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Just keep moving | © Everjean/Flickr
Just keep moving | © Everjean/Flickr

11 Ways People Are Staying Fit in Costa Rica

Picture of Jenn Parker
Updated: 29 November 2017

Staying healthy and in shape is easy in Costa Rica. There are so many exciting activities that require physical strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance. When activities are fun and involve being outside, it is easier to view them as forms of enjoyment that also have physical and health benefits. It also helps when you lead a life where regular movement is just part of the job. See how people living in Costa Rica are staying active.

Biking

Biking is a very popular activity in Costa Rica, both for fitness and daily transportation. Costa Ricans, especially those from the city, will often bring their bikes with them on holidays or over the weekends to the coast for long rides. There are also multiple races throughout the year that typically bring in an impressive number of participants. The terrain is quite diverse in Costa Rica, and so are the bike trails.

Running

Running is another way a lot of people in Costa Rica stay fit. There are marathons throughout the year and plenty of dedicated marathon runners. Between the vast beaches, endless coastlines, mountain passes, and forest trails, there are plenty of beautiful places to go running.

Crossfit

The CrossFit craze has made its way to Costa Rica. CrossFit gyms are popping up all over the country. You’ll find multiple CrossFit gyms in the San Jose area, as well as alongside the coast in places like Playa Tamarindo and Playas del Coco. There are 39 official CrossFit gyms in Costa Rica.

Beach fitness classes

Locals and tourists alike are enjoying beach fitness classes in Costa Rica. The tidal range on the Pacific coast is very large, so at low tide most beaches are pretty wide and the sand it usually packed down pretty tightly. This makes the perfect setting for a beach fitness class. Classes vary depending on the instructor and the group, but most combine elements of yoga, cardio, stretching, and strength building.

Beach walking

Did you know that you can burn up to 350 calories an hour walking on the sand? Walking along one of the hundreds of beaches in Costa Rica is an effective form of exercise and one that a lot of people enjoy here. Dogs too! The beaches of Costa Rica are truly breathtaking and when the tide is low and the sun is setting or rising, this is a truly blissful activity.

Yoga

Costa Rica is host to an abundance of zen-inspiring yoga shalas, studios, and retreats. Yoga classes are offered from coast to coast. The beach or rainforest setting couldn’t be any more amazing to practice yoga in. There are indoor and outdoor yoga spaces and it is safe to say that all types of yoga for all different levels are available.

Paddle boarding

In the past few years, paddle boarding has really exploded in Costa Rica. While paddle board surfing at the main surf breaks is frowned upon by most local surfers, paddle boarding out in the beautiful bays and through the spectacular mangrove forests and estuaries has really taken off. There are plenty of protected areas where paddle boarding and even paddle board yoga are practiced.

Surfing

Costa Rica is long been a highly coveted surf destination. There are surf breaks up and down both coasts. It’s is a big part of the beach culture and way of life on the coast here. Some people surf almost every single day.

Daily life

With most of the populated areas in Costa Rica being small towns, a lot of people get around on foot. Unlike larger developed countries where you have to drive everywhere or take a metro or bus, in Costa Rica basic amenities like the bank, food store, and doctor’s office are within walking or at very least biking distance. Opting for walking to get around versus always going for the motorized transportation burns a lot of extra calories and helps people living in Costa Rica stay a bit more fit.

Manuel labor

Many Costa Ricans are involved in some sort of manual labor as part of their job. Farming, tending to livestock, fishing, landscaping, and construction are all common professions in Costa Rica. This type of work is sure to keep your blood pumping and muscles moving.

Tourism-related activities

Tourism is one of the leading income generators in Costa Rica. Tour guides are constantly on the move, required for white water rafting trips, hikes through the rainforest, horse back riding tours, surf lessons, waterfall repelling, and canopy zip lining. Spending your days in the great outdoors in Costa Rica everyday is great for one’s health.