Costa Rica seems to be really into staying fit, active, and healthy.
Gyms- There are three “regular” gyms and two Cross Fits within walking distance of my house. Two of them have pools, and all offer a ton of classes. As far as I can tell, this is pretty typical for the San Jose area. The one I joined has a pool on the first floor, cardio and weights on the second, and then classes and more cardio/pilates stuff on the third. They also have a juice bar by the main entrance. Prices seem to be in the mid-$40s/month, similar to back home. There seems to be pretty high participation in the classes. My host mom is in her 60s, and is at the gym most days, sometimes doing 3 classes in a row! Classes are the same as home- insanity, spinning, zumba, etc. My 6 day a week running schedule doesn’t seem to be too alarming to people. The idea of get up, exercise, then start your day seems fairly normal down here.
Outside- It looks like there are tons of “polideportivo” parks scattered around, which have different ways for people to get outside and be active, in addition to the regular parks. These seem to get pretty heavy use, too. I see lots of people out walking and running at the parks, plus sometimes there are outside group classes that look like they’re pretty heavily attended. At Parque de la Paz, which is close to where I am, the walking and running path has a hill in the middle, and people were using that to do hill sprints, plus some people were up at the top doing sun salutations. Around the path, there were vendors selling juices and “pipas” (coconuts with a straw to drink the water).
Nutrition- In addition to staying active, there are about a million different stores selling health foods, supplements, etc. Several people on our block have started following a diet plan, and there is lots of talk about keeping track of the fat/sugar contents of different foods.
It has definitely been a good fit in that regard for somebody like me who wants to stay active and healthy during my time here!