HEALTHY LIVING IN COSTA RICA

More and more people are concerned with the unhealthy aspects of their lifestyles including the effects of stress.  If you are seeking relief from these harmful aspects of life, then Costa Rica should be on your short list of healthier places to live. Costa Rica is a natural paradise in many ways.

            The slogan of Costa Rica is “Pura Vida” which means “pure life.” It is more than a catchy expression, but a lifestyle. When you come to Costa Rica, you are leaving the faster paced lifestyle of North America and Europe behind. Here, you learn to embrace more relaxed living and a closer connection to nature.

            You will notice your blood pressure lowering as soon as you get here. In most of Costa Rica, there is no rush hour or heavy traffic as exists in most urban areas (excepting the capital city area including San Jose).  You have more slow moving traffic than fast. The fasting moving traffic tends to be hummingbirds, butterflies and dragonflies who are tending to their business. In the countryside, you will pass people on horseback or in an ox cart on occasion. The scenery is stunning, with abundant vistas and incredible water views. During the green season, rainbows are commonly seen following storms. You will constantly hear wildlife from chirping birds of hundreds of varieties to howling monkeys. It is all part of the Costa Rica scenery in which you commune with nature.

            Costa Rica provides many avenues for healthy living to enhance your life. Very importantly, there is abundant fresh food.  Perfectly and naturally ripened fruit and vegetables are available at supermarkets, farmer’s markets, roadside stands, in addition to trucks announcing themselves with loudspeakers which stop in the town squares daily.  The products are much tastier than what is commonly available in stores in the United States and Canada as they have been allowed to ripen naturally and are to be eaten right away. The fruits and vegetables have not been chosen for their appearance with taste only being a second consideration. The produce is ripe and ready for sale and consumption. It is bursting with flavor, especially the fruits including mangos, bananas, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, and many others.

            Meat and fish are locally sourced and are always fresh. You can acquire these at supermarkets, specialty markets, or from local fisherman.  The locally caught mahi mahi, red snapper, corvina, and shrimp are exceptional and very inexpensive compared to prices you are accustomed to paying. If you buy bacon, it is in a basic plastic-wrap package without the show packaging you were used to. You actually see what you get. The bacon is thicker and heartier, cooking without shrinking to nothing.

            Clean air and water are a big part of the healthy environment. The air and water always clean and fresh. There is abundant rain during the green season which fills the waterways with rainforests constantly producing more water. The water is clean and has no contaminants. You can drink it straight from the faucet with no concern. Similarly, the air is clean with no smog. On clear nights, you see thousands of stars, especially near the shorelines where there is little or no light at night. It is a stunning view to behold.

            Health services are abundant. Massage is available at local spas, on the beaches, or from contractors who come straight to your home. There are many yoga and exercise facilities available in addition to private training. Bicycling, jogging, and walking for exercise are enjoyed by many. Little beats a good beach walk when you want to clear your head.  In certain areas, there are hot springs whose hot mineral baths provide a source of rejuvenation. 

            Most restaurants create healthy dishes to provide you with a better diet composed of fresh ingredients and served in human and not mass quantities.

            There are many different environmental climates in Costa Rica, ranging from the hotter coastlines to cooler elevated areas to rainforest.  For this reason, there is an area suited to your personal style of living and comfort level.

            Enticed? Then you should visit and be overwhelmed by the natural beauty of Costa Rica’s landscapes and be charmed by its warm, friendly people. Only then will you come to understand and appreciate what this country has to offer.

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