After you third consecutive meal of rice and beans in Costa  Rica, you may be asking yourself how you can possibly stay healthy and fit while studying abroad. There are many ways to get moving and feeling good in your new home.

San José is both a healthy city and a healthcare destination. Fruit, vegetables, rice and beans are the cheapest foods you can buy. Smoothies and juices are sold on street corners. Everyone walks. And there are tons of opportunities for sports and fitness.

San José is brimming with gyms and other facilities. Many students choose to enroll in a gym while they’re here, which can be a good option for those with some extra cash wanting a structured, social workout. A popular gym near Veritas is called George Angulo Gym. Membership at local gyms typically costs around $40 a month and the facilities are great. In San Pedro, you can find pole yoga classes at Ü Gym for around $10 a class. A great yoga studio called Yoga Mandir offers classes of all levels at around $11 a class. There are a couple of local rock climbing gyms which are cheaper than the states but with limited facilities. There is a strong rugby community here called Stag and pickup soccer games are common. Belly dancing, kickboxing, and much more can be found for those who look.

Fitness comes in less structured forms, too. If you like running, try making it over to UCR. It’s a huge, beautiful campus which attracts many runners. There are also plenty of sports fields and public outdoor exercise machines to use. La Sabana park is another good option for jogging as well as the nice residential areas abound Veritas moving into San Pedro. I believe the best fitness advice for San José is to just get out and walk around the city. Avoid taking taxis or buses unless necessary and see where your feet take you.

Eating healthy here may take a little practice but is super easy. It may seem like those cookies and plantain chips are the cheapest snack, but think again. Buying fruit and vegetables near the Mercado Central or from street vendors is usually the cheapest option. Try investing in some tupperwares to bring fruit and salad to class with you instead of buying snacks during the day. As for breakfast and dinner, embrace the rice and beans!

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