit learn exactly what they need to thrive. You will learn about Nutrition as the base for your fitness. Then we’ll go over Cardio movements like jumping rope and rowing. We’ll also cover the basics of gymnastics and weightlifting. Together these four elements create elite fitness while staying fun for you! When done under the watchful eye of our professional coaches, you will be amazed at the progress you can make while having fun! We also believe our facility is one of the best in the Middle East.
Contact us now to get more information by calling 079 722 8865. You can also sign up for a free personal fitness consultation with one of our coaches. This is a fantastic first step. We’ll help you think through the last 6-12 months of your fitness. Then we will talk about your goals in the coming 6-12 months. Finally we can help you assess what it would take to reach those goals. We’re here for you!
If you are looking for an amazing article on many details of moving to Amman- visit our friend Cat at her blog for detailed instructions on many areas of life to consider when moving to Amman.